How to Become the World’s #1 Expert in Your Niche

Whether you’re a brand, a webmaster or a solo blogger, it’s essential your audience takes you seriously.

You need to prove you know your stuff.

But in a world that’s become increasingly saturated with self-appointed “gurus,” it’s become incredibly difficult to separate yourself from the masses.

That’s why authority and credibility have become the name of the game.

How do you achieve authority and credibility?

It’s not something you can buy. It must be cultivated, and that takes time.

You can’s just go from being an unknown to being a top industry expert overnight.

But I’ve learned over the past decade that there are several ways to expedite the process and attain expert level status within a reasonable amount of time.

In this post, I would like to share with you some lessons I’ve learned, top strategies I’ve used as well as some specific tools you can use to become the world’s number one expert in your niche.

You need to be all in

Before you do anything, you need to make sure you’re truly interested in and passionate about the niche you’re focusing on.

Let’s be honest.

It’ll be an uphill battle if you’re only lukewarm about the topic you are choosing.

Talking about it, writing about it, vlogging about it will inevitably become a chore, and you’ll lose momentum.

I can’t tell you the number of projects I’ve abandoned over the years simply because I wasn’t fully invested in them.

I lacked the passion.

And as Gary Vaynerchuk would say, “Passion is priceless.”

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What I’m saying is before you get in too deep, make sure the niche you’re focusing on is something you’re deeply interested in and passionate about.

This is the key to sustaining you for the long haul.

Quite frankly, this has been a huge factor in my success.

It’s not by chance that my niche is digital marketing.

I truly love it. I eat, sleep and breathe digital marketing.

Talking about it all the time doesn’t feel like work. It’s fun.

That’s how I’ve been able to write over 4,000 blog posts over the past 10 years.

I would have never made it otherwise.

The bottom line is you need to be all in before anything else.

That’s a prerequisite.

And here’s a little slice of advice.

The smaller your niche is, the quicker you can build influence.

In fact, a study by Technorati found,

more than 54% of consumers agree that the shorter the community size, the greater the influence.

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Keep it in mind because “niching down” is often a good idea when you’re seeking to attain expert status in a hurry.

Make learning a habit

Before you can share your knowledge with others, you need to accumulate your own pool of knowledge first.

The quickest way I’ve found to build a solid body of knowledge is to surround myself with the topic I’m interested in.

In other words, you need to get in the habit of learning continuously.

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Fortunately, the Internet is the ultimate vessel for building your knowledge.

It’s simply a matter of finding the best possible resources for research and learning.

This usually starts with blogs, slideshows, infographics, etc.

But I have a little trick for streamlining things and finding some of the top resources quickly.

Here’s what you do.

Let’s say you want to become an expert in urban farming.

First, go to BuzzSumo.

Type in a search phrase.

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Then click on “Content Analysis.”

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Now click on “Search.”

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You’ll get a bunch of results.

Next, scroll down to the section called “Most Shared Domains by Network.”

You’ll be able to see which websites, blogs and publications are receiving the most shares.

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The pie chart on the right will give you a visual perspective on things.

For instance, it’s clear that inhabitat.com is killing it in terms of shares relating to “urban farming.”

It’s definitely a site I would want to check out.

You can also scroll down to the bottom to see the top 10 pieces of content for the moment.

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I’ve found that BuzzSumo is absolutely perfect for identifying key resources for research.

Build a hub

There’s a lot I love about content marketing!

But what I love the most (besides increasing sales) is that it has allowed me to build my reputation and establish a loyal audience.

When it comes to boosting your authority and credibility, I can’t think of a better way than simply creating great content around your niche.

It’s the perfect way for putting your money where your mouth is and proving you truly know what you’re talking about.

Create your personal “hub,” where you use a variety of different mediums to discuss your niche.

Allow me to use NeilPatel.com as an example.

I use it to show potential clients I’m legit in a few different ways.

First, there’s my blog.

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I make sure it stays populated with high-end, in-depth posts on everything digital marketing.

Next, there’s my collection of videos that I refer to as “Neil Knowledge.”

