Authority Sites vs Niche Sites: Which is the Best Fit for You?

JillAffiliate Marketing, Blog18 Comments

There are a few key things I love about affiliate marketing. Sure, the fact that you don't have to deal with order fulfillment, refunds, or angry customers is nice AWESOME,but the fact that you have a choice in how big or small you want your site to be is another reason we're so hooked on this model.

So which do we prefer—authority sites vs niche sites? And what is the benefit of each model? Click play and find out!

Not a fan of watching vids? Hey, we get that. They're not for everyone – though we think one of ours could change your mind *wink* – so we've included a text transcript for your reading pleasure instead.


This week we’re talking all about the difference between authority sites versus niche sites. What is an authority site and what is a niche site? An authority site is anything that has a large number of posts, whereas a niche site tends to have anywhere between 4­10 posts; so it’s a very small site in comparison. The other main difference would be the amount of work that goes into an authority site versus a niche site. When you’re talking authority sites, you’re not just talking about a standard set of keywords that you want to be targeting for a certain amount of pages; you are talking keywords for different products, for different posts. You are targeting SEO, and you are also targeting social. You are looking to brand a site, you want to have an active social presence, an active newsletter and general interaction on your social pages. It’s heavily reliant on consistent upkeep. Niche sites on the other hand, are very “said it and forget it.” the full transcript

Skip to the Good Stuff:

0:54 – What is the difference between niche sites and authority sites
1:50 – Why we chose to go with the niche model.
2:17 – Basic skills you will learn through building niche sites.
3:03 – How these skills will transfer you from niche model to an authority site.
3:39 – How niche marketing can replace your 9-5 income.
4:53 – How to scale your site.
5:40 – The power potential in niche sites.
6:17 – Learn about our current Niche Site Case Study

A Little Bit About this Episode:

When you're first getting started with setting up an affiliate site, it can be difficult to wade through all the information out there claiming you need a brand, a USP, a logo, a low-competition niche, a high-end product, a small site, a big site…it's enough to cause your head spin or make you want to scream!

So which is the right option? And should you go with a bigger site or start off with a small and easy-to-manage website?

The options can get overwhelming.

Which is why we wanted to make it a bit easier for you to choose and break down the benefits of authority sites vs niche sites, so you can make an educated decision for yourself.

The good news is this is a much easier decision than some people make it out to be. So click play or download your transcript now and get yo'self some clarity!


Download Your Copy of the Ultimate Niche Site Breakdown”

Discover the EXACT process that we used to build & grow our first ever 6-figure online business!

  • Aub

    Hey guys

    Thanks for this vid. I’d never realised the difference between Authority and Niche sites – in my mind the two were very much blended together. This has helped me clarify the differences and now I can stop bothering my poor head with anything Authority, logo, brand, big site related and focus on niche sites to screw the 9 – 5.

    I have been looking at Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Niche Site Duel 2.0 also – that’s confusing me, he’s clearly calling it a niche site, but really it’s more of an Authority site, by you definitions. No wonder I’m confuzzed,

    Not long discovered your site, really enjoying it. Gradually consuming. 🙂


    • Hey Aub!

      Happy to have you around these parts 🙂

      And yes, Pat tends to build more authority-based sites…which is still a good model but for quick turnaround and scaling purposes, we dig the small niche site model best!

      Let us know if you have any questions!

  • x10

    Thanks for this key differentiator guys! I realized I was putting way too much time into branding niches. I can imagine that generating many of these in one week would really require some great process work!

    Is ok if I pronounce it “neesh” like the French word?! 😉

    • Hahaha you can pronounce it however you like 🙂

      And you don’t have to worry about scaling on a big level right off the bat. If I were you I would refine my process before scaling in a big way. Also, creating SOPs to hand off to someone is another thing that was a HUGE help to us when starting to scale this process.

      Just take it a step at a time and you should be sweet!

