Putting yourself “out there” is hard for many people. I know; I’ve been there. This is one of the reasons Greg asked me – me, specifically – to share some tips with you on this subject. As a result, I’ve put together a three-part series to help you overcome your fears and blog more openly and effectively.
Part 1: How to Overcome Your Shyness (September’s tips)
Part 2: How to Be Seen As An Authority (today’s tips)
Part 3: How to Ooze Confidence (tips coming in November!)
[NOTE: These posts have been published and so the links to them have been added.]
Today, we are going to continue with the second article that will help you put yourself out there when you’re online, by being seen as an authority. I’m even going to include an infographic you can pin on Pinterest! (Of course, you can also pin the image-quote, above, which is something Matt Cutts said earlier this year.)
How to Be Seen As An Authority
There are at least 8 different ways for how you can be viewed as an authority online, and we’ll look at each one individually in this post.
#1. Be An Expert – Even If You Aren’t!
When someone is searching for information, they are looking for a well-written article that is clear, concise, and authoritative.
If you don’t know what you’re talking about, others will not deem you to be an expert. At all.
To become an expert, when you aren’t one, all you need is a few good researching and fact-checking skills.
When you are writing about your topic, Google it and see what comes up. But don’t just read the posts that Google has determined are the “best” posts. Google is not human, and cannot think critically! Take a look at posts on at least the first ten pages (more would be better). Pick out points from each post to make your post more comprehensive.
To ensure that the information you are reading about is, indeed, correct, do a few more searches. If a slew of other sites say basically the same thing, then chances are the information is correct.
Link to only the best posts that you find. It is important to build authority in the eyes of Google – and not just your readers – so that your post can get ranked high, too.
#2. Go With Your Gut
You know that little voice inside you? That voice that is sometimes referred to as your conscience? Well, it’s there for a reason: for us to listen to! So make sure you stop and listen it to it when you’re in doubt.
If you want to share something, and you are a bit unsure as to whether you should, stop and listen to your gut. Your instincts will NEVER guide you in the wrong direction.
#3. Fake it Until You Make It
Act as though you are a millionaire, are über-successful, and don’t have a care in the world, even if you are an emotional wreck who is falling apart on the inside.
It’s worked for me. 😉
#4. Be Consistent Across the Board
To achieve and maintain a strong online presence, be consistent when filling out your profiles.
Nearly every place you go that’s social will ask you to fill out a profile of some sort, ranging from a 50-word bio to a full page of information.
Change the wording for each one, but basically say the same things about yourself on each.
BrandYourself is a service you can use that will help your name and the name of your blog rank higher in the search engines. You are allowed to submit three links with the free version, and more with the paid one.
I use the free service and have filled out my profile extensively. I’ve also filled out my profiles on LinkedIn, Google+, Gravatar.com, Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon Author Central, Pinterest, Twitter, and WordPress. I also have About Me pages on both of my websites (Wording Well and Laying It Out There), and each says basically the same thing: I’m a Canadian-based English teacher-turned-freelance writer editor. Google my name and see what shows up!
#5. Provide Quality Content
This is something that may have been drilled into your head already. The fact that the phrase “content is king” has been repeated so often by so many people should indicate to you that there is more than some merit to this concept! Even when people disagree with this statement, they at least give it a ranking of prince. 😉 Some, like Jeff Goins, simply say this about content: “It’s a given.”
Definition of Quality Content
What is quality content? It is content that is useful to many, provides high value, addresses a problem and offers a solution, and is insanely helpful to your readers.
In other words:
“Content isn’t merely a blog post or Web page that you post to your website. In reality, it’s information you submit to search engines to be given to searchers.
So quality content is anything that Google decides is worth sharing.
It’s real answers to real people’s questions.
It’s content that people want to digest because it helps or entertains them, tells them how to do something or where to find something.
It’s information that people talk about in their own blog posts or around the water cooler.
It’s the stories they pass along to their own circles or mention in social media.
It gets quoted, linked to, and shared.
That’s quality content.”
So there you have it: Quality content should be the foundation for your niche blog.
#6. Be Niche-Focused
This was my biggest problem area when I began blogging. Before I built my business around my specific talents of writing and editing, I basically blogged about any topic that came to my mind. Sometimes this worked in my favour, but sometimes it worked against me.
If your blog is going to be niche-specific, you should stick to blogging about topics in that niche. Your readers will expect it of you, and so will visitors who land on your site.
You certainly don’t want to confuse people, either, and so if you have a blog that is about gardening, don’t write a post about teenage pregnancy; leave that topic for the mommy-bloggers to cover!
If you stick to similarly related topics, you’ll build authority quickly.
#7. Build Relationships and Be Remembered
When you hear the names of some popular bloggers or online gurus, can you envision what they look like? I bet you can!
These people have worked hard to brand themselves and build relationships with others.
The key to being remembered is to make a lasting impression on someone. This can be done in different ways, such as turning your weaknesses into strengths, but the thing to remember is to be different and unique.
Find ways to set yourself apart from others.
Dave Kerpen, for example, wears orange sneakers to marketing conventions, and Joe Lalonde will always remember me as the woman who learned about Disqus.
The Core has created a great infographic listing some DOs and DON’Ts for this topic:
#8. Be Patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your online popularity won’t happen overnight.
However, if you are persistent, you can attain a level of success and respect.
Trust me. I did.
Related Resources/Recommended Reading:
Let’s hear from you!
Do you have any other tips you can add to this list?
How are you going to build yourself up as an authority?
Which tips “spoke” to you the most?
Do you have any fears about putting yourself out there as an authority?
I’d love to hear from you, so share your answers and thoughts in the comments.