In today’s blog post we have Dave Schneider of NinjaOutreach telling us about 5 ways to add more authority to your writing. He provides some great tips on how you can do it to increase trust in your content and even grow your business.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but nobody is writing for people not to believe them, right?
We all want to write with authority.
The more we write with authority, the more people trust us.
The more people trust us, the more value our writing has, because more people will take action as they read it.
And, from a business perspective, the more that people trust us, the more they are inclined to buy from us.
As such, there are in innumerable number of reasons to want to add authority to our writing.
So how do we do it?
Do we use bigger words so that we can sound smarter?
Perhaps that might work for some audiences, but in most cases people turn to blogs as opposed to books because they tend to be more to the point and digestible.
While I would not advise using bigger words in your writing just for the sake of it, I do have a few tactics that you can start using today to improve the authority of your writing.
Did you know that 93% of blog posts do not reference any data?
Okay, that was a made up statistic.
Had it been true though it would have been a lot more compelling than saying something to the effect of “most blog posts do not reference any data”.
The fact of the matter is that finding and referencing data is easier than ever before.
Simply think of a statistic that would support your point, Google it, find a relevant article, and reference it in your post by linking to.
It’s that simple.
For example, in a recent post I wrote about why most blogs don’t make any money, I might start off with the following references.
Instead of just saying most laws don’t make any money, I have data which shows just how many blogs as well as how few of them are making any money at all.
Cite An Expert
An expert is like a living data point.
Although they may not be able to provide you with something like 53% of blog posts are over 1000 words, they will provide you with a compelling opinion on a topic.
An extreme example of this is a round of post, for example here’s one that I wrote called 39 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their First EVER Sale.
In this post I cited 39 experts to get an understanding of how they made them for sale online.
But a much simpler way might be to just grab a few quotes or even a tweet from another individual.
Not only does it further validate your argument, but it also shows your audience that you put in effort to do actual research for your post.
If you’re struggling to build relationships with influencers, try these 5 unconventional influencer marketing methods.
Incorporate Awesome Design
One of the core things that I believe is lacking from most blogs is awesome design.
Honestly, I get it.
Firstly most of us do not have the web design skills to really put together an amazing image to accompany our article.
And even if we did, who has the time.
The alternative is to hire a designer, but that can be expensive, even if it is outsourced.
And again, who has the time to think ahead and get images in advance of writing an article!
But the truth is that blogs that have awesome design immediately convey a sense of authority.
Now, in those 15 seconds do we think that people are spending a lot of time reading or looking?
My guess is that most of those people are simply looking around, deciding whether or not the blog/website conveys enough authority to make it worth reading.
After all, anyone who has been blogging for some time can spot a custom image, and we know how much work that requires.
Just look at Brian’s blog BackLinko, every post is filled with custom images:
And yes, I realize I’ve already referenced him twice in this article, but the fact is the man has awesome design.
And you should too.
Here are some places to implement custom images:
- Featured images. Here’s a great article from Anna on how to do it.
- In post images.
- Landing Pages
And the great thing about design is that you can use it over and over.
For example, on NinjaOutreach, our blogger average software, we have this banner that we use for giveaways.
We are trying to run giveaways once a month, and now we have an awesome looking banner to do so.
The lesson here is that if you are struggling to improve the design of your blog, start with the things that will benefit you for a long time and which rarely change.
Make Yourself A Case Study
Depending on your niche that can be quite a lot of fake it until you make it.
Basically, a lot of people who like to talk the talk, but are they really walking the walk?
I’ve certainly had my suspicion over the years of people who are writing about things they knew very little about. For example, people in the make money online niche, who actually don’t make any money online at all (or at best do so by telling other people how to do it).
To this day, this is still a problem in many niches.
One way to overcome this is through a live case study.
This is where you make a public announcement to your audience that you will be undertaking a project, and then you revealed the results to them live as they happen.
An example is Jon Haver’s Authority Website Case Study.
And even if you don’t want it to be live, you can still write about something that took place, and simply provide the data as you have it.
Either way, you’ll will be placing yourself well above all the other people who are not practicing what they preach.
Increase The Length Of Your Articles
This is probably going to sound very gimmicky, much like when I said you should use bigger words.
But it’s not meant to be.
In my personal experience, the articles that I see which tend to do the best are very long and in-depth.
It is just very difficult to put together a very authoritative in research article in a few hundred words.
That might be different if you are simply telling a story or providing some sort of opinion and you are not intending to write a strong authority piece.
But more often than not, your article should be in-depth.
And for those people who don’t believe this, we have another data backed article
SerpIQ studied search results rank based on content length. Here’s what they found:
The higher the Google SERP position, the more content the page has. Notice that every one of these first page results has content exceeding 2,000 words.
Anyone can start a blog, there are no barriers to entry.
But authority is something that you have to earn.
And honestly, that is a good thing, because the rewards of having authority are tremendous.
David Schneider is the Content Director at NinjaOutreach an all in one Influencer Outreach software for marketers. He blogs about business at SelfMadeBusinessman. You can also find him on twitter @ninjaoutreach