I’m a big fan of blogging, not least because it goes a long way in turning people into experts. And last Thursday that’s exactly what happened to me – for my status as an “expert blogger” gifted me a slot on Sky News!
There was a story running in the news about some ADHD research showing that many cases of ADHD may just be down to childhood immaturity. I hadn’t seen the story until I received an email, totally out of the blue, from the UK Huffington Post, asking me if I would like to contribute a blog about the subject. Took me back a bit as I’ve never had any contact with HuffPost before – but I read the story, read the original research and came to the conclusion that while the research may be valid, the media had got the wrong end of the stick (and not for the first time, especially where ADHD is concerned.) And of course I replied saying I’d be more than happy to write something for them.Then my phone rings and it’s a producer for Sky News. After discussing the story, and my views, she asked me if a news crew could come round that afternoon to film an interview with me for that evening’s news programme! Of course I was delighted – though it did mean changing out of my slippers and putting a face on. But I was curious. How had she found me, and why did she want to interview me, of all the ADHD “experts” in the country?
You may not know but I have a second business, supporting parents and teachers to help children with ADHD. I’ve written a book on the subject and also speak at conferences around the country. And I blog about ADHD too. Turns out she had Googled for “UK ADHD blogger” and right near the top of the results was the blog on my ADHD Kids website! Having looked through a few posts she decided I was an expert blogger, I obviously knew what I was talking about … and that I was a worthy enough expert for their report!
An hour later the satellite van turned up outside my house and they recorded a short interview with me, discussing the research and why I felt the news stories reporting on it were flawed, and also talking about my experience of parenting a child with ADHD.
The story played out later on their evening news programme, and it’s also on their website – you can see it here. Typically the story was cut short on the news and their website – my thoughts on the subject were completely left out, and the story that ran with the interview followed the flawed reports I was so against, unfortunately. But it did position me as an expert on the subject, and I’m pretty hopeful that Sky News will come back to me in future if they need an expert again. And, of course, it’s provided material for further blog posts, both this one and another on my ADHD site.
So how can you become an expert blogger in your field?
7 Tips to Help You Become an Expert Blogger
1. Blog regularly, as often as you can
OK I hold my hands up. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. But having lots of content on your site, and blogging as often as you can, makes a big difference. There are 62 blog posts on my ADHD site – in Google’s eyes, that’s 62 pages in addition to the static pages on the site. Which means my website is viewed favourably as one that has lots of content, and as a result features quite highly in relevant searches. If you only blog once in a blue moon, your website ends up looking deserted and you’re less likely to be seen as an expert. Instead, make a date to blog once a week, once a fortnight or once a month, put it on the calendar – and stick to it.
2. Blog about things people want to read
Makes sense, yes? Your website isn’t for your benefit; it’s for the benefit of your readers, customers and potential customers. Every now and then I ask on my Facebook page what topics people would like me to blog about, and then I blog about them. That way, I know I’m blogging about the topics that matter, and this gets rewarded by people sharing the posts, giving me a bigger audience, more web views – and a higher expert status. Talk to your customers, reach out on social media, look at what other people are blogging about – and what they’re NOT blogging about. Search out those hot topics, and fill the gaps.
3. Keep one eye on the news
This time I was a bit slow off the mark – I hadn’t seen the news story. But usually I spot related articles in the press and write related blog posts as soon as I can. Being current demonstrates you take your topic seriously – the true mark of an expert! Using Google Alerts is a really good way to keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry.
4. Don’t be afraid to be yourself
The media are looking for real people, not robots. If your blog reads like a painting-by-numbers picture, without any personality, you’re less likely to be seen as an attractive prospect – no matter how much expertise you demonstrate. Show off your personality and share your views, even – especially – if they are a little controversial. Be yourself!
5. Share and share again
Don’t limit your blog posts to your website. Make sure you’re sharing the content on social media – on your Twitter feed, on your Facebook business page, on your personal page if it’s relevant. And don’t just share them once. So long as it’s not too time-based, share old blog posts because your audience is always changing. And re-use content in different ways – as videos, podcasts, downloads…
6. Be easy to contact
How many times have you read an interesting article but been unable to work out how to contact the author? Whether your blog is part of your website or a separate entity, make sure your contact details – including your phone number – are easy to find. When it comes to news stories, time is of the essence!
7. Be open to new opportunities
When the phone rings, or an email pops up – just say yes! Dealing with the media can be scary and nerve-wracking – but it’s also a fantastic chance to raise your profile as an expert and showcase your expertise to a whole new audience. Whether they are asking for a blog post, an article or an interview, seize the opportunity with both hands and enjoy the experience!
If you would like to become an expert blogger get in touch! I’d love to help you set up a blog, come up with ideas or even write a few posts for you!