Becoming an ‘authority blogger’ is one of the most valuable things you can accomplish online. Whether you intend on being a full-time blogger/webmaster, or whether the blog is a side interest to a larger business; this is an incredibly advantageous point to get to.
What exactly does it mean to be an authority blogger? Essentially, it means that you are considered a thought-leader. Your blog is not just well known, it is not just visited by lots of visitors… it has reached the point where your readers trust what you have to say and actively seek out your opinion on subjects.
Once you get to the point, you’ll find that you are able to sell products and affiliate services like never before: because your recommendation and opinion will hold so much more sway. Sponsors and advertisers will want to work with you. And if you sell any kind of service, then you will be able to charge a significantly higher amount.
So how do you get to the point where you are considered an authority? Here are some of the most powerful steps and strategies:
1 Provide Value
The single most important thing you can do to reach ‘authority blogger’ status, is to provide value. That means that every blog post or video you make should include some kind of actionable advice, or some kind of information that the reader did not know before.
If you are writing content to try and bring people to your website, then you may find yourself tempted to get away with offering as little value as possible. That might mean using ‘clickbait’ titles and covering your articles with spam. It might mean offering ‘surface level’ information that people already know, or even inaccurate information.
This will not work. If you want people to keep coming back to your site and to listen to what you have to say… well then you need something that is worth saying.
2 Be an Expert, Hire an Expert, or Research… LOTS
This is the mistake that a lot of cynical webmasters and internet marketers hoping to make a quick buck will make. They mistakenly believe that they can build an audience simply by hiring writers and outsourcing their content.
This CAN work, but only if the writer is an expert in the field. This is MORE important than the writer simply being good at their job (writing).
Think about it: if you hire someone with zero interest in fitness to write you an article about fitness, then what is that content going to be like? The writer will do some research, but you aren’t paying them enough to learn all about human biology, bodybuilding techniques, personal training strategies…
In short, the research will be shallow. And the content is going to be derivative. You’ll get something like ‘5 Great Ab Exercises’. This might get the occasional read, but it is simply not enough to establish you as an expert in your field. On the other hand, if you really know and love the subject matter, then you can say something actually new or find information that most people won’t know.
The best scenario is to enter a niche that you are genuinely passionate about. And failing that, you can try hiring someone else who is – or positioning yourself as the ‘dedicated researcher’.
3 Build a Personal Brand
We don’t generally think of companies as being ‘authorities’. For starters, they have ulterior motives when it comes to recommending products. At the same time, companies are typically faceless and represent numerous different opinions and interests.
So, what can you do instead? The answer would be to build a personal brand. This means that you are putting your name and face front and center and thereby positioning yourself as someone reachable and someone who is an expert.
And just as with any other brand, you then need to think about your brand image and brand visibility. Every job you take on that you put your name on, every interaction… that will either strengthen or weaken the brand image you are trying to put forth.
Community engagement is also critical to this end and will help people to feel as though they can reach you when they need to – which helps a lot with building trust.
One of the very best things you can do to position yourself as an authority, is to align yourself with other authorities. So that might mean doing a cross promotion with another big blogger in your niche, occasionally name-dropping, or even just recommending their work.
Try to find other authorities that you respect and whose goals align with your own. Ideally pick someone at a similar ‘level’ to you, and then try reaching out in order to suggest working together.
If you want to be taken seriously, then it is crucial that your brand project quality. That means your web design, it means your writing quality, it means video production (if you are creating video).
In other words, you need to put forward a professional and honed image. You want your website and your YouTube videos to be representative of the kind of value you can provide to clients, or that your products will also offer. So, don’t put out low-quality content and say ‘that will do’, as this will actually drive people away from your business.
And think about it: if you want a big blogger to consider linking to your blog, then it can’t be covered in ads and low-quality images. That will hurt their reputation otherwise. If you want to compete and work with the best in your niche, you need to reach the same level of quality.
The final tip is to stay persistent and don’t give up. Success doesn’t come overnight and the only way to get to the top of your game is to keep providing that quality and value day after day. Do this, and eventually you will build a legion of followers who hang off of your every word.