Years ago I shared some basic tips on how to make your business blog an authority in your niche or industry. Those were high-level goals about your company blog as a whole. Today I’d like to get more specific with some advice on making individual posts on your business blog even more authoritative, and therefore trusted.
To summarize those high-level points first, to make your company blog a legitimate authority, it’s important that you:
- write about issues in your industry beyond your company itself;
- publish bylined pieces from authors who are themselves authorities or experts (as opposed to a more general blog with ghostwritten posts);
- get your owner or key expert staff members on board as credited authors more specifically because they’re better representatives of your business.
The thing is, readers who come across your business blog aren’t likely to dive into your archives right away. Whether or not you earn their trust or convince them you’re an expert resource might depend on any single post a search or link directs them to.
Fortunately, if you’re already an expert in your niche or industry, conveying that authority in your posts is easy enough. Let’s look at how you can do that.
4 Ways to Make Your Business Blog More Authoritative
Here are four ways you can better convey your expertise or authority over the subject matter in your blog posts.
(Note: This applies only if you truly are an expert in the field you’re writing about. These things can’t make you an authority or expert. They help demonstrate to readers that you already are. The only way to build that authority is through experience and / or research. So start there.)
1. Include an author bio below every post.
This is easy enough, and you might already be doing it. But if not, add a short author bio below each post you write.
More importantly, make sure that bio clearly shows your experience level or areas of expertise. Take it as seriously as any other copy on your business site.
2. Focus on educating and offering solutions.
There are many types of business blogs. And each has types of content that are appropriate, and types that are less so.
“Top 10” lists, for example, can be great for driving traffic to more casual blogs or niche blogs. But if you want your company blog to be viewed as an authoritative resource, you’ll want to go deeper than things like that.
Each post should focus on a key problem or idea.
You’ll want to emphasize either your well-reasoned take on a solution to that problem, or you’ll want to educate the reader in some way (either with entirely new information or by helping them see things in a new way).
3. Cite credible, and preferably primary, sources.
If you plan to share data and statistics in your blog posts to make your point, be careful about what sources you cite.
It’s a common misconception that you should link to other popular blogs (nonsense often parroted by internet marketers who use those kinds of links as ego bait to get the attention of those more popular than them).
However, unless that popular blog is the original source of that data, they’re not the source a truly authoritative author would cite.
As a side note, sometimes bloggers share misguided statistics or poorly-interpreted data and aren’t credible sources anyway. Here’s an example where a popular site did just this when sharing data about blog post length vs social shares, and the problems with those interpretations other bloggers happily spread around.
Look for primary sources — the institutions, studies, reports, etc. where they were first shared without outside interpretations potentially skewing the narrative around them.
4. Be the primary source.
Another common misconception, again largely stemming from the internet marketing (and SEO) community, is that every blog post should link to outside sources if the goal is to be seen as an authority.
This is utter nonsense.
First, true authorities don’t base their content solely around Google’s current algorithms.
Second, true authorities often are the primary sources.
Don’t shy away from sharing your insights based on your professional experience. Even better, conduct your own original research and publish the results, becoming a source other publications cite.
For example, you’ll notice most posts on this professional blog aren’t statistics-heavy. That’s because I’m a primary source backed by 20 years of experience in a position to speak, and teach, from that experience.
If you don’t have enough experience to feel confident teaching from it, focus on cited research more.
But if you do, your authority comes from that experience. It’s why you can be trusted to educate those new to the subject matter. And it’s why your colleagues can trust your insight into larger industry issues.
Conveying the authority or expertise you’ve spent years building doesn’t have to be difficult. But it does have to be deliberate. Think about how every blog post you write can further help, teach, or build trust with your readers. Simple changes in approach or sourcing might be all you need to make your business blog more authoritative.