You’re an expert at what you do. It’s just that your audience doesn’t realize that quite yet, and you’ve decided your best approach would be to use your blog to let them know you can be trusted to relieve their pain points and solve their problems.
Blogs can be highly effective if you go about it right, and going about it right involves publishing authority content in a conversational tone that fully demonstrates your knowledge and expertise on the topic at hand.
“People no longer trust ads, but they do trust people.
More accurately, they trust a voice of authority.” – Daniel Newman
In other words – “Show, don’t tell.”
Coming up with fresh content for your blog posts might seem to take lots of effort. But take our 7 quick tips to heart, and you can immediately turn your blog into an authority content machine.
What is authority content, and why is it so important?
One way to look at what authority content is, is to see how it differs from an ad. An ad may be backed up by expert authority, or it may not. Either way, it claims to have that authority, while leaving it up to the reader or viewer to decide if the claim is valid or not.
Authority content is valuable, informative, and expert content that is backed up by facts and/or data.
The “effort” you have to put in to create authority content involves gaining knowledge of the pertinent facts – and, following these 7 simple tips.
#1: Write on highly specific topics
First, you have to know your audience.
The content in your blogs needs to speak to that audience. You also need to remain focused on a few topics about which you’re extremely knowledgeable; at least in the beginning.
It’s easier that way, and you’ll do better work.
Doing a deep dive into and writing about a few narrow topics will also save you time by simplifying your research.
When you write about a few small topics, you’re going to be addressing a smaller audience. That’s OK. They’ll reap the benefits of your extra efforts and pay you back in kind.
A blog about smartphones won’t create a lot of interest. A blog comparing specific smartphone features and providing expert recommendations will.
As your audience grows, you can extend your content to broader topics.
#2: Use data to write trustworthy content
As important as this tip is, a cautionary note is in order. You don’t want to flood your content with an excessive amount of facts and figures. A few carefully chosen ones will suffice.
Just make sure the data you use is accurate.
When you can reference facts and statistics to an authoritative source, it adds validity to the knowledge you already possess.
A great place to use numbers is in your headlines. Using infographics in your posts is another effective way to present meaningful data in an easily understandable format.
Another cautionary note.
As you dig deeper into data to prove a point, you’re naturally going to be thinking in marketing terms. The very nature of your trade or profession makes you a marketer, but you need to keep thinking of yourself as a journalist, who is trying your hardest to provide the best information you can to your audience.
#3: Mind your “authority keywords”
Informational keywords that can gain prominent placements in the search engines bring customers to your door. You need to optimize those keywords to get the best results. You also have to tend to them regularly if your blogs are to stay evergreen.
There are long term keywords, including longtail keywords, short term keywords, and so-called “cornerstone” keywords. The latter need to be consistent and relevant to your brand.
Checking to see how your keywords perform and making necessary adjustments is a good way to get the most traction from a blog.
Extra Tip: You can always publish one or more blogs as test vehicles and measure the responses you receive before launching an all-out campaign for a given product or service.
#4: Take a standpoint to become a thought leader
It’s one thing to keep your audience up to date by digging into what’s happening in the industry and reporting what might be of importance to them.
Reporting what’s happening in your world, and theirs, establishes you as an authority figure.
Don’t stop there.
You also want to share your own insights and opinions on the latest industry trends, updates, and best practices. By doing so, your audience will see you as a thought leader.
They will also visualize you more like a real human being and not simply a reporter of facts and figures that for all intents and purposes could be a software program.
Search engines, which tend to favor content creators that provide up-to-date information will like you better as well.
Publishing case studies won’t hurt either. Giving some examples of how you or your company solved a customer’s problem or eased their pain gets to the heart of the “tell, don’t sell” approach audiences prefer.
#5: Give valuable knowledge away for free
There will always be those who insist on charging for everything, and that’s acceptable in some types of businesses, but having one or more freebies to give away at any given time simply makes sense when you’re trying to grow your business.
