There are many hurdles in the blogging process, but if we assume that you’ve created a blog and have the will to write, how do you make your thoughts heard above the general chatter of the blogosphere? In the majority of cases the purposes/goals of any new blog are going to be based around increasing exposure/traffic/enquires/purchases etc, even if you are not out to make money, what will matter is who reads when you publish.
Building a following or any sense of authority within blogging can be a challenging and lengthy process and it is during this time where most will become disillusioned and give up. But if you’re serious about establishing yourself as a serious and credible blogger, the following tips may help.
Identify your Niche and Write about it.
Whilst it is probably well assumed that being able to write compelling content is the highest factor in building your authority, but really this is just the foundation of your blogging process. More than that, however, you are going to have keep to regular and dedicated content production to show you have a library of work which you want to be known by.
More to the point though you should really try and focus what your niche (or Unique selling Point) is going to be. Whilst it is well and good writing about a wide range of subjects, the chances of your building authority as a generalist or all-round good writer is much slimmer because you are not speaking to anyone in particular. If you can build yourself a strong position in a particular niche and make a name for yourself, you can begin to expand from there.
What to Write?
Take an existing topic and turn it on it’s head, view it from a different angle or prospective – it can lead to unexpected results which you can build a name for yourself with.
- Take issue with something someone else has said – don’t be an ass about it, but don’t be afraid to disagree with someone and certainly don’t be afraid to tell them about it. You can build some quite fruitful relationships by reading, understanding and disputing what other experts are saying.
- Just write something – this isn’t meant to be vague or flippant, but I really can’t stress enough how important being proactive with your content is. This is the bread and butter of blogging, but it’s where far too many people fail and give up.
Being a successful blogger is based very heavily on who you know and where these contacts will take you. Unless you’re lucky enough to start out with a big break or a ready and waiting audience, you are going to have to get help your peers along the way. Find who are blogging in a similar area to you, reach out to them say “hi”, start a discussion, get your name out there. This will usually begin with posting comments on another blog itself, but the power of social media has meant that this will likely be one of the most used tools in the process.
What you mustn’t do is start sending links to the most prominent writers in your field expecting them to give you coverage to all their followers – they are probably inundated with such requests and end up ignoring the vast majority. This networking phase can seem very cynical, only making contacts to further your own success, but this doesn’t mean it has to be this way. If you have any passion or interest for the area you are blogging about these contacts you’ll make are your peers and share the same interests as you too!
If you make the networking too conspicuous and cynical, however, making friends will be difficult and chances are that you’ll just alienate the people who hope will help you in the future.
Once you’ve made some contacts, shown that you know a thing or two, then you’ll be ready to start showing them examples of your own work and seeking sharing opportunities.
Where to network?
- Google – search for the subject area which you are working in, this is the best starting point. Be warey though, because those results found highest in the search results are going to be the highest profile bloggers in that space and providing there is any significant traffic in this niche, they might be too big/busy to listen to your approaches from the beginning. Head to page 3, 4 and 5, look for bloggers who have similar interest and greater exposure (even only slightly) and start reaching out to them.
- Social Networks – similar to the above point (and frankly the most obvious here!), social networks are probably one of the best ways of being seen, by bloggers big and small. Reply to tweets of your peers, retweet others, and share relevant links you think they might like – show them your face without making a nuisance of yourself.
- In person – The best relationships you can forge will be the ones you make in person. Go to conferences, business meetings, pre-made networking sessions. This is how people have made contacts for decades and is a much more proven method than the above two points. A conversation with the right person over a drink may open more doors than months of tweets or comments.
Much of your time building your name as a blogger is not going to be blogging on your site. Echoing the sentiments above, the content is only the start – building up your reach and exposure needs to start elsewhere. Once you’ve networked and made some connections, people may asking you to write an article or two for them, or failing that, you will be in a better position to offer up some content for them.
This effectively is guest blogging, and because of the more spammy end of the SEO spectrum it has started to feel somewhat tainted – however, when done well guest blogging can be one of the most powerful tools in building your presence online. You as the blogger get to share your thoughts with a new and larger audience (as well as gaining link back to your site) and the website publishing your blog will gain the benefit of your expertise and well written content.
Where do I Blog?
Is the blog relevant? – If there is some overlap between your subject and the blog you want to write for, you’re going in the right direction, not to mention the fact that you are more likely to have your request accepted.
- Is the blog bigger than yours? – Focusing on visitors alone isn’t the greatest approach, but if you’re trying to increase your own reach, naturally a larger audience is going to be a better opportunity.
- What is the blog’s reputation like? – Fans of blogs are usually a loyal bunch, likewise, the feelings surrounding some of the larger blogs can be highly polarised between those who love it and those who loathe it. If you get a big blogging opportunity you should consider what it will do for your reputation, whilst some clearly think any exposure is better than none at all – bad PR is extremely hard to manage and could ruin you before you even begin.
Here are some final nuggets of information to set you upon your way, there’s a lot more to learn, but this will help you get off to a better start (rather learning these lessons a few years in like I did!).
