This time a week ago I hadn't even heard about Jon's challenge. He hadn't mentioned it on his site yet.
Now here we are and I've just completed my third Google Hangout with Jon and the other members of the group, and it's amazing how much has changed.
If you're not sure what I'm talking about, here's the post he made. http://authoritywebsiteincome.com/six-figure-authority-challenge-announced/
I've already learned a ton, and we're only just getting started. The first thirty or so days are going to be a bit of a sprint where we all try to get as much done as possible and get our sites set up. After the sprint comes the marathon, as we all work towards the goal:
To create a six-figure website (each) by the end of 2015.
That's a website that earns $5,000 a month net. As you can sell a site for 20 times monthly income, that would put the site's value at $100k.
Maybe it seems like a stretch to create a $5,000 a month site in a year to some of you. I'll admit that when I submitted my application to join the challenge, I didn't expect to be able to succeed.
I knew that I had a shot at getting selected, but I didn't think I was good enough to build a site that would earn $5,000 a month. Hey I don't even earn that much right now.
Why I Didn't Hesitate To Apply
I knew that this was an incredible opportunity, and I wanted to work with someone like Jon so much. However, the real reason I applied, and perhaps the reason I got accepted, was because I owe it to my audience.
I create and sell niche websites, but I've never learned how to build a proper authority site that pulls in that kind of money. I know so many different strategies, and am “pretty good” at online marketing, I've built sites that earn money, but I'm far from an expert.
I felt like, if I could really make a go of this, and really apply myself, and learn everything I could learn, then share all of that with you, then that would be massive for all of us.
In my last post I shared with you the results of my audience survey, and one resounding point was that people wanted proof of results, proof that I know what I'm doing.
Well here's my chance!
Not only did I get selected, but I now really do think there's a good chance of pulling this off.
Jon knows his stuff, he really does, and some of the other people in the group are incredibly talented as well. I'm sure we'll all say something similar, but I really do feel like the dunce of the group.
I feel very lucky and blessed to have been chosen. I guess I've been doing something right all along.
What I've Learned So Far
Jon has created an in-depth “attack plan” that I know he plans to share with his audience and give away for free. Just looking through the various tabs and sections of the plan, I thought “wow, this is intense”.
I'm not going to steal his thunder and let you know much about the attack plan itself. Jon's going to release it all in a couple of weeks anyway, so don't worry.
What's really different in our approach is that we're going after competitive niches. Most of us have selected our niches now and are getting started with our sitemaps and content outlines, and I can tell you that these are niches I'd traditionally tell people to stay away from.
They're highly competitive, but at the same time I have a feeling we're all going to crush it.
There's no magic formula or secret that Jon's found though. He just knows how to build authority sites.
In fact he says that very thing on his about page:
What's so impressive is the systematic approach we're all taking. It's different, but it's going to work.
When you have a really good system, and a group of highly motivated people to hold you accountable and bounce ideas off, you almost can't fail.
Let's compare the traditional way of selecting a niche, and the way Jon's done it.
Traditional Niche Selection
Look For Long Tail Keywords
Money Keywords Like “Best [Product Name]”
Avoid Too Many Existing Sites
Jon's Six-Figure Site Selection
Find A Problem (Niche)
Find A Clear Path To Monetization
Find Similar Successful Sites
Look For Unique Angle/Content Advantage
Look For Existing Community
Instead of looking for a niche with low competition and high searches, we're not even focusing on keywords. We're looking for something where there are already sites demonstrating the success of the niche, and looking for ways in which we can beat those sites.
Not by using blackhat techniques or other tricks, but by having a clear content advantage, or a unique angle.
I'm going to have to expand on these points in later posts, as I could write an essay about each one, but I wanted to highlight to you all how different Jon's approach is going to be.
He'll explain all this better than me when he publishes his guide anyway. For now I'm just trying to explain what it's like being in the group and what I've learned.
Challenges I Expect To Face
Well there are definitely going to be challenges. We faced a challenge in our very first call when we tried to fit 10 people into a one-hour session.
That proved pretty troublesome, the call lasted 2.5 hours! The Europeans were real champs staying up so late!
So we've split the group by timezones and are doing two groups for the daily calls. We'll meet once a week roughly as the full group though.
This isn't really that much of a challenge, and I'm 100000% positive that the group aspect is what's going to get me to succeed.
I also expect to face challenges hiring and training a virtual team. I have some experience with this, but not to the level that I'm going to be doing it in the challenge. I'm really looking forward to overcoming these challenges as well, because it will benefit my entire business. You can only do so much by yourself.
Luckily Jon is the man in the know when it comes to hiring VA's.
Others have had challenges with niche selection. You might think you've got a great in-demand niche, but then someone will point out that there's no clear monetization path, or you might have a great monetization path, but no real way to solve people's problems with it.
It can get frustrating, but we're all pulling our weight with some great ideas.
I'm sure there will also be a million and one other challenges that crop up, and I'll deal with them as they come. I'll let you know what challenges myself and the other members of the group are facing in later posts as well.
Speaking of which…
How You Can Follow Along
As well as following our progress on Jon's site, you can follow me here.
I'm going to blog more about my experiences over the course of the year as well, so along with my dual niche site case study, I'll be tracking my progress on this site.
Once everything is set up and ready to go, I'll reveal my niche, and later on my URL. I'll likely post every week or at minimum every 10 days, and talk about how things are going.
By this time next year, I hope to be reporting about my success, and helping you all to recreate it.
Authority sites are A LOT more work than smaller niche sites, but the payoff can also be a lot higher.
I still recommend starting out with a smaller site if you've never done anything before, but the techniques I'll be teaching you will actually be applicable to any site, so feel free to subscribe and stay tuned.
I'm sure you must have some comments or questions, so fire away! It would be great to hear from you. Have you ever entered into an overly competitive niche? How did it go?