Last Updated on November 26, 2021 by andrewtk
Authority sites, niche sites, affiliate sites, blogs, micro-niche sites, amazon review sites…
…jeez Louise, when and where did it all get so complicated?
Well, I can't give you the answer to that question, but I can make a pretty decent go of untangling the confusion surrounding exactly what the difference is between authority sites and niche sites.
And hopefully help you in deciding which one of the two you should start building!
Niche Site vs Authority Site…let's get started…
What Is A Niche Site?
While niche sites tend to be fairly small, say somewhere in the region of 10 to 30 pages, for me this is not the defining factor of a niche site.
I believe that a niche site is any site that remains laser-focused on one specific segment, or even sub-segment, of a broader market.
For me, it is this total focus on a particular segment (niche) of a larger market that defines a niche site, not the number of pages.
A successful niche site aims to help people interested in the niche topic, get answers to various niche related questions.
The days of niche sites being tiny sites that have been thrown up quickly to rank-and-bank on the back of second-rate content are long gone.
Quality content is now the name of the game.
What Is An Authority Site?
An authority site is a website that is respected and trusted by internet users and search engines alike, due to the high-quality, and helpful, content it produces around the sites central topic, or niche.
Authority sites are quite often the grown-up versions of niche sites. By which I mean that…
…people often start sites around a niche or sub-niche, and that site is considered a niche site for a couple of years.
But, as time goes on, assuming the site owner remains committed to it, the site content grows in both quantity and quality…and so the site evolves naturally from niche site to authority site.
In the eyes of website users and search engines, and through the high-standards of their content output, authority sites demonstrate all of the following:
So basically a site that pleases Google on all of its E-A-T Quality Rater guidelines.
Content quantity, content quality, resulting in a super-helpful and trusted online resource around a topic, is the name of the authority site game.
What's The Difference Between A Niche Site And An Authority Site?
Well, if I'm doing a bad job at explaining exactly what the difference is between niche and authority sites, maybe it's time to call in a couple of experts…or authorities, in the space.
So here's Authority Hacker giving their very authoritative definition of authority sites:
“An authority site is a website that has earned the trust of its readers and industry experts alike. Authority websites have earned that respect through the useful content and pages they have published”.Authority Hacker
And here's Human Proof Designs giving their definition of a niche site:
“A “niche site” is usually smaller, perhaps 10 to 30 pages only, and focus around one subniche. An example of this type of site could be Dog Collars”.HumanProofDesigns
So just remember that the definition given above by Human Proof Designs does also say that niche sites are usually smaller, and that they stay focused on a sub-niche.
Usually smaller, not always smaller.
And the reason that niche sites are usually smaller is that it in most niches, it gets quite hard to remain totally focused on the sub-niche and still grow your site.
You tend to end up having to expand the topic/niche/sub-niche to enable you to keep adding content.
Hopefully this whole thing is looking a whole lot clearer to you now. Is it?
Pros And Cons Of Niche Sites
- Can be built quickly
- Quicker to monetise
- Can expand to authority site
- Less ongoing time spent
- Lower long-tern earnings
- Less loyalty created
- Risk of Google-slaps
- Growth may be limited
Pros And Cons Of Authority Sites
- Built for long-term success
- Reduced risk of a Google-slap
- Strong Return-On-Investment
- Can build a loyal following
- Harder for beginners to build
- Time consuming
- More expensive to run
- Must be kept up-to-date
Niche Site vs Authority Site – Wrapping It Up!
I have been into building sites and affiliate marketing for a few years now.
When I started out I never really gave too much thought about whether my aim was to build an authority site or a niche site.
But, I do think about it now, and I deliberately set out to build new sites so that they have room to grow into authority sites over time.
So my sites tend to start out as niche sites, but I am careful to choose a domain name that doesn't put a restriction on the sites growth, so nothing like ‘bestheadphonesforclubdjs.com'.
And I am careful with my site structure and in making sure that the first dozen pages of content are written by me and of super-high quality.
So I prefer to build and grow authority sites from the foundations of first creating niche sites that are created with room for growth.
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