Authority Bloggers are best placed to ride out economic turbulence. This is something I have repeated on webinars and interviews for years.
Can I stand by this statement as the economy turns and churns?
OK, there are never any guarantees, but there are several factors that make me believe this.
- Authority means top of mind – When you become the go-to person you get the pick of opportunities, deals, and customers. You know in any market there is a minority who gets the lion’s share, you want to be the first pick rather than the end of the queue.
- Online means low overheads – Just being online rather than off means you have potentially lower overheads, but being an Authority Blogger means you don’t need inventory, real estate, or many of the staffing costs, but can still make the same profit or more. The surprising and hidden benefit is online authority leads to more offline deals!
- Ideal for diversified income – If you have all your profit eggs in one revenue basket then you are at risk, an Authority Blogger has multiple streams of income, from your own products and services to selling leads and affiliate products. That’s before traditional direct income. On top of this, an Authority Blogger can keep adding income streams, ProBlogger style, that build authority further.
- Visibility means fewer marketing costs – Do you want to be paying by the click to achieve visibility or do you want people to naturally turn to you because everybody knows you are the place to go? Search engines love an authority too, no SEO tricks necessary.
- Community means more sustainable and scalable traffic – Build a loyal and engaged audience and it doesn’t matter what happens, they will keep returning to you. On the other hand, look at the screams of dismay every time Google shrugs! Don’t be caught out by shifts in search engine algorithms, build your own defensible and receptive audience.
The Biggest Difference? Serving Your Audience First
The main difference between an Authority Blogger’s site and other sites is a good blogger will treat readers as people.
That’s an important distinction.
We serve our audience first, providing useful, valuable, entertaining, and engaging content is the top priority.
Most sites, especially in the more technical arenas, run their sites like spreadsheets, where visitors are just a number or a click delivery system. Think of all the sites that are no more than glorified made-for-AdSense spam, paying a couple of dollars a post for some rehashed nonsense page-filler. Even those with good quality content tend to lose visitors as soon as they acquire them like a leaky bucket.
Why is that so important?
When you treat your readers as human beings when you nurture them, you talk to them, you give them more of what they want and need, then you keep more of them coming back. When you treat them purely as a metric they have no reason to come back so you have to work extra hard to keep your traffic up. You want to work smart, and you want to be productive with your time. Keep people engaged by providing value, personality, and community.
If you can grow and maintain an audience naturally, then you are not beholden to any one traffic generation tactic but you can take advantage of all of them, plus you are producing something that is recognized as quality so those tactics are easier!
For example, search engines will be more favorable towards you, because authorities attract links, and search engines are getting better and better at recognizing quality sites.
Of course, it is also easier to get social media votes when you are an authority. The less attractive your content, the more you have to pay through the nose to maintain the same level of attention.
What About Advertising?
Yes, advertising will drop in a down economy, but companies will not STOP advertising, and more will run to the internet where every dollar is accounted for.
Companies have to sell their product to survive but might be more selective.
Consumers will not stop buying products, but they might be more price-conscious, and they will gravitate toward publishers who empathize with them, and who seem to understand what they want and what they like. Those sites that provide advertisers a good return on investment and customers consistently good advice will stay strong.
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Be Top of the Pile
Name a list of car manufacturers. Are they all equal in your mind? What about computer brands? Portable music players? Even beans? Who gets the bulk of customers’ money?
In any market we have a mental ladder of brands, those at the top get all the money, and it rapidly falls off towards the bottom. Not only do those at the top get the majority of the attention and custom, but they also get to charge a premium over the rest. The struggling, smaller names, get to live off the scraps that fall through the big names cracks. Your goal has to be for the world to see you in the compelling 20% rather than the me-too 80%.
So while the overall economic pie might well shrink, it will be those at the end of the queue who miss out, the first picks will always get the lion’s share.
Being an Authority Blogger means not just being one of many, but the main draw, the person who everyone trusts and turns to instinctively.
If you can be seen as a quality choice for customers or advertising dollars (or both), because of your expert content, your attentive, engaged audience, and your good name, while keeping your overheads down, then you will ride out any road bumps in the economy.
When the economy picks up you will be stronger for it.
You have to raise the bar; be unique, focus on quality, on your audience, on your brand, and stand out.
Be the first choice, or as near as you can, and provide what people really want, then you can grow in any economy.