Do I really need a blog?
Well if that’s the case, the answer is probably yes. It’s no coincidence that ‘authority’ and ‘author’ both have the same origins. And while authority has a dual meaning, both versions of the word imply a sense of power.
But this doesn’t mean that you need to lord over others or dominate them in some way to be a leader in your field. I really like this interpretation from Etymonline - "power derived from good reputation; power to convince people, capacity for inspiring trust.” (my emphasis).
Those are useful skills to have both in life and business don’t you think?
So if you want to be a leader in your field, if you want to have a sense of power, then establishing your authority will require that you do some ‘authory’ stuff. Your goal may be to rise to world fame or it may simply be to be a microcelebrity in your niche but either way you need to step up and put your expertise out there.
Is a blog the only way to do that? Certainly not. There are plenty of leading experts who don’t blog and yet do very well for themselves. You could write a book. You could speak from the podium. You could write a manifesto or a white paper. A thesis even. Even hosting a podcast or a video channel on YouTube is a form of authorship.
You could do any or all of these but having a blog at the centre of your promotional universe yields a good reward on your time investment. Here are five reasons why that’s the case:
If you do use any of the other authority building tools, and you certainly should, a blog can support all your other efforts. You can feature your YouTube videos or podcasts on it. You can promote your book on it by featuring excerpts or readings or publicising a virtual book tour. You can discuss your manifesto or thesis. You can have excerpts of your speaking events.
You can write short blog posts or long blog posts. You can create stand alone audio or video posts.
The infographic below from Digital Marketer shows 58 different types of blog posts. There aren’t many authority building platforms that give you that much flexibility.
A blog post you write today can still be working for you in 2, 5 or 10 years time whereas some of the other tools are likely to have a much shorter lifespan. A book of course has an unlimited lifespan but, unless it’s a classic, the interest usually dies down after a few months (or years if you’re lucky).
A blog post can literally accumulate compound interest. Over time, if you promote it wisely, and as others link to it, it can still be generating traffic many years later.
You can even revise a blog post and generate fresh interest from Google.
And of course, if the post becomes outdated or irrelevant, you can always delete it.
Establishing authority in your field will require that you do some ‘authory’ stuff.
There are some powerful platforms where you can house your authority building collateral. LinkedIn, YouTube and even Facebook (among others). You can even guest post on sites like Medium or Reddit or sites specific to your niche.
Use these other sites by all means but don’t rely on them as your home base as you simply don’t have enough control over them. You put yourself, and your business at the mercy of the decisions of others. Worse case scenario with some of these is that they close your account down for a violation you may not even have been aware of. It’s rare but it happens.
With a blog though, you make the decisions about what goes on there, how it goes on and when.
And keeping in mind that nowadays you are who Google says you are, if you’ve got a home base that is clearly yours, you know that Google will always have your back.
Once you’ve done it two or three times, writing and uploading a blog post is even easier than writing a Word document. If you draft it in Google Docs you can even use a tool like Wordable to do the not so heavy lifting for you.
Hint - the content writing and posting is the easy part. It’s the promoting of your posts, or any content for that matter, that takes the most effort. As a high value export though, that’s not something you should spend too much time on. Automate or delegate as much of the process as you can though so your time is spent wisely on content only.
Authority has a dual meaning. Both versions of the word imply a sense of power. Do you have authority?
There. I said it.
When it comes to marketing, quantity beats quality.
Marketing is a game of frequency and exposure. That’s why Coca Cola, McDonalds et al. spend squillions each day trying to get our attention.
You can write a brilliant book or be a brilliant speaker, but as mentioned earlier, those can be pretty easily forgotten, or at least occupy only a small part of your prospects memory in due course. A blog on the other hand gives you reason to get on the radar of your ideal audience regularly.
Blogging and content marketing legend Neil Patel knows this better than anyone. After ten years he’s got more than 4294 blog posts building his authority. That seems a lot but if you just did 1 blog post a week for 48 weeks a year you’d actually have more than that, 4,800, within ten years.
Even though quantity beats quality, that shouldn’t be used as an excuse to compromise on quality. Neil’s success isn’t just due to the quantity of posts he’s done but also the quality. They are truly epic. If he’d only used that content in a book (or books more likely) or at speaking engagements, he wouldn’t be half as successful as he is today.
But you don’t have to be the most prolific blogger or have the most followers to win at authority marketing. We have clients who do not have large lists or large audiences but, since becoming consistent with their content, they’ve had a much greater flow of opportunities. And when opportunities usually come in 5 and 6 figure amounts, that’s a sizable return on the time and resource investment in keep a blog.
You’re not after global domination, you’re only after a very small slice of a very very very large pie.
The more authority building tools you use the better but, as you can see, making your blog the centre of your content marketing universe makes a ton of sense and can deliver a healthy ROI.
If you don’t have a blog yet, it definitely not too late to start. You’re not after global domination, you’re only after a very small slice of a very very very large pie. Most people settle for crumbs and have the results to show for it but if you claim your slice, your results will be much more satisfying.