You might have seen already that I encourage people to be Authority Bloggers. To demonstrate your expertise and knowledge, build profile, credibility, and trust. A question that comes up a lot is how do you know when you get there? What tells you that you have achieved Authority status?
I see authority as a journey, a continuous process. There is no end point. In fact, if you stop working towards it, or feel like you have “done enough”, that is when you are most likely to lose it.
Authority for me is a combination of the following three factors. Please do supply your own definition, I am interested in hearing your point of view.
- Personality – This is probably the most controversial factor so I put it first. I believe personality is an important component because to gain authority you need to be able to communicate, network and encourage a loyal audience. Yes, if you can prove a massive amount of expertise despite a lousy personality you might still succeed, but I think people with open and friendly personalities have an easier time.
- Expertise – With the other two traits you will have the capacity to succeed, you only have to look at television personalities and the celebrities that are hounded by paparazzi. With expertise, experience, knowledge or talent though you have the capability to go beyond “famous for being famous”. Expertise is a draw, it pulls people in. Expertise serves a need. Combined with personality so you can explain things in an entertaining, beneficial way, you are golden.
- Visibility – With the other two factors in your favor you should be well placed to develop visibility. By visibility I just mean getting noticed and building an audience. Probably the main difference between success and failure is the amount of attention you get. Of course, attention without substance is no use, so you must have the other two factors to back it up.
All three factors are used in combination.
For example to succeed in networking you need to have a friendly personality, be interesting to talk to (expertise?) and it always helps if people have heard of you.
Especially when starting out you have to build each:
- Work on developing your “voice”, your writing and communication style.
- Blog, comment, link, guest post, contribute to forums, Twitter, network, IM, and any other way you can think of to get known.
- Of course always make sure you are up on the news and techniques of your niche.
Do you think this definition of authority works for you? Let me know your thoughts on authority in the comments …