Authority Figure

AuthorityCop writing a ticket.  Authority.

Of course I have one in my life, I’m just not sure who it is. My Mommy, maybe. Probably as subject of another post, or more likely, subject of a therapist’s blog.

This is about being one, and why it is important to me and you.

You (and I) need to become an authority on something.

It’s NOT Just About Writing

Writing, of and by itself, is near worthless as a blogging medium. There are people that like nothing better than perfect prose and carefully crafted posts that flow like quicksilver from one point to the next. But that audience is very small and rarely buys anything.

Nope, we are looking for an audience, you and I. We want people to know, like and trust us so that they will not only read our witty and wonderful prose, but support us. And by extension, the products that we represent.

We want to be an authority on something.

Choose Your Spot

Let us suppose that you want to be an authority on flightless birds. You darned well better be one, or someone will chew you up in the comment section with the old Emu v Penguin argument, removing whatever authority you might have acquired.

But you could be an authority on the rescue of homeless, flightless birds. The audience reach would be very nearly the same, and your voice could be the voice of reason and authority in the rescue and sheltering of homeless, flightless birds.

In the Real World

The position of authority in the homeless, flightless bird category is already occupied by Patrick Griffin, the wonderful writer and blogger recently on the TimTech staff. No, you will want to cultivate and curate your authority in a product or service that is familiar and sellable.

Find a product that you are entirely comfortable with and learn everything there is to know about it. Find out new stuff about it (do your research). Then you can write about it, and answer questions about it, and “Lookit me Mom. I’m an authority”.

The Pitfalls

Bad product. You do not want your name and reputation and authority attached to a bad product. Because when people find that it is a bad product, your reputation and authority will be attached to it. Don’t be that guy.

BS. If you don’t know the answer, say so. Don’t make something up. Your honesty and reputation and authority will be questioned. Better to not know than to speculate, really.

Conclusion

Authority is necessary and fickle. It is firmly attached to your reputation and you need to protect both like your 12 year old daughter. Authority is only acquired over time, and you can completely destroy it in an instant. It needs to be fed and cared for every day.

And in the End

Authority. Don’t leave home without it!

I’m just sayin’

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