Through many tweets, re-tweets and correspondence, I was invited on a radio show by one of those authority figures to discuss my site! As of today, I've actually been on the show twice and have had a good solid ten minutes of air time talking about my site. And although there's been no spike in follows or views, it was just great to make the connection and to get some free publicity.
So why am I posting this? For those of you working the long game and trying to make your sites an authority in a particular niche, do not ignore the social media connections. Sure, a lot of people use Twitter to help promote their sites. But if you can connect with people who are somewhat "famous" in the niche, even if they aren't going to promote you directly, you end up vaulting your own status within the niche.
I just wanted to share that because I've mostly been a lurker around here and you all who have posted or messaged me have given me so much confidence to continue on and not give up! So thank you and keep working hard!