As a blogger and nonfiction author, you must up your game to gain—and retain—a competitive edge in your niche, subject area, or industry. For that to happen, you must stand out as an “expert” in your niche, and an effective way to gain that status is with your blog.
Your blog serves as an online resume for prospective clients, the media, and literary agents. Not only that, your blog posts provide proof you can write.
Whether you seek to expand your customer base for future book deals and sales, land professional writing gigs, or attract advertisers to monetize your site, expert status matters.
Three Additional Benefits of Expert Status
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, here are three more reasons to aim for the “expert” title:
- Expert status gives you credibility, which fosters trust. Expert status means that readers know they can trust the validity of the information and resources you provide. Their confidence increases the likelihood that they will support your projects and invest in your products.
- Expert status helps you “work smarter, not harder.” Bloggers who are considered “experts” and influencers are often “sought out” by editors, major brands, and publishers for reviews, expert quotes, and participation in important surveys—not to mention books.
- Expert status offers differentiation. It helps you stand out from the other millions of online bloggers and wannabe authors.
3 Ways to Establish Your Expertise
Though there are various ways to build your expertise, here are three of the most effective ones:
- Testimonials—According to BusinessDictionary.com, a testimonial is: “Written recommendation from a celebrity or satisfied customer affirming the performance, quality, and value of a product or service. Testimonials are one of the most potent tools of marketing.”The testimonials reflected at my site, for instance, cover an array of services and compliments from editors, students, and entrepreneurs. They help to provide social proof and convey a professional, competent image. Your testimonials should, too.It’s easy to garner testimonials by just asking satisfied clients to furnish them.
- Awards—Winning an award from industry peers for your blogging efforts is the equivalent of winning an Oscar for actors (minus the red carpet treatment, lucrative contracts, posh after-parties, and television coverage). Just like the stars, you gain notoriety in your field.Snagging “Top Blogging” honors over the years has been a great way to build my platform and my bottom line without devoting excessive time and attention to social media activities. The “expertise” associated with winning awards means less time marketing and pitching and more time doing more you and I love…writing.
- Guest Post at Top Tier Sites–According to Leo Babauta, creator of the hugely successful blog, Zen Habits, “Guest posting is by far the best way to grow an audience.”Want to go one better? Score a guest post on “top-tier” sites in your niche. When your work gets featured on sites with cult-like followings, you become a member of an elite group. After all, we are judged by the company we keep. Think of it as “success by association.” Being linked with field “experts” and having them to endorse your content by publishing it alongside theirs can be a significant boost to your career and reputation.And it’s easier than most writers imagine. Follow the guidelines posted at their respective sites, and put your best foot forward for optimal results.
Use these strategies to show that you are a credentialed professional worthy of being read, recognized and rewarded.
Have you found other ways to use your blog to develop your expert status? Tell me in a comment below.
About the Author
Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, relationship columnist, ghost writer, award-winning blogger and author. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications including: ProBlogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, Women on Writing and the Well-Fed Writer E-zine.
Banks is the managing editor of Coffeehouseforwriters.com, where she also teaches creative writing classes. When she’s not at the keyboard, she loves cooking, reading, “Jeopardy,” music, and shopping.
Find out more about Jennifer here: Penandprosper.blogspot.com/