How To Create An Authority Blog Using Case Studies

By Sarah Chrisp
How To Create An Authority Blog Using Case Studies


Did you know that you can personally provide new and interesting insights into internet marketing - even if you aren’t an expert? I’m Sarah Chrisp, the manager of Affilorama’s affiliate program. In this blog post, I’m going to let you in on my secret method for writing authoritative articles. I’ll also be giving you tips for sharing your amazing new content that even the pro’s miss, so stay tuned until the end! Because I am writing this with Affilorama’s affiliates in mind, I will be writing from the perspective of the internet marketing niche - but you can do this for any niche (fitness, food, parenting etc). While reading this, think about how you could apply this to your affiliate site.

The most authoritative blogs in the IM sphere write articles that create and share new insights on the industry. To become an authority, you need to do this too. The easiest way is to find questions and concerns that IMers want answers to, is to do a case study and find a solution for it.

How To Find a Method Or A Question To Answer

The easiest way to find these questions, is to go to the areas where people are chatting. In the IM world, this tends to be in forums (Warrior Forum, Digital Point), blogs (Affilorama, MOZ) and social media (Twitter, Reddit, Digg). Go to these, and start following/reading the popular discussions and threads. Read comments, and take note of common questions or methods that people are theorizing on. Once you have a list of questions, think about one that you would feel confident doing a case study on.

For example: looking through forums, I have noticed a very common question - “how do I rank my gig higher in the Fiverr search results?”

So to test this, I typed ‘ “fiverr” + “gig” “ranking” + “how” ‘ into Google:

733,000 results is a lot (while most of these won’t be exact matches, this number being so high indicates a high level of discussion). And take a look at just a handful of the results I got:

WOW - lots of people want answers to this question. Now: considering this is such a popular subject, with people still asking this question - you’d expect there to be solid, concrete evidence out on the internet about this, right? Think again. I clicked on all of those links. None of them taught you solid information on steps and actions that get you ranking highly in Fiverr. Most of them were threads with people merely asking how to do it, and a few were ‘tip’ threads with a few tips but no evidence. Looking for more solid proof, I decided to input ‘ “fiverr” + “gig” + “rank” “case study” ‘ into Google:

I got results - but they left a lot to be desired. There were a handful of “case studies” on this subject, but I could only find ones from 2012, and Fiverr’s algorithm has come a long way since then. None offered visual proof, merely hearsay. If you were to create a recent case study on this subject, and show definitive proof, then you could become an authority on this - and set yourself apart from all of the other IM blogs on the internet.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you wanted, you could break it up into lots of smaller case studies. You could create a case study for individual ranking methods of ranking in Fiverr. This would let you take advantage of a range of long-tail keywords for SEO and increase your coverage. You could watch forums, and see which Fiverr gigs people are talking about the most, and do an in-depth case study testing them. None of these things are hard to do. It times time, but becoming an authority doesn’t happen overnight. Think outside the box and brainstorm ideas.

How To Do A Case Study

Before you write your article, you need to gather your evidence. I have not done this Fiverr case study myself, but I can tell you the steps I would take if I were to do so:

1. I would click on all of the threads I found before, and I would write down the tips that people share.

2. I would then select the tips that I was going to test. I’d choose the ones that are recommended the most (as these tend to work the best) and I would also pick the ones that I think are creative and seemingly have potential. As an example, I have read speculation that having an active order makes your gig rank higher. I don’t sell services on Fiverr, but if I did, I would find this speculation exciting and interesting.

Thanks for the creative tip IM Nick - I think I’ll try that!

3. I would then create a Fiverr gig in a niche that had moderate to high competition.

4. I would take screenshots of my ranking in Fiverr’s search engine results, and track my sales over 7 days.

5. I would then try one of my tips. When updating my gig, I would create screenshots of me doing this. I would then wait a week. I would take screenshots of my ranking each day, and track my sales over 7 days.

6. I would then add another tip, wait a week, take screenshots, track sales and so-on until I had tried out all of my tips. If you want to test more than 5 (say, test 10) you could instead do 2 at a time. But the most effective case studies are the ones that attempt to show how an individual influencing factor impacts on the result.

See? That isn’t hard! You don’t need to know how to use some fancy software, or come up with these ranking factors yourself. You just need to spend a few hours collecting readily-available data and tips from other people and trying them. You become the expert by providing proof!

How To Write An Effective Case Study

When creating your authoritative article/case study, people expect to see images, examples, evidence, and nice formatting. This is vital - as long as you have this, it doesn’t matter if your writing style is a little dull.

When you write about the steps you took in your case study, for each action you take, post a screenshot of you doing it. You have heard people use the phrase “social proof” - this is “authoritative proof”. The screenshot proves that you actually did this, and it lets people see that it isn’t so hard and that they can do it to, encouraging them to take action. Videos that go step-by-step through your methods are even better - but more work, and not necessary.  

Mike Long from going step-by-step through how he makes videos

Throughout your article, post evidence of the results. So for our Fiverr case study example, I would post screenshot results of how far down I was in the search engine rankings after I tried each tip. I would also post a sales snapshot showing how many orders I was getting. If you were testing out a backlink strategy, you would want to post screenshots of your ranking changes and snippets from your Google Analytics account tracking your traffic. The more detail, the better, and the more likely you are to impress more authoritative readers.

