Benefits of Blogging – Becoming an Authority

This post is the fifth in the Benefits of Blogging series, where I will cover the many benefits of blogging, for bloggers and readers.

What is authority?

I consider being an authority on a subject being someone that others can look to for solid, useful information. If someone is an authority on SEO, then you would know if you were having SEO related questions that this person would be the one to ask.

Do you have to know everything to become an authority?

Some people may assume that, because they may not be an expert on a subject, they cannot become an authority on it. I do not feel that is true. I think that an authority on a subject not only knows their subject, but also knows where to find information that they do not know. They continue to learn and expand their knowledge, as new information becomes available.

Consider someone who gained a master’s degree in a subject 5 years ago – at that time, they would have then been considered an authority on that subject. But if they have not maintained their education, chances are the subject has evolved. This is especially true in the areas of technology, science, medicine, etc. Their degree would be less valuable than someone who is either currently studying or gaining hands on experience in the same field today.

How to Become an Authority Through Blogging

Blogging allows you to become an authority on a subject in many ways. As you continue to maintain a blog on a particular topic, you would want the information to be fresh and up to date. This would give you more incentive to continue educating yourself on new information for that subject.

When you blog, you will also gain feedback from your readers. This is another way for you to learn. Your readers will possibly open your eyes to new information or viewpoints you had not considered, thus expanding your knowledge on the subject. They will also help you learn how to effectively communicate and share knowledge effectively.

Advantages to Being an Authority

Consider that you were looking at two web designer sites. One site was just a big fancy commercial, and the other one was more simple, but had a blog with lots of good information about web design tips and tricks. Who would you trust to design your site?

I know that some people may think that if they put their tips and tricks out there, who would need to hire them because now they would be sharing their secrets? There are still lots of people that you could give a ton of information too, but although they would see the value, they would not have the skills or time to implement the information presented to them. And this is just the technical industry I am referring to. There are many industries, such as medical, where you can put a lot of your knowledge online and people would still have to come and see you to reap the benefits.

Becoming an authority can also be a useful reputation management tool. Say you have one thing negative about you or your company that comes up in search results. By building a blog and writing honest, useful information, people would be able to learn about you “from the horse’s mouth” so to speak. Add some social media marketing for your blog to the mix, and you may be able to remove the bad search results from the top page.

Benefits of Finding Authorities for Readers

With so many blogging authorities on almost every topic, from personal developemnt to natural health to technology, it is possible for anyone trying to learn more about a subject to find someone who is willing to share a great amount of information. So instead of having to go to the library and find out of date material, or going to the bookstore and spending money on several books to get varying viewpoints, you can just go to Google and start finding current information about the subject of your choosing. And if you can’t find something on that subject, maybe this is a great time for you to turn from reader to blogger and start something!

Your Authority

Are you becoming an authority on the subject of your blog? Do you feel this has helped you, personally or professionally?





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Comments

  1. says

    Kristi,

    Being an area expert on the subject matter does define you as having authority. Mnay people confuse what the word professional is as well. Here’s my take;

    Because you know something well doesn’t mean you are a professional. It’s when someone pays you for your services that defines you as a pro.

    My 2 cents.

    Frank Js last blog post..Increase Traffic to your Blog with this Method

  2. says

    @Frank: This is true. I guess I really don’t consider authority as only coming from professionals, and sometimes I don’t always consider professionals as an authority.

    Someone could effectively have extensive knowledge in a subject without actually doing it for pay – it could be an obsessive personal interest that they study the ins and outs of, but never do. At the same time, someone could be getting paid for something that they really don’t know a whole lot about – they just know enough to get them through what they get paid for.

    An example for is I know someone who does accounting/bookkeeping, but they do not really “know” accounting – they simply know how to manipulate Quickbooks to get the job done. Effectively, someone who blogs about, but doesn’t have a job in accounting would have more knowledge about the actual principles than the accountant/bookkeeper.

