Blogging: The Rule of Authority

Blogging: The Rule of Authority

On or off-line, people trust, follow, and share the wisdom and content of those they feel have greater authority than themselves. As children we accepted the authority of our parents, babysitters, teachers, the police, and clergy. When we matured, we also honored the orders of our boss, attorney, or doctor.

 Authority Holds Power

In an on-air stunt, a TV reporter dressed in a uniform and carrying a badge and baton placed a sign on the ATM that read “OUT OF ORDER – GIVE DEPOSITS TO GUARD ON DUTY,” then stood next to the machine.

“Do you need to make a deposit, or a withdrawal?” he asked as each bank patron approached.

Without hesitation, the customers handed over cash, checks, Social Security numbers, credit cards, account numbers, and PIN codes. In two hours time, the reporter gained access to over $10,000 in check deposits and account balances. Only one out of ten showed any signs of hesitation, even though they were all giving away private information that could leave them penniless if it fell into the wrong hands.

When the reporter ‘fessed up and asked the people why they were so willing to hand him money and private information, every one of them stated that the sign and the uniform gave him authority. [1]

Blogging: The Rule of Authority

Online Authority

Google and the other search engines give “authority” to people who have earned a following and share all they can on a given topic. The more “authority” Google ascribes to you and your web page/blog, the higher your page will rank in organic search results.

While the search engine authority equation is complex, the concept is simple: online, your authority is based on what other people say about you, which includes the number of other authoritative people who link to your site or blog.  As humans, we seek out the people who are credible, knowledgeable, and reliable. We give them authority, and when we see that someone else has the “blessing” of those authoritative people, we give them authority, too, so we link to them or subscribe to their blogs and feeds.  Why do you think unknown authors pay $10,000 or more for a two-sentence front-of-the-book “endorsement” from famous names? They become authoritative by association.

How do you Build Authority?

Aside from technical steps related to coding for Search Engines, there are quite a few things you can do. Here are four no-cost avenues with which to start:

Stories that STICK & Educate: “Sticky content” is the stuff that brings people back to your website again and again. It’s relevant to the reader, and it educates. Sticky Content is not loaded up with sales talk.

Great Headlines and Hooks: Without ‘em, you don’t have a chance to attract attention. 80% of people read only the headline. Only 20% read the rest.

Good Content Promotion:  Great Content + Limited Promo = Fail. Great Content + Great Promo = Great Results. Be consistent and strong in your promotions, but don’t load it up with sales talk.

Loyal Subscribers:  You can yammer on all you want about your favorite topic, but you are speaking into the wind if you don’t have a growing following. Offer incentives and/or freebies – an e-book, for example – when people subscribe to your blog, then stay in touch. Look them up on Facebook or Twitter and learn a bit about them, contact them and ask for their feedback. Show them you are interested in them, and your list will grow because they will talk about you to their network.

On or off-line, people trust, follow, and share the wisdom and content of those they feel have greater authority than themselves. Will you be one of them?

[1]  Story told by noted Copywriter Dean Rieck

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How to Make Google Like Your Blog and Rank it Higher

How to Make Google Like Your Blog and Rank it Higher

Part of Google’s Matt Cutts blogging presentation at a recent Word Camp shed light on how Page Ranking works, and how to make your blog relevant to your readers as well as to Google.

In case you are new to the blogging world, page rank is one of the measures Google uses when deciding which websites or blogs to put in the results list on any given search, and in what order.

Google will like your blog and rank it higher based on an equation that includes:

Relevance and Reputation

According to Matt Cutts, the “relevance” side is drawn from what you say on your blog – the content you serve up. Like any other web page, your blog post has to deliver what it says. If your title is “Making People Laugh,” your content must be about making people laugh, not delivering newspapers. “Content” includes the images you use. Learn more about the relevance of image files here.

“Relevance,” then, is what you say in your blog. “Reputation” – the other side of the equation – is about what people say about you and the things you write.

