How To Build An Authority Blog From Scratch


Have you ever wanted to start over?
Every several years I get the urge to reinvent myself and my business online.

I've dabbled in several industries, ranging from blogging to fitness to personal finance to lawn care… Yes. I had an authority blog about lawn care.

There's always something sexy about starting something new and building it from the ground up.

With almost every other business that I've created so far, I've put a considerable emphasis on driving traffic through advertising and social media marketing.

This time around, I'm excited to dive into the SEO world. I will still use a little bit of paid traffic here and there and, of course, I will encourage social sharing but, the primary goal of this new blog is to make the search engines love me.

I know this post is somewhat “meta” since I'll be creating an article about how I'm creating the blog that you're currently reading. However, it should make for an entertaining and educational read for anyone who wants to follow along with my process.

A quick note: I intend to make this an evergreen, ever-evolving blog post… As I test things with this blog and as I add new plugins, I will update this post with what I'm doing. Bookmark this post and check back because, as this blog grows, this post will evolve to show what I've been doing.

The Beginnings Of An Authority Blog

I knew that I wanted to build a new authority blog that is not branded with my personal name. I've got MattWolfe.net, where I share my income reports and personal journey, but I wanted to create something that can become more of a brand. This will be a site where I personally only write a fraction of the articles.

This will be a site where articles are added much more frequently than my personal blog because I am aiming to gain search engine traffic quickly.

I struggled and struggled with what the brand would be called. I went on a domain name buying spree and, after a few days, didn't like any of the domains that I had purchased.

A few days later, it came to me…

I have an insanely in-depth course on the topic of Content Marketing called “The Content Business Machine.” In this course, I teach the concept of “Authority Multipliers”… It's a term that I created, and I use frequently, but I've never heard anyone else use…

So I thought to myself… That's the new brand!

I immediately went and registered the following domain names:

Multiply Authority - Namecheap

This came to me in the middle of the night… I popped out of bed at 2 am to register the domains.

I had no idea which domain name I was going to use when I registered them either… I just wanted to own the term.

The term authority means “An accepted source of information.” (source)

The term multiplier means “Something that increases an effect.” (source)

Therefore, an “Authority Multiplier” is something that increases the effect of you as an authority (an accepted source of information).

Out of the domain names that I purchased, “MultiplyAuthority.com” seemed to have the best ring to it, seeing as this site will teach others (and act as an example) of how to multiply your authority.

The Setup

Now that I had the domain name, it was time to link it to a hosting account and install WordPress.

As of right now, I'm hosting this site on Liquid Web. However, I've heard good things about WP Engine, and I'm considering moving to them for a more “managed solution”… I'm also a fan of Bluehost for shared hosting.

If you're following along, and you're setting up a blog for the first time, I highly recommend just starting with Bluehost and getting your domain and hosting all in one simple step.

Once I installed WordPress, I had a site that looked like this:

Authority Blog - Basic WordPress

Beautiful huh?

I'm a fan of a premium theme called Voice, which is available on the Envato Marketplace for $59. All of my blogs use this theme because I'm just so used to working with it.

Voice Theme - Envato

After installing the Theme and tweaking a few of the settings, I had a much more amazing looking blog…

It looked like this now:

2015-10-16_15-26-10

As I'm typing this blog post, this is actually what it currently looks like. Of course, once this post is complete, it will look much better.

The next thing I wanted to do was install some plugins…

I have a handful of WordPress plugins that I install on every website I create.

Here's a screenshot…

Recommended WordPress Plugins

The plugins that I highlighted in yellow are the plugins that came with the Voice theme. They include:

  • Contact Form 7 – A simple plugin to add a contact form to your blog. As of this article, I haven't configured it yet.
  • Entry Views – This plugin counts how many times a post has been viewed. This can act as social proof later on to show how popular your blog is, even if you're not getting a lot of comments.
  • Force Regenerate Thumbnails – To be honest, I don't entirely know what this does, but the theme requires it. I think, when you upload an image into WordPress, it automatically resizes them to optimal sizes…
  • Meks Easy Ads Widget – A sidebar widget for banner ads… I don't have this configured yet.
  • Meks Flexible Shortcodes – This adds addition shortcode functionality to your site to make things like columns and buttons in posts easier.
  • Meks Smart Author Widget – This will show the author of a post over in the right sidebar.
  • Meks Smart Social Widget – This is the social media icons that you see at the top of the right sidebar.

The plugins that I highlighted in green are the essential plugins that I think every authority blog should have. They are:

  • Akismet – This is the anti-spam plugin that helps keep the crap out of the comments.
  • ThirstyAffiliates – This helps me quickly create affiliate link redirects and has a little bit of tracking capability.
  • Thrive Leads – This creates the small opt-in forms that slide-in or pop-up. This is the best lead generation plugin I've found for a blog (I've tried them all).
  • Yoast SEO – This plugin will help your blog rank in the search engines right out of the box. It helps with making search-friendly URLs as well as analyzes your blog posts so that you can make them more search friendly.

Update October 20, 2015:

I added an additional plugin that seems to be making a big difference…

The little bar that you see on the left side of the blog with all the social icons, that's a plugin called “SumoMe“. It's a free plugin and, as you can see, it appears to be helping me get a lot of shares on this post.

SumoMe - Social Sharing - Authority Blog

So that's the setup. I may add a couple other plugins over time, but I've got all the essential plugins dialed in.

Advanced Techy Setup

Now that I've got my site set up, I need to install some tracking codes…

To start, I installed Google Analytics tracking code. The Voice theme has a place where you can quickly install tracking code.

Within Google Analytics, I also turned on “Remarketing”… This will allow me to retarget anyone that comes to this website with ads in Google.

