“Help, I’m not an expert!” – What being an expert in your niche really means

“The word ‘expert’ is one of the most overused and abused words in the modern day” – Experts

TL;DR
Being recognised as an ‘expert’ attracts a loyal audience, opens doors to collabs and tells Google you’re trustworthy enough to let you dog sit for them.

And you don’t have to be the biggest know-it-all around. You only have to know a little bit more than the person reading your content – or just have a fresh take or unique experience. Solving problems for users and connecting with your audience to create shareable content is all you need to show off your expertise for Google. Insert metaphor about a peacock here.

Time to read: 10 mins
"Help, I'm not an expert!" What being an expert in your niche really means

The word ‘expert’ does my head in. It’s grossly overused. Especially in digital marketing.

We’re constantly being told to “be the expert” or “position yourself as the authority” – but what if you’re not an expert? Or at least you don’t feel like one…

We are all an expert in something

Expertise is not limited to those at the very top of their field. You don’t even need formal education. For digital marketing purposes, you can “be the expert” by simply having passion and valuable insights to share. By being a person who knows some stuff about some things (spoiler alert: you’re already this person). Not someone who knows all the stuff about everything.

You have a unique experience of the weird and wonderful world we live in and there will always be people who want to learn from you. Your experiences are super valuable to those with less knowledge and experience and if just one person takes something away from your content? You’re already onto a winner.

If you’re at the beginning of your business journey, you could even be the expert in not being the expert yet. Stay with me. Why not take your audience on your business journey with you?

The point is you don’t have to be a mega nerd in your niche. And you can absolutely still be learning.

What does it really mean to “be the expert” for SEO?

In terms of SEO, being the expert is widely known as Topical Authority or Domain Authority – essentially it’s the concept of being trusted.

Authority is defined by Google as a combination of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (or EEAT).

Put simply, if you can share your experiences and become a source that people look to for information, they are likely to rank you higher. 

How to “be the expert”

Connecting with your audience

Create content in a fresh way that will reach an audience who wants to learn what you already know.

Meet them at the level they’re at, tell engaging stories and use your unique tone of voice to connect with them. Respond to comments, and have a chat with them! And create content that lands with your audience’s interests and concerns.

Not sure what they want to learn about? Ask them! Foster a real sense of community 🫶

Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Build an FAQ section with relevant questions about what you do. Always answer FAQs with clear and concise answers to have a better chance of showing up in a Featured Snippet at the top of Google.

Solve problems

Use your knowledge and experiences to help solve a problem for your audience. You don’t have to teach them how to fix their oven with a 30-step instructional guide. Just focus on something they might need help with and solve it.

This could be something as simple as “Self-care ideas for a rainy day” or “Plan your business for the next 12 months“. Anything’s game if it helps your audience over a hurdle.

Creating shareable content

When other people share your content it expands your reach and tells search engines you’re trustworthy.

That person is essentially giving you a thumbs-up – their seal of approval. The more thumbs up you get, the more trustworthy you are. And if you get a thumbs up from someone who also gets plenty of thumbs-ups themselves (backlinks from bigger brands or businesses with higher Domain Authority), that thumbs up gives you even more of a boost.

So, shareable content is mega for SEO. Use infographics that are easy to share, tell stories that really resonate with people and social sharing buttons to your posts. And don’t forget to share it on your own socials!

Quality over quantity

If you’re trying to make your own life easier, it might seem counterintuitive to spend a longer amount of time on one piece of content over bashing something out whenever it feels right.

But naff quality content won’t get you anywhere – other than potentially helping you procrastinate doing something else you don’t want to do.

A few long-form highly valuable articles will have a significantly higher impact than loads of rushed articles. Quality builds trust.

Don’t let imposter syndrome get you down

You are already an “expert” in plenty of areas. Don’t avoid a topic you are super passionate about because you are intimidated by the other “experts” already talking about it.

You have a unique perspective to offer and it’s a damn sight easier to write about something that excites you than something that bores the life out of you!

Where to go from here?

Start by jotting some notes down about all the topics you find potentially interesting enough to sit down and write about. What do you know now that you didn’t know before?

Then think about your current audience and your paying customers. Where do these topics overlap with these people? That’s your starting point. Next, start thinking about content ideas or problems you could solve in that area.

You might find it hard to start with but eventually, the ideas will come. Probably when you’re in the shower and you don’t have a pen and paper to hand so you’ll repeat it obsessively to make sure you don’t forget by the time you get out. But they’ll come.

Keep a running list in your notes app for ideas on the go and add to it whenever someone asks you a really great question. You’ll be known as the person who knows some stuff about some things in no time.

Just getting started with writing content? Try Beginner’s Guide to SEO or Best Practice When Blogging to get started.

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