Podcast 18: How to Build Authority Sites with Jon Haver

By Spencer Haws |

A little while ago, I shared the success story of Jon Haver from  If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, I highly recommend you check out what he is doing and how he is doing it.

Jon has set a goal for himself to be making $15k per month by his 35th birthday.   He wants to achieve this primarily through building websites and monetizing those sites.  And he's well on his way!

I wanted to sit down with Jon and dig a little bit deeper into how he's built a site that is making $3,000 per month.  So, in this podcast you will here more details on that site, along with tons of other awesome strategies that are working for him.

This podcast is a little different as well.

I tried to keep it a bit less formal, and more just like Jon and I sitting down for a casual conversation about business.  So, I ask Jon some questions and Jon asks me some questions, and we just talk shop.

Podcast Interview with Jon

Here's some of the things that we covered in the podcast:

During the podcast, we covered the topic of expired domains a little bit.  However, Jon has informed me that he just published a MASSIVE guide to using expired domains, that he had been working on for a very long time.  So, if you want an in-depth guide on finding and using expired domains, you can read Jon's post right here.

Overall, if you are interested at all in building larger or “authority” sites, I think this is a great podcast for you.  And because its more of a conversation between Jon and I, we compare notes on what we do the same, and what we might do a little bit differently.

Jon is well on his way to his goal of $15k per month income, and I really think he will make it.

The best place to follow along with what Jon is doing is his website at

As always, I would love to keep the conversation going in the comments below.  So, if you have any thoughts or questions, please leave it below!  Jon or I will stop by and respond.  Thanks again…and best of luck in your business!

If you have a minute, please leave a review on iTunes here!  (This helps others find my podcast, and motivates me to keep producing them).

Podcasts | 41 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

Yes! I Love to Learn

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John Shea

Jon is very knowledgeable about expired domains, I had him on my show as well and he shared some great info. Good to see his talent is being shared here!


Hi John,

you’re right this was really an inspiring podcast session! After listening I went straight to his blog to check the tutorial on expired domains and yes: Jon is VERY knowledgeable about expired domains.

I think this is a SEO trend in 2013 which we all should benefit from. I plan to try his techniques on my next niche site 🙂 Maybe I will even try to push my existing NSD2 project!

But who knows what Spencer has in pocket for us when he teaches his new student?

John Gibb

Jon and Spencer

You’ve made my day… I’ve been touting my students the importance of taking niche mini sites next level, and turn each property into an authority in the field…

Your podcast is the right resource for men and women who are still on the fence… not surely knowing if authority is the way to go…

The truth is that these people focusing on mini sites are starting with a “quick cash” mentality and give up sooner or later… in my experience, there are sites you should build for long term (this is where authority blogs make the norm) and mini sites you could sell in 3 or 5 months for a nice ROI.

Is it?

Spencer Haws

I agree. Authority sites are a better long term strategy. Mini sites are riskier and can provide a quite return sometimes…but long term branding, building an audience, etc is the way to go.


Fantastic! You’d think that niche would be tough to make anything off of, just goes to show that hard work plus dedication will eventually pay off

Jon Haver

Thanks Ray, When building a bigger site I like to focus more on a specific problem then and don’t worry much about the overall size/competition.

sagbee c

am going to listen it now, but link is not right there… @

Spencer Haws

Just fixed the link…thanks!

Goran Gligorin

This is what I was waiting for! 🙂

I’m building a site that I plan to be a kind of an authority niche site, so can’t wait for iTunes to finish downloading. I’m sure this podcast will contain many useful things for me.


Jon Haver

Great times talking shop and learning from you. Hope others enjoy as well.

Matthew Allen

Spencer – I really enjoyed the shop talk format of this episode. I hope you’re able to do more like this in the future. Also, I’m really happy that you’re producing more podcasts. I even got my wife to listen along to your interview with Jamie on episode 17!

No doubt Jon is absolutely THE man to go to when it comes to learning about how to use expired domains the right way. I’ve already followed a bunch of advice from his blog on this topic – but did you see the ridiculous 8,000 word guide he published earlier this week? Holy cow!

Thanks to both you for providing value to the rest of us simply by sitting around and having a chat. Great stuff.

Spencer Haws

That’s awesome that you got your wife to listen in on the last podcast! We need to balance out the gender demographic here a bit 🙂

Yep, Jon really went all out with his expired domains guide.

John Gibb


It’d be nice to see some public niche site reports and case studies done by the non male gender… did any of you guys know of female niche bloggers that are active in the blogosphere? 🙂

Matthew Allen


I know some female niche site builders from the Niche Site Community I am in on Google+ – but I don’t know of any that are blogging about how they build niche sites.

MsKatrina @MsCrookedhalo

Lisa over at is awesome. I followed her to Pat Flynn, which led me to be here.

John Gibb

Hey, that’s interesting…

Could you tell me more about that community, or where we can join in and share our experience and learn from each other? 🙂


Hey John,

I also shared some NSD2 participants on my side, there are women as well who take part! And you can surely find others by joining pats NSD community forum.


