When done well, a long-term blogging strategy can build your authority on a given topic. But when done really well, blogging can make you THE authority on your industry.
No matter how much content you publish, you’ll never be viewed as an authority if you keep your industry knowledge to yourself and only use your blog to promote your brand. Authority bloggers know that blogging is about so much more than trying to sell. Here are 4 ways you can use your blog to establish yourself as an industry authority.
1. Prove Your Knowledge
Without evidence of your expertise, your blog will automatically feel less authoritative. Just about every blog niche on the Internet is full of “gurus” and “ninjas” who claim to be experts in a given topic but don’t have the real world experience to justify their claims. Don’t let this turn you off from calling yourself an expert — by being the real deal, you’re already heads and shoulders above many other blogs.
But don’t shove your credentials down people’s throats. Do make sure to detail your experience and accolades in your About page. You’ll also want to weave your experiences and success stories throughout your blog content. Share case studies, anecdotes and testimonials whenever they’re relevant to the content you’re writing.
Being an expert also means knowing when you don’t have all of the answers. Be sure to back up your content with sources other than yourself. Strengthen your content’s credibility by linking to articles, quoting experts and referencing studies.
2. Become a Curation Machine
This may seem counter-intuitive, but the thought leadership on your blog doesn’t always need to come from you. In addition to creating original content, curating content relevant to your business can help you become a one-stop destination for industry news and insights. Curating content will force you to read more about your industry, which will in turn help build up your knowledge base.
Here are a few ways to get other people’s content working for you:
- Feature a weekly link round up of the best articles you’ve read about the industry. For example, online marketing blogger Kristi Hines does a post every Friday with links to the best marketing content she has found that week.
- Create “best of” resource lists that are collections of other people’s content.
- Piggy back off of opinion pieces. Write blog posts in response to what other industry influencers are saying.
Just be sure to always give credit where credit is due — never rip off someone’s idea or content without properly linking back to them.
3. Build Relationships with Influential Blogs
In the offline world, who you know is often more important than what you know. This is also somewhat true online.
Forming relationships with other bloggers is key for getting your blog in front of the right audiences and establishing yourself as part of your industry’s “in crowd.” As such, investing the time into giving back to other bloggers should be a prominent part of your blog strategy.
Here are just a couple of ways to connect with other bloggers in your niche:
- Comment on other industry blogs. Leave valuable comments that add more to the discussion (not just another “great post!” comment). This is often how blogger relationships begin. You can also expect to see some traffic come from the sites you leave comments on.
- Invite influencers in your niche to write for your blog. Not only does this let you take a break from posting, but they’ll most likely urge their readers to read their post on your blog.
- Start writing for other blogs. Pick a handful of blogs that have your target audience, and reach out about guest posting (just make sure to do this and not this when you’re reaching out to other blogs!).
- Link to other blogs in your posts. When you mention another blog or industry personality in your content, reach out to them via social media or email with a link to the published content. They’ll appreciate the mention/link and most likely share the post.
Many of these tactics are mutually beneficial, too. Once a blog’s audience sees they have a relationship with you, they’ll be likely to check out your blog and potentially become new readers.
4. Get Noticed by the Press
Whether you are looking to get in front of a national or local audience, blogging can position you as a reliable go-to source on all things related to your niche. Press mentions can not only bring in a huge number of leads, but also quickly position you as a leading authority on a topic.
Many times, press mentions have a snowball effect. You will find the same reporters coming back to you again and you’ll also have other reporters approach you once they see your name in a newspaper, magazine or on the news.
When a current event happens related to your field, reporters scout out sources within the industry. Not only does an industry blog help reporters find you through search, but it also builds your credibility in their eyes. It’s possible journalists will find you just through search, but you’ll also want to make it easy for reporters to find you:
- Join Help A Reporter Out (HARO), where you can connect with reporters looking for sources in your industry.
- Make your LinkedIn profile visible to the public and keep your credentials updated.
- Use Twitter to track journalists looking for sources using the #urgharo hashtag.
Keep in mind blog content can also act as resource material, since reporters can easily reference or link back to relevant posts you have published. You’ll want to be sure to regularly update your content so it can remain an evergreen resource.
Of course, the last way to build authority is to always keep your audience at the front of your mind. Being extremely generous with your knowledge is the #1 way to establish trust with your audience, so never worry about “giving away too much” for free.
What are some ways you’ve built your blog’s authority? Let us know in the comments below.