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Here, visitors can watch brief videos where I share my knowledge on a variety of digital marketing topics.

Then, there’s my podcast that I call “Marketing School.”

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At the moment, I have nearly 350 podcast sessions that run the digital marketing gamut.

This is a model I suggest you follow because it’s your key to being recognized as an expert.

Building a hub such as this gives you an opportunity to cover your niche in great detail and share your knowledge with visitors who are eager to learn.

This isn’t to say you need to use the same mediums I do.

In fact, I recommend experimenting with different formats to see what works best for you and what resonates the most with your audience.

Here are some ideas:

41 types of content marketing infographic

And the more high-quality content you accumulate, the more seriously people will take you.

Connect with other influencers

At this point, you should have chosen a niche, learned everything you can about it and created a hub where you can share your knowledge.

The next step is to start forming relationships with other influencers in your niche.

Why is this important?

This is one of the best ways to get your name out there and to increase your brand equity.

Being associated with other major players enables you to siphon off some of their “street cred” and get your audience to take you more seriously.

Let me give you a quick example.

Awhile back, freelance writer Jorden Roper launched her website called Writing Revolt.

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It serves as an online hub for talking about everything related to freelance writing, including ways to thrive in a competitive market.

She was an up-and-comer and had some loyal followers, but it was a fairly small following.

She connected with Bamidele Onibalusi of Writers in Charge, one of the most popular resources for freelance writers.

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Bamidele talked about her journey, the way Jorden created a nice living for herself through writing and her tips for making it as a freelance writer.

Just like that, her brand equity skyrocketed, and she gained a massive amount of respect as an expert in her niche.

To me, connecting with relevant influencers like this is the quickest way to gain recognition and have your name associated with a particular topic.

After all, if a trusted name in your niche gives you their stamp of approval, it will inevitably have a positive impact on you.

How do I connect with influencers?

For starters, let me suggest an incredibly old school yet (sometimes) effective tactic.

And that’s to simply get in the habit of consistently leaving high-level comments on top blogs in your industry.

You might be saying, “Neil, that seems so primitive and antiquated!”

Perhaps it is.

But it can still be a great way to get on someone’s radar.

Here’s an example of a comment from one of my top commenters, J. Ustpassing:

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Besides potentially building a relationship with a key influencer, you can also gain the attention of their readers.

And as long as your comments are legit, they will elevate your authority.

Another brilliant way to find influencers to connect with is to use BuzzSumo.

In fact, the “Influencers” feature is one of the top features on this platform.

I won’t cover the entire process here because I’ve already went over it before, but you can find all the details in this post.

For more on influencer marketing, I suggest checking out this article.

Leveraging Quora

Finally, I would like to point out how great Quora is for building credibility.

This is one of the most high-end question-and-answer sites, and I’ve used it extensively.

At the moment, I’ve answered 287 different questions, and it’s helped me gain 8k followers on Quora and 47k answer views this month alone.

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I’m telling you, Quora gets results and can be incredibly potent for you to position yourself as an expert in your niche.

I find it ideal for imparting my knowledge.

You can learn how to use Quora in this post.

Conclusion

I’ll be the first to say there’s no magic bullet that can turn you into a top expert in your niche overnight.

It’s very much a process that takes time.

Fortunately, you can accelerate that process significantly by following the formula I covered here.

With the right approach, you can gain serious recognition and make your name synonymous with your niche.

This, of course, can yield a host of benefits, e.g., increased brand equity, continual leads and higher conversions.

Which niche would you like to achieve expert status in?

