Establishing Authority Through Blogging

Establishing Authority Through Blogging

While many people still think of a blog as a personal journal, many businesses and individuals are now using this powerful marketing tool to establish authority in their respective niches and to produce record-setting profits in far less time that had ever been done previously. How is this so?

I am reading an incredible book right now recommended by Mitch Harper entitled, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” (David Meerman Scott, 2007). I am only a third of the way through the book so far, but one of the main topics has been the importance of establishing authority through the *new* online media.

What is the online media? Well, arguably, the most powerful tool in the new online media is blogging. I have expressed many times that I think blogging is one of the most revolutionary marketing tools we have seen in the past 50 years. Through the vast network that is the Internet, businesses and individuals are promoting themselves and their products and services in every niche possible and with refreshing transparency. Through dedicated and innovative marketing, these pioneers are using blogging as a tool to establish authority in their respective niches and are thereby receiving vital recognition and are raking in incredible profits at the same time.

The Importance of Establishing Authority

Why is establishing authority so important? As I said earlier, through the vast Interweb we have been able to find an audience for every type of product and service. There are now many more business opportunities than there have ever been in the past, all thanks to the new online media. When you establish authority in your given niche, you become an industry leader and, from that, consumers start to seek out your products and services instead of the traditional marketing process, where marketers seek out consumers.

Establishing authority is completely opposite to the old way of doing business. In the past, businesses marketing a product had to interrupt your activity to bring a product or service to your attention. For example, a TV commercial interrupts the show you are watching and may be perceived as an annoyance. Now, for every online product and service, consumers are seeking out the business. When someone types in your product or service into Google, are you on the front page?

There are many examples throughout Scott’s book of individuals and companies who have used blogging, community forums, press releases, and email marketing to increase their customer base and to be seen as an authority in the field. It doesn’t matter whether you sell concrete or provide a freelance service; every type of business or service can benefit from engaging the endless supply of niche consumers that exist online. One business in particular established themselves as the industry leader in commercialized concrete! Who says you can’t sell concrete over the ‘Net?

How Do You Establish Authority?

Authority is not something that comes easily or quickly. However, it can take far less time to establish authority than by marketing to traditional media outlets such as television, radio, and newspaper. Most authorities in the blogosphere, for example, have only been blogging for 2-3 years.

For example, let’s take some well-known bloggers such as Darren Rowse, Shoemoney, and John Chow. All of them have been blogging for less than 3 years, but are linked to endlessly and are seen as authority figures in their respective niches.

Of course, it is not only about the amount of time it takes to be perceived as an authority figure. The creators of the above sites have been blogging with a goal of not just engaging, but helping their readers and by marketing themselves and their products in continually innovative ways.

That being said, three years does not represent an excessive amount of time to become an authority; the time they have spent blogging is more than 99% of us have done because blogging is not something most people work at consistently.

Establish Authority By Gaining Credibility

Many people are now starting blogs to simply “make money online,” but if you can delay the temptation for instant monetary gratification (e.g., Adsense), you will establish credibility and long-term trust at a faster rate. Remember, before you gain authority you must gain credibility. By sacrificing short-term profit, you will show your target audience that you are committed to the greater good of serving your audience instead of bombarding them with ads. Ultimately, to gain credibility, you must help people and not just advertise to them.


Whatever niche you are in, take the time to become an authority. Start by building your community of followers and by implementing an intelligently conceived marketing plan. The barriers to entering the world of online business are extremely low, so more people are hopping onboard everyday. Remember this, and do everything you can to implement your master plan for success!

I highly recommend “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott. Like I said, it came recommended to me by Mitch Harper, who is regarded as a true authority in his given niche (CMS and email marketing webware).

I will be covering more topics that I find interesting in Scott’s book in later posts.

25 thoughts on “Establishing Authority Through Blogging”

  1. Dude…I love this quote right here “committed to the greater good of serving your audience instead of bombarding them with ads” Thats what it all comes down to…serving others. With their best interest at heart! That is also one reason i read this blog every day. Thanks Nate!

  2. Hey Nate,

    Many thanks for taking the time to write about my book here. Cool that you found the first third of the book useful and hope that I can sustain your enthusiasm for the rest. Well, certainly the other case examples are inspiring and worth reading even if you tire of my commentary.

    One thing that is so cool about blogging is that you attract a global audience. For example, in my case as a result of my global following, my agent has sold the translation rights for “The New Rules” in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Czech, and Portuguese with more languages to come. You can’t do that with some stupid direct mail campaign…

    Great blog you have here. I’ll have to stop by now and then.

    Cheers, David

    1. Mr. Scott, thank you for taking the time to check out my blog and congratulations on your enjoyable and informative book. I am just getting into the chapter of how blogging has changed your life. I have always said that blogging has changed my life too, and I have only been blogging for four months. I would also like to write a book in the next six months-year describing how blogging has changed my life and what I have learned in the process.

      I agree – I think it is super cool that the world now has access to our ideas, opinions, and ramblings. That’s really cool that your book is being translated into those other languages. China is a market we are working with in one of our current business ventures. Your definitely deserves to be shared with other non-English speakers of the world because it truly is an innovative, revolutionary, and spot-on look into the new world of marketing.

      I will definitely check out your blog as well. Your writing style is both easy to digest and highly informative at the same time. I am already thinking about the online world differently even after the first 50 pages of your book.

      Thanks again for stopping by, Mr. Scott. I am honored to have you as a community member of my blog.

  3. I think the most crowded niche would have to be the ‘make money online’ kind of blogs, they’re a bit too many now and I think i’ll go for something else.

    Nice post too.

    1. I agree that the niche is saturated, but being as that concepts for making money online are always changing, you can still enter into it an be successful. Competition will be found in 99% of niches out there. Even if you create your own, you will have competition entering into your niche (if it is any good of course). Try to differentiate yourself somehow from your peers in the blogosphere and you may have a shot at the make money online niche. Like N8 said in his article, serve your audience.

    2. Sam, I agree that WAY too many people think starting a blog about making money online will actually make them money online. I chose to go a slightly different route by spending most of my time on business, blogging, and marketing. I think those are more applicable to long term profits than short term gains, such as Adsense tricks. “Make money online” is definitely not the only keyword out there worth ranking for.

  4. I think authority and credibility is the different things but related. A person who have credibility might not be an authority but an authority must have credibility.

    I found the book “the speed of trust” by steven is really a good book that talk about credibility, a dry topic but a joy to read for me.

  5. Sounds like a great book as just started learning this area of knowledge less than three weeks ago. However, I will say this on the subject of authority referring to it’s pristine essence of totality:

    Violence is the supreme authority from which all authority is derived:)

  6. This quote really sums up this article: “Whatever niche you are in, take the time to become an authority.”

    Great post Nate, most blogs don’t put in that extra it takes to become an authority, it’s a shame.

  7. More valuable information, I anticipate my journey to authority being a 2-3 year jouney. It takes time to do it correctly, I want the info I provide to be of value as well.

  8. nate, looks like you are not only becoming a well known and respected designer, but a well known and respected blogger yourself. keep up the good work.

  9. Great post Nate – You sold me on the book – I clicked through and ordered a copy! Can’t wait to read it. You have a great blog with lots of good content – good luck with it!

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