Since the inception of the now popular internet term “blogging” more than a decade ago, millions of websites around the world have been published online and today populate the worldwide web to the tune of about 172 million and rapidly counting. The blogosphere has made leaps in a short time and seems to have no signs of waning in terms of growth anytime soon.
Blogging for the money
For a good number of bloggers around the world, the main purpose of blogging is to make money. But there are also those that blog for the love of it and not really about making a living out of it. In my case and a lot of others, it is both to make money and to do what I love doing which is plain and simple writing what interests me to write. The idea of making money out of a blog is actually often made to appear as the be all and end all of the entire exercise. But this is not actually the case because the amount of money that can be earned from blogging is too little to even support one’s daily needs.
It’s not about the money for most of us
I can say it’s not about the money because I am not earning much from blogging and this is also true with millions of other bloggers worldwide. Yet, I continue to write and publish posts in my website. Money is just a plus and it comes necessarily second in the case of a lot of bloggers. I guess you should first love what you are doing and later money will start to come in trickle by trickle. If your main intention right from the start is to blog for money, then I’m sure you will spend a lot to make sure that your website is ranked well to gain more visitors. When you do SEO in your website, it only means you want to monetize it and eventually earn money.
The question of authority to write
There is now the trend that you have to be an authority in a particular niche to succeed in blogging. This is the resulting effect of having too many blogging websites. If you are going to have a blogging website for the first time, it should be based on your expertise. You should be able to share your experiences and to help other people in order to attract readership to your blog. This is the trend right now and some of those who have expertise in a particular niche have also succeeded in monetizing their site such as Sensoronics. They projected expertise on a particular niche and won the trust of a lot of people who subscribed to their blogs.
Where does blogging authority come from?
The big question actually is how do bloggers become an authority in a particular niche? I ask this question because I have been a freelance writer for three years now and have written a lot of articles and web content for different website owners and SEO companies. I was commissioned to write articles and then they posted it in their websites. I did not have expertise in the topics I wrote but just the same those articles where posted in websites that are authorities in a particular niche.
If there is one thing I learned, a lot of website owners do not actually write their articles and just contract a writer to do it for them. They just give the keywords, number of words per article and off I go to research it using the information from the internet. It is actually a form of re-writing and not really coming up with an all original piece that has no similarity with any web content. Up to now I’m doing this freelance writing and my clients are big websites that are supposedly authorities in a given niche.
What then is the basis of authority in blogging?
As I can see it, you will gain authority when search engines have given you that privilege through page rank and at the same time a lot of people are visiting your site. This means that even if you are not really an authority for a given niche, as long as you can show that you have many visitors and ranked high in search engine results, then you can already have the authority even if you do not really know much about your niche. Internet marketing is one such niche where there are a lot of poseurs actually.
A lot of bloggers try to be known as an authority for a given niche by banding together and helping each other in the form of guest posts, comments and link exchange. The general impression when you see a lot of comments in a blog is that the author or website itself is an authority. This is all the more highlighted when the post was shared through social media sites a lot of times. In truth, it is just a group of bloggers helping each other out to make a name out of blogging. They even go to the extent of creating multiple accounts to comment on a friend’s blog or to post comments in forums. Some website owners actually even hire a freelancer to make comments on a post or forum that they have to create activity and project an image that many people visit the site.
Is there a need to have authority to blog?
Given the above realities, the whole idea of having authority to write on a given niche before you can blog is actually not needed. You can blog on just about anything under the sun. You can write a post about anything as long as it is your own words and not copy pasted. Even if you are not a health expert, you can have a health category in your blog and write about it. To show that you are not assuming too much you can cite a few sources but this is actually not even needed.
All you need is to fake it and you’ll get it
The main challenge however when it comes to desiring to be an authority for a niche is whether readers will actually vacillate towards your website. The number of readers and subscribers you have is an attraction to new visitors to consider you as an authority. But as I said, it is also easily manipulated so you can do something about it using any of the means mentioned above.
As I see it right now, most bloggers are just faking it. Most of us are not really experts on anything. Real experts will not want to share what they know because they should be paid for doing it. Some of them just give a few short advice and tips but not actually to the extent of sharing what they know and do for a living. This is true especially in the case of lawyers, journalists, doctors, engineers, successful businessmen and all other real professionals and experts in a particular field.
Most of the real experts do not have a blog and they just tweet here and there or share in their Facebook account. They do not need to have a blogging website at all unless they need it to get more clients. Some of them make use of a website to connect to more prospects which is again on the side of making money and not really for the purpose of helping people.
For most bloggers however who are not really experts, they have to create an image of helping people or giving answers to questions. The website is made into one big online dictionary of sorts where people are given answers regarding the information that they need. Most of these websites actually have the same content. Although not a duplicate in terms of copying and pasting articles, still the essence of what they post is basically the same. Most of those articles were written by non-experts like me by the way. Should you therefore believe that big blogging websites have real authority in their niche?