You investigate as I would and find referance links to your material now your getting warm. You keep working adding crisp well researched content.
You check your referrals again and see some more websites you investigate only these sites have some bite to them linking to your material now ya getting there.
You keep on working, and wworking and working
One day you do a search for a elusive term you really been working on and Bam ya got site links. Now ya know you have authority status.
It may take 1-3-4-5 (maybe never) years of hard hard hard work depending on the vertical your in.
The work never can stop as there will always be one such as yourself wanting that spot you now are sitting.