How to become an authority online
As I jump into blogging: round two, I am wondering a lot about what makes a successful blog and with that, what makes someone an authority.
Most of the blogs I read are the big ones that post regularly. That is to say, 10+ posts a day. These blogs are closer to being a digital newspaper than a grassroots blog. The value of the blog almost completely comes from the value of the information itself. Now if that were entirely the case, we would all just read facts and just let our eyes linger on the pictures; The voice and banter of the blog also determines its quality.
For us smaller bloggers, our authority seems to also come from our personality, but mostly from our area of expertise and the value we provide in that realm. While you may not care about what I have to say about technology, you really won’t care about what I eat or what I wear. You’ll look to Serious Eats or Tavi to fill that void in your life.
A study conducted by my alma mater actually was what got me started down this rant. Turns out that Ashton Kutcher, the man with nearly 6 million followers on Twitter, apparently has very little influence except for when he discusses his areas of expertise: Hollywood and Punk-ing.
I feel as though we need to define influence here as Justin Bieber. If Justin Bieber says jump, we should all be afraid of the tween masses jumping simultaneously and throwing off the balance of the world as the planet fall out of orbit and we crash into the sun. Dramatic, yes. But so are Justin Bieber’s fangirls.
For those of us just trying to acquire regular readers (beyond family and friends) there seem to be a few tricks to gaining autority and therefore readers:
Buy the domain name. Just do it; it costs like $14 dollars. I automatically prejudge a xxx.blogspot.com because it shows me that the reader isn’t committed to the content. Why would I want to waste my time reading that drivel? Maybe I am quicker to judge than most, but spend the $14.
Post regularly. This is the pot calling the kettle black. Again, this will show that you take your blog seriously, so it is worth reading
Blog for no one but your self; edit for the entire world. I hate outlining, I hate planning my writing, which has long been my downfall. I would start writing a ten-page paper without a plan for page three. After I churned out the ten pages, that last thing I would want to do is go back and reread it. I mean, come on! That said, typos undermine your intelligence and will ruin your pithy jokes.
One day you will be like Ashton Kutcher and can tweet at 5.8 million people about football. Don’t you feel a little like we are all getting Punk’ed?