Finally, I installed the custom audience tracking code from Facebook on the blog as well. This will allow me to display ads on Facebook to anyone who has visited this website.

I haven't made step-by-step tutorials on these processes yet, but I will add in videos that explain how to do these things in time. (Remember this blog post will be an ever-evolving post)

The Brand

I don't know how this is going to turn out yet, but I'm getting a logo made…

In the past, I've always worked with an in-house designer that I love working with and that I trust…

However, this time around, I opted to see what sort of logo I could get on Fiverr.com.

I didn't spend $5. I found someone that had great reviews and an impressive portfolio, and I opted to pay for his “VIP Service,” which gets me faster turnaround, all the source files, and multiple variations… I'm hoping that I'll get something that I like from it.

The instructions that I gave him were very vague, to be honest, but I did tell him that I wanted an icon or an image that could standalone, without the text, and still represent my brand…

The reason that I asked for an image that could stand alone is that, quite frankly, I want to be able to show off my brand in the form of shirts, hats, stickers, etc…

Here's the actual vendor I purchased from:

Fiverr - Logo

And here's the receipt for what I paid:

Fiverr - Logo Receipt

I know some people will say “you get what you pay for” but, to be honest, it's not much cheaper than what I would have paid my in-house designer, all said and done. So we'll see how it goes.

If I have a killer logo for this blog, you'll know exactly where it came from.

Update October 20, 2015:

I received two variations of a logo from my guy on Fiverr…

Multiply Authority Logo

As you can probably tell from the logo that's currently at the top of the blog, I opted for the logo on the top…

I could have had some revisions made but, to be honest, I'm pretty happy with the logo. I didn't know what a logo for “Multiply Authority” would look like and I really didn't have a clear vision for what I wanted.

The fact that it kind of looks like there are an “M” and an “A” worked into the logo looks cool and I like the idea that I can use the logo without the text as a brand as well.

Not bad for really giving the designer no real direction.

Monetization

A question that keeps popping up is, “how are you going to make money with that blog?”

I have multiple methods that I intend to generate revenue from this very blog.

First, my flagship program, The Content Business Machine will be promoted from this blog… You may have even seen little pop-ups to register for one of my webinars already…

2015-10-18_17-26-16

That is my main program and really the only product I intend to promote for a little while.

I also plan to infuse affiliate links throughout my posts.

I only talk about products that I use myself and I fully intend to use affiliate links when I do.

Expect product reviews, product comparisons, product tutorials, and more… These will all generate affiliate income for me.

Finally, my third income-generation strategy is investing… I am using this site as a way to attract people to me that are looking for investors in their SAAS or physical products. I intend to move heavily into advising, investing, and helping companies grow their reach through my marketing expertise.

That's the monetization approach… And you will be fully kept in the loop through regular reporting of progress in monthly income reports.

Update November 23rd, 2015

A friend of mine recently recommend that I test some advertising banners on the site. Personally, I'm not a fan of the banners. I think they clutter up the site a little bit. However, design is not everything. My ability to monetize the site is equally as (if not more) important than the design.

So I'm doing a trial with Google Adsense to see how it all works out. For now, I've placed a banner ad in the header and another ad in the sidebar. I have no clue what kind of click rate they will get but I'm willing to test for 30 days or so and see what kind of result I get. If the income off the ads is not pretty significant, I'll be removing them in 30 days time.

Results will be share in my next income report.

Brining In The Writers

In order to build a true authority blog, I need to bring in writers. I'm not an expert in every single topic that I'd want this blog to discuss.

In order to have a high frequency of high-value content on this site, I'm bringing in the best writers I can find to kickstart the content.

I'll be accepting guest posts as well, if someone wants some massive exposure back to their blog.

To start, however, I need to find some writers…

So I posted the following job ad on jobs.problogger.net:

Problogger Job Post - Authority Blog

Within 48 hours of posting this job, my inbox was flooded with people responding, wanting to write for Multiply Authority…

I created a separate inbox just for this job posting because I sort of anticipated a lot of emails…

Lots of emails

I went through most of the emails but have only managed to reply to maybe 10 of them… (Can we say overwhelm?)

I found a few amazing writers already and have hired 4 to start writing…

As of October 25th, 2015, we have our first article on this site that's not written by me!

Check out the first article here: The Definitive Guide To A/B Testing.

Over the coming weeks, I will continue to filter through all of the emails and reply to writers that I feel are a good fit.

However, I believe that this site will be considered an authority site pretty dang quickly, meaning that I'll have more and more people that are willing to write for free, due to the credibility the site brings.

What's Next?

As I mentioned a few times above, this blog post will continue to evolve… Consider this page a resource that you can check back to often as I will update it as I add to this website.

These blog posts will be going out to by subscriber base of 55,000+ subscribers and, the really good ones, will get some paid ad traffic to jumpstart the traffic and sharing. So reach out if you have something to offer and would like the exposure.

I also intend to experiment with, and review, the various SEO and blogger outreach tools that are available out there.

Two tools that I am incredibly excited to test are ahrefs and ContentMarketer.io. There's also a tool called BuzzStream that looks similar to ContentMarketer so I intend to do a side-by-side comparison as well.

Expect a lot of action from this site. Explanations of processes, cool tools, product reviews, tutorials, and much much more. It's all on the way.

What I'd Like From You…

Please leave a comment below. Here's what I'd love to hear from you about…

  1. If you're interested in writing for this site, let me know what you'd like to teach.
  2. If you read this post and were confused by any steps I took, point it out and ask me so I can update the post.
  3. If there's a tool you'd like me to review or a process that you'd like me to teach, let me know. I will either create the resource or I will find an expert to help me create it.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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