If you are a regular reader of internet marketing/SEO blogs, you’ll see that word popping up a lot; become an authority, build your authority, authority this, authority that.
It’s probably up there with ‘content is king’ as the most overused phrase in SEO, but you know what, there is a reason for that…
It’s because it’s true.
The thing is, once you become a recognised authority in your niche everything else falls into place. Link building becomes easier (in fact you probably won’t have to actually ‘build’ any links), people will be falling over themselves to share your content, you’ll get companies throwing free products (or cold hard cash) your way just for a mention, you’ll be able to eat unlimited rice pudding.
Ok, maybe not the last one, but you get the idea.
So the $64,000,000 question…
How the hell do you become an authority?
Well, back in 2007, copyblogger (the authority on becoming an authority…) told us that the first step (in fact 50% of it) is to act as an authority. Speak to your audience with authority and you will, over time, become an authority.
I get the sentiment. I agree that it’s part of the pie, but…
Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that. You see, the big problem there is the bit about ‘speaking to your audience’, which if you are just starting out will probably consist of your mum and your cat. Your cat will probably recognise you as the authority on catnip and tummy tickles, but that’s not going to make you a millionaire.
The truth is that unless you are really lucky (or truly exceptional) what you do on your site is probably (at most) only about 30% of what goes into making you an authority in your space.
So what’s that other 70% made up of?
Well, you may have guessed already, but it’s all about building connections, building your traffic and most importantly building that audience. And one of the best ways to build your audience is to tap into the audience of other authorities.
Guest blogging still works *but….
Guest blogging on other high traffic sites in your niche is still a great way to build your audience, but as google has taken an increasingly dim view of the practice over the past year it is fair to say that it is no longer a tactic which is scaleable. According to moz’s 2014 link building survey: –
close to 50% said in 2013 that guest blogging was their staple tactic, in 2014 fewer than 15% listed it as one of their staple activities.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be using guest blogging to expand your reach – you should – just choose your prospects wisely.
So what’s the best way to get yourself in front of prospective new followers in 2014?
Well, if you want to get ahead… get quoted!
Become the ‘go to guy’
Expert roundups (or group interviews) are hot at the moment and for good reason – they are very much a win-win.
The contributors – they get their face and words of wisdom in front of a new audience.
The host site – gets to tap into the brain power of a number of experts to give a broader insight on a topic. They will also normally benefit from the contributors helping to share out the post once it is live.
Getting quoted on other sites really builds your authority (and lets not beat about the bush, brings in some nice links), but…
If you are already an A list blogger your inbox will probably be flooded with requests for comments/insight, but when you are trying to make a name for yourself, opportunities to share your words of wisdom will be harder to come by.
In my recent guide to white hat link building (which is an expert roundup of sorts) Rand Fishkin mentioned that interviews ‘beget more interviews’, so once the ball is rolling and your name starts to pop up then you will get more requests. But how do you get the snowball to start rolling down the hill?
The good news…
Ann Smarty has just launched an awesome new service that can help you on your way – MyBlogU
There are several cool features (and Ann promises many more to come), but the one that I am most excited about is the ‘Interviews’ section, which gives you the opportunity to either host or participate in expert roundups/group interviews.
Registration is free and once registered you can start browsing group interview opportunities and submitting your answers. Don’t go crazy though and you should only be contributing if you have something genuinely insightful to add – the service will be heavily moderated.
Also, remember that this is all about building your authority and your reputation. To quote The Social Network ‘The internet is written in ink’ so take the time to ensure your contributions are well written, professional and a good reflection of you/your business.
This isn’t about picking up an easy backlink, it’s about establishing yourself as an expert.
Don Sturgill (donsturgill.com) had some good advice in this google plus update:-
As an example of how it works, I used the interview section to ask the MyBlogU community which feature they were most excited about. The answer was pretty unanimous…
Q. Which feature of myblogu are you most excited about and why?
A. Philtrate (Time Money Problem)
For me the Interview feature is the most exciting. It is totally awesome. I can gather opinions from experts in any subject and then import those opinions into my blog very easily.
But, that’s just the start; the follow-up Twitter chat and ViralContentBuzz.com promotions are like icing AND cherries on the cake. Participants in the chat gain credibility and social shares, I gain credibility by being linked with these experts and the blog post the interview is embedded in has a great chance of going viral.
Like it or not, content curation is HOT! This feature is going to be much-imitated, but this is the first time I have seen it in operation.
