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The Power of the Written Word: Top 10 Ways to Become an Authority in Your Field

Susan L Reid

At no other time in history has it been easier or simpler to connect with a sea of readers, hungry for what you have to say.

Picture of computer keyboard start buttonWith one click of a button, your article can be submitted all over the world, your blog comment can be distributed to 50 million people, and thousands per day can read your on-line book review at Amazon.com.

The opportunities for becoming a leading authority in your field have never been richer. Not long ago, this would have taken you many years, a great deal of effort, and lots of money. Now you can do it in six months, with a moderate amount of work and minimal expense. Listed in order of the quickest to the most time consuming, here are the top 10 tried-and-tested ways to start becoming a written-word authority in your field:

  1. Leave a comment on someone else’s blog.
  2. Join a discussion board.
  3. Write a review for a book at Amazon.com.
  4. Start your own blog.
  5. Publish an e-Zine or Newsletter.
  6. Submit articles.
  7. Publish e-books.
  8. Publish a booklet or pamphlet.
  9. Develop your own website.
  10. Publish a book.

There are two main approaches to becoming a written-word authority in your field: by joining in on conversations and by starting your own. Both are important. If you just focus on starting your own conversation without joining in and adding your ideas, comments, or opinions to discussions already in progress, you will be viewed as an outsider. On the other hand, if you just dart in and out of discussion boards or only leave comments on others’ blogs, you will not become known. A balance of both is the ticket to written-word success.

Joining Conversations by Commenting and Discussing

Picture of women in converstionLeaving comments on other people’s blog posts, joining discussion boards or forums, and writing reviews for on-line books are the easiest, quickest, and simplest ways to make yourself known. Of course, we’re not talking just about any ole blog, discussion forum, or book review. We’re talking about targeting those in your niche or related field with the express purpose of building relationships and community.

Participating in on-line conversations is the same as participating in face-to-face conversations. You don’t just jump into the middle of a discussion about golf with your ideas about parakeets; you join in on the existing topic and evolve with it as the discussion flows. You make comments on what other people are saying, agreeing or disagreeing respectfully. You show interest and ask open-ended questions. You add relevant insights and further information to the conversation already in progress.

Starting Your Own Conversation by Distributing and Publishing

Picture of women at computerHaving your very own blog and website are the standard calling cards on the Internet today. They are the means by which you announce yourself to the world and open your own conversation with others. You could certainly accomplish this goal with either a blog or a website, though having both is best. That way you will reach the greatest number of people and have the greatest impact on the Internet.

From these two platforms, you can launch your e-Zine, articles, and e-books. You can list and offer all of your other publications as well, including booklets, tip sheets, and reports. You can provide links to further information, open dialogue, build community, and establish relationships.

Just as in face-to-face conversations, it’s better to focus more interest and attention on the other person than on yourself. So, make your blog and website 80% about your intended audience and 20% about you. Since your blog and website will be the first place people come to check you out and get to know you, make it easy for them to find information about you. Make it easier still for them to access lots of free articles, reports, and subject matter that will be of interest and value to them.

Consistency and Frequency

The final recommendation for becoming an authority in your field is to be consistent. The more people see your name and your words on the Internet, the more they will remember you. Join in on online conversations on a regular basis. Start online discussions of your own frequently. Become known as someone who has insight to offer as well as something unique to give.

Why spend years and lots of effort and money? By following the advice in this article, you can develop a strong presence on the internet and become a leading authority in your field in six months or less.

© 2007 Susan L. Reid

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Copyright ©2007 by Susan L. Reid, DMA

Susan L Reid, DMA, Small Business Start Up Coach, Consultant & Accidental Pren-her™ is the author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success. Known for taking the fear out of starting up businesses, Susan provides value, inspiration and direction to entrepreneurial women starting up and launching small businesses. 

To get your copy of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success, go to WME Books or visit www.Alkamae.com. For ideas and start up tips, sign-up for our free e-Zine for entrepreneurial women called LAUNCH YOU! We are blogging at: http://susanreid.typepad.com

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