1. Clear Communication
If you want to establish authority as a blogger, you need to communicate like a professional. Make sure you use a friendly and conversational tone. If you are explaining something with lots of subject-specific jargon, take the time to explain any potentially confusing terms. Generally, any person who is reading your post for the first time, should be able to understand what you are talking about.
Many bloggers make their posts overly complex and make a point of using industry jargon to try to establish themselves as a subject matter expert. The truth is, readers are going to skip over this confusing content immediately and find another article.
Part of your job as an authoritative blogger is to distill complex topics into clear concepts.
2. Turn Readers into Product Evangelists
A big part of building your reputation as an authoritative blogger 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 driven 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.
These “evangelists” are critical because they can influence the perception of others in your target audience. And their endorsement of your content acts as a form of social proof, validating you as an expert.
In order to do this, encouraging repeat site visitors and interacting with your audience is critical. The more people revisit your site and consume your content, the bigger impact you’ll have on their lives. If you are producing useful content that is impacting someone’s life, they’ll be more likely to share your content.
Readers who love your content, take the time to share it, effectively become product evangelists, who are marketing your content for free.
3. High Quality Content
No matter how much time you spend marketing your newsletter, there is no substitute for creating amazing content. Your content is what draws readers in, and keeps them in your audience by continuing to provide useful and insightful commentary.
It is also important to realize that by creating amazing content that really impresses readers, they are far more likely to share your newsletter.
What makes content amazing?
Content that is original and unique. Ideally, your content will answer some question that many users are searching for, yet many are not finding the precise answer that they need.
Content that contains custom visual elements. I am a big proponent of creating and including custom infographics and charts in your posts. Many people are visual learners or find that a complex topic is easier to comprehend when laid out in a well done visual element.
Content that anticipates the future needs of readers. For example, if I am writing a post explaining what Substack is, it is useful to be able to include a link to a subsequent post explaining how to create a Substack newsletter or an article explaining how much money Substack newsletters can earn.
Producing high quality content should be your overarching mission as a blogger.
4. Write a Guest Post for a Blog in Your Niche
Authoritative bloggers don’t just post on their own blog, they make a concerted effort to be featured on the blogs of other industry experts. Reach out to a blog operating in your niche and request to become a guest blogger. Most niche authority sites (even very popular ones) accept guest posts. In the digital age, there is a constant need for new content, and many site owners will be happy for you to make their job easier.
Once you get their approval, use this opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise in the niche topic area.
Make sure that your guest post, interview, or speaking opportunity allows you to directly promote your newsletter. In the case of a guest post, this typically takes place at the beginning or end of the article, and contains a hyperlink to your blog. They may also allow you to link back to other content you have written within the guest post.
A guest post is the perfect way to showcase your knowledge on a topic, while also networking with other bloggers.
5. Expand Your Audience By Utilizing Additional Platforms
Establishing authority as a blogger requires getting out of your comfort zone as a writer and exploring other platforms which can help promote your content.
What are some useful ways to expand your audience (besides writing more blog posts)?
Be interviewed on someone’s podcast. Podcasts are a great way to showcase your knowledge while also helping readers get to know you better. I was recently featured on the Traction Growth & Income Podcast. Afterwards, I received many positive readers from readers, who knew me through my useful content, but enjoyed the podcast because they got a better sense of who I am, separate from my writing.
Contribute as a subject matter expert to a popular YouTube channel. I was also recently featured in a popular video by YouTuber Shelby Church, where I discussed the realities of making money writing on Medium. Many of my readers also watched her YouTube Channel, so they found it neat to see me, someone they associate with blogging, unexpectedly appearing in a video that they were watching.
Answer questions to a written interview. If you don’t feel comfortable with podcasts or YouTube, consider responding to a written interview. While still involving writing, an interview is very different than a typical blog post. As part of my Medium All Star Writers Series, I’ve conducted a number of interviews with top Medium writers. All of these writers have huge audiences, so why do they take the time to do an interview? Well, in addition to wanting to help share useful writing tips with other writers, they understand that a written interview is a great way to showcase their relevant knowledge while also letting readers get to know them a little better. Interviews almost always leads to an increase in their following.
Becoming a blogger is fairly straightforward—you write online. But establishing authority through your blogging often requires writers to explore new platforms to expand their audience.
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