The following post originally came out in one of my other blogs, “Blog. Blogger. Bloggest!”. Check out the rest of that blog for more insights on the world of blogs and blogging. Particularly useful for you who are just starting to blog, and those wanting to build better blogs. Enjoy!
Even as I write this blog on blogging, I know I’m hardly an authority on the topic, knowing that there are so many others who have come before me- bloggers, and various other blogs about building a better blog.
The beauty of blogging, however, is that everything you write about is all about you and your experiences. Who knows? Maybe in a few years, I might actually just turn out to be a blogging guru of sorts. Or some authority figure in some other way.
In fact, when blogging, you should never be afraid of what people think, or if what you write about is right or wrong. Of course we all try to get our facts straight as much as possible, but beyond that, it’s the whole “human” side of blogging that makes it so appealing. It doesn’t get any more personal than that.
Authority is something given to you by your readers. I’ve known some not-so-heavy hitters literally become online superstars, and conversely, some real-life bigshots who are virtually unknown by the denizens of the blogosphere. You can be a complete unknown in a certain field- but as long as you’re honest about what you post, and write from your experiences and opinions, and get people to read about you- it’s really all you need.
For example- I’m not exactly a food critic by profession- I don’t have a magazine column or a lifestyle section with my name on it on a newspaper. But I do have a genuine love for food (hence the girth), an appreciation for quaint, cozy hangouts, and I’m sure there are people out there who either would:
- a) like to read about food and quaint, cozy hangouts or
- b) like to share their thoughts about their own experiences on food and quaint, cozy hangouts.
In any case, it’s a very viable target market. I don’t have to be an authority figure just yet, but eventually, as I fill up my blog with more reviews on food, and stories of other cozy places, and links to other good reads, then perhaps more people will come read what I have going on, and keep coming back for more.
When that time comes, when people actually keep coming back to your blog to read about what you think about things, and when they bother to leave a comment, or interact with you in some way, then in a way, they have given their vote to you. They have given you some authority by simply patronizing your site.
So what’s the plan? If I want to be recognized as a food critic, or at least one who recommends good food and quaint, cozy spots- then I’d better get down to writing about things along those lines.
Which is exactly what I’m doing now, as I’m taking bites out of this huge meatball sandwich I’m enjoying right now at this lovely little Italian deli/pizzeria called Fratelli’s. My review of the place actually comes up in a separate blog entry elsewhere.
Keep blogging now, and authority comes later from your readers and regulars. Regardless of your stature in the real world, your online authority depends on the amount of work you put into your blog.
Personally, I’d tell you to build up both. Both online and offline authority. It’s a great exercise in building and marketing the brand that is you.