How does Google determine if you are relevant and reputable?

The “Relevance” side of your blog comes from Google crawling your website code, looking to see if the page title and content and images all work together and cover the same topic. If they do, Google will like your blog and rank it higher. The “Reputation” side of your blog comes from the number of people who link to your blog, the importance of those people, the frequency of their visits to your blog, and how deep they go into your blog.

 Here’s a very simplified example of the Reputation side:

You and a guy named Joe both write blogs on the same topic. You have 10 links back to your blog from other sites. Joe has 20. Six of your ten back links are from the New York Times, famous authors, and other “important” people, who tend to come to your blog each week and invest time in looking at a number of posts.  All of Joe’s 20 back links are from his co-workers, friends, and a few of his college buddies, who have linked one time and never returned.

Guess whose blog ranks higher on the “Reputation” side?  Hint: it’s not Joe.

Three Things to do so Google will like your Blog:

  • Make sure your page titles, image names, and image ‘alt’ tags use keywords related to the main focus of the blog post.
  • Scatter the keywords throughout your content, but don’t “keyword stuff.”  Your content should be written naturally, not too sterile and without using the keywords so much that it’s uncomfortable for the reader.
  • Seek out people with authority in your subject who might be willing to link to your blog post. Be careful here so that you are not getting links from disreputable people, and don’t become obsessed with getting back links. When your content is good enough to be shared, back links will occur naturally.

Keep in mind that doing these things may not make Google like your blog and rank it higher right off the bat. But over time, and with consistency, you will see your relevancy, reputation, and page rank increase.

Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies helps small business owners create and maintain blogs that are liked by Google.

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How to Write Gourmet Blog Posts

 How to Write Gourmet Blog Posts

A Single Serving

Single-Servings, Please

Well-crafted, relevancy-rich blogs are like gourmet meals: they’re served up in stages.

Attention spans are short. Demand for relevancy is high, and everyone needs a bit of time to digest one course before going on to the next.

The best blogs are short and intellectually or emotionally nutritious. Just enough, ruthlessly edited for readability and comprehension.

When you think you have a lot to say, say it – then edit it down by half. If it’s still more than three or four short paragraphs, break it into a series of posts, spaced a few days apart.

Just like a gourmet meal.




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Blog your Way to Social Media Stardom

Blog Your Way to Social Media Stardom

Blog your way to stardomEver since sites like WordPress were birthed, people have been launching blogs and linking to them in their social media networks.

Or at least they do it for a while.

Then the blogger runs out of topics, moves to a new job, or just gets bored with the whole thing. The blog fades into obscurity, and the business owner figures all the other social media “stuff” will take up the slack.

Not so, says Jeff Bullas, a globally recognized social media star and technology expert, and he’s joined by others such as Adam Singer of Future Buzz and Darren Rowse at Problogger.

They all say your blog should be your “online home,” and social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn should be “outposts” – the places you have a presence. A strong blog following adds to your Search Engine rankings, and to your social media presence.

Your blog should be given priority for three reasons:

  1. Old articles are still read years later, and are thus given long life by the search engines. Old tweets, Bullas says, “live in archive purgatory where a majority will never be seen again.”
  2. Each blog post contributes to the cumulative results of your site. This is not so for Twitter or Facebook.
  3. Social Media sites are tools to share content. Use them to attract subscribers to your blog. Focus your community building efforts on creating a blog people actually want to read.

Follow these tips to get on the road to Social Media Stardom:

  • Blog regularly – at least once a week.
  • Make it visual – images make things more understandable, and can increase recall by up to 89%.
  • Use a conversational, personal style. Use first person, tell stories, avoid “lectures.”
  • When you motivate your reader, you create action. Ask thought-provoking questions, or activities that involved both sides of the brain. Our brains pay attention to things that are out of the ordinary.
  • Design your content to elicit an emotion. People remember things they care about – things they feel.
  • Solve a problem that is common to your customers or prospects. Leave the sales talk to someone else.


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