73: How to Build and Monetize an Authority Site

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Everybody’s an expert in something, right?

Well this week’s guest, Matt Giovanisci, is an expert in pool care. He describes it as the most boring industry that serves such a fun product.

He’s taken an innovative approach to rank his site, SwimUniversity.com, in Google and monetize it with affiliate relationships and private advertising.

Matt and I connected earlier this summer on the personal finance podcast he co-hosts, ListenMoneyMatters. On that call, he admitted he hated the word “hustle” so it made for a fun conversation.

Later, we got to hang out for a bit at Podcast Movement in Dallas. I think you’ll like this episode because it’s all about building a brand for yourself that you can begin to earn money from, even without a lot of ongoing maintenance.

Like many other side hustlers I’ve interviewed, I feel like Matt’s process is proven and repeatable — but takes real work.

Want to get your own authority site online? My free video course will show you how.

Free Bonus: Download Matt’s Top Tips For Building an Authority Site and Monetizing Your Expertise

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  • The “black hat” SEO tactics that got certain pages of SwimUniversity penalized in Google.
  • How Matt’s boss reacted to finding out about his side hustle.
  • How he bootstrapped the company for a year, determined to make it work.
  • The monetization methods that worked best. Hint: It’s NOT AdSense.
  • The fun and innovative content marketing tactics that help his site rank well today.
  • How many hours a week it takes to maintain at this point (I was surprised by his answer!).
  • Matt’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


What say you? Could you apply Matt’s passion and methodologies to an authority site of your own? Or do you just want to star in your own rap video?

Want to get your own authority site online? My free video course will show you how.

Download the Free PDF "Highlight Reel" from this Episode

With all of my guest's top tips and resources included.

Enter your email to access it now:

You'll also receive my best side hustle tips and weekly-ish newsletter. Opt-out anytime.

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

10 thoughts on “73: How to Build and Monetize an Authority Site”

  1. Very inspirational. I am currently filling out my unemployment paper work. It is more of a pain than I expected.
    I was laid off a few months ago and I am glad to hear others have used the “unemployment” time to create a business.

  2. This is the best interview I’ve ever heard. With all of this “I make money online by interviewing people who make money online by telling people how to make money online” stuff going around, Matt is a breath of fresh air and an encouragement to the rest of us who are trying to make a living online in other spaces.

      • I sure am. I’m starting a site in the travel space, with the long-term goal being full-time income and an interview on your podcast. I’d be lying if I said that checking out Matt’s site hasn’t made me reconsider a career in rap music though.

        Seriously though, I love this site. Having followed the online marketing scene for a few years now, I’m getting tired of the 100k per month income report types. Learning from guys like that is like drinking from a fire hose. Normal guys need real, actionable advice for the beginner and I always get that here.

  3. Thanks a lot for the share! I really admire successful guys sharing their hard-earned hustling knowledge. I had to learn some of the things you discussed the hardway when I started building my business. To everybody reading this blog and thinking of starting a biz, download Matt’s tips. The stuff in here is not theoretical BS. It’s from the school of hard knocks.

  4. Well, In the past years, when there was only limited competition, it was easy to build an authority website with good quality content, but these days, it has become a hell lot of difficult. So, if we really want to build an authority site these days, we need to do perform many extraordinary steps and first of all, will be writing unique content, not only the unique article, but with unique idea, which can attract audience. And then, the content marketing via social media, Bookmarking and Via Guest Blogging. I feel these three methods are the best to market our content. Now, with these methods, trust will start flowing to our websites as well as some natural backlinks and if we keep repeating these steps for a long period of time, then there is chance that, we can create an authority website.

    This is my personal thinking. What you say about this?


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