Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
When you’re building a blog or writing for clients, demonstrating authority in the topic engages the reader. It helps build a reputation for humans and search engines alike. But how do you do this when you don’t believe you have the expertise needed to provide quality content?
In reality, anyone can write with authority on any given topic. This includes things you’ve never researched before in your life. In fact, I made a career out of it by working with clients through content mills.
Writing with authority takes a bit of practice, but it’s not overly difficult once you have the basics.
What Can You Do to Be an “Authority” in Your Niche?
Writing with authority is an excellent skill to have, especially if you’re starting a new blog or if you work with content mills. And it was one of the biggest reasons why so many clients on platforms like Textbroker tossed so much money my way.
Not to mention how it helps me work with some of my smaller clients, today. I create content across a wide scope of industries.
So, what can you do to write with authority?
Be Open to Learn All You Can
First, there is a great deal of research that comes with writing about any topic, especially something new to you.
When you write like you know what you’re talking about, the content is more engaging. And what better way to do that than to learn all you can about the topic?
This is one of the reasons why I made so much money on Textbroker; I was always open to learning new things. I value knowledge of all kinds and explored every topic from animals to travel.
Besides, when you share factual information, it only works to boost your reputation. When you’re a trusted source for certain content, people often flock to you for those specific details.
Always Focus on Facts
When you center content around facts and verifiable information, you greatly boost authority. And if you can approach a topic from the standpoint of experience, all the better.
One of the things you want to ask yourself when writing a blog post is, “Will the visitor walk away knowing more about the topic?” You can satisfy this question by providing as many factual details as you can.
When you are using someone else’s data or statements to support the facts, it’s always a good idea to cite them as a source.
Always Cite Credible Sources
Citing your sources demonstrates to your readers and search engines that you value facts. This is especially helpful nowadays when so many people are quick to claim that something is fake.
Of course, you don’t want to cite just any ol’ website on the Internet. Some sites are rife with false information, or details that are unsubstantiated or corroborated. So, you want to be picky as to what website gets your link.
So, how can you tell what site has credible information? For this, you’ll have to do a bit of vetting. Usually, anything on the first page of Google is going to have viable information. After all, that’s Google’s job, nowadays.
However, you can also use tools like Semalt, Semrush, or even Ubersuggest to see how well the site in question performs. You’ll want to use the sites that have the most online influence through traffic and backlinks.
Semalt will also provide you with a score to denote which sites are the best.
Offer Opinions Only When Viable for Authority
When it comes to writing with authority, you’ll want to avoid using your opinions unless you have experience in the topic. This will help you avoid being called out for having false information or having your content appear fake to those who have experience.
To help with this, only focus on a second or third-person style of writing. That way, it won’t appear as though you’re offering personal insight that may be incorrect.
I know most blog writing experts will tell you to write in the first person. That’s because coming from a standpoint of authority through experience works for almost all audience types. It’s all part of “storytelling.”
But unless you know for sure what you’re stating, it’s best to avoid first-person if possible.
Also, if you do offer opinions about the topic, make sure they’re relevant to the overall point you’re trying to make.
Avoid Filler and Fluff
Filler and fluff are those bits of text that don’t really support a topic. They are often just words thrown into the piece, usually for the sake of making a certain word count.
That includes redundancy.
Redundancy is when you say the exact same thing in another sentence only worded differently so it appears “unique.” Not only does it read poorly, but it creates a bit of a disconnect for the reader from your content.
The bottom line is that you want each sentence to have its own purpose.
Keep Reminding Yourself You’re an Authority Figure
As you’re writing, constantly remember that you’re approaching the topic from an authoritative standpoint. You’re providing the best information you can regarding the topic and aiming to satisfy search intent.
This is what I used to tell myself all the time when writing for content mill clients. As a ghostwriter, you’re essentially using someone else’s persona. And writing from someone else’s point of view is often difficult, especially when it’s someone the exact opposite of who you really are.
A big part of being viewed as an authoritative figure is the language you use. Having a positive mental state about being that authoritative figure influences how you come across in the content.
Continue to Learn and Adapt
Lastly, continue to learn all that you can about your niche, even when you’re not writing articles. The more you know about any given topic, the easier and faster it is to write.
How do “experts” gain their titles? By learning and putting what they know into practice.
You’ll also need to adapt to the changing times. And I’m not just talking about the change in information regarding your niche or industry. Adapting will include everything from writing styles to search engine optimization practices.
For instance, 20 years ago, it was common practice to flood an article with a keyword so that it appeared on the first page of Google. That is an obsolete practice, and it could get your content penalized by Google if you do so today.
Nowadays, the search engine giant wants natural formatting, helpful content, and people writing for people. That’s a far cry from where Google started many years ago.
This demonstrates why adaptation is vital if you plan to write for the long term.
Continued Expertise Builds Authority
You don’t necessarily need to have a college degree or any knowledge regarding your niche to build expertise. It’s something you can accumulate over time as you continue to cover various aspects of your preferred industry.
For instance, this blog was primarily a method for me to practice while sharing everything I learned about writing for content mills. Over the years, it has morphed greatly as I continue to add to my knowledge about writing in all forms.
I write about the apps I use, the strategies I’ve implemented, and even the failures I’ve come across. This has helped me build authority for my visitors as well as Google, at least when it comes to Textbroker.
My point here is that you can literally build a blog about anything and eventually get to a point where people look to you for answers. How long that takes depends on your commitment and what topics you cover.
What Topics Hold Your Interest?
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see YouTubers and bloggers show off the most lucrative niches and tout how you can make a lot of money with them. The problem is that not many of these creators actually tell you the most important part of the process.
If you’re not interested in the topic, success is far more difficult to achieve.
When you don’t really care about a niche, it’s more difficult to find the motivation to write, the research suffers, and you’ll be less likely to keep the blog going for the next couple of years.
For a generalist such as myself, it’s not nearly as tough to maintain interest. That’s what made me such a success with content mills…I love learning EVERYTHING. But what if you don’t care about the financial industry or health and fitness?
By the way, these are among the top two niches when it comes to making money from a blog.
In the end, the topics that hold your interest are more likely to help you build authority, expertise, and trustworthiness. This is because you’re more inclined to learn all that you can, experiment, and share everything you discover.
Dealing with Self-Doubt and a Lack of Confidence
Whether you’re a freelance writer, blogger, or author, impostor syndrome can hold you back. This is when you don’t feel like you’re good enough to write about certain topics or when you have trouble having faith in your abilities.
A lack of confidence and self-doubt is perhaps the most damaging combination for any creator.
Now, there are ways you can deal with impostor syndrome. And if you can get a handle on it, you’ll see all kinds of opportunities unfold before you. However, it’s most likely not something you’re going to be able to fix overnight.
The reason I bring this up is because of how confidence and self-doubt influence writing. Word choices, structure, inflections…there is a lot that can alter how you create content and how others will perceive it.
If you’re overly unsure about yourself or are not confident in what you create, it can make delivering authority a lot harder.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed with a lack of confidence. However, it will make certain milestones much more difficult to achieve. Especially if you have negative inflections throughout the content.
No one wants to hang out with Eeyore at the bar.
What Would You Like to be an Authority On?
Building authority can work wonders for setting up a great blog or a successful freelance writing career. It will take a bit of practice and a lot of learning. Yet, it’s not all that difficult.
It’s mostly time-consuming.
Would you rather trust an open-heart surgeon on his first day or one that has 10 years of experience under his belt?
On which topics are you interested in building authority?
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