Authority is a critical element to blogging success.
We all know that a strong reputation and authority can take your blog to another level, but how exactly do you go about gaining authority?
Here are seven key things to focus on that’ll help you build your authority within your industry.
1. Next-level content
You’ve probably heard the term quality content a lot. And it may be obvious, but it’s something you can’t overlook.
Sure, you’re going to need more than quality content but it provides an important foundation that you can build.
All of your marketing and promotional efforts will be far easier if you have quality content to back it up. Without quality content, it’ll be like trying to swim up stream – hard work!
The phrase quality content has been thrown a about a lot and it’s difficult to know exactly what constitutes quality content. A good way to approach this is to look at the content your competitors are publishing. Take inspiration from the good and leave out the bad – add your own unique take and you’ve got a winning recipe for authority boosting content.
1. Prioritise quality over quantity – Don’t feel like you need to publish a new post every day. Be sure that your posting frequency allows you to dedicate the time you need for each post.
2. Write and publish cornerstone content – Your blog should have at least several cornerstone articles. You may have seen these referred to as epic posts, pillar posts, or something else. Ultimately, they’re simply an extremely in-depth article that earns links, subscribers, and shares.
3. Break the mould – The web is full of people all vying for the same attention you are. Let your own unique experience shine through in the content you create.
2. Personal connection
Human interaction plays a key role in any successful blogging strategy. Blogging is more than just writing articles and hitting publish.
You have to work towards building a strong relationship with your readers. As a result, readers will share your content and link to it. That leads to better search rankings, and even more traffic.
Think about the bloggers that you respect and view as authorities. Almost all of them are bloggers who have consistently work at connecting with their readers.
It’s that personal connection that makes them memorable.
And you can do the same by teaching, motivating, inspiring, and building bonds.
1. Be human – Using your photo can go a long way towards helping your readers feel more connected to you. Video content and podcasts can take this to the next level.
2. Be accessible and approachable – Whenever possible, reply to all blog comments and emails that you receive from your readers.
3. Create a strong about page – The importance of an about page is often overlooked. Use this page to help people get to know you and connect with you.
4. Take a smart approach to social media – There’s more to social media than sharing your blog posts. There are so many opportunities for you to connect with your followers and reach new followers. Interaction is key. Check out our post on social media management software – these can save you a lot of time when replying to followers & scheduling updates.
3. Get more eyeballs on your content
One of the harsh realities of blogging is that you could spend weeks creating the best piece of content ever, but if you don’t promote it effectively – nobody will see it.
And you’ll have missed the opportunity to build your authority with that content.
It’s a shame because of the best articles on the web aren’t promoted and simply gather dust in a corner of the web where nobody will ever find it.
So, it’s critical that you take steps to put your content directly in front of your target audience. Ideally you should split your time in half between content creation and content promotion.
Getting exposure for your blog isn’t easy, which is why you should initially focus on making strong connections with other bloggers in your niche.
If you look at other successful bloggers, you’ll soon notice that they’re surrounded by an extremely strong network. Typically of other influential bloggers.
An easy way to get started is to engage with influential folks in your niche. This could be by leaving comments on their blog, replying to social media updates, or something similar. But, the most effective way is to get in their inbox by signing up to their email list & engaging there. You’ll be surprised at how well this works.
The great thing is there are loads of ways you can go about promoting your blog, and your content.
To get a complete idea of exactly which tactics to use, I’d recommend reading my article on content promotion tactics.
1. Identify and connect with influencers – Chances are you’ll already know who is influential in your niche. Go sign up for their email newsletters, follow them on social, and start engaging.
2. Leverage the power of content promotion platforms – Quuu Promote and Triberr can help you get your content shared.
3. Build your social media following – You need to give people a reason to follow you. The all important factor most people miss is to share content that will make people want to follow you. Some platforms like Twitter aren’t so good for attracting an audience, however, platforms like YouTube are great.
4. Leverage the power of Pinterest – Pinterest can be a traffic powerhouse and vertical images typically perform best. The only challenge is that most blogs have horizontal featured images. An easy way to get around this is to use a WordPress social media plugin like Social Snap. Additionally, the plugin will add a bunch of other features such as share buttons for your images.
4. Turn fans into evangelists
A big part of building your reputation and establishing yourself as an authority boils down to how people perceive you. Not your knowledge, experience, or how great your content is.
The smartest and most talented people aren’t always the ones who are viewed as experts. Perception is influenced by what other people are saying. As a blogger who is looking to build authority, you’ll need to have loyal followers that tell others about you.
They could be spreading the word by sharing your posts on social media, by linking to you from their own content, or by publishing an interview with you. Then there’s good old word of mouth.
These evangelists are critical because they can influence the perception of others in your target audience. You could have the best content on your blog but they’ll only start to see you as an authority when they see other people sharing your content or mentioning you.