    Also, sometimes I question experts. I think there are so called “experts” who have only studied one angle/perspective of a subject, and they claim they know everything there is to know, when in reality, they are not open to anything else. Like doctors who are supposed “experts” in healing, who have not even considered how alternative methods or therapies could be more beneficial for some than prescriptions. So they keep pumping their patients full of pills vs. maybe taking a step back and suggesting they just change their diet.

    As always though, I appreciate your valuable 2 cents. :)

    ~ Kristi

  3. says

    Kristi,

    Excellent insights. I agree that there is real value in being an authority. I believe that authority also translates into trust. Given the wide range in the quality of information on the web, being a “trusted authority” will continue to grow in importance over time.

    Your example of the two web designers is right on the money. It kind of comes down to a “form over substance” decision — do I go with the splashier presentation or the higher quality information and authority, and potentially, the more trustworthy option.

    Mike McEvoys last blog post..Microsoft Bing – Eight Reasons to Like Bing

  4. says

    Kristi, I really like this one. In the offline world authority is often established with credentials. In the world of blogging your work is there for all to see. This has a way of leveling the field and giving the opportunity for “authority” to anyone who can prove themselves, regardless of their credentials.

    Here’s an example in my niche (personal development). I rub shoulders with PhD’s all the time. Many of my subscribers are much more highly credentialed than I am. Why do they treat me as an authority? Because blogging puts my work out there for all to scrutinize.

    The same principal works in reverse also. If someone has a wall full of impressive credentials, but there work isn’t up to par, they won’t carry the same level of authority online as they do offline. Blogging rips away the facade and exposes the real person and their knowledge.

    With blogging, anyone who really knows their stuff can be recognized as an authority. I can’t think of anywhere else that affords everyone this kind of equal opportunity.

    Jonathan – Advanced Life Skillss last blog post..Is Your Life Satisfying or Disappointing?

  5. says

    One of the things that I love about blogging is that it provides you a practical way to become experts in a subject. Even possibly providing an income.

    I love learning about nearly everything. It is a great trait to have even though my curiousity gets me into trouble sometimes. Blogging has given me a means to find a subject I know nothing about then explore it until I can consider myself as an authority.

    I also like how Frank has made the difference between an authority and professional. There are many bloggers who I might think have some authority but aren’t/shouldn’t be professionials. Social Media is plagued with this as everyone is an expert on twitter, but few actually can claim to be paid.

    err.. Didn’t mean to put those keywords for my name.

    Engagement Rings Onlys last blog post..Inspirational Poem About God By Thomas Merton

  6. says

    I try to avoid those labels, even though being an authority isn’t really a “label” per se, and performing professional services isn’t being a “professional”, I find that I’m just uncomfortable with the idea of considering myself an authority on anything in this world.

    There are so many other people that are much better than me at what I do (programming in this case) that I feel calling myself professional or an authority is misleading, when there is better right over here (*gestures with hands to the right for effect*).

    I think if someone takes on the responsibility of being the “professional” or the “authority” on something, it’s like being king of the mountain to some degree. You’re going to have to knock-off the up-comers to maintain your position, and that means even more work that isn’t really necessary.

    I like to think a more laid back “take it or leave it, if you don’t like it, so what” approach is more suiting to my particular style. I’m not trying to climb the corporate ladder, in fact I avoid it. The only thing I care about is having a happy client.

    I think at the end of the day, I question anyone that calls themselves an expert and then proceed to drill into to them to see how really “expert” they are, potentially opening themselves up to embarrassment.

    Sure wish people would just keep it real.

    Wayne – $300 Web Sitess last blog post..Thank You For Subscribing!

  7. says

    I think blogging can both show you’re an authority and help you become one. Doing research for posts, answering questions, reading and participating in your niche online… all of these can help you to learn and then pass on what you know.

    Joanies last blog post..Story Starter

  8. says

    “Are you becoming an authority on the subject of your blog? Do you feel this has helped you, personally or professionally?”

    I have two blogs, Our Evolution (almost 1.5 years old) and Astrological Repair Manual (4 months old).

