One of the primary determinants of your blog’s success is your ability to establish a clear sense of authority on your chosen topic. But how do you position yourself as a credible, expert source if you don’t have the traditional credentials? By taking advantage of the flexible nature of blogging, you can lead the way, regardless of your established background in the field.
It’s Not All Content
Though your content is ultimately what will make or break your blog, authority isn’t all about content. No, before users read a word on your site, they’ll look to other cues to determine if your site is the one they should be reading. And one of the first things they’ll look for is the SSL certificate.
Enabling the SSL certificate on your site is most important for sites that have a sales component, but it benefits every site, in part by increasing site traffic. Furthermore, in a digital environment where three-quarters of sites lack this form of documentation, equipping your blog with an SSL certificate demonstrates your commitment to users, no matter how they use your site.
Just look at the Ms-JD website, for example. Though the site is home to an advice blog for law students, it also has an SSL certificate. Considering that the blog covers such an important topic and caters to a savvy user base, it’s a smart call. Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether the site handles financial transactions because even blogs need to cover all their bases in this era of security hypervigilance.
Hire Wise Writers
Few professional blogs are written exclusively by their creator; most invite or hire external writers to contribute to the site, in addition to doing writing themselves. If you’re trying to increase your site’s authority, though, choose those added voices carefully.
One site that perfectly models this use of professional voices is the addiction rehab directory site Rehab.com. In addition to other resources and a blog, the site also features a section called Pro-Talk, devoted to posts by specialists in the field. These posts bring the highest possible degree of expertise to their site, and you can use the same tactic to enhance your blog’s credibility.
Make Data Matter
Finally – and perhaps simplest of all – if you want to develop authoritative content, you need to provide the factual data to back it up. Professionals in the field are great at this because they have access to and have internalized large amounts of information, but you (or any other writer) can do it too.
Statistics and other unbiased facts provide critical backup to your arguments and counter user perceptions that blog content is primarily promotional in nature, but they’re widely underutilized and readers crave the added value that comes from statistics and research. In one 2017 survey, for example, 76% of reader respondents recommended blogs use more data to support their writing. It may seem like a small change, but it will transform your posts from casual observations to serious content.
For some people, blogging is a hobby, but if you want to run a blog professionally, you need to focus on developing an authoritative voice and message. So take a step back from the content mill and look at the big picture. You need to develop blog posts that emphasize meaningful information and surround it with clear quality markers, such as proper blog design and data security. When writing authoritative content, accept that less can be more and keep your attention on creating posts that matter.