- Use one profile image – preferably one of yourself and use it across all the channels you post on. Some would prefer to just use an avatar or picture they’re fond of, but people respond much better to a real face.
- Use your real name (or realistic pseudonym) – be consistent and be a real person, again, if you’re building relationships you want to show people you are a real person.
- Use Authorship – If you haven’t created a Google+ account and setup authorship, you could well be missing out on one of the largest innovations in search for a little while – don’t be left behind.
- Be patient – this all won’t happen at once, take easy steps and pace yourself. There will be moments of greater activity and moments of slowness – take the rough with the smooth and most of all stick with it!
23 thoughts on “6 Ways To Build Online Authority”
I found a way of writing blog posts and optimizing with keywords. There’s a specific plugin I use for my WordPress blog called inbound writer which really helps big time.
Hey Chris – a wonderful topic and a topic that is very close to my heart – building authority online. In my honest opinion, finding the right niche and networking with the right people help building online authority quite fast. Of course these help but the key is to have the “stuff” – that is, the content that helps!
Great post 🙂
Some great advice for both newbies and veteran bloggers – I agree with you about using your real name – you are the brand and how to be more real than being yourself!
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The blogging process is one of the greatest and used processes in our days.It need our attention.To be a successful blogger you have to be a hard working person how? in the way that you have to be passion , inovative and creative.That is to say you have to choose the right content which should be a special one of Your own creation.This is the first one.The second one to choose the right topics which people or audiences are interested in not any topic.Also , you should choose the right headline , not any headline , the appropriate one.
Absolutely agree! to become a successful and build a authority we have to working in order to archive target purposes. Research about quality content with specific topic of interested avoiding get into high environment competition. And don’t just wait for readers find our articles on SERP, we have to deliver it directly to our audiences through active social media and various guest post on other blogs.
Having or using you real name will not only brings audience but create real audience and you become brand in the sense.And finding the right niche will also helpin building online authority .Good post
Hi Christopher..Great post…You mentioned about the Gravatar thing..I totally agree with you..I also think that it is better to use a single gravatar because people grow familiarity and trust when they see the same Gravatar on different sites…This also helps to build better networks.
Good one Chris,
I think when people struggle to write their biggest problem is they are not doing anything worth talking about let alone writing about.
The first step that people always skip is to do something important.
Then it will be no issue finding inspiration to write.
Taking this approach will build authority because people will respect the accomplishments that you have made.
This is Cudjoe and I really want to congratulate you on this piece you’ve. It has propelled some of us to strive harder and obviously beyond the sky is certainly going to be our limit.
The majority of this is based around creating a feeling of trust and authority from yourself as an author. Building blocks of this are meaningful and useful content, a real online presence and just getting your name out there!
Thanks all for the kind words!
Great article Christopher. I just shared it on FB. Actually I too have one blog, and fortunately I care much for it. Now it is 110 subscribers, and the number is increasing day by day 🙂
Building your brand is very important and I think it’s also a good thing to find forums in your niche and find friends there. You are totally right Chris when it comes to use a real name and real social accounts because blogging is all about being social and real.
Building authority online is never hard. But it surely takes a lot of time and effort to be successful in this kind of business.
Great post here! I think many fresh bloggers and perhaps even more experienced bloggers need to realize that authority sites are the future, and what Google is considering to be high quality websites. I’ve learned A LOT blogging and I hope to make my blog more of an authority site someday. Great share!!
Great Post! It is very important that we pay attention to the content before posting a blog. Providing quality blog content will be useful to target customers, optimizing your keywords and also to get back links. Blogging has helped me alot and I enjoyed reading your post!
Guest posting is another great way to get noticed and build our blog authority. It will help us to get the required exposure by posting on sites of popular bloggers. In this way we can develop ourselves as an expert in our niche. Eventually we will have traffic flowing to our website.
Really very nice post.. Thanks for sharing these wonderful blogging tips. It will surely help to beginners in blogging. Thanks
Hey Chris I was missing out on the social networking aspects.I will surely try to implement your strategies.thanks for the information and keep up the good work
We should try to achieve a title of an expert in the blogging world because this will help us to get credibility as bloggers. Finally this will work for our better and in this way high quality traffic and leao in rankings will be achieved.
The aim of this article is to show us the meaning of the blogging process and the tips that shuld be followed in order to be a successful blogger.This is really great post.It is infomrative and interesting.Being a successful blogger is based very heavily on who you know and where these contacts will take you. Unless you’re lucky enough to start out with a big break or a ready and waiting audience, you are going to have to get help your peers along the way. Find who are blogging in a similar area to you, reach out to them say “hi”, start a discussion, get your name out there.
Thanks Chris for the insight on Authority building, hope mine comes as I grow older & wiser! Have a great day on purpose…
Building relationship with fellow bloggers and encouraging your readers by including a call to action form are some of the best ways to get quickly noticed. This will surely help us to get more traffic and high quality backlinks.
Blogging should be an imprint of our personality and it should convey our thoughts through it. Humor is something that can be quite entertaining for our audience. Hence we should try to incorporate it if possible.
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