Picture a spotlight. It’s searching high and low in a massive and dark theater. When it stops, it shines light on a person, an authority. The authority landed in the spotlight for a reason. He or she is an author.
Have I tripped your metaphor detector? If so, you may have gathered I’m alluding to your search engine. Of course, Google and its brothers in search do not spell out precisely how their spotlights work. So we do the best we can to interpret the signals.
In recent years, the signals have become louder and clearer. The search engine isn’t aiming for popularity like it once was. It aims for authority—authority earned through blogging.
The spotlight’s job is to find a trusted source of helpful information, something we almost always refer to as “content.”
I wanted to help you learn more about the connection between bloggers, the content they produce, the authority they can earn, and the benefits that are the sum of this 21st century equation. So I asked five experienced bloggers who contribute regularly here at iAcquire for insights about their approach to blogging.
What is a key to blogging you realize now, but didn’t when you first began?
“When I first saw successful blog posts from other authors I thought what made their blog content successful was their large audience and their unique writing style. Those two factors don’t hurt, but all the details that went into their posts and my future posts is what helps make a blog post successful. Everything from the headline choice to the links chosen to be included in your blog post are important elements that comprise a successful piece of content.”
“When I first started, I got sucked in to the ‘must post once a day’ hole that led to a lack of enthusiasm for what I was writing about and over-acceptance of guest posts I shouldn’t have taken. Now, I just write on my own blog when I have something I really want to share and although that’s only a few times a month, it’s much better.”
“Great content takes time, and people tend to blog in a rush or as one of a million things on their to-do list. When I started writing for a living, I had way more time to put into the work I was putting out—and it showed. Research, editing, promotion—all of these things take time to do right, but few people are giving them their dues.”
What mistake do you see business bloggers make most often?
“People with great content still broadcast instead of building relationships with people who will amplify their content. And to me, unless you are leveraging Google+, you are missing out. I have around 50,000 unique visitors a month on my two main sites about Google+. Eighty percent of it comes from search results. The community on Google+ gives you search results. It’s that simple.”
“Over-promoting their own content. The key to making your content go viral is making connections with industry influencers. Leverage old-school PR tactics to make friends with people who have a way larger audience than your own.”
“Some businesses want to create content that attracts customers, but end up writing about topics more geared toward people in their own industry. It’s great for social sharing and engagement, but not always great when it comes to driving conversions—unless you’re lucky enough to have a product or service where your industry peers are also your customers.” ~ Kristi Hines
Has blogging played a part in growing your authority and increasing your influence?
“The only way a writer builds a reputation is by writing. My work on blogs like iAcquire has been an enormous part of establishing myself as both a credible subject matter expert and a talented writer (if I can say so myself). Blogging has also been tremendous for pulling in leads and reaching audiences I wouldn’t have otherwise. I get most of my work through referrals and blog posts I’ve written.” ~ Joel Klettke
“Yes. Giving, giving, and giving some more has been my approach. It seems to be working and I am still learning everyday about how I can support my community more.” ~ Martin Shervington
“Absolutely has. Guest blogging in particular was what paved the way for me to become a freelance writer. It also helped me build up a strong authorship profile, which is one of the reasons people hire me to write.” ~ Kristi Hines
“Most definitely. I’m no Guy Kawasaki, but my clout has been elevated by blogging. Any sort of content creation magnifies your personal and professional brand. The bigger the publication I blog on, the better visibility I have. Guest posts I’ve written on Huffington Post, PR News, PR Daily or Marketing Profs have had a huge value for both personal and professional branding.” ~ Allie Gray Freeland
“Blogging has helped me stand out in my industry and drive trust in my knowledge of certain aspects of online marketing. Through blogging, I’ve been lucky enough to get mentioned in the press, invited to conferences, meet industry influencers, gain the attention of clients and get hired for full-time marketing roles. The best part about blogging is anyone can do it and with enough hard work, will see similar if not greater results, from their efforts.” ~ Brian Honigman
What bloggers and/or blogs do you consider must-reads?
- For copywriting: Copyblogger
- For content marketing: Content Marketing Institute blog
- For the intersection of content, SEO, and social: iAcquire blog
- Neil Patel for Quicksprout
- Gregory Ciotti for HelpScout
- Buffer blog
- Jay Baer of Convince and Convert
- James Clear
- Dave Kerpen
- Jeff Haden for Inc. and LinkedIn
- Matthew Capala for Search Decoder
- Unbounce blog
“For me, it doesn’t get any better than Joanna Wiebe at Copyhackers. As far as people go, Sean Smith is a juggernaut right now, with perspectives and experience every marketer can benefit from. He writes all over the place, but it’s always good. The last guy I need to mention is Greg Ciotti. His work at Sparring Mind and Help Scout is exceptional.”
Kristi (only) offered 150 answers!
Martin is a big fan of:
What have you learned from your own blogging experiences? Has blogging enhanced your authority as a subject matter expert? What are your go-to blogging resources?