How To Create Authoritative Content For Your Blog
Posted by Subhash Chandra
One of the many objectives of running a blog is to establish credibility among your readers. Website visitors are more likely to subscribe to your newsletter or buy your product if they look up to you as an authority in your industry.
But writing a high authority content piece is easier said than done. It is not uncommon for bloggers to suffer from a writers’ block, especially considering that most of the popular topics in your industry have already been extensively written about.
There are however many ways you could still create content that is not only highly authoritative but also engaging to your audience. Here are a bunch of strategies you could explore.
Picking a topic
The topic of your blog post plays a critical role in establishing authority. Pick a topic that appeals to your target audience’s intellect. Take the example of a stock trading blog. Your articles may either hinge on foundational topics like “what is a mutual fund” or “how options work”, or on more complex topics like “how does a Fed rate hike influence your stock purchasing strategy”. The demographics of readers that these articles appeal to are completely different.
Before you pick a topic to write about, understand your audience profile and what they would want to read about. As a general rule of the thumb, your articles must be on topics that are valuable to your target reader. A professional stock trader may not learn anything insightful from a blog post about how mutual funds work. But reading about a new perspective on stock trading would surely interest them.
Linking to resources
Do not dumb your content down more than it is necessary for your target audience. You do not have to explain the fundamentals in each of your posts. Instead, ensure that each line of your article adds value to the topic at hand.
The challenge, however, is that your readers may not always be aware of every foundational topic. Sometimes, they may need a refresher on a specific topic. To help these readers out, you may link to external resources discussing the fundamentals at length. This way, readers who need to catch up on a topic can do so, without requiring you to deviate from the original topic in your blog post.
Many businesses are hesitant to link out to external websites for the fear that visitors may ‘bounce’ and may not come back to your website. Although the instances of this happening is slim, you may deploy a couple of strategies that not only help you retain visitors but also establish your authority even further.
Wiki resources: A lot of online businesses have internal ‘wiki’ pages that are used to host foundational topics. While such sections are not typically considered a part of the marketing assets, they are nevertheless used as resources from within blogs. The advantage of this section is that it helps retain visitors and reduces bounce rate.
(Image Source: SAP)
Multimedia content: Blog content need not necessarily be textual in nature.The advantage of rich visual content is that it is highly engaging. A growing number of businesses today invest in high quality videos and images for their content. In addition to helping with visitor retention, such multimedia visuals also serve as alternate channels to market your business and attract customers.
(Image Source: YouTube)
One of the most effective ways to add authority to your content is by providing your readers with actionable tips; not just theory. There is more than one way to do this.
Step-by-step guide: These are ‘how to’ articles where the reader is taken through a comprehensive list of steps to achieve a process. The reason such articles are so useful is because they serve as guides for the reader while they are looking for help. More importantly, such articles tend to get shared a lot across industry message boards – this improves your visibility among your target customers.
Case studies: Case studies are perhaps the most effective way to emphasize your point. This is because, with case studies, you can showcase how your strategies work in the real world. Your readers thus get a lot more clarity on the topic with this strategy. More importantly, the use of case studies typically involve dissecting real-world examples to make your point. This helps you establish your authority on the subject.
eBooks: Regardless of how useful your blog posts are, studies show that only an average of 5-10% of visitors subscribe to your mailing list. This is because standalone blog posts do not always provide the complete context to a topic. A very effective substitute is to consolidate dozens of related blog posts into an ebook.
This serves two specific purposes. Firstly, ebooks are more thorough in their approach and are thus more actionable by their very nature. More importantly, ebooks generally cannot be read completely in one sitting. This incentivizes readers to download the contents by providing their email address. The conversion rates are thus a lot higher than they are for standalone blog articles.
(Image Source: Shopify)
The final hallmark of an authoritative blog post is one that encourages readers to ask questions and get them answered. Engaging with your audience in the comments section of your articles is a great way to connect and also demonstrate authority. This is also valuable from an SEO perspective since such discussions foster valuable new content to your blog and thus makes it more likely to rank on Google for the target keywords.
Speaking of Google rankings, this is another measure of authority. Prospective buyers looking for help online tend to trust websites that rank on the top of Google search results. Optimizing your content for this purpose builds your authority further which improves conversion rates.