“The world is a stage.” ---Shakespeare
Everybody’s got an opinion.
But, unfortunately not everyone will have the opportunity to be “heard.” Particularly in the virtual world; where there is so much noise, clamor and folks seeking 15 minutes of fame.
Here’s a crucial statistic to consider: according to Statista.com, the number of bloggers is expected to reach 31.7 million in 2020. Which means that competition for the time, engagement and attention of today’s busy readers is becoming increasingly fierce.
All the more reason you’ll need to STAND OUT and stay relevant, to “stay in the black.”
One way to do so is to become a thought leader or influencer in your respective niche.
Before we cover how to accomplish this, I’ll address what an influencer or thought leader is, and why it benefits bloggers to become one.
WHAT IS A THOUGHT LEADER?
Simply put, a thought leader or influencer is a blogger/writer who has earned the reputation of being someone who is informed, interesting, credible, respected and popular among peers.
Another way to think of it is the slogan: “When E.F. Hutton speaks everybody listens.”
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING BRANDED A THOUGHT LEADER?
Thought leaders and influencers typically garner:
- Greater traffic levels to their sites and a higher level of engagement and comments
- Greater credibility; which translates into more sales of information products and creative services
- More opps to partner with major brands and publishers as a brand ambassador and spokesperson
- More avenues to make money through affiliate programs and ad revenue
Here are a few:
Get the idea here?
Don’t get it twisted. Your blog does not have to have a cult like following to qualify. Though it indeed helps.
Now that you know what a thought leader is, you’ll need to know how to become one.
Accordingly, here are the 3 key traits that determine who typically becomes an influencer in the blog community and publishing industry.
I like to call it the 3Rs:
Reputation refers to your brand, your online image, your overall public perception.
It takes into account these major contributing factors: your website design, your social media activities, your writer’s voice, your logo, your slogan, writing awards, and even your guest posts. A solid reputation helps increase your visibility and your social media impact. It also helps to potentially cut down on your marketing efforts considerably. For example, in being recognized as an influencer via my “Top Blog for Writers” designation (for the past few years), I’ve garnered numerous requests to review merchants’ products; invitations to participate in collaborative projects; job offers; and some affiliate offers from major brands. And you can too.
Simply put, a good writing reputation better positions you to be a “go-to-guru,” stand out from the crowd, build your fan base and your bottom line.
Quality trumps quantity. Always put forth your best work. Though ideally, you want to publish on a very regular and consistent basis, it’s better to wait until you have something of substance to share, as opposed to publishing mediocre posts that merely help you meet your weekly quota. If generating ideas is a problem, check out this post to motivate your muse:
Reach simply refers to your collective following. It encompasses your Twitter peeps; your blog subscriber numbers; your Facebook fans; and other social media supporters. Advertisers, publishers, agents and investors crunch the numbers to determine whether there’s a likelihood that partnering with you will be profitable, based upon the size of your social circle. It’s also referred to as your “platform.”
In the absence of massively large numbers, it helps if your blog contributes real value to the blogging community. Bonus points if it’s very unique and/or funny as well.
Strive to be recognized as a resource; as someone who helps and supports other writers and bloggers; who is professional and “plays nicely” with others.
Your work does not have to be Pulitzer Prize level to be popular and well-received. Perish the thought. It just needs to be quality oriented. Write from the heart. "Speak" from an informed position. Have your own style. Take the time to proof your writing for typos and careless errors.
To become the best writer possible, read as much as possible. Read the blogs of respected authors; read outside of your niche; read books in different genres. Reading helps you to build your vocabulary, understand the needs of your audience, and hone your craft.
Becoming a thought leader is within your reach. Consider today's tips as "food for thought" for a more successful blogging career in 2018.
Image credit: Pixabay.com