Start an authority website that even your neighbors can’t stop gushing about.
New year, same old blog…
Do you wish your website would finally become more of an authority source? You’re not alone in this, especially with tens of millions of blogs competing for attention out there…
Today’s article focuses on raising the bar for your content writing & marketing efforts, to the point readers would happily recommend you to their friends.
In fact, I recently published a similar article on blogging successfully, so today I’ve decided to break things down even further to help you become a true authority blogger (not just a successful blogger).
In short, today we’ll focus on something that has the power to drastically improve your business and your life: Today’s post focuses on building an authority blog.
Ready to work hard and smart? Let’s get started.
Remain Niche (As Opposed to Broad)
You’ve probably heard this in the past…
Building an authority site is much easier when you focus on one specific subject, even if said subject is relatively broad in nature.
A blog that teaches about “blogging” is fairly broad, but still narrow enough to target a multitude of topics in a detailed, in-depth manner.
The only way you might succeed with broader terms is by contracting multiple contributors who can consistently pump out quality content…
But I personally suggest you steer away from this, as “quality content” requires an insane amount of attention to detail. You’ll see exactly what I mean as we go over the rest of this article.
So, how exactly do you remain niche? The answer lies in identifying your audience and then satisfying their needs.
Ask yourself: What issues do they look to solve? Can you provide everything they need with absolute confidence? Can you help them with content ideas long-term?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above, then that would be your ideal niche. Refer to this Entrepreneur article on finding a profitable niche. Highly recommended.
Focus On Quality Content (Yes, That Cliché Phrase)
The term “quality content” is thrown around a lot – and I mean *a lot* on the internet.
But what exactly is quality content? Isn’t this subjective?
Short definition: Quality refers to authoritative content that the general public can safely rely on. It contains so much detail, readers are often compelled to share it or come back to it later. This content leaves no stones unturned and answers everything readers were looking for (and then some).
Important note: This type of content doesn’t necessarily mean quantity, but rather quality. An authoritative article may consist of a mere 600 words depending on the subject/niche.
Let’s break this section down in order to better understand quality content and properly execute this highly important step…
Forget about posting too frequently: Many people have been conditioned to publish frequently, prompting them to burn out by publishing 2-4 pieces per week.
This may lead to burnout and/or your content being somewhat mediocre at times.
Instead, aim to publish 1-2 per month if you truly intend to write quality content. And, as we already discussed above, answer everything about the subject and insert details that readers didn’t even know they needed.
Details that add authority may include:
- Charts and graphs (these are usually embeddable from sources like Statista). This article provides a list of sources to find facts and statistics to strengthen your blog posts.
- Statistics that educate your audience, inspire them, and raise awareness. Once again, refer to the above link.
- Fun facts that intrigue your audience.
- Supporting images that add detail and context (especially if you focus on technical content).
- Provide actual examples and case studies to support your content.
Can you see why quality content would diminish if you focus more on quantity?
There are exceptions to this rule, of course (news articles are usually short and very detailed, for example). But for the most part, traditional articles typically require a lot more maintenance.
Pro tip: Pretend that you’re writing a book, not a traditional blog post. Would you ever publish a mediocre, half-hearted book?
Personal suggestion: If an article takes you one month to write but you wish to update your blog more frequently, consider posting something short in between. Examples include a news roundup, embedding a YouTube video with a short summary, and even a poll question as a mid-month blog post.
Internal & External Linking
Wikipedia has become an authority website partly thanks to its extensive link structure. Each article contains many internal links to related content within the body, along with external links at the very bottom as a list of references.
Search engines place a certain level of weight (or consideration) on links that point to authority sources. As such, consider linking to at least one highly respectable pages within every single article, both internally and externally.
An internal link might point to a popular article that you had previously published, while an external link might take readers to related content on Forbes.com.
Avoid linking to just any page on the web, as this may lead to using untrustworthy websites which could hurt your overall authority in the eyes of search engines and readers alike.
More Marketing, Less Writing
We already established that you shouldn’t place so much focus on posting frequently…
Aside from that, you must also dedicate a considerable amount of time to marketing every piece of content to increase quality blog traffic and long-term authority.
Can you imagine writing something so epic and awesome, only to fall on deaf ears (eyes) and not be read by anyone? This has happened to most of us already, so you know how discouraging it can be.
I can’t stress the importance of putting your content in front of people, as this greatly increases the chances of your pieces being shared, linked to, and talked about through word of mouth.
Follow these steps (or at least most of them) to strengthen your marketing efforts…
Write down a list of authority bloggers you respect: Not just any blogger; instead, only gather those in your field that are relatively popular or very well known. Aim for no less than ten bloggers, if possible.
Befriend them through a series of actions, such as:
Develop a genuine interest in their content: Follow their work the way you’d like others to follow yours. Ask questions, provide insight, and help them out with passion. Do this through regular blog commenting or contacting them directly on occasion.
Same goes for social media: It’s easy to be selfish and only share our own content. Instead, make it about everyone else first; share fellow bloggers’ content in an effort to further connect with them along with your followers simultaneously.
Collaborate: Ask these bloggers about mutual guest posting; run a contest and give away a copy of an ebook from a fellow blogger; if someone owns a paid membership site, give away a discount code (which is provided by the membership site owner).
Always search for people asking questions you can answer: Join places like Reddit and provide real answers to questions related to your niche. The key is to answer the question in full, not merely to link them to your blog “to read the full details.” You may provide a link in the end, but only do it for reference. In short, clicking your link should be completely optional.
Create a schedule around all of this: As you may have noticed, marketing should take quite a bit of time and effort. You simply cannot succeed with an authority site if you neglect the above steps. Marketing is slightly more important than the writing itself and it requires ongoing effort. Take this seriously.
Along with all of the above, always practice (or at least consider) the following to maximize your chances of success with an authority blog:
Branch out from traditional articles: Consider audio interviews once a month or whenever you see fit. This also allows you to repurpose it on YouTube and Spotify (among others) for increased authority.
Do the work in bulk: It’s generally easier to publish an article when certain things are already taken care of. For example, gather a list of title ideas for the next three months. Find their featured images and/or conduct basic link research. This helps you hit the ground running when writing your next piece of content.
Outsource certain tasks if the work gets overwhelming: Can you set aside at least $25/month for certain tasks – such as having someone come up with title ideas, find images, and/or gather basic statistics? The amount spent depends on whom you hire and how much work you need done, but this does NOT have to be expensive. Don’t be afraid to invest in this step.
Notice that the bulk of this article focuses mainly on writing and marketing, with the latter playing a crucial role if you truly intend to start an authority website that truly shines.
Even if you can only afford to publish one article every other month, the key here is to get started and remain consistent. Even with lesser frequency, your marketing efforts will be a huge help in turning your blog into a trusted, highly relevant authority source over time.