When I first started blogging, I didn’t know a single thing about WordPress, Twitter, content marketing, Google analytics, or any of the other topics you see me write about today. But guess what? It didn’t matter. I knew that I could learn.
On top of that, I knew that I could learn enough to know more about all of these topics than a majority of the world. And that’s the state of mind you need to get into for your own niche to become an expert.
I’m going to show you how.
What Is An Expert?
There’s a huge misconception about what it means to be an “expert” at something. You think you have to have decades of experience or be a New York Times Best Seller in order to be looked at as an expert. But that’s not the case at all. In fact, that myth is what causes a lot of would-be bloggers to give up before they even get started.
It’s easy to look at people like Seth Godin or Gary Vaynerchuck and think “I’ll never know as much as them, so what’s the point?” But you don’t have to know as much as the top people in your industry. If that was the case, I would’ve given up on this site a long time ago. That’s not what being an expert is all about.
An expert is just someone who knows more about a certain topic than most other people. John Lee Dumas says this line all the time: In a court of law, an expert is someone that knows more about their topic than other people in the courtroom. That’s it.
I’m not in competition with people like Seth Godin or Gary Vaynerchuck. I’ll probably never have as much experience or knowledge as them. But what I do have is a more in depth knowledge of blogging than a large portion of the world. I’m able to offer value to those people.
I’m willing to be you know more about your blog’s niche than I do. So compared to me, you’re an expert. There’s probably people that know more about the topic than you, but for people who know less than you do, you have value that you can offer them with what you know. And that’s what it’s all about.
Fake It Till You Make It?
When you’re first starting out, you’re not going to have much experience. It’s the reality. But does that mean you should pretend that you’re an experienced “guru” and fake it till you make it?
You don’t have to. Some of the best blogs out were started by people giving you their journey from the very beginning. Tung from Cloud Living is a good example. He’s been writing about his journey of building niche websites from the beginning, and it’s awesome to watch his growth. He didn’t start out saying he knew everything about building niche websites. As he grew and learned more, he was able to share more valuable tips.
Or Chris Bailey from A Life Of Productivity. Chris started out with the site A Year Of Productivity, where he did a series of experiments of different productivity hacks and blogged about the process and results of each. You got to see his failures and successes while he was going through them. Chris didn’t start AYOP saying he was a productivity expert. He tested things out and people started to naturally look at him as an authority on productivity.
How To Become An Expert
It’s nowhere near as difficult as you think. I learned a majority of what I know about blogging, SEO, and online marketing completely for free through blog posts, forums, and videos. We live in the information age where you can learn to do pretty much anything online. It doesn’t take years of school anymore, which is something that a lot of people fail to appreciate. It’s amazing how much awesome content you can get completely for free, but most people take it for granted. Don’t be one of those people!
1. Read Books
Remember, to be looked at as an expert, you just have to know more about your niche than most other people. If you read the top 3 books about your industry or niche, you’ll already know more about it than most people.
For instance, let’s say you wanted to learn more about inbound marketing. Take a week and read the Inbound Marketing book by the Hubspot founders, and you’ll know more blogging, content marketing, and inbound marketing than 95% of the world.
Just head over to Amazon, do a search for your niche, and start looking through all of the top rated books. Or, Google “best books about ___” and you’ll find a bunch of lists of the most popular books in your industry. Buy them, read them, and take in everything you’re learning. Then you’ll be able to teach what you’ve learned to people who know less than you through your own blog. It’s really that easy.
2. Follow Blogs
I’m constantly reading blogs about blogging tips, social media marketing, content marketing, and anything related to online marketing. Why? Because there’s always something new to learn. I don’t care how much you think you know about your topic, there’s always more to learn.
When you’re just starting out in your niche, blogs are an awesome way to soak up a ton of great content. Sites like Problogger and Quicksprout taught me soooo much about how to build a blog, and it was all free.
And right now is the perfect time to use blogs to start becoming an expert. With the popularity of email list building, most niche specific blogs are giving away a ton of free information through eBooks, guides, and workbooks that they could be selling for money.
Head on over to Google and do a search for “____ Blogs” where the blank space is your niche. Or Google different topics related to your niche and you’ll find blog posts from some of the top sites in your industry. For instance, I might search “blogging tips for beginners”.
There’s no shortage of blogs out there. All you have to do is find them.
3. Watch Videos
YouTube is filled with videos to help you learn about anything. Whether you’re trying to learn about healthy cooking, fitness, gardening, mixing drinks, or anything in between, there’s a YouTube channel all about it.
The tough part is trying to avoid being distracted by cute pet videos.
Podcasting is really popular right now, and there are tons of new ones being started all the time. I’ve gotten so much value from Entrepreneur on Fire that it’s crazy. And it’s all free.
Podcasts are a good way to learn because they’re audio. You don’t have to watch or do anything while you’re consuming audio content. All you have to do is listen. You can listen to them while you’re driving to work, cooking, running, or just relaxing. They get rid of the “I don’t have enough time” excuse.
Find some of the top podcasts in your niche, and start listening to them on a regular basis. Soak up all the info you get, and if you have a chance, take notes.
Look for podcasts that have interviews with other people in your niche so that you can learn from all the top experts. A lot of the time, people being interviewed give out some huge knowledge bombs because they’re trying to make a good impression and be memorable. That works to your advantage.
5. Take Action
Doing all of the things I mentioned so far will definitely put you ahead of most people. But in order to really be seen as an expert, you have to take action. If you want to be, do.
I wanted to be a blogger, so I started blogging. Reading all the books in the world would’ve given me the knowledge to write about it, but having the real-life experience of putting together my own blogs from scratch taught me a lot of the things that I never would’ve learned in books, podcasts, or YouTube videos.
Once you start to live and breathe the things you’re blogging about, you’re able to give your audience your personal insight, experiences, and your own unique perspective.
Not knowing enough about your niche isn’t an excuse not to start your blog. Start consuming content and taking action, and I guarantee you that you’ll be able to learn enough to be seen as an expert.