Matthew Allen

It’s not that my wife is interested in building niche websites, the sewing thing is what got her attention. That, and she was trapped in the car with me on our way home from vacation!


Great podcast! Loved the talk about expired domains. I would love for either of you to check out my free site with expired domains listed daily (only domains with real page rank are listed.


How many sites do you think you are going to have to build and keep up to date to reach your goal?

John Gibb

hey Brandon

That’s a good resource

I like the filters we can use to find the exact domains we’re looking for by traffic, page rank, etc…

It makes finding domains quite easy. Thank you!

Do you have a “premium” option available yet, or what plans do you have with this service to serve customers/users better and help them get the most out of your site?


Great interview! Now I’m curious to see what kind of side projects Spencer’s been up to…

Jon, quick question for you.

You mentioned that you had built over 150 sites, and 75 of those don’t make money or are part of your PBN.

What would you say is your ratio of PBN sites to money sites?

John Gibb

That’s a great question Jason!

I’d like to hear from Jon as well…

Btw guys… My partner (Codrut Turcanu) is doing a premium interview style product (on SEO/niche site building) with Heather Vale (podcast specialist) and would like to interview Spencer, Jon, and Jason, amongst others (myself included)

Look up for an email from him by end of week…


Ryan Cote

Spencer, I’m looking forward to listening to this podcast on my way into work this morning. I was first introduced to Jon through your case study that you mention above. And I think he’s doing awesome things with his authority income website.


Great podcast! I managed to build an authority website in less than one year too, making me over $4,000 per month (but up to $12,000 in the top month so far) so yes, I guess that going for authority is the best way to go 🙂 And I am really happy to see that I am not the only one who doesn’t have a minimum search volume for keywords!

Phuong Le

It takes a while to legitimately build an authority site. There is tons on the subject as well as the internet in general, just make sure you do it legit and not just spam backlinks. That will do a lot more harm than good these days. Write amazing and relevant content. Tell people about your content. It will happen assuming it is relevant.


The podcast was very useful and informative, thanks for another insight on niches, Very much appreciated.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Bryant!


This was one of the most interesting podcast episodes I have listened to in a couple months!!

Glad to hear more about your niche site success, Jon.
You’ve mentioned that about 75 of your 150 niche sites bring in money. May I ask if you can see a trend whether Affiliate Marketing or AdSense works better for your successful sites?
Also, are your successful sites targeting a high, medium or low competitive keyword?

Last question: What’s your number one free source for stock photography?
So far I’ve used and a free subscription that they offer for bloggers (6 months). Curious about what you’re using.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience.



Such podcasts gives inspiration to many bloggers around the globe .Thanks for sharing this amazing podcast with us .


Arwin Adriano

Wow, love how the podcast goes. Very inspiring and helpful.


I’m so happy the podcast is back. Thank you for making new episodes Spencer!


Long time listener Spencer. I’ve listened to this episode 3 times already and have been analyzing it haha (geeky I know). My magic question of the day is

Can you give one example of the link service or SEO services you have used to build your past niche sites with success?

Spencer Haws

Sure. I’ve shared this many times on my blog here, I’ve used

Ryan Parsons

Thanks for the LayerdLinks suggestion. I also read or heard you say somewhere that you had found some link building packages that cost around $40. Do you recommend LL’s $219 intro package for those getting started or do you know of a more affordable initial option.


An authority site can have more power in seo, I’d love to make all my blogs like it
Thank you for this podcast 🙂

Jim Weston

I like some of Jon’s strategies, and they are obviously working well for him. However, I think that settling for “usuable” content isn’t a good strategy, especially with Google’s continuing trend towards rewarding higher quality content. Not to mention that one very high quality article will bring in far more natural links than 10 low quality ones.


Great podcast Spencer and Jon. Thanks for posting it.

One thing I’m always curious about people using their own blog networks and web 2.0 properties is:

Do you link every article to your money site?
If not do you link out from every article to either your money site or one of your other feeder sites (web 2.0’s or other BN sites)?
Or do you just leave some of the articles either not linking out or only linking to other authoritative pages. eg wikipedia?

The reason I ask is if you link each article to your money site it would seem obvious to me, and there for at some point to google (if not already) that this site is only / mostly linking to your money site and is obviously a link feeder site.

Would love to know more about your approach on this.

Cheers, Fran


Hi Jon/Spencer.

Question about expired domains. Do you keep these domains on a seperate hosting account? In other words you don’t keep all the sites on the same server right? Was wondering if can confirm this and also should use a different hosting company too? Thx Welby

Spencer Haws

They need to at least be on different IPs. Ideally they would be separate hosting company as well, but not necessarily required. (Multi-class c ip hosting is okay).

Troy in Las Vegas

Regarding purchasing content… I don’t understand all the trouble Jon Haver goes through to get sometimes usable content. Why not just find three or four people he really likes on Fiverr and have them write the content? This way he would know who is doing the work and has a relationship with them.
Thoughts anyone?


Jon has unique angle from which he builds his authority sites that hasn’t really been touched upon by many who write instructional and how-to content. It’s refreshing to see some new material out there. Great podcast and thanks for choosing him for this episode!

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