When you're new to online marketing, where do you start when you want to build authority on a given subject?

In reality, Authority Building is a process ... a linear process for the most part. This means that there are steps and stages, and perhaps even a natural evolution of actions. Within each stage, there are some tactics that will typically work much better than others.

Winding Stairs - Stages of Authority Building

The key here is to look for a process that can be replicated ... and will consistently produce great results.

In my last post on Authority Building Authority Building - Tools of the Trade I looked at some of the tools available, and suggested that some are better used at certain stages than others.

Obscurity Stage: Stage 1, Step 1:
One of the tools mentioned as a good strategy in the 'Obscurity Stage' (beginning stage) was blogging. This is the absolute first step! A blog will tell people (potential friends and clients) a great deal about you, your knowledge, interests, strengths and weaknesses. It also acts as a homebase for you. All of your activities ultimately drive people back to your blog, and they'll always know where they can find you. A blog therefore has a way of bestowing some degree of instant credibility.

In this post, I'm not going to discuss how to use a blog strategy to build authority. There are already many great posts to this effect out there already. Instead, I'll provide a link to posts I think are exceptional. This post will be short, but highlights the importance of blogs as a first step in the Authority Building process.

Great Posts About Blogging:
Here are some really great posts about blogging. I suggest reading and internalizing each of these posts if you're just getting started.
a. How To Sell Your Client on a Blog Strategy by Jenn Osborne
b. How To Create a Blog Strategy by Jenn Osborne
c. How To Become an Authority in Your Niche: 8 Content Development Tactics by Maki
d. The 5 Barriers to Blogging Success Series by Skellie
e. Beginner's Guide to Blogging by Darren Rowse
f. Diggbait, Linkbait, Flagship Content, and Authority by ChrisG

Why Start With a Blog?
My point is to get a blog going before embarking on the Authority Building journey ... it is the first step. Having an operational blog is the springboard from which all other Authority Building tactics are launched. In fact, I'll argue that authority is near impossible (though not completely impossible) to develop without being perceived as an expert first. As I mentioned in the post What is Authority and How Do You Build It, there are 3 primary approaches to be seen as an expert:

    a. be amongst the best at a particular niche
    b. simplify and explain complex industry issues
    c. break new grounds with respect to a subject

And each of these are most often made possible by blogging!

Once a blog is launched, use it to:
a) display your area(s) of expertise
b) promote your social media profiles
c) engage like minded individuals (to hopefully become friends) via:

    - responding to comments
    - linking out to others you want to befriend (hint ... if you link to one of their blog posts, they're likely take notice)
    - use your blog roll to reciprocate friendships

Moving Onto Stage 1, Step 2:
Once the blog is launched, and a number of good quality posts are shown, then we can move to the next logical step in the process of Authority Building, which involves commenting, networking, and social media strategies ... building industry friends essentially. Of course, these will be the topic of next week's post.

What are your thoughts about a person's ability to be perceived as an Authority without having a blog or a means of publishing their thoughts?