In order to do this, encouraging repeat visitors is critical. The more people revisit your site and consume your content, the bigger impact you’ll have on their lives. As such, they’ll be more likely to share your content (and link to it).
1. Build an email list – Email is immediate and it’s personal. It’s one of the best ways of reaching people and gives you a reason to be in someone’s inbox regularly. Check out my post on list building strategy to learn how to get more email subscribers.
2. Share other people’s content – If you want other bloggers to share your posts on social media and link to your content, you’ll need to do the same thing for them. Typically, some bloggers will reciprocate – especially if you let them know about it. To get the most mileage out of this, it’s worth connecting with mid-tier influencers, rather than celebrities in your niche.
3. Reply to all comments and messages – Readers that comment on your blog posts and social media updates are the most likely to spread the word about your blog. Show them that you care and appreciate them by replying to them and thanking them.
4. Encourage social sharing – It’s critical that you take every step possible to make it easy for people to share, and even prompt them to do so. This includes adding social share buttons, click-to-tweet widgets, media sharing, and more. I like to use a WordPress plugin like Social Snap which handles these tasks and more.
5. Focus your blog on a specific topic
Another key to building authority is to have a blog that is tightly focused around a specific topic. Resist the urge to publish content on a wide variety of topics.
If you think back to the blogs you perceive to be authorities, you’ll notice that all of them are focused on a specific topic, or a specific audience.
For example, ConversionXL.com focuses on conversion rate optimization (CRO). As such, when I think of CRO related content, they’re one of the first websites I think of.
Without this level of focus, it’s near impossible to become a leader in your niche. And sure, your blog may not need to be quite so tightly focused, but sticking to one topic gives readers an idea on what to expect.
1. Define your target audience – Think about the people you want to reach. What blogs do they read? What challenges do they face? And how can you help with those challenges? These are the questions you need to be asking. Then you’ll need to fill in this sentence: My blog helps ___________ to ________________.
If you need more help, read our post on how to choose a blog niche.
2. Plan your topic ideas – Once you know who you are trying to help, and what topic you’ll be focusing on, it’s time to plan out content ideas. I’m a big fan of SEMrush for content planning, but you can glean a lot of insights from a Q&A platform like Quora.com.
6. Be consistent
In order for people to view you as an authority and to be on their minds when they are thinking of experts in their field, you need to get your content in front of them consistently.
By consistently delivering quality content, you can build your reputation and each post you publish will help you reach new readers.
You don’t have to publish new posts constantly, but you will need to publish content frequently enough that you stay on people’s minds. And the more content you publish, the more chances you have to reach new readers and increase your traffic.
There’s no set publishing frequency you need to follow. The right posting frequency will vary from one blog to the next. For authority sites, publishing 1-3 posts per week is a good amount. But there are plenty of well respected bloggers that publish less frequently.
You may even want to publish more frequently as you’re getting started, and slow down once you’ve built your reputation.
When I first started BloggingWizard.com in 2012, I was publishing 3 times each week. This was a challenge to maintain because I was working full-time and I also ran a video game blog with a friend. After 2-3 years I started to slow down.
I’d also change up the frequency of new content depending on how significant each post was. For example, if I was publishing a huge group interview one week, I wouldn’t publish other content since my audience would roughly have the same amount of content to consume.
1. Set an editorial calendar (that you’ll stick to!) – Decide on how often you want to publish content and which days you’ll publish new posts. You don’t always have to post on the same days each week but it’s worth trying to as it’ll give your audience an idea of when to look out for new posts. Take the topic ideas you create earlier and write them ahead of time. The more content you have ahead of time, the better. For more information, check out Elna Cain’s article on creating an editorial calendar.
2. Plan your schedule accordingly – You’ll want to block out time in your schedule for certain tasks. One approach some writers use is “batching” where they’ll write content in batches, then they’ll proofread in another batch.
7. Be patient
It’s important that you set expectations for yourself right away. You won’t become authority overnight – it takes a sustained effort over time.
Be patient and keep working towards your goal by writing new posts, networking with other bloggers, connecting with your readers, and promoting your content.
1. Set goals based on actions (not milestones) – Instead of setting yourself targets based on revenue, traffic, or subscribers, set goals based on actions you’ll take. Milestones are great but it’s the actions that will get you there. For example, goals such as “publish 5 guest posts on other blogs this month” or “create a new product this month”.
2. Celebrate every victory regardless of how small – Most bloggers will stay focused on a single goal and plug away until they reach it. And while these large milestones are great, it’s important that you celebrate small victories too. Maybe you’ve hit 100 subscribers, or 500 Twitter followers. Maybe you’ve hit your first 1,000 monthly visitors – celebrate them all. It’s all progress and it’s all worth celebrating
Wrapping it up
It can take a while to establish your authority and build your reputation.
But when you focus on these 7 crucial factors and put the time & effort in – you can make it happen.