  • Great explanation guys. I think I spend to much time on the bridge between niche and semi-authority.. Need to just start cranking out sites.. Link building is my fuzzy grey area! Senuke, GSA, Search Engine Ranker, Guest posting… What to do, what not to do.. Need us some staff I reckon!

    • Well luckily for you we’ll be breaking down some serious SEO strategies in the coming weeks 🙂

      Stick around!

  • Thanks for the video, it was very helpful 🙂 I didn’t know there was a difference between the two.

    I’ve been building a site that’s more like an authority site, but I’d like to change it to a niche site. My site has several silos that all focus on a different product. Do you think it’ll work? Or would “one site per product” approach be better?

    • I guess it depends on what you’re after. If you want to run a bunch of websites all targeting one product then yes, small niche sites are the way to go.

      However, if you want to create a bigger, branded website that focuses on more of a general niche with a bunch of sub-categories (like we did with our skincare site) then you can absolutely tackle an authority site…the only thing is, is they typically take longer to rank and make sales but are generally better for a long-term approach.

      Make sense?

  • Justin Cooke

    Hey guys!

    LOVED the points you made in this video. I found myself nodding my head over and over as you were talking. I particularly agree with your points:

    1. Niche sites are a GREAT way to learn the fundamentals (doing it over and over)
    2. Niche sites are scalable

    We have a great team of guys/gals here in the Philippines and we don’t believe (at this point) we could truly scale authority sites. We’ve been testing through slowly working up the value chain on improved/expanded niche sites, though. Results aren’t in quite yet, but hoping we can build out even larger “niche” sites with our team.

    Anyway, just wanted to say I loved this! 🙂

    • Thanks Justin! And a big ol’ cyber high-five for the power of niche sites! We love ’em, and while authority sites are great (hey, they stand the test of time!), niche sites are just SO easy to scale…and scale rapidly!

      Looking forward to hearing the results of your authority site tests though…would be keen to hear if those are actually scalable once you find a solid enough system.

      Finally, we’re in the Phils until the end of April…would love to meet up if you guys are down? You’re in Davao, right?

    • Josh Stanton

      Thanks man, that means a TON coming from you! We have a couple of authority sites as well which we started early 2012, but we noticed were taking up too much of our time and were limited in how much they could earn. The niche site model just seemed to flow a lot easier for us in the end.

  • newy219 .

    Hey guys thanks for the good info. My question is that now in August of 2014 and moving into 2015 is it still possible to “set and forget”. I’m a newbie to internet marketing and what I’ve mainly been told is that you need to be consistently putting up new posts if you want to be able to rank with the Google’s new algorithm that they use. Also that social shares are important…so with niche sites do you have to be doing these things consistently or is it still possible to create a site, leave it alone and make money from it?

    • Yeah everyone always seems to be super opinionated about what Google’s up to these days…it’s all par for the course and you’ll probably always here mixed reviews.

      If you were to go with a niche site then it is possible to get to the point where it runs passively – but it definitely takes some work to get there.

      As for authority sites – those are sites you always update, so you’re constantly adding new content anyways.

      Our preferred method is always niche sites, but both are great models – it just depends on which is more for you 🙂

      Does that make sense?

      • newy219 .

        Yeah so it sounds like niche sites are still possible to build but take more work than in the past. However niche sites definitely sound like a better option. In your experience what would you say the minimum amount of pages to create a successful niche site would be? Also, is this site an authority site? Thanks for the help.

        • I would say that the minimum amount of pages you need is around 4 or so…we have a bunch of sites with just 4 pages and they make great money.

          However, these sites are definitely not authority sites. I would classify an authority site as something with over 50 posts or so…

          • newy219 .

            Wow that’s awesome, thanks for the help.

  • is a hyperlocal website an authority site or niche site?

  • Badde Liyanage

    Thanks for your explanation. this is a great information. I am wondering is “technology tutorials” is a niche? or should I be more specific like “windows tutorials”, “android tutorials” or something?