If relevant to your case study, post screenshots of changes to traffic numbers

As you amass posts like these, contextually interlink between them. This will greatly increase your trust factor and website engagement, as users will enjoy the others as well. And be sure to speak from your perspective. Say things like “I found” or “I did”.  This helps build up your reputation. Let people see your picture so they see you as an authority.

Finally, avoid the temptation to link to a product with your affiliate link. In niches other than IM, you could link to a product with a shortened affiliate link. But people in the IM world know to look for this, and it hurts your credibility; your information needs to be unbiased. This doesn’t mean you can’t make money from your articles - design your website in a way to encourage readers to sign-up to an autoresponder, where you’ll make your money (for a free 39 day one autoresponder series, email me at [email protected]!).

How To Take Advantage Of The Articles To Generate Links & Traffic

Remember that in the beginning, we used social websites and forums to find our case study topics? Well, now it is time to go back to these people and give them their answer. For social sites like Twitter and Reddit (be sure to find suitable subreddits like /r/seo, or you will be downvoted!) you can directly post your link.

This was engaging because even though this has been done before, the algorithm is always changing

But for forums, you need to be more creative. The easiest thing to do, is to create a thread with part of your case study, and post a link to your blog post where you finish it. Make sure that Part 1 of your study answers the question - if you only give a snippet, then your post will not be informative and users will see through it. You need to provide valuable information and then have your blog post merely expand upon it. Just like with your blog post, liberally use screenshots and provide proof. Encourage comments and reply to them on the forum. Be approachable, down-to-earth and go into lots of depth. And it goes without saying; rewrite your article to avoid a Google Panda penalty for duplicate content!

In summary: uncover questions and methods that require more clarification, and look for solutions. Follow through, take action and show others how you did it. That is what Mark Ling did, and as a result of that, we now have Affilorama - arguably the biggest resource on affiliate marketing on the internet!

Do you want to receive awesome tips like this, straight to your inbox? As the affiliate manager for Affilorama, I send out a monthly newsletter to all of our affiliates with unique ideas, tips and information on how to make their websites better, generate more commissions and make more money! Click here to sign up. We have awesome affiliate resources, a strong, proven product line and - best of all - our products convert great and you get 50% commission from each sale! I am always available at my email ([email protected]) and Skype (sarah_ddm) to help you optimize your sites and make them even better.

And, because I do what I preach, post your questions in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to answer as many of them as I can!


Kevin Cross 11 years ago
Excellent blog post Sarah with some valuable tips. I think I'm off to create my very own case study!!
Bill Allridge 11 years ago
Hi Sara, great post!
People are always saying you need to build authority, then they offer to sell you a product to show you how. You have just laid it out in a simple step by step process that anyone could follow. This is something that I have been struggling with lately, just not knowing where ti start. Now I know.

Thank you so much.

Donald Gavin 11 years ago
Hi Sara,
Fantastic post. It goes almost without saying that you need to present yourself as an authority but knowing how to do so is another thing. Thanks for the insightful post and the process to follow.

Ade whittle 11 years ago
I think the fact that you are taking the time to answer the question, and so comprehensively, positions you as an authority or at least someone trying to help. Most people can't be bothered or think someone else will answer the question and would rather take information than give. If anything, an authority figure gives his/her knowledge freely because they believe it will come back to them. The newbie or wannabe doesn't have this conviction or stamina.
Sarah Chrisp 11 years ago
This is a great point! People are afraid to share their knowledge. In the vast majority of cases, real, quality information and knowledge does not get 'saturated'. By sharing it, you prove that you have something to offer, and that you are someone to be listened to. The people you connect with are FAR more valuable than keeping your methods and knowledge hidden from the world. Who is going to listen to someone's recommendations if all they do is create weak 5-tip blog posts that just parrot information they found on the first page of Google? ;)
Lewis Clifford 11 years ago
Excellent stuff. Great post. In going to try for of these techniques.
John Gibb 11 years ago

Hi Sarah

I like your content research approach (spotting recurring questions and finding relevant data/answers/insights…)

It’d be nice if you could share/have shared an actual case study to better learn how to create our own… but I do get your methods, and will try them soon

Another idea would be to interview a specialist/expert to answer your questions in a step by step format (with before & after results, snapshots, etc…), and turn that into a captivating case study that will definitely stimulate every-green traffic, is it?
Aqif Azizan 11 years ago
I really love on how you align one simple way to build authority site.

1) Do research based on your market questions.

2) Give the valuable answer.

3) Do it consistently.

Having an authority site can help us to generate more income without being so dutchy.

On top of that, our customers will love to buy more. Because we are giving them high-quality answer that can help them right away.

Kudos again for this post.
Rosendo Cuyasen 11 years ago
I've been thinking to write an information or case study to our blog and I found this page. I believe this is a better source for people to learn and understand something that they don't know.
Ryan Cote 11 years ago
Sarah, this is such a great and very informative article. Looking for an answer and finding it right away. It's a total fresh breath of air amongst a lot of internet pollution. Thank you for the tips!