PS has worked as a freelance writer since 2012. When she's not traveling and writing, she helps people with web design and development.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
— Kurt Vonnegut
What is Authority Content?
Authority content is the crafting of quality content that demonstrates your expertise by delivering valuable information to the readers rather than just claiming it and saying, “We are the best brand in the world.” For example, if you tell people that you’re the world’s best software developer, it won’t have the same effect as showing them you actually are. To be short and precise, “SHOW, DON’T TELL.”
Elements of Authority Content
To craft an effective authority content, it needs to have the following 4 important elements:
Authority indicates power, an influence strong enough to make your audience do what you want them to do, but websites don’t have such power to lure their audience into responding to a call to action. It is in the hands of writers who can undoubtedly produce content that compels the majority of the audience to take a certain action. Your article goals must have a clear description. Think about your title and the first word of your first paragraph.
Some common calls-to-action can be:
- Click a link
- Buy a product
- Subscribe to the mailing list
- Use a service
- Change opinion
Sometimes a writer just wants to entertain his or her readers, or cause readers to share the content on social media.
Your potential to convince your visitors to perform a certain task gives you a sense of authority.
Quality is an essential element of anything and everything. It's quality, not quantity that holds your readers to your websites for a longer time. Most of the Internet readers don’t care if your language matches with the Professional Standards or not. They only notice the grammatical and structural errors.
Building high quality doesn’t only rely on writing grammatically correct sentences. At last as important are the quality of information delivered to the audience and the match of the writing style to a specific website.
Trust and Influence
If your readers trust you, they’ll, surely be influenced by you. Both these terms go hand in hand. Just think about it; what makes millions of people buy from Amazon rather than other websites when they can find the products at a cheaper rate? Also, why so many people browse CNN’s website to know the latest events and news? They do it because they find these sources trustworthy.
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Being a freelance writer, you don’t command the resources the large companies do. But you still have ways to establish trust and influence the readers. Here are a few things you must do:
- Include credible sources
- Write trustworthy facts
- Establish credentials
- Include ersonal experience
- Speak your story
- Use reasonable arguments
- Define your call-to-action
- Brand your content
Consider the Example of Amazon
Amazon has always been my favorite site for online shopping. I have been using it for a couple of years now. No doubt it is a very popular example of e-commerce websites. With so many thoughtfully designed e-commerce websites on the Internet, Amazon tops the chart every time.
It became famous as the largest online bookseller, but a huge number of Internet users also visit the site to buy clothing and jewelry. You must have seen many other jewelry and clothing websites, but none of them sell as much as Amazon does. The reason is branding. Amazon has deliberately done an incredible job in branding itself.
Branding is how you describe yourself and how others describe you.
Do search engines function on the basis of branding?
Earlier before 2010, Google used to rank the websites on how many times they used certain search terms in their websites, not on the power of their content. But now, Google has become smarter in sorting out the prominent sites. So:
- Write meaningful content.
- Establish your own brand as a company, domain name or professional writer.
An established brand will help you gain readers’ trust. Your brand will influence them to follow certain tasks, and thus, you will gain authority even before readers come across your new article.
This will help you reach new audiences through search engines and social media sites.
What makes content authority so important?
Content authority is an art by itself, it doesn’t come by pretending to be credible. You, actually, need to be credible.
- It widens your reach by giving you more readers for your articles.
- It makes you easily searchable on the search engine.
- It encourages Internet users to look for you.
- It offers you new clients and more jobs to do.
Example: How to Demonstrate Your Expertise through World-Class Authority Content?
Let us take the example of a person named Michael. Michael started his writing career at a company named ABC Corp. While working with the company, he became well-known for his creative thoughts that helped the company run successful campaigns and discover new ideas. He continuously modified his writing to bring better results.
After ABC Corp., he carried the reputation with him that brought him higher recognition as a “creative writer” when he worked at a few more agencies.
He later started his own work where he developed several articles on case studies, which lead to the series of successful ebooks, primarily focused on creative writing.
These articles and ebooks automatically proved Michael’s expertise. And people believed what he would say about himself. And undoubtedly, after a while, he was offered big projects by different organizations who even asked him to speak at events.
Michael didn’t claim he was "the world’s number one writer,” he demonstrated it indeed.
As you must have understood by the above example, authority content is all about empowering your audience. Your content delivers to them what they want to know. You give them the power to proceed further without asking for self-recognition. The more you help your audience, the better you get recognition and that’s what authority content is all about.
How to Create Authority Content?
Here are four suggested steps to help you build a strong audience base with the power of your content:
- Select a Topic: Choose any topic in which you excel. Focus on a specialized field. For example, I can develop various types of websites, so I would go with web development. To make it narrower and more specialized, I would choose Web Development with Ruby On Rails.
- Build a Series: Instead of writing one long article, break it down into smaller sub-articles, at least five. Include trustworthy facts, sources, surveys and lists to make a build a stronger viewpoint. Try to publish each of them weekly.
- Combine the Series: Once you are done writing your articles, merge them into a downloadable PDF.
- Market the Series: Share your work on online communities, such as Reddit and social media sites, write a blog and guest post about it. Also, notify your email subscribers.
This will actually let you do business with more people at an elevated level with higher income.
Let us get into these 4 crucial steps in detail:
1. Monitor Your Competitors
Before creating your own content, it is important to analyze the famous competitors in your niche:
- Identify the famous blogs
- Identify the famous influencers
- Identify their writing style
- Identify their popular posts
- Identify the jargons and specific terminology used by them
- Identify their audience through their posts on social media and online forums
2. Narrow Your Focus
To build authority content, you need to craft a well-researched and in-depth content.
