By Nina Amir
A blog provides a useful tool for authors, especially nonfiction authors. Not only does it help you become discoverable to potential readers (which means buyers), it also assists in your efforts to become an expert in your subject area. Plus, it provides you with a way to build a business around your book(s) and your blog.
Yes, you read that correctly. I did say “become” an expert. You can use your blog to get known as an authority or thought leader in a subject area even if you aren’t one now.
Take me as an example. When I began blogging my book, How to Blog a Book, I was not an expert on the topic. In fact, I had never blogged a book before. I had expertise in book publishing and book editing. I had an idea about how to consciously plan out a book, write it, publish it, and promote it online. I was the first one to try the process—and I wrote about it as I did so. Writing three or four blog posts per week on the topic of blogging a book made me an expert. And I accomplished that feat in only four to five months.
In that amount of time my blog achieved number one Google search engine results page (SERP) status. You could find it (and me) on the first page of Google—in the #1 spot—when you searched for anything related to blogging a book, blog-to-book deals, book blogging, or how to blog a book. That provided me with perceived expert status on the topic. Of course, the process of blogging the book also gave me actual expertise in the particular subject area. I’ve remained the premier expert on blogging books since then (and retained my #1 Google ranking). But I was not an expert when I began my blog.
If you write fiction you can still use your blog to become an expert. You can find the most prevalent themes and subjects in your novels—ones that run through almost all your books. Then begin blogging about these topics. Consider writing a short work of nonfiction on one or more of these topics as well. Before you know it, your blog will rise in the SERPs for these subject areas, and people will see you as an authority.
When potential readers, clients, customers, journalists, and organizations seeking speakers conduct a search on a particular topic and find you and your blog on the first page of Google—and in the first one or two SERP positions, you are perceived as an expert. Period. You hardly need to do anything else. Of course, if you publish a book on the same topic as your blog, you seal the deal.
How to Establish Expert Status with Your Blog
No matter the genre in which you choose to write, if you want to be known as an expert, or if you have the goal of building a business around your book(s) or your blog, use your blog to develop expert status. If you already are known as an expert, you want to enhance that status with your blog. A blog provides the perfect vehicle for creating authority in your subject area or industry, and this helps you get noticed as well as sell books and products effectively.
To accomplish expert status as a blogger, try these 11 strategies.
- Stay focused on your topic. As much as possible, write posts about the subject or area in which you want to be an expert.
- Blog consistently and regularly. Pick a schedule. Stick to it, whether that is once a week on Monday, three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday or seven days per week.
- Make it easy for visitors to share your posts. Be sure you provide sharing tools on your blog. A great one for experts to use are those that highlight what you say—your very own quotations.
- Share your posts on social networks. Don’t expect your readers to share. You need to do so—often and on a variety of networks. Doing so is, of course, the essence of how you drive traffic to your site.
- Use every tool. Don’t just provide written content. Also provide video, visual and audio content. Try podcasting (video and/or audio) or Google Hangouts on Air that you then post to your blog. And use visuals, such as those you create with Canva.com, on a regular basis or photos, graphics or infographics. Write and publish press releases and Ezine articles. Take photos and share them on Instagram, a social network growing in popularity.
- Guest blog. Expose yourself to the readership of other experts in your field. Guest blogging is the best way to do this. Plus, when you appear on another expert’s blog, it enhances your perceived authority. Also, if your work shows up on a lot of sites in a short amount of time, people will start to say they “see you everywhere,” and that also supports the expert image.
- Write for print publications. While there’s nothing wrong with writing for online publications, there’s some clout in having your byline appears in print magazines or professional journals. The more often you can write for subject-specific publications online and off, the better for your expert status. As a blogger, you can do this. You have posts to prove you can write—and to prove you are an expert in your subject area.
- Interview experts. When you interview other experts in your field or subject area for your blog, podcast, or Google Hangout on Air, you become an expert by association. Your name becomes associated with theirs. You can achieve this goal if you interview experts for a book and create a compilation or anthology. Their names will be listed as authors, and you will be the editor.
- Write a book. Write or blog a book. Nothing makes you an expert faster than a published book and the ability to say, “I’m an author.” As a blogger, you can even blog your book.
- Write more books. The more books you publish, the more authority you appear to have. You can become a thought leader by dominating your market with published books. These don’t all have to be full-length books; you can write (or blog) and publish short books or e-books.This adds to your expert status.
- Become a speaker. Let people see and hear you speak on the subject of your expertise. The face-to-face experience is much different than the written one, and it helps achieve the “know, like and trust” factor you seek. You can start with video, but branch out to live events. Nothing beats them letting people see you “up close and personal.” The fact that you are a successful blogger gives you the credential you need to begin blogging. Add a book to your resume, and you have the perfect recipe to become a professional speaker.
- Provide value. Always show your expertise by giving your blog readers value. Answer their questions, point out solutions, provide ways to ease their pain, and generally offer them benefits in any way possible. Go above and beyond whenever you can.
Any combination of these strategies, or all of them, will help you develop expert status. That authority will make you a successful blogger as well as an author. It will also help you become an authorpreneur or blogpreneur.
Do you have an expert-building activity to add to this list? If so, add it below in a comment.
Nina Amir, is a Contributing Writer for TheBookDesigner.com. She is also the author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, and transforms writers into inspired, successful authors, authorpreneurs and blogpreneurs.
You can learn more about Nina here.
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