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Comments

  1. J. Ustpassing :

    Tricky topic 😀

    If the world were – well, let’s naively use the word “fair” – then there would be only 1 requisite to becoming an expert;
    Experience

    But along with not being flat, not having the sun go around us, and not having dinosaurs in our pockets – the world is not “fair”.
    Which leaves the gate wide open for several other routes to “expertdom” 😀

    Self proclamation is a common one – and it works.
    Now, you’d think that someone telling everyone that they are great/the best/awesome etc. would result in that person being ignored (not to mention not getting party invites).
    But the inverse is true – because of human nature.
    There is a general behaviour in most humans that results in a desire to believe, to follow and to give the benefit of doubt. The result is that if you tell 10 people you’re the best, 6+ will look at you and give you a chance to prove it.
    And that there is the crux – you have to be able to prove it (see the end :D)

    Word of mouth and vouching.
    Being told by someone you know/trust that someone is great carries weight. A lot of weight in many cases.
    Being told that someone is good at something, when you trust that person and know they are good at the same thing carries even more weight.
    So having names/experts recommend you is worth it’s weight in gold.
    The hardship here is – you have to prove to them that you are that good.

    False prophets.
    Getting others to blow your trumpet by arrangement is nothing new – it’s as old as politics … and it’s effective. Greased palms, back scratching etc. will get the job done.
    But as with blowing your own trumpet – you need to be able to step up and back your claims.

    Proof and backing your claims.
    Now here’s the trick part … the super secret that permits “experts” to appear in large numbers.
    Ready?
    You’re not going to like it!

    … sure you want to know?
    They know more than you.
    That’s it.
    That simple.
    They only need to know a fraction more, know a few more words, understand a little more … and they are technically higher than you.
    Think back to school.
    Did you know that half your teachers probably knew only a little more than you did?
    That many of them had to read through the text books the night before class?
    That some of them were actually only 1 week ahead of you?
    That if they had to sit the exams you did, they may not have got the same scores?
    Scary – but in some cases, more than true!
    Yet to you – they were experts – they had all that knowledge!
    No different here – it’s a matter of perspective.
    And the harsh truth is … that in many fields, the vast majority of folk out there are clueless, or only have a general grasp. That means anyone with a little more than that can claim to be an expert and appear as such to the majority.

    The secret…
    … is to learn, to experience, to think and to question.
    Add to that by learning to change your perspective and perceptions, to apply what you know different ways.
    There’s no shortage of “industry experts”, but how many of them have the same experiences, perspectives and thoughts that you do?
    See how you can have an edge like no one else does?

    +

    I can vouch 100% that commenting can work wonders – it even leads to getting requests for content on industry sites like SEW etc.
    More than worth the time/effort to contribute, or question, or suggest, or present etc.
    (thank you for the hat-tip – much appreciated :D)

  2. Judith @ BoostBlogger.com :

    In relation to Neil’s article, I just like to share with you guys that I’ve been spending at least 2 hours everyday just to study web designs. Indeed, you can’t be successful overnight, a lot of effort is needed.

  3. As always an informative post. The last thing mentioned about Quora is quite true. We too are doing regular posting on Quora and yes do get lots of views in short span of time. Just wanted to know due to Quora only Referral Traffic only increases. When hyperlinking is included in Quora is it of any value. Is it Dofollow link? Does it impact ranking?

    • Glad you’re having some luck with Quora! Quora uses nofollow tags, but you still get some ranking juice even from nofollow links. Good luck!

      • It’s really interesting hearing this from you Neil.

        I decided to test the muses against no-follow links a while ago. It’s a bit surprising, a single no-follow link from a site with a DA of 52 brought a blog post from Google’s oblivion to page one.

        Yea, a no-follow link may not pass as much link juice as a do-follow link. But, It sure carries some weight.

        • Agreed, it does carry weight.

        • J. Ustpassing :

          Nofollow does Not mean the link will pass no value.
          From day one, it’s been a “hint” or “suggestion”. The SEs have always had the option of ignoring the suggestion of nofollow, or they may inhibit the value(s) etc.

          So some nofollow links do absolutely nothing – they are ignored/discounted.
          Others pass normal value(s) as the suggestion is ignored.
          Some may pass limited value, or the value may alter over time etc.

          Nofollow was little more than a plaster/band-aid.
          Since it was adopted, the SE’s have had more than enough time to learn the patterns/signals around what type of link/destination pair they are looking at, and whether they should pass the value or not (technically, I don’t think we even need nofollow in most cases now, the SE’s know already :D).

