… then no one really is, right?
One of the reasons it’s difficult to trust sources online is simply because it doesn’t take anything except a little bit of deceit and self-denial for anyone to name themselves as an ‘expert’ in whatever they darn well please (and they can get away with it too)!
Your challenge then as a blogger is to overcome this gap and the learned response by readers (and the internet at large) that will naturally make them want to be cautious when engaging with a new property and blog. At times this challenge seems like a hurdle that’s too large to overcome!
Although I haven’t gotten it perfect all the time, there are two things that I’ve tried to do consistently that have done a fair job of bridging the gap between myself and my (future) readers. It is also worth noting that the blogs that I read and the bloggers that I trust seem to hold these two elements in high regard as well!
1. Honesty & Humility
I try to be as honest as possible with what I know and do not know. I also try to stay humble and remember that I too started at square one at one point.
It would seem like an obvious strategy but I often feel at times that the bloggers that I read are embellishing their results or “stretching the truth” a bit to seem more trustworthy or “real”; our job as bloggers is to provide the most authentic and real portrayal of what we know and what we do not know for the sake of our readers!
I also feel that there’s little room for rampant dogmatism as it relates to execution and being able to admit that your perspective is simply that, your perspective, with many others out there, can be a very healthy thing!
2. Admit Limited Expertise
One of the things that makes me chuckle is when I see an “experts” biography or ‘About’ page that says they are experts at 10 different things. You see this a lot with online marketers and the like but they aren’t the only offenders:
I am the CEO of Awesome Business One, Founder of Amazing Business Two, and Executive Creative Director of Fantastic Business Three. I have operated 100 different companies, selling 50 of them and helped 1,000′s of other businesses become just as successful as me. I’m an expert marketer and brand manager as well as creative designer and software developer. I can also bench press 500 pounds, throw a football 110 yards, and speak 7 different languages fluently.
The point I’m trying to make is that it’s extremely hard to be an expert at even one thing, let alone two! And perhaps it’s even more wise nowadays to simply admit that although you’re growing your expertise in specific areas and would not yet consider yourself an “expert” yet!
This ties well with #1 above as well.
Finally, one more suggestion is that you concentrate on creating value for your readers instead of explicitly trying to earn the title of “expert.” The former will grant you authority and respect while the other one will make you look shallow and manipulative.
The online world doesn’t need more “experts”; it needs more people willing to admit that they aren’t!