You’ve probably read a lot about how it’s important to be an expert or an authority in your niche, like it’s some kind of prerequisite if you want to be a blogger. That “prerequisite” intimidates some bloggers. They think they don’t have enough expertise or knowledge to present themselves as an authority figure and this lack of confidence has a negative affect on their blog. But I’ll share a little secret…
You don’t have to be an authority on anything to start a blog. You can build it as you go.
At least once during all the years you attended school you probably had a teacher who was fresh out of college. He (or she) was young and inexperienced, and just a few days earlier he’d been a student himself. But he was passionate about teaching and he had the courage to enter the classroom that first day and take control of the class. He may have made a few mistakes along the way but he soon hit his stride and engaged your mind. You looked up to him as an authority figure and you learned something that year.
You probably also had a teacher or two who was unhappy with his teaching position for some reason or was forced to teach a particular class even though he had no real interest in the subject. In these classes you probably paid less attention. You may have even acted up during class, and you really didn’t learn much at all because that disinterested teacher never engaged your imagination.
You can probably see where I’m going with this. When you’re blogging, it’s not your expertise that matters. It doesn’t even matter if people view you as an ultimate authority figure. What matters is that you’re passionate about your topic so you can infuse your readers with the passion for learning, and that you’re courageous enough to step up and lead. All that other stuff will come with time as long as you’re willing to continue learning.
Here are four steps to help build your blogging authority.
Step #1: Be passionate about your blog and your topic
Blogging sounds like the ultimate career but it’s not for everybody. If you’re not passionate about blogging you’re going to be just like that unhappy teacher. Being passionate about your topic helps, too, but at the very least you should choose a topic that will hold your interest for the long haul. Otherwise you’ll be stuck and grumpy, like that disinterested teacher.
Step #2: Blog with authority
That new teacher that mesmerized you in eighth grade didn’t know beans about the practical aspects of teaching. He did, however, have passion and courage and he new if he didn’t assume an authoritative stance – regardless of his level of expertise – his students would eat him alive. If you’re passionate about your topic you probably already know more about it than most of your readers. Don’t be a wishy-washy blogger. Step up and take charge.
Step #3: Speak from experience
Use personal anecdotes and stories to let your readers know that you’ve actually experienced the things you’re talking about so they’ll know you didn’t just fall of the turnip truck yesterday. This helps build your credibility and it also makes your blog more personal and engaging for your readers.
Step #4: Do it yourself, first
Don’t tell your readers how to do something unless you’ve actually done it yourself. If they really need this information then here’s where you need to step up and learn it yourself, first, before you try to teach it to others.
You’ll have learning situations like this pop up all the time while you’re blogging and that’s how you build your expertise – you learn as you go. And passing this new knowledge on to your readers helps build your authority. So as long as you’re passionate about your blog and you’re willing to continue learning while you blog, you’ll just automatically continue to build your authority.