How to Make Your Inbound Marketing Blog More Authoritative

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How to Make Your Inbound Marketing Blog More Authoritative

 

We often talk about ways to make your blog more popular and more visible in search results, but there is a third element that often goes missing. If you want a loyal following, try making your blog posts more authoritative. That's a fancy word for "knowing what the heck you're talking about". Journalists (for the most part) know all about sticking to vetted facts and obtaining confirmation from independent sources. Editors (for the most part) know all about making sure that the stuff that they publish is fair and balanced and backed up by the facts. Why not try some of this in your blog?

how to make your inbound marketing blog more authoritative

It's true that blogs are by definition personal accounts, observations or opinion pieces, but the best bloggers, those with the most subscribers, are popular for a reason. In most cases, they provide valuable, reliable information that readers can depend upon. I'll give you an example. I read Mashable every day because the contributing bloggers are good writers, they always cover the latest "tech" news first and each post is well researched. In other words, you can rely upon what you read in Mashable. Can you say that about most blogs? Here are some pointers to make your blog more authoritative.

  • Stick to the facts, and include them - yes, we all enjoy a good rant every now and then, especially if it's well written, but there is usually no meat on the bone. If you have a strong opinion about something, state your case and support it with evidence. Present the other side, and tell us why we should be on your side. Your one-sided, unsupported opinion has little chance of swaying anyone.
  • Illustrate your points with examples - show us the way. Include the best examples you can find to help us quickly understand your position. Show us some real data, and point out its accuracy. If your conclusions are based on a small sampling of data, we should know that.
  • Build your case over multiple posts - if your subject matter is complicated, there's no need to overwhelm us with a long post. We probably won't read it. Instead, break it up into a series with each post making one of the central points of your thesis. Be the next J. K. Rowling and keep us salivating for your next published piece.
  • Be fair and balanced - admit it, you're not the world's expert on your subject matter. If you were, you would be authoritative already. A little humility goes a long way. Consider the other side of the story and include it on a regular basis. For example, "a lot of people think SEO is the most important part of internet marketing, but I'm not so sure..." Then present their case (as you understand it, preferably backed by facts), followed by yours.
  • Polish your blog posts - check your spelling and grammar. This is not texting or tweeting. It's traditional written communication, only shorter than a published article or book. Spend some time polishing, and your readers will reward you with their social media sharing.

By making your blog more authoritative, you will gain the respect of your peers, followers and competitors. They are far more likely to subscribe to your blog and to post comments on a regular basis. You are far more likely to attract other influencers, which in turn helps to build your personal and company brand. Most of us are not professional journalists, but the more we try to adhere to journalistic standards, the better our blogs will be.

For help turning a blog into a content marketing machine download our Blog Post Optimization Cheat Sheet. 


Photo credit: ShashiBellamkonda


Comments

Excellent article. I would add two more: 
 
- further to your point on the facts, i would add: Analyse your own data. Review available data sources and create graphics to convey key themes. Share insights from your own data analysis. This could range from sharing results of a survey posted on your blog, undertaking your own analysis of twitter mentions or social media references made in a given time period on a relevant subject to your blog, or your own analysis of a key industry issue using google trends, or even an industry analysis based on the top 10 blogs and their quantcast or compete numbers.... adding value to your niche sector by crunching the numbers, analysing the meaning behind them, and sharing the story of what the information is saying is an authoritative step. 
 
- clear your throat and be confident with your voice: some of my favorite bloggers are people like adam singer of thefuturebuzz.com and glenn allsopp from viperchill.com. They write with an inspirational flair, and have strong opinions about the sectors they work in. They unabashedly share their advice and have strong views on particular subjects. I find this sort of authoritative voice inspiring, as it urges me to deeply know my field and to have a perspective on what i think needs to happen next. reading their work regularly has changed my writing style already towards being more authoritive. 
 
I think one of the other benefits of cultivating an authoritative voice, as you discuss in the last paragraph, is it also helps you clarify your own ideas and deepen your understanding of the hows and whys behind industry norms and niche givens. Cultivating an authoritive voice makes you question what you are in fact standing for, and helps to flesh out your own viewpoint. I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of building a case over multiple posts as toying with an authoritive voice helps you clarify your opinions and deepens your understanding of the interconnections and influences between everything in your industry or niche. 
 
Wow, a long comment - i guess i really connected with what you wrote, thanks for the encouragement and for such a great post.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 20, 2011 8:17 AM by Mark Boyd
@Mark - wow, that's one authoritative comment ;-) Good suggestions for boosting validity of a blog post. I also like your comment on "voice". If you aren't passionate about what you do and believe in it, you can't expect others to follow you. I guess we could call that leadership. Thanks again for the comments.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:34 AM by John McTigue
@ John, great post! This is really helpful. Thank You.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 20, 2011 11:40 AM by Keith Gutierrez
Thanks, John. Good advice, as always. I would add another pointer, something you regularly do, and that is include other experts points of view, because it shows currency of thinking and confidence to engage in a broader conversation. And everyone benefits when that happens. 
 
Thanks again, John!
Posted @ Thursday, July 21, 2011 10:51 AM by Greg Linnemanstons
@Greg - absolutely. Considering other viewpoints means that you have done your homework and are taking a balanced approach. Crucial.
Posted @ Thursday, July 21, 2011 11:00 AM by John McTigue
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