Blogging has been around so long that, for many of us, it has almost become old hat. Sites like WordPress and Blogger have long afforded anyone and everyone the opportunity to launch a free blog. Meanwhile, sites like Twitter and Tumblr have prompted many to give up on traditional blogging altogether, in favor of the less time-intensive "micro-blogging."
What none of this obscures is the fact that, for a lot of us, launching a blog was a sort of professional tipping point. Certainly, most of the biggest movers and shakers within the affiliate marketing and reputation management industries made their names through blogging. For me personally, starting a blog was the thing that really made me become successful.
So what is the difference between the folks who sign up for free blog accounts, and the folks who leverage their blog to become reputable, esteemed, and above all successful members of their industry?
The answer is authority. An authoritative blogger is someone who commands respect-someone who clearly grasps his or her industry at a high level, and has value to offer his or her peers. An authoritative blogger understands the field so well that readers will see immediate benefit in visiting the blog time and time again.
There is not necessarily a secret formula or blueprint for becoming an authoritative blogger, but the following tips and techniques are ones that have worked wonders for me, and will surely guide you on your own way to becoming an authoritative blogger.
- Don't delegate your blogging responsibilities to a ghostwriter or an intern. Those of us fortunate enough to be blogging as an extension of our other business interests are, naturally, very best people. It is important, however, to do all of your own blogging yourself. The reason for this is that, in order to blog successfully, you've got to convey a real passion for your field. You've got to make it clear that you live and breath this stuff, and are 110% devoted to it. The best ghostwriter in the world won't be able to convey that kind of passion the way that you can convey it, so do all the blogging yourself!
- In terms of content don't be afraid to give away some trade secrets. In fact, I'll go a step further and say that you must give away real insider information and trade secrets in your blog, because that's what other members of your industry will come to read. Think of some real insights that have served you well in the field-stuff your readers couldn't buy a book about-and reveal it on your blog. And really reveal it, too-don't reveal half of a trade secret, then ask people to buy your products to get the other half! The point is to give them something they can take with them that will bring them great success in their own endeavors; this will establish that you know what you're talking about, and it will keep those readers coming back for more.
- Content isn't the only important thing about your blog; make sure you have a design that tells your story. The design of your blog makes a statement. It sets the tone for your blog, and shows you to be either a consummate professional or an amateur hack. You need to invest in a really good, unique design if you want to stand out-because bloggers who use the same old WordPress themes everyone else uses are never going to be known as distinguished!
- Don't confine your blogging activities to your own blog. Remember that the blog-o-sphere is a community, and that one of the great perks of blogging is building connections and networking with other professionals. So, do some guest posts for other industry-leading blogs-blogs you respect, and blogs that are pertinent to whatever it is you do. This will establish you as a real player in the industry, and it will give you more chances to shore up credibility as an industry insider.
- Finally, remember that sometimes it's good to get controversial-to a certain extent. Remember that there are about a gazillion bloggers out there, probably within your industry alone, and building authority means you can't just say what everyone else is saying. Whether you're adopting an unorthodox political stance or simply using heroic feats of hyperbole, getting a little bit controversial can go a long way toward making your brand of blogging unique. But there is a line-and being a bully or a jerk is not the way to gain credibility!
Blogging can, in many cases, be the thing that pushes you into true business success, regardless of your field; by establishing yourself as a blogger of authority, you'll have readers respecting you and revisiting your blog again and again.
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Rich Gorman is a veteran of the direct response marketing industry and is the CMO at Reputation Changer. Rich also operates the official blog for the Direct Response industry, Direct Response, where he shares his thoughts on Direct Response Marketing.