This guest post is by Rich Gorman of Direct Response.
The tipping point for me, as a serial internet entrepreneur, was when I took up blogging. Blogging has made me exponentially more successful in my business than I ever could have been otherwise—but I know that’s not how it turns out for everyone. For every truly successful, cash-generating blog, there are probably a dozen more than never really seem to take off.
So what’s the difference? In a nutshell, the difference is authority. The bottom line is that anyone can sign up for a blog these days; having a WordPress account and throwing up an occasional post hardly helps you stand out from the crowd.
When you establish authority as a blogger, though, people within your industry sit up and take notice of you. Once that happens, you’re already on the inside—you’re an industry leader on the fast track to success, and you’ve got your blog to thank for it.
How does a brand new blogger develop authority, and become known as a true mover and shaker in his or her given industry? The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what industry you’re in—whether it’s online marketing, reputation management, or something else altogether. The key to becoming known as a blogger of authority is showing a willingness to give away trade secrets.
Personally, I’ve given away hundreds of trade secrets on my own blog, and I’m much better off because of it. That’s because when people visit my blog, they find useful, practical, make-money-in-the-real-world-now tips and techniques that they can’t find anywhere else. Immediately, readers see that I know what I’m talking about. And when they put these trade secrets to use and start making money from them, they’re obviously going to keep coming back to my blog for more.
But what does giving away trade secrets really look like? Here are three essential tips that have served me well, along with some examples.
1. Share actual trade secrets
If someone can conduct a quick Google search, or go buy a book, and find the same “insider information” you’re sharing, then guess what? It’s hardly a trade secret! The effect you need to go for is to make your reader say, “Wow—I couldn’t buy a book on this subject! This is truly revealing, and truly valuable!”
The best way to do this is to share insider secrets that you’ve actually come across on your own, and used yourself. Base your blog writing in your own experience. I once wrote a post about vertical monopolizing, where I shared some real, step-by-step techniques that have worked wonders for me—right down to the very URLS readers can visit to follow my lead. This is my story of success, written in a way that it helps readers make it their own—and that’s why it’s effective!
2. Give something away
You’re not really revealing trade secrets if you give someone half a blog post, then tell them to sign up for your services to learn the rest. This is not about teasing and tantalizing. Building authority as a blogger means you actually have to provide some value, right here and now, through giving away your secrets of success.
I did a post on media buys that more than fits the bill, and shows you what I mean when I talk about giving something away. This isn’t a post that suggests possible actions, or gives the reader some good places to start from. This post will hold your hand and walk you through every step of the process.
And that’s really what you need to provide to your readers. You need to give them the whole thing, and leave them with the unmistakable impression that you’re someone who gets your industry on a higher level. That’s what will keep them coming back for more.
3. Get specific!
For an example of what I’m talking about, check the post I did here. In this post I give the specific names, phone numbers, and email addresses of vendors I trust. I tell my readers who to contact, what to ask for, and even how to secure a discount!
By contrast, consider if I had simply said, “find some good vendors,” then sent my readers off to Google for their own contacts. This would have been slightly helpful, perhaps, but really, it’s information they could have heard from anyone. It hardly establishes me as an industry insider, or as a blogger of authority.
That, of course, is what all this is about: showing those within your industry that you’re a leader, not a follower, and that you’ve got original ideas that lead to immediate value. Giving away these trade secrets reveals that you get it, and that you’re confident enough to share it with others—all of which is essential for setting yourself up as an authoritative blogger.
Do you give away trade secrets on your blog? Le us know how this tactic has worked for you in the comments.
Rich Gorman is a veteran of the direct response marketing industry and an expert in reputation management and direct response marketing for companies large and small. Rich also operates the official blog for the Direct Response industry, Direct Response, where he shares his thoughts on Direct Response Marketing.