- Avoid writing on a general topic, it will demand much of your time in researching and finding the best information.
- Avoid using an unknown niche; it is almost impossible to build an informative content in this situation.
- Put your focus on narrow topics and break them down into smaller articles.
- Example of General Topic, “How to Develop a Website”
- Example of Specialised Topics, “How to Develop a Website using WordPress in a Day”, “How to Develop a Website using Node JS for Beginners” or “How to Develop a Website using Laravel Framework”
As you will see, it's easier to research specialized topics than general ones. It will let you provide actionable content to the audience, giving you authority in your field.
3. Use Engaging Visuals
- Use snapshots and lots of other visuals to make a more understandable point.
- According to several neuro-marketing experts, adding images, even when they add no apparent value, helpz readers remember the content longer.
- Use Evernote Web Clipper to edit your images and add text and symbols to them.
- Create your own animated gifs to engage the readers more.
- If your content includes a product review, try to include a video that shows a product demonstration.
- Visuals make readers stay on your websites for a longer time, boosting your SEO ranking.
4. Quote the Experts
Using the experts’ quotes help you achieve credibility much faster. Since you are new to the readers, they don’t know you, but they know the experts.
- Ask the experts to use their quotes.
- Search for the most popular blogger in your niche and you’ll have the names.
- Use quotes from popular blogs along with their reference
- Go to Amazon, find your niche books, check the author’s name and find their quotes through a search engine.
- Besides writing about their views, also make use of snapshots.
Even famous people like Oprah Winfrey have used this strategy to build their trustworthy empire. They interviewed other famous people, which ultimately helped them establish their own credibility. This is the power of building a strong association with the experts.
5. Add Researched Facts
Use numbers in your content. Content with numbers is comparatively more eye-grabbing. For example,
- Using facts in your content increases effectiveness and conversion rate.
- Using facts in your content increases conversion rate by 80%.
Which of these, you think is better? Additionally,
- Use established facts from research and surveys conducted by experts.
- As a newbie, refer regularly to niche-related studies and numbers.
As your readers build trust in you, they’ll rely upon you even when you don’t go in much depth.
6. Use Conversational Style
Your writing should reflect your confidence and a sense of expertise.
- Use “I”, “me”, “you” rather than “we” and “us”.
- Give instructions; guide your readers confidently to do something, using decisive words.
- Use short paragraphs and sentences.
- Ask for feedback and comments.
- Use a conversational tone. In other words, write the way you speak.
The conversational tone is very effective in making your points to readers. It feels more like talking to them rather than just delivering them with a comprehensive passage.
As per the Harvard Business Review, a conversational tone produces higher oxytocin in the human brain. Oxytocin is responsible for making the brain feel empathy for another person and encourages the building of a positive relationship with them.
7. Engage with Influencers
Social media is a great place to connect with other influencers in your niche. Finding them isn’t difficult. Just do simple research with hashtags and you’ll find all of them.
- Follow them.
- Ask questions.
- Build conversations.
- Get involved in chats in the comment box.
It will help you generate lots of ideas for your next piece. Also, you will learn a new strategy for how to build a stronger reader base.
8. Read Niche Books
Reading books is not everyone’s forte. But it’s one of the best ways to develop an authority in a particular field.
- Read 2-3 books on Amazon on the subjects you like.
- Read books on the basis of reviews. Even if you know nothing about that particular book, it is good to get hold of it to get an idea of what’s happening beyond your niche. And who knows, maybe you can use it to build better content in your niche.
- Reading books gives you a competitive edge in the business market.
You can also get an idea of what a book is about by reading its reviews or downloading a sample book to your device in the Kindle edition.
9. Organize a Webinar
Hosting a webinar is the most trustworthy way to build higher authority in your subject and gather more audience.
- Use the search engine to find the most reliable webinar tools.
- Invite people to attend the webinar. Tell them how it will benefit them.
- Make use of chat and feedback sections to continuously interact with your audience.
A webinar is a sure method to get engaged with readers, solve their problems and establish credibility.
10. Host a Summit
A virtual summit is an online event where people share their knowledge and experiences with each other on a specific topic. By hosting a virtual summit, you have the advantage to make your brand famous and more trustworthy.
- Use Skype or Google Hangouts
- Free access to live users and paid access to the ones who wish to receive the completed event.
- Help you build your email list.
- Invite at least 15 experts to interview
When you interview these experts on a particular topic, asking intellectual questions, people frame you as an expert.
Through the virtual summit, you also get the opportunity to gain immense practical knowledge in your niche within a very short time.
Some Additional Tips to Become a Master of Your Content and Build a Stronger Authority in Your Niche
- Create round-up posts. Pick a problem and find the solutions experts offer on different websites. Take a screenshot or use the links in your blog to create a new unique post with expert opinions. You must also add your views, below every opinion, in a few sentences.
- Invite people to do guest contributions to your site. Delivering articles by different niche experts will help you establish credibility for your brand. Most of the people engage in guest posting to increase traffic to their original post and gain followers on social media. Join social media groups and ask the members to guest post on your site and receive social media promotion and backlinks to their sites in return.
- Join two or more trade organizations. It will give an effective presence in the meetings. Also, you have the opportunity to label yourself as a business owner and build your brand with greater confidence.
- Write a guest post and make a podcast to show your authority in your niche at different places and to a wider group of audiences.
While building authorititave content may not seem like a big deal for most people, gaining recognition as an expert in your field has its own perks. It helps you build yourself as a trustworthy brand among readers who will certainly reach out to you when they need help the next time.