A. Sandy (sandystachowiak.com)
So far I am really excited about the Interview feature. I submitted an interview last week and have had some excellent responses thus far. I also provided answers to another one (besides this one) and feel that it is really great for us all to be able to help each other.
Interviews like this are especially interesting to me because they do not require participants to spend a huge amount of time answering, they will allow for honest and well-thought out answers, and no one is put “on the spot”. I can see this feature helping me greatly in future articles, just like the one I submitted recently.
A. Don Sturgill (donsturgill.com)
The power and potential of MyBlogU Interviews is being demonstrated right now. Not only do those with expertise come to me when I take advantage of the MyBlogU tool … many of those who respond are folks I would not have known to contact in the first place.
With MyBlogU, I can set up and complete interviews in less time, with more people, and with better results. The platform even helps to publicize the resultant article. I very much appreciate the genius of Ann Smarty. She cares about the internet and wants to help people connect. Matt Cutts could learn a lot from Ann 🙂
A. Ann Smarty (MyBlogU)
I may be biased, but so far I really like how the Interviews feature is being received (here’s a quick video explaining it). I like the quality of the answers and I think that should end up being a great tool for generating very long indepth articles full of first-hand experience and expertise. We’ll continue working on making it more and more awesome (Ideas are always appreciated!) For example,
- We are working to let publishers easily generate “About the participating experts” section that could collect all the social media info of the contributors and put it together into a handy chart giving contributors more exposure.
- We’ll also teach our editor to generate the clickable “Table of contents” (something like you see here), since group interviews tend to be long and those work great for both usability and SEO (search engines may use those for mini-sitelinks).
- We already added the ability to add your photo for it to appear next to your blurb (which should work well for the contributor’s branding!)
All in all, we are seeking to connect experts to bloggers while giving contributors more and more branding and social media benefits in exchange to their efforts.
A. EvanPryce (Suso Digital)
I think MyBlogU is an excellent idea to help people collaborate on group projects and brainstorm ideas with other smart marketers.
I am really excited by the ability to source group interviews without having to email a million people and hopefully getting a few different contributors to these type of group interviews. Lately I keep seeing the same people popping up over and over again and while most of these people have solid advice it is always good to get different voices in the mix especially from bright up and coming IMers.
Also looking forward to contributing where I can to help build my own reputation within the industry while helping out others.
A. Erik Emanuelli (No Passive Income)
The main idea behind MyBlogU is just clever, original and inventive! In one word : ingenious!
Browsing among several topics and choosing the ones that catch your attention is just great. This saves a lot of your valuable time!
You have the opportunity to be featured as expert in your field, together with awesome other powerful people.
It’s not only about getting traffic to your blog, but also having the chance to build strong relationships and new connections within your niche!
I am so excited to learn more about the Twitter chats. I’ve always believed in the power of social media, but Twitter is my favorite one since when I started blogging.
Also, the free promotion at ViralContentBuzz is a big plus.
Basically, you have just benefits from joining MyBlogU!
A. Paul Manwaring (Internet Mareting Hustle)
The interview section that we are both using now is probably the most exciting feature, being able to connect with other bloggers and get links is a win-win situation. I look forward to seeing my name start to crop up on other blogs if my answers get accepted. It’s also fun to answer peoples questions as you feel you are actually contributing something of value. It’s actually quite hard to easily find other bloggers views on a topic, usually you’d have to search through their blog or book to try and find a snippet that matches the point you are trying to make or help explain. The interview feature on MyBlogU cuts all that out and connects you directly with someone elses thoughts and views.
A. Ashley Faulkes (Mad Lemmings)
What really attracted me to this MyBlogU was the ability to access so many enthusiastic bloggers and work on ideas together in an open environment. The leverage this gives you is amazing, because not only can you get people to participate who you would never normally meet, but you do it without having to find the people manually, and manage the email ping pong yourself. This is a great time saver. It also allows a fantastic sharing of knowledge that normally does not take place so easily. MyBlogU also has such a variety of people, with a wide range of experience and niches which adds to the benefits. What a great way to meet new people and help each other out too!
And once that ball starts rolling…
You will be on your way to establishing yourself as an authority in your niche and will quickly start to pick up other interview requests.
As an example, I recently did an interview on Stuart from niche hacks’ blog and since it was published this week have had another 3 interview requests. Being interviewed (either as part of a group or individually) is probably the best way to build your authority in 2014 and a clean way to pick up strong links to your site.
If you have any questions on group interviews or MyBlogU then please leave a comment below and don’t forget to sign up to MyBlogU for free here to start building your authority and getting quoted!