          • Excellent explanation.

          • Very excellent points as usual J. Ustpassing. But, really many SEO guys are oblivious of that.

            Now, In the course of marauding through the internet:

            There is a guy I must always stop by to comment on his blog. His name is Neil Patel.

            There is a guy I’d love to land on his blog, but I searched the internet and I’m yet to discover him. His name is J. UstPassing. ?

            Lol.

            Where are you Man? ?

            • J. Ustpassing (or not :P) :

              That’s because there is no J.Ustpassing 😀
              And – in over 10 years … I think only 3 people have ever figured out who I am when I use a nom de plume.

              As for finding my stuff – there is stuff out there (sounds like the X-Files :D).
              Dotted on forums, on other peoples blogs when I’ve been asked to provide in depth pieces for them, even on a few industry-zine sites like SEW.
              Just under various names over the years.

              But once I pull my finger out and get some of my plans up and running – you’ll know (I’ll ping Neil, and hopefully he’ll come look, play and then post about the toys :D).
              But you won’t see me link-drop in his comments (because I’m not someone that does that (because I don’t own a 6 figure writing agency that does DBLDs 😉 ))

  4. Hammad Saleem :

    Hi Neil,

    It is a nice post. I wanted to ask what to do if someone wants to get recognition in two different fields. For example, if a person has digital marketing as a career, but he is a psychologist by education. How to effectively manage both of these?

    Thanks,

    • Consider setting up two separate online presences. Use one website for digital marketing and another for psychology. Link different social media accounts to those websites. If you try to converge them, you’ll probably confuse readers. Alternatively, you could blog about how psychology impacts digital marketing, but I don’t know if that’s a direction that would work for you (or if your examples were just hypothetical).

  5. Hi,
    It is a good post

  6. Good job and bunch of thanks for this valuable post. http://www.vidmateappforpc.in/

  7. One of the reasons why I never use “question and answer” sites like Quora is that it’s full of people who are very much using the site to enhance their stats and “boost their credibility” without much consideration towards actually helping people.

    • I’ve actually had the exact opposite experience. Sure, some people are there for self-serving reasons, but lots of people provide detailed, actionable, accurate answers.

  8. Mohamed Athar :

    Its one tricky topic both to write and to discuss. As i am yet to find a niche where i can become an expert. Though i am interested in apps and reviewing them and building an informative website around that app. My latest project is http://exenderapp.com/. do have a look.

  9. Very nice post. An in-depth knowledge about becoming an expert in any niche. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Katherine Clarke :

    Hi NEIL

    thanks for sharing, I have a question.

    I have been working on http://www.paydayadvancecredit.com/ since 2016.
    I have followed many techniques, I always read your blog and follow your instructions. But from last 4 months ranking in stable, not even a single keyword is improved.

    Can you please help me out for this or you may suggest something new I can do.

    Looking forward to your response

    Regards
    Katherine Clarke

  11. Hello Neil, I know I’m only been in the game for over 2 months but it’s seem our website is still under the impression of not going no where, I have done quite a works both for hiring article writer for our blog and self doing.

    I am still very new perhaps our keywords is not very well prepare, could you please at least help look at what’s things I may have change or do to improve my site?

    https://www.vrsr.asia

    Best Regards

  12. ProIndex Studio Sevilla :

    Oh! Muy interesante este maravilloso artículo! Merece ser traducido al español. Muy bien explicado y buenos pasos a seguir.

    Un saludo.

  13. hii

    i read your all blogs and all bogs are good and give lot of knowledge. You inspires to million people and encouraging them to become a good blogger and after thinking and reading your blog, i had started http://searchaadhar.in/. If you have time then can you suggest me what improvment need to make top on google

  14. Hi Neil!

    Interesting point about smaller community size. I’d be interested in knowing why consumers see smaller communities as having greater influence. I always thought people typically followed larger crowds.

    • It’s more about engagement. If an influencer has fewer followers, he or she can interact with each one. More followers means less time to interact.

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