Website Income

Month 1 Update – Cost To Start an Authority Website

I have great news I can now share with everyone…my wife and I are expecting our first child on March 24, 2013. The news that I will be a father shortly is extremely exciting and has given me a  lot of passion to really make my online business more successful and provide for my family! Luckily for everyone reading this I hope that means to provide more value and transparency on my success than I ever have before.

Here is my first monthly update where I will try and stay true to my promise to you and “share everything but my passwords” when it comes to how I am building my authority website.

The month started off with Sunil from the starting the Authority Website Duel which I have been happy to join! I was happy to launch my website the day the challenge was announced so my site can be a completely transparent start to success (hopefully) example. There are lots of sites already in the challenge that are doing remarkably well, following along on what they are doing has already been a great inspiration.

One twist I am going to put on my monthly reports is to share every discovery and the key takeaway I learned from it.

This Months Highlights…

  1. Defined my reason for starting this project (providing for my wife and soon my child)
  2. Identified my target niche (students looking to pay off student loans)
  3. Completed Keyword Research for an Authority Website
  4. Picked a domain name (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
  5. Created lots of cheap and QUALITY content (40 articles created)
  6. Built my authority website.
  7. Started my content marketing and backlink strategy (more on this strategy to follow next month)

Insight – Sharing publicly the work you are doing helps keep you focused!
My Take Away – To increase my accountability in each monthly report I will outline my plan for the next month!

Breaking News – Google’s EMD Update Provides More Reason to Focus on Higher Quality Larger Websites

Its also worth sharing the significant change that has occurred within Google at the end of September where an algorithm change has resulted in exact match domains no longer providing a significant SEO boost. This change has reinforced my belief that “authority” websites will be more robust to Googles changes.

A couple of the leaders in the niche site business model are also moving more towards an authority website model, see…

My Main Accomplishment This Month – Lots of Quality Articles Created for Cheap!

This month’s focus was on setting my website up for success and creating a quality body of work. To that end I think I have succeeded. I have gotten 53 original articles created by native English speakers for $126, most of these articles are 500 word articles while 8 are 2000 word articles.

However, some of the content on the website definitely got through my quality control checks and I had to go in and change out some of the articles.

I was happy to be able to get lots of quality articles for $2 created like these…

  • Stafford Loan Limits
  • Student Loan Default Explained

For some of my pillar articles I was able to get really helpful articles for $5 using my cheap article creation strategy.

  • Grants to Pay Off Student Loans
  • Student Loan Forgiveness

All of the above articles provide a lot of value to a reader and I am not embarrassed to share them with everyone.

I had a team manager who I empowered by sharing this (AuthorityWebsiteIncome) site with him and describing the special importance of (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) compared to the other websites he works on with me. By showing him this website and getting him to feel apart of a bigger project he really embraced the idea and brought his “A” game this month.

Insight – Empowering my team member by showing him the bigger picture resulted in additional motivation and results!
My Take Away – Give all my outsourcing team members a better idea of the big picture of what they are working on and how it can/will impact peoples lives.

This Months Results

This is what really matters!

So as an engineer I love my numbers and here they are, as raw and transparent as I can be…


I have not set up any monetization yet, but that will follow over the next 1-2 months.


An ok start, I know this is going to be a competitive niche to get into and I want to be patient.

Total Visitors( launched Sep 8 ) = 268

Avg Visitors Per Day = 12

What I have been happy to see is a slow but sure increase in search engine traffic and specifically on long tail keywords. Some websites I have made have had a much faster increase in search traffic but its often due to exact match domain traffic and it can be more variable. A traffic strategy based on longer tailed keywords is more robust to algorithm changes.

Traffic overview

The bounce rate on search traffic is 22% higher than the site average, this is something I will have to keep an eye on as I get more data.

Authority Website Costs

Below is a summary of the costs, I will keep running a total each month. Several of the links below are affiliate links.

  1. Domain Registration = $10.69 @ NameCheap
  2. Hostgator = $7.16/month for 2 years @ HostGator
  3. Content Creation 53 articles = $126 @ ODesk
  4. Content Creation Management = $19.34 @ ODesk
  5. Uploading Content = $8.26 @ ODesk
  6. Virtual Assistant = $21.53 @ ODesk

TOTAL = $192.98

My VA does a lot of tasks for me like uploading the YouTube videos I make to youtube and other sites. She also

Profit/Loss To Date= -$192.98

# On Page Posts/Pages

  • Posts = 13
  • Pages = 14

# of Backlinks

  • Refering Domains = 24
  • External Backlinks = 79
  • Citation Flow = 20
  • Trust Flow = 15


Backlinking/Content Marketing Strategy – Just a Teaser

I won’t share the details of my backlinking plan just yet but don’t worry I will be! Expect a massive section of this website dedicated to my content marketing/backlinking strategy in the near future.

But to give an overview of what activities I have been doing this month it involves…

  • Targeted Blog Commenting
  • Guest Posts
  • YouTube Videos and Video/Presentation Syndication
  • Unique Content Only Blog/Guest Post Network
  • Expired Domains

IPs & Don’t Like My Slogan

I received an email from the plugin Limit Login Attempts that these IP addresses were trying to login to my website.

Both IP’s are shown to be from Ukraine, so maybe my slogan translates I will share my password…

IPs from Ukraine
Insight –I don’t believe someone from Ukraine is reading my blog and uniquely targeted my website. The attacks on my website are part of a larger blast approach to hack WordPress websites

Take Away – None of my websites are safe without the best protection – Limit login attempt plugin is great and its easy to lookup an IP address with

Move Offices to Make Room for the Nursery

The best room in the house for the nursery is the room my office was in. So over the last couple days I had to paint my new office and move everything over. This took a remarkably long time but I am happy with how it is coming along…

New Office – Mid Move
New Office – Mid Move

Next Month

Start Testing Monetization (Goal = Start with adsense, loan consolidation CPA, credit check CPA)

Continue Content Creation (Goal = 20 more on page articles)

Content Marketing / Backlink Strategy Continue  (Goal = 20 more off page articles)

Logo Design (Goal = new logo)

Test New Theme (Goal = Test new theme to potentially lower bounce rate from search traffic)


As this is the first of many monthly updates please provide feedback on what details you would like me to share. As my slogan goes I hope to share with you everything that you would find valuable!

If you want to see more of something just include what it is in the comments below…

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply