For the past few days I have eagerly awaited a free report promised by Brian Clark, founder of the highly popular and authoritative CopyBlogger website. Today, it was released and in it contained 10 fundamental rules to becoming an authority blogger and running an authority blog in your niche online.
While I thoroughly enjoyed reading the report what was even more satisfying was I am actually doing the things he wrote about. It just goes to prove what I am gaining from being coached by both Rich Schefren and Alex Jeffreys actually works and there is no big secret to becoming successful online.
You either follow a proven system which works. Or you don’t.
I recommend you head over to Authority Rules and get yourself a copy Of Brian’s report but I am also going to outline the 10 steps you need to follow if you are going to run an authority blog in your chosen niche and relate each point to what I am doing currently.
- 1 The Winning Difference
- 2 Teach People – Don’t Try to Sell to Them
- 3 Pillar or Cornerstone Content
- 4 Headlines and Hooks
- 5 Make Friends
- 6 The Money is in the List
- 7 Don’t Neglect Search Engine Optimisation
- 8 Give Google a Helping Hand
- 9 Invest in a High Quality Blog Theme
- 10 Look After Your Followers
- 11 Final Thoughts
The Winning Difference
Standing out from the crowd. Your unique selling point. Your position in people’s minds. Or however else you want to describe how to differentiate yourself.
The first thing Alex discussed when setting up a blog was to write about your back story because this will enable people to identify with you and will ensure all of the content you go on to produce will be unique you.
My back story is I have been doing internet marketing, albeit badly, for over a decade and even managed it full time for the last three. However, I have been trying to make money online the “wrong way” for a long time and now it’s time to do things differently. I am now charting my rise to success in my blog for people to follow.
Teach People – Don’t Try to Sell to Them
One of the phrases I have heard time and time again since taking up the coaching programs is people love to buy but they don’t like being sold to.
The key to making money online is to give away as much quality, free content as possible on your blog to build trust between your readers and yourself and establish yourself as an authority blogger.
This type of content brings in traffic and also backlinks which allows your content to rank higher in the search engines which will in turn bring in even more visitors to your blog.
Pillar or Cornerstone Content
Your pillar or cornerstone content is what informs people on how to make use of your blog and do business with you.
I have created a welcome video which outlines what my blog is all about and how people can contact me and also wrote my ebook Stop Slogging Start Blogging! which reveals how to set up your own money making blog.
In terms of further pillar content on my blog, that is an ongoing process I am working on but whenever I learn something new or achieve a new goal, I will be writing a post about how I did it.
Headlines and Hooks
Writing a killer headline can help you stand out from the crowd and even if you are an authority in a niche you still have to fight for attention.
A hook is the angle you take on a particular subject which will get people interested in your content. If your content is intriguing then you have half a chance and if you are really fortunate, your content could go viral.
I am learning more about headline writing but think I did a reasonable job with I Don’t Want to be the Asshole at the Party which discussed a recent Twitter faus pax.
The web is becoming more of a social place and the need to make friends online is now more important than ever.
The basic truth about building an authority blog is: What others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself.
If you can make friends on Twitter, your content will get retweeted. If you can make friends on the popular social media sites like Digg, Stumbleupon and Reddit, they will vouch for you and increase the chances of your content going viral.
One of the great things about the coaching programs is there is a ready made networking pool and I have made some great friendships already and my authority in this niche will only get stronger as a result.
The Money is in the List
How many times have I heard that over the last month or so but it is so true!
For the first time ever in my online career I am focusing a lot of my efforts into building my own loyal subscriber list. Sure, putting out quality content is a great idea but I also want to make sure I can contact those people who regularly visit my blog and enjoy my content.
An opt-in list for people to receive email from you and pay attention to what you say to them over time is the key to building authority and trust with the end goal of them purchasing from you in the future.
Don’t Neglect Search Engine Optimisation
While you should always produce content with readers in mind and not search engines, you should not neglect your search engine optimisation duties completely.
When contructing your blog post titles you should consider using the Google Adwords Keywords tool to see how many people are actively searching out a particular keyword or phrase every month. Even a subtle difference of a word or two could mean the difference between thousands of unique visitors arriving every month.
Optimising your WordPress blog is easy if you use the All in One SEO Pack plugin. I use this and with it you can create a headline for your visitors which is visble on your blog post but then create a Meta Title tag, keywords and description based around keywords for the benefits of the search engines.
Yes, you can have the best of both worlds!
Give Google a Helping Hand
An overlooked aspect to optimising your blog is checking the actual code behind it.
You will often hear that WordPress is one of the best platforms to use if you are building a blog (or a static website these days as well) and that it is very SEO friendly.
While this is true the sheer number of poorly coded, cobbled together themes which are freely available on the internet means even though you are using WordPress, your blog may not in fact be very search engine friendly.
Ideally, you should only obtain your themes from a trusted source which you know has been put together by highly skilled, professional coders.
Invest in a High Quality Blog Theme
As well as sloppy code, some of the free WordPress blog themes just don’t cut it for me as professional enough to be taken seriously as an authority in a niche.
Of course, content is king but it also needs to be backed up by a professional design. Unfortunately, people do judge a book by its cover.
One of the best investments you will make is in a high quality theme. My blog uses the Streamline theme created by the highly talented Brian Gardner and in my opinion, it just oozes class.
I have used Brian’s themes for a number of web projects over the years and I cannot recommend his work highly enough.
Look After Your Followers
When you become an authority in your niche you become a leader.
Seth Godin created a new buzzword for online authority with his new book Tribes and has tapped into the primal psychological need for people to follow a leader and belong.
With authority comes power but if used correctly it can build trust, respect and admiration. If you treat your tribe well, they will serve you well.
Becoming an authority blogger in your niche is not something that will happen overnight but it is something you can work on each day.
Keep adding quality content to your blog and supplement this with incredible free-to-download reports that you could easily charge money for, tutorial videos and podcasts.
If people can see you are legitimate, sincere and actually care enough about them to help solve their problems they will trust, respect and someday want to do business with you.
As you can see from the above, running an authority blog in your niche is no big secret, it will just take time, patience and dedication!
If I have missed anything off this list then please leave your thoughts and suggestions as a comment below.