    On the older one, because of its “niche”, the most I can hope to be is a good journalistic steward since the subject matter ranges over very wide swaths of global and cultural terrain.

    The newer blog covers a very specific niche and is based on a new method of astrological interpretation that is my creation. This blog, being in a narrower niche and, hopefully, because of my particular field of authority, is growing faster and drawing more eye-time than the older ever did.

    There may be something in my experience that might be somewhat generalized:

    Blogs that have an inherent authority can grow faster than “niche-weak” blogs…

    I let ya know more when the new blog is as old as the old blog ;-)

    Alexander M Zoltais last blog post..Global Crisis, the MDGs, and the Earth Charter

  9. says

    i agree being Authority is a big achievement but how it’s very tough, i think authority sites ton of traffic for all kinds of keywords in all kinds of niches. Search engines love authority sites. so it good if you become Authority…

  10. says

    I was tentaive as a blogger to begin with. I mean I was certainly an authority on MY art, but I didn’t really feel like an authority per say of much else. It has taken some time to figure out how I could try to contribute positively to my reader’s lives other than just showing up everday with some piece of art which I think people might enjoy.

    Kristi, I want you to know that you have really been transformative in my thinking on this subject and you continue to be. I am still working on plans to figure out ways to be a more robust authority on certain subjects and a more powerful and positive engine of influence. That said, your discussion here today has given me a more kean sense of that. What an authority you are :)

    Jay Zucks last blog post..Another Joint From ‘03

  11. says

    Working towards authority blogging — that has been my goal ever since my serious blogging started in February, 2009. I have some great individuals advised me to work towards that goal and although it’s not an easy road, but I enjoy the satisfaction of digging and reaping the knowledge from within. I have seen authority bloggers withstand the test of time with their quality content. It would be a dream come true to be enlisted as one.

    A sudden fame or well-reputated for a long period of time? Yes, we all have the answers, don’t we? =)

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker

    Ching Yas last blog post..7 Things I Like About Seesmic’s Browser Client

  12. says

    The reputation aspect of this is huge. I find that strong bloggers on topics build an online portfolio that advertises themselves as an authority and for many new jobs and opportunities, this can be a big contributor. Short intros, resumes and a couple references in the standard interview process is a lot less convincing than a site with hundreds of articles and thousands of comments as a recommendation.

    Using content in a work role is also a great way to advance your career as often the time spent learning or writing on those subjects enables new opportunities in a current role as well.

    Mike Kings last blog post..Maintain Your Resume

  13. says

    Great post. I don’t like labels.
    I know I have seen way to many people think they have it going on and they DON’T and then there’s people like you :) You GOT in going on :)
    I used to trip on some FB gurus who were Life coaches Bloggers or whatever but now I just say we are all exactly where we are supposed to be.
    thanks

    I’m Nobody :)s last blog post..Dear Mr President Obama

  14. says

    You hit the nail on the head, Kristi. I see building up your “Authority” means increasing your “Credibility” and this is important for me as a reader, and in fact this what makes me follow up with whatever blog.

    Hichams last blog post..Great Expectations!

  15. says

    You bring up some great points. I agree that becoming an authority online can provide a great excuse for staying current on a topic and provide incentive to do so. Whenever I have to learn something new, I try to write an article or two about it, because it helps reinforce what I learned, but also provides some notes I can go back too. These types of articles can really end up having a lot of authority over the course of a year or so…

    Steves last blog post..Choosing a Riser Recliner to Increase Safety

  16. says

    I have to agree, keeping updating blog with fresh content and unique interesting material is the way to go. You will be rewarded with improved rankings (SEO) and will gain authority in the long run. Having said that, you need to be step ahead of the competition always :P

    SEO Maltas last blog post..Who is Aaron Wall?

  17. says

    This way, they can check in whenever they want to (or not) … They don’t get interupted while they’re trying to work on something from one of my huge e-mail downloads … when they’re done with work, or have the time, and if the give a Sh*t, they can just check my Blog and see how Alan’s doing lately.

