Where do you get your information? Who do you trust? Who will you believe without any further research? Are you someone else’s answer to those questions?
I ask this question because of something that I have been noticing on other blogs lately. More and more successful bloggers are becoming authorities in a specific area and sources of information, rather than writers.
First, let me say that I don’t think there is anything wrong with this transformation from blogger to authority figure and provider of information. In my opinion, this level of influence should be the goal of every blogger.
With that being said, let me explain why I think it is important to work towards this goal.
Become an authority figure
If you think about it, for every area of information, there will always be a known authority figure (or known authority figures). Usually, there are no more than three brands that are considered the top-tier in that particular subject area.
I relate this top-tier to popular brands of everyday products. Understanding that not all of my readers are from the same countries and cultures, I’ll ask for forgiveness in advance for an example that not everyone will be able to relate to. With that being said, think about things like:
- Vaseline – Some of you know exactly what I am talking about when I say Vaseline. However, Vaseline itself is nothing but a brand name. Petroleum Jelly is the actual product.
- Q-Tips – Again, some of you know what Q-Tips are and have never used anything else in their place. Q-Tips are just a brand name, though. The product is called a cotton swab.
Even if you don’t know these products, I’m sure that you can name your own dominant products that have so much authority that their brand name is synonymous with the product itself.
It takes authority to establish this kind of connection with your readers, customers, etc. Every blogger should strive to be the face of their chosen niche.
Become a source of relevant information
I am not suggesting that you turn into the next Wikipedia. Instead, I am suggesting that you eventually reach a point where your brand gains enough authority (as mentioned above) to become a source of trusted information regardless of how that information is given.
What I mean is that there is a difference between Joe Blogger with loyal readers and Joe Blogger’s Brand with loyal readers.
- Joe Blogger – When Joe Blogger decides to stop writing, readers will stop reading Joe’s material. They have a connection to Joe himself and though they may trust what he says, they fully expect him to keep writing if he wants to keep their attention.
- Joe Blogger’s Brand – If Joe’s Blogger’s Brand builds strong authority and becomes a source of quality information, readers will no longer look for Joe. They’ll look for Joe’s brand name and trust everything that comes from it.
The difference between the two are phenomenal. Leverage is the key.
Authority and trust bring leverage
Once you’ve established authority in your niche and your brand (blog, name, face, logo, whatever!) becomes the face of your niche, you now have the ability to leverage your power and massively grow your online business.
A great example of this in action is Darren Rowse from problogger.net.
I took this screen shot from the homepage of his mobile version of Problogger. Notice how many of the blog posts he wrote and how many of them are written by guest bloggers.
Is Darren being lazy? Nope. Are his readers upset that he’s not writing everything himself? Of course not.
Darren is a trusted authority figure in the blogging niche. Anything with his name, his website name, or his logo instantly becomes quality information worthy of being read by those who want to master the art of blogging.
Darren has reached the goal I am talking about.
Set your standards high
No matter what, you should aspire to be the authority figure in your niche. Don’t be discouraged because there are others further along the road than you are. Who knows when they’ll drop out of the game?
Provide quality information. Build your brand. Establish your authority. Leverage your business.