You know what all the advice out there says, write more content to offer something of value and demonstrate to your audience that you’re an expert, but what if you’re not an expert? You might think that if you’re not an expert you have no right in blogging on a subject however over the years I’ve come to believe blogging is the one of the crucial ways in which we can become experts in a subject.
When should you start blog writing?
If you’re not really an expert in a subject but need to present yourself as such the first thing you’ll probably think you’ve got nothing to say about the subject. This may be true. If it is true and you really can’t come up with a blog post my suggestion is to come up with a list of websites out there where blogs and news articles about the field you need to increase your expertise in.
I’d suggest you search in Google for your industry/topic and words such as blog, news and magazine. This will generally give you a wealth of articles and importantly will give you some up to the minute resources to mine.
Ordinarily I’d say start from scratch and write what you know. If you really don’t understand the subject take and existing article that’s got some topical content and rewrite it in your own words. This might seem like plagiarism however by putting it in your own words you’re going to have to start understanding the subject a little bit. Don’t worry Google will let you off for reworking a piece of content from elsewhere – if the piece of content you rework is a news article you may find there are several websites out there with the same piece of content and because you’ve put it in your own words you might gain an SEO advantage and see the article rank above the original ones.
Once you’ve done this for a few days you’re going to start seeing the trends in the industry and it’s at that this point you want to start adding your own brands’ perspectives on the subject – only do this when you’ve got a bit of confidence (there’s no rush really). Be clear to outline the brand’s values and what makes the article applicable to you.
After you’ve done this for a number of articles you might want to start combining two or three blogs from different people’s websites combining them into one post. Whilst the posts which relate your brand to the topic someone else is blogging about adds value, combining a number of related blogs and rewriting them into your own words, relating them back to your own brand really gives you a perspective to run with.
Once you’ve done this you will probably want to start thinking about writing your own blog. Don’t force this, if nothing’s coming don’t worry, keep going with what you’re doing, rewriting other blogs, adding your brand’s perspective and combining several people’s blogs – at some point you will get inspiration and it will come from the least likely of sources.
You’ll have to write several blogs looking for inspiration in your working life before you want to move onto the next stage. The next stage is planning and if you’re planning out the blog posts you’re writing and are coming up with the titles and arguments off the top of your head (trust me by this time you will be) I think it’s a good sign that you’ve built up a level of expertise.
Can you really become an industry expert just by writing blogs?
As a freelance seo consultant I’ve done this a vast number of times in a huge variety of industries, working across so many industries I find this methodological approach is the best way to build up my expertise in a sector in order to be able to adequately apply my marketing expertise. Research is key and it takes time – rewriting enables you to understand more quickly.
I’ve done this in the automotive industry, the events industry, the HR and Legal industry, the finance industry, leisure and travel sector and construction industry (to name but a few!) each time this has enabled me to pick up on the latest trends and build my expertise to the point where I was able to write content with authority. After over 600 blog articles I was ranked as one of the most influential people in the construction industry, despite just being a marketer, concentrating on copywriting and creating content to provide a SEO impact by adding content – not really a construction industry expert whatsoever.
If you think about newspapers and magazine journalists, most of them don’t specialise, they are generalists who report on things that have happened and offer their opinion – but we read and ponder their opinion simply because they’re putting it out there, why can’t a business owner or marketer do the same? If that marketing manager or marketing director, business owner etc gets picked up as an industry expert are they any more or less of any expert in the specific subject they’ve chosen to crib content about? I’m not sure either way.