  18. says

    Exactly! If we have the knack and quest we can shine on our own. Drawing an analogy in SEO, the Bionic posters in Google webmaster forum all are people not with any strong background in web, but only their quest and interest which made them to learn more and Google has bestowed them with Bionic posters tag(Authorized people of Google).

  19. says

    You made some great points about blogging. I think there are a lot of bloggers who consider themselves as authorities but clearly aren’t. Probably there are authority bloggers who can’t market themselves out there too. Is Technorati a good enough tool to separate this categories ?

  20. says

    Awesome post, once again on ‘authority’. While reading this post I was thinking why not to start my another blog on the topic (C Language) that I used to be an authority person in my college time :D, lets c after this many years can I still reach upto the expectations ! Anyways this was again a nice informative post, Thanks Kristi !

    Content Developments last blog post..Don’t Litter on Twitter

  21. says

    Becoming an authority can be achieved in many ways and – I agree – also using blog posts. But there is also danger that Your authority will quickly turn against You. To be an authority means that people will as You questions, and sometimes very difficult questions. If You won’t be able to answer them they could treat You as an imposter who would like to be an authority but isnt.

  22. says

    Frankly speaking, I’m not yet an authority, but I’m trying hard to be. If every blogger think like you mentioned, our Internet world would be much nicer than today. In contrast, there are so many spammers all around the cyber world.

  23. says

    Hi Kristi,

    When working with clients I always recommend that they add a blog to their website. One of the main reasons that I mention is that they can become an authority in their business category. This can be a huge advantage in the process of acquiring new business. I have had many clients tell me that they hired us based on what they read on the blog so I have real life experience in this area…. Another great post thanks!

  24. says

    Dear Kristi
    I am an designing consultant, and I consider becoming a blog autority in order to widen my business. But I was not sure about it.
    I found your post while Googling and it opened my mind !
    Thank you a lot !

  25. says

    “When you blog, you will also gain feedback from your readers. This is another way for you to learn.”

    I definitely appreciate this aspect of blogging. The technology really allows people to learn from one another in such a short span of time. One is also able to learn from all kinds of people, no matter the distance separating them.

    “There are many industries, such as medical, where you can put a lot of your knowledge online and people would still have to come and see you to reap the benefits.”

    I hope more people realize this. People sometimes use online medical references as replacements for consulting an actual doctor, who has the experience to actually analyze the problem.
    .-= how to deal with people´s last blog ..How to Deal with Slow-moving Investigations on Your Insurance Claims =-.

  26. says

    I’ve heard you can make money off of advertisers. Is it really a significant enough amount to make it worth it? Or does the real benefit in blogging come from the exposure you get? I’m a bellydancer and I dance at private parties and events. How could I use a blog to get more business? I’ve heard about people who have products to sell using blogs, but I don’t have a “product”, just me!

  27. says

    This is an interesting prompt for me – I think for a lot of other people, yeah, blogging makes you an authority on a subject. But being in the academy, blogging actually makes people suspicious of you: academics think blogging a waste of time, and people outside academia wonder why on earth you have anything to say to them. I think my authority for the time being has decreased.

    I also think this: if the blog takes off, then the perceptions matter much less, because something far more important than how I’m perceived is being promoted.
    .-= ashok´s last blog ..If you want to do me a favor… =-.

  28. says

    I tend to have more trust in people if others consider them to be an authority/expert. I usually will not listen to a self proclaimed expert on a subject. They tend to have an over inflated sense of what they actually know.

    Hmmm rereading this comment makes me think that folks might think it is aimed at the author of this post. It’s not :-) it’s just a general statement of my own experiences with know it alls… I mean experts.
    .-= Dwippy DoFollow´s last blog ..No Title for this One =-.

  29. says

    I agree with you Kristy that “an authority on a subject knows their subject” and also “continues to learn” as necessary. Life-long learning is integral to growth, not only in business but also as a person. I also think it is important, that whatever information you impart upon others is from your own experiences. it is just like the saying ‘walk the talk’