Want to become an authority in your blog's niche? Becoming an authority not only establishes your reputation and expertise, but it is a surefire way to earn a living and monetize your blog. How?
Answering the “Why”: Benefits of Being an Authority
There is no better way to build your reputation as an influencer than becoming an authority.
1. Trust Consumers purchase from bloggers they trust, even if they don’t know them. In 2012, Neilsen conducted a study showing that 92% of consumers trusted recommendations from individuals over brands.
2. Authority Authority figures are invited to podcasts and online TV shows. In the last 2 years, I’ve been invited to speak at webinars and online shows based on my expertise in my niche.
3. Earn an Advance Bloggers and ebook writers are offered publishing house contracts. For example, Angela England got offered a contract based on her prior through her blog and work with others.
4. Get Free TV Time Local TV shows invite experts in various topics to speak. From a small, local blogger friend of mine to the founder of Naturally Savvy, bloggers are being asked by local network morning shows or invited to shows like Good Morning America to do segments and even regular pieces.
5. Speaking Fees Bloggers with authority can easily pitch to speak at a conference, especially if you have connections. My first gig was speaking about SEO at iRetreat. It helped that the conference was new and I knew the leaders.
44 Ways to Become an Authority in Your Niche
How do you become an authority? There isn’t just one way forward. Here are 44 ways to build up your credentials and become an expert in your niche.
- Be everywhere. Conferences, online, offline-the more visible you are, the better.
- Diversify your content. Video, infographics, long form article, social media. This will show you what works and help you to crop up everywhere.
- Speak at new, small venues in your niche. Use Blab, Facebook Live or Periscope to build your speaking skills and portfolio.
- Guest post for others. This spring, I did a “blitz” campaign guest posting for several friends that are thought leaders in my niche on similar topics. After that, I started getting lots of pitches!
- Champion others. When you have common ground with big leaders or small bloggers, support their causes with tags, shout outs, posts, shares, and promotions.
- Improve your reach. Forget page views. Focus on growing and engaging followers via social media and email subscribers.
- Charge what you’re worth. Influencers with authority share good advice but never work for free.
- Give compassionate advice. Speak from experience without being pushy, or let them know how you can help.
- Don’t be an ass. Keep your jokes in good taste, don’t diss religions and political candidates, avoiding calling people names like “stupid.” You never know when someone will want to ruin your reputation in response.
- Write like a journalist. Properly credit articles, check people’s titles, correct your spelling and grammar, and use reliable sources. This is a must if you are writing about controversial topics.
- Create like a professional producer. Even if your behind-the-scenes set up is cobbled together, video and photos must look flawless. Check lighting, shadows, glare, audio, background, etc., as if you were in a professional studio.
- Don’t plagiarize. Be inspired by other bloggers, but never steal their work. Credit quotes and buy images. Plagiarism will ruin your reputation.
- Credit your inspiration publicly. When you are inspired, go ahead and let that influencer know by tagging on social media and thanking him.
- Share your social proof. Had a post go viral? Got featured on Huffington Post? Spoke or organized an event? Create an image of where you were featured to build your credibility.
- Attend all the conferences you can. When attending, connect with people to find your tribe and stay in touch. Remember to say “hi” to speakers and leaders as well.
- Continually to improve yourself and learn your topic. There’s nothing worse than seeing a recent post with outdated information. Keep current on your topic, as well as the latest best practices for influencers.
- Do advocacy in your niche. Spread the word about a cause. Collecting signatures, sharing petitions, making calls and more go a long way to making you an effective advocate and authority.
- Answer questions expertly. Do your research and check your answer, but don’t answer what you don’t know. Instead, reach out to others for answers you need.
- Collaborate. Working with another influencer at or above your level should be mutually beneficial.
- Correct your mistakes. If you answer something incorrectly, or changed your opinion on a topic, acknowledge it.
- Create thought leader lists. If you know other leaders in your niche who regularly post information your target needs, tag and share their work.
- Help bloggers behind you. Know someone up and coming in your niche? Don’t just tag and feature them, pass them opportunities that you can’t accept.
- Be respectful. The one thing most thought leaders have in common is respect for others, even their detractors. Stay classy in all your dealings.
- Don’t criticize brands. Brands you’d think you’d never work with could be partnered with your prospects. For complaints, go to customer service instead of social media.
- Avoid hot button topics outside of your niche. Be yourself and be authentic, but jumping on debates that are full of vitriol doesn’t look professional even if you are trying to be the “voice of reason.”
- Stand up for the injustices inside your niche. Little guy being crushed by a big organization? Fellow blogger unfairly smeared? Found stolen content that belongs to someone else? Speak up and help your fellow man.
- Don’t knock fellow bloggers or influencers. I’ve seen this one hurt bloggers even when all were “in agreement.” While it’s good to stand up for someone, remember that you probably don’t know all the facts.
- Connect with your audience using live broadcasts. People want to see you in action with Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube or Blab.
- Be selfless. Not every action should be for pay or consideration. Take the time to help someone in need.
- Be kind to everyone. If someone flames you, respond politely. It often diffuses people and makes you look good. If they are still rude, delete or block them.
- Don’t be spammy. Influencers are here to make money – no shame in that, but if you are always trying to sell something, people will turn away. Balance your blog and social media with the real you, not just sales.
- Persuade don’t sell. Connect with people who have the problem you had and solved. They’ll want to know that and may even purchase from you, but you must first build rapport.
- Don’t be pushy. You may drive them away from your blog and your products. If you don’t know how to persuade someone to become a loyal follower, train in marketing and sales.
- Speak directly to your tribe. Don’t waste your time talking to everyone. Target your ideal reader or customer.
- Create webinars. These are great opportunities to share your expertise and build a following.
- Answer the questions no one else is answering. Many years ago, I had a viral post on how to shift your blog from Movable Type to WordPress because no one had the answer.
- Be unique. What makes you stand out in your niche? It could be your age, location, how you do it, where you started from, your income, etc.
- Make serving others your mission. Once you’ve found your ideal customer, make everything you do about serving them.
- Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, turn it down. You will never feel right about it if you don’t.
- Be authentic. Recently, I was pitched a brand that I had in my bathroom for good pay. I was uncomfortable with some of the ingredients in this particular product so I turned the project down.
- Promote things you believe in. After turning down that project, I pitched brands I liked for the same rate.
- Drill down your niche. Niche as tightly as you can, as long as there is a sizable audience for this.
- Believe in yourself. Too many bloggers think they are too small or not experienced enough. Build your reputation and experience on your own.
- Do the work. Success doesn’t come overnight, even for bloggers. Reject the “get traffic/get rich quick” schemes and put effort in your content, marketing, promotions, and networking.
Use these 44 ways to build authority in your niche and you can become a better blogger.