With hundreds or thousands other businesses similar to yours, all trying to get their piece of the market, what would make someone choose your website over competitor’s?
How are you better, what makes you different, and why should they trust you? Well, a big part of it has to do with being an expert – or being perceived as one. Never mind if you’re running a big company or small niche blog: your customers or your readers, they all will come back and stick to you if they are confident that you know what you’re talking about.
So how do you get there?
1. Get comfortable with your niche and do research
This should actually be #0 on the list – if you mess up this one, you will have hard time with the next steps. If you have chosen your niche solely based on promising keywords, then take some time to explore it thoroughly: find every piece of content there is about it on the Internet, subscribe to blogs that cover it, visit your local library (not everything is available online) – in short, do your best to become an expert, or get as close to it as you can.
2. Be updated and informed
Follow the latest news and important figures in your industry. Get in habit of using free tools like Google News and Google Alerts, monitor conversations on Twitter, subscribe to relevant magazines. That way you will be able keep your audience informed about the important information and hot topics, and to engage in an intelligent conversation with them. Become a source your audience will go to.
3. Guest write
Guest posting on relevant blogs will get your name out there in no time. However, you should pay attention on few things: first, you aren’t doing it because of links back to your blog, but because you’re going after establishing your name and your expertise in the community. That’s why you don’t want to guest write for just any blog out there, but only for the ones who have the most authority in your niche; and you don’t want to throw in some rubbish piece of content that anyone could make – choose your topics and create the content very carefully.
4. Share content other than your own
This is one of the golden rules. On every piece of your content you share across the social networks, share several useful or interesting pieces that someone else wrote and curate them with your thoughts (recommendations or summaries). This way you’ll avoid looking too self-promotional, and let your followers know that you appreciate other experts in the niche. Of course, you can share their content and disagree with them, and mention that too along with the reasons why you don’t completely agree.
5. Participate in the community
Besides guest posting, participation in forum discussions and making relevant comments on the blogs within your niche will help you gain trust from the community. Again, choose the communities in which you will participate, and do your best to give brilliant and detailed responses.
6. Be available
It’s not enough just to establish your presence on social media sites; your fans and followers will often ask questions or share their opinions on something you wrote – be there to answer them.
7. Include relevant experience
If you’re writing about cat diseases, you had better prove that you know something about it: if you’re not veterinarian, write about the experience you had with your cats. On that point, the “About” section of your website should be real: upload a photo of you and write the text that will show your readers that you’re a real person.
8. Write an e-book
Writing an e-book is a great way to recycle some of the old content on your website and to gain more credibiity in the eyes of your readers. Even though you know it’s just a bit more than a large PDF which you created by re-purposing your old posts, it often gives you the aureole of a “published author”. Just don’t misuse this concept – take your time and do a quality job, so that your readers don’t get disappointed.
The ultimate goal of becoming an expert is to get exposure and build targeted traffic to your blog. It’s not really easy to do, but not that difficult either if you follow the steps above.
Jeff Gross writes about social media, online marketing, advertising and more for nPromote, a SEO Company in NYC.
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