In our previous blog post, we discussed the proper way to insert yourself personally into your content marketing and some of the ways you can share your knowledge and expertise as a subject matter expert. However, just posting informative content to a blog or social media service doesn’t automatically mean you will be accepted by your audience as an expert – there are a number of tools and strategies you will need to utilize in order to ensure that both new and returning readers will accept you as an expert in your field and return to your blog and social media accounts in the future.
Ensure That The Information You Post Is Accurate
The first step towards establishing your credibility as a subject matter expert is demonstrating to your audience and other online readers that you know what you’re talking about, and the best way to do that is to ensure that the information you include in your content is accurate and free of errors. You are likely aware that there can potentially be serious repercussions for plagiarizing or libeling someone on your blog or social media and that posting information that isn’t completely accurate can also severely damage your reputation.
The Internet Is Forever
Many of us blog and post to social media in our personal lives, and we have grown accustomed to how easy the process can be to share information online. That casualness and ease of use, especially when compared to the process of being formally published by a third party, can sometimes result in a casualness during the writing process, especially if you believe that few people are actually reading what you’re writing. However, as the saying goes, the Internet is forever, and content you publish to a blog or social media can be retained online for years or even decades to come and can be accessible to new readers and potential customers through a search engine.
Check Credible Sources
The easiest and most effective way to ensure that your content is as factual and error-free as possible is to fact-check your content prior to publishing. If you are not completely certain that the information you are posting is accurate, do a quick online search and verify that credible online sources have posted the same information – these sources can include books, newspapers, magazines and postings by well-known and established experts. Be wary of other blogs and social media accounts, as it is possible that other amateur and even semi-professional writers may be sharing the same conjectures and misinformation.
Document Who You Are With Online Bios
If you are presenting yourself as a subject matter expert, it is important to ensure that your readers can quickly learn who you are and review your credentials. While this may sound obvious, it is often surprising how many professionals fail to write a proper online bio and include it with every blog and social media account. A proper online bio should be short, concise and include enough information for a reader to verify who you are and what makes you an expert in your field. While your bio will vary in length depending on the platform and service, most bios include a brief description of who you are, what you do, and should include a summary of your experience and current position. While writing and editing your bio, it is best to prepare long, short and abbreviated bios, as your blog bio has no limit on the number of characters used while other services, especially Twitter, strictly limited bios. Take as much time as you need to ensure that, no matter the length, that each of your bios includes enough information to gain the trust of your readers and followers.
Seek Out A Bigger Platform For Your Work
A growing number of online news sites and magazines have begun to accept submissions from semi-professional and amateur writers while simultaneously limiting or even eliminating the number of full-time editors, reporters and writers they retain on staff. As revenue from formal print media continues to fall, many media outlets such as Forbes and publishers such as IDG are now seeking out less expensive (and sometimes even free) content to publish online through their growing contributor networks. While this isn’t a positive development for professional reporters and writers, it has presented opportunities for other professionals and amateur writers to establish themselves as experts and find an audience online, even if they aren’t directly paid for their contributions.
Don’t Give Up
If a prominent website such as Forbes declines to publish your content, don’t give up – there are still other sites, blogs and newsletters who are actively seeking contributions. If your content is published elsewhere, especially if you aren’t being compensated, ensure that a short bio is included along with links to your website, blog and social media accounts.