Authority Blogging

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Sometimes my posts have veered off topic or had only a tenuous link to self confidence or self esteem. This post is more of a reflection on why I blog and how I would like to improve things over the next year. I started blogging at the end of March 2007. So as this is a sort of anniversary, please forgive any self indulgence.

In my recent tinkering and upgrading of this site, I have also added a couple of advertising “widgets”. Whilst I don’t expect this blog to generate any significant income, like most I’m used to getting financially rewarded when I do work that benefits others.

My previous hesitancy was whether putting adverts or affiliate links on my blog would dilute its “authority”. That sounds totally pretentious – and has probably knocked my authority for six anyway! But that was something I picked up in my early days learning how to be a blogger.

The work authority has come up a few times for me recently. Initially I was inspired to write a post for a competition, about being an Authentic Blogger, by Chris Garrett. Despite being someone I would describe as an authority himself Chris responded to my first attempt at a meme. Consequently I’ve been an avid reader of his daily blogging ever since!

Over the past weekend I found myself struggling when trying to explain why I started a blog. I was on a Coaching for Occupational Therapists course – all of us experienced, professional people who are embarking on training that will give us expertise to practice in a related field.

Like lawyers, doctors and other true professions, Occupational Therapists have to continue to demonstrate their expertise to maintain their professional registration. These professions are built on a body of knowledge. In other fields, like management, there is an adoption of the term as “professional” in the sense its a full time occupation which demands certain skills.

But whatever type of “professional” you are referring to, their level of expertise doesn’t necessarily correlate with ability. A doctor may be weighed down with qualifications – but be dreadful when it comes to communicating with a patient. Most of us can recall awful managers, who couldn’t manage.

What I have realized over the past year, is that whatever my expertise in the field of self confidence, I started out as a total novice blogger. And to be an authority blogger you need more than expertise in your field. You also need an ability to write that conveys an authenticity, an awareness that what you write is valuable to the reader.

I chose to blog because I thought it a good way to convey some of my knowledge and skills at developing self confidence, self esteem and other personal development topics. Blogging is interactive; it demands short and concise explanations. I strongly believe that readers will learn from reading good blogs in a way that is less likely from other sources.

Some print journalists scoff and look down on the world of blogging – whilst some of their more astute colleagues have gradually switched codes (or maintained a foot in both camps). I used to read a newspaper everyday – I do so less frequently but keep up with my favorite writers via their blogs. Occasionally I have added my opinions as well.

I’ve also learned that to be an authority blogger, you are sharing a part of yourselves. To some extent “authentic blogger” would be a more apt description. Politicians have authority, but they can totally lack authenticity. As a blogger your readers have to believe you, to trust you.

All the bloggers I follow have their photograph on display. Are we writing from the heart? Yuk! It’s more like infusing something of your own life experience into the information you are sharing. It’s your own interpretation of a news story or something that’s happened to you or someone else – making it relevant to your niche and your readers.

I identified some time ago that to maintain a quality output I cannot rely on my acquired knowledge, I need to continue to read and study on self confidence. That is relatively straightforward as its something I have done all my life. As I said above, I’m also studying and learning how to be a personal (or life) coach, which will also develop my skill base relating to confidence and personal development.

But how can I improve myself as a blogger? I think with practice the quality of my blog writing has improved. My posts are a lot longer, although that is no measure of quality! As an Occupational Therapist I have been to several conferences over the years, which are seen as an important way of learning, disseminating new ideas and keeping up to date with developments. But you also learn so much from just interacting with others in your field, learning from their mistakes and successes.

So I would love to go to a coaching conference, such as the up coming SOBEvent in Chicago (hopefully those nice guys in immigration at O’Hare in December 1981 have now moved on…). A conference is a great learning experience, from your fellow attendees as much as the speakers.

I will continue to learn from those who blog about blogging, as much as, hopefully, you learn from this blog in return. There are certain bloggers, such as Chris Garrett and Liz Strauss, who I follow and look to pick up my own hints, tips and inspiration. It would be hugely beneficial, like in other fields, to have more specific mentoring and advice from such experts.

So over the year ahead I will strive to be an authority blogger. Please help by posting comments and leaving your opinions. I need your voice to keep me on track – to keep me authentic.

Robert | reason4smile April 1, 2008 at 9:43 am

Hi David, you’ve got my support. Be an authority blogger on self-confidence. I believe many people needs this blog!

All the best for your new year of blogging.

Cheers,
Robert

Robert | reason4smile’s last blog post..Ten symptoms of having vision beyond yourself

Jeremy Day October 13, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Great Article! Congrats on getting a shout out on Chris G’s site. I really love both your writing and his. I agree with Robert. I don’t know of any authority blog on self-confidence and I surf the web a lot! Keep posting these great articles. Come on over and visit http://www.insightwriter.com when you get a chance.

Cheers,
Jeremy

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