The only thing people like more than freebies are valuable freebies, and since you’re an expert, teacher, and thought leader all rolled into one, it’s easy for you to share some of your valuable knowledge at no cost to your audience.
Have you ever been faced with wanting to try to fix something yourself rather than spend half a day’s wages to have a handyman drive over to your house and take 15 minutes to fix it?
Where do you go?
YouTube, of course.
Where could you send potential customers for free valuable information?
Written tutorials and “how to” articles are other options. You can show off your brand and empower potential customers at the same time.
Financial expert and popular radio personality Dave Ramsey went from total bankruptcy to making millions with his books, seminars, shows, and courses. He also gives away lots of valuable stuff – including answering questions and giving advice on his radio show, publishing a free weekly newsletter, and other giveaways.
Garin Etcheberry, also known as the “guy who gets stuff done” has worked with and learned from various Internet marketing giants. He is a master at teaching others by example. Garin also gives away free stuff. He tells of giving away 10 ideas over a 30 day period and receiving 7 Skype conversations and signing up 10 potential clients as a result.
Giving away a free idea will cost you nothing.
#6: See what the most popular topics are in your niche
This is one area where you can look to your competitors for help (without having to ask for it).
To do better at creating authority content and improving your status as an expert, check into what the most influential marketers among your competition are doing in several key areas.
- Company Culture
- Customer Service
- Social Media
- Brand Management
- Online and Offline Marketing, and
- Content; including writing style and niche-specific jargon.
You can usually gain plenty of insight by subscribing to your top competitors’ blogs.
Facebook is another potential goldmine of information (check out Facebook’s Audience Insights).
#7: Summarize your content in visual ways
Using visuals to get information across is often the easiest approach. Visuals also make you look more professional, and they help your audience understand and consume the information you provide more effectively.
Readers are also more likely to remember visual-based content (and more likely remember where it came from).
Even sophisticated, highly educated people still like lots of colored pictures in their reading material. Hint: you can even sneak in an image or two that has no apparent value if it will help to keep a reader engaged. Just don’t overdo it!
It isn’t so much the entertainment value or ease of reading that’s important here. It’s the fact that visuals tend to make your content more credible.
A snapshot that explains how something works or can be put together is far more credible than “can be assembled with a few simple tools” text. There’s also videos and YouTube.
According to Internet Retailer, a product review video increases the likelihood of a purchase by a viewer by 85%.
If you have access to Evernote’s Web Clipper, it gives you an easy way to add text or symbols to your images and highlight specific areas.
One of the most influential infographics of all time is Dying to Be Barbie, which outlined the dangers of teenagers trying to get a Barbie-like figure (a virtual impossibility, by the way).
Finally, brevity is important. Keep videos under a minute whenever possible, and limit infographics to a page or two.
When you’ve finished; review everything or have someone do it for you. Visual errors tend to be glaring errors!
Make a habit of following these 7 tips and you should find yourself in a good place.
- #1 Write on highly specific topics, and not too many at a time; It simplifies your research and gives your audience the benefit of your deep dive into the information.
- #2 Use data to write trustworthy content; Show, don’t tell, and make sure your data is accurate.
- #3 Mind your authority keywords; learn from their effectiveness (or lack thereof) and remember that some will not be evergreen.
- #4 Take a standpoint to become a thought leader; provide information on the latest industry trends to keep your audience up to date. Don’t forget to add your own insights and opinions.
- #5 Give valuable knowledge away for free; the ROI is incredible!
- #6 See what the most popular topics are in your niche; your competitor’s blogs and Facebook posts will tell you a lot.
- #7 Summarize your content in visual ways; people like colored pictures in their reading material.
“Writing in a conversational tone makes you look like an authority and encourages people to read your content and even participate by commenting.” – Neil Patel
If you need help anywhere along the way or would like an extra pair of expert eyes to review your blogs, give us a call. We can write in-depth authority content tailored to your audience.