Reporter vs Expert – Why Most Bloggers Are Stuck as Reporters
As the basis for this article I’m going to presume there are basically two types of bloggers in the world, reporters and experts. Now all bloggers are reporters in one form or another but a minority will also be experts at their craft. Another presumption, which I believe is valid, is that it’s relatively hard for reporters to become experts, but it’s easy for experts to be reporters. My basis for this presumption is that most (if not all) experts were once reporters before they became experts.
What Is A Reporter?
Reporters leverage the content of the experts. In most cases people start off as reporters because they either don’t have any expertise or they don’t use their expertise. Most bloggers fall into this category (at the start anyway).
What Is An Expert?
Experts enjoy the perks of pre-eminence:
- They get higher conversion rates because of their perceived value.
- It’s easier for them to get publicity.
- They are more likely to be sort after.
- Joint ventures come easier for them.
- Etc. etc.
To summarise, experts generally, simply make more money and attract more attention.
Which Are You?
If you’ve ever taken an Internet marketing course or attended a seminar specifically for beginners, you’ve probably heard about the two different methodologies, reporters and experts. Whenever the business model is based on content, and blogging for money is a content based model, people are taught to either start as a reporter or step up as an expert.
- To be frank; you always want to be the expert.
Most Bloggers Are Reporters
The thing about being an expert is that it always requires something, experience. We’re not born as experts of anything. No one becomes an expert without practical experience, the ability to learn and hard-work, lots of hard-work. Bloggers usually start out without expertise and as a result begin their journey to becoming experts (hopefully) by writing (reporting) about everything going on in their niche.
For most of us reporting is a necessary first step to building our expertise. Unfortunately the ratios between reporters and experts is pretty biased, there are far fewer experts than reporters, hence reporters tend to struggle to gain attention.
Don’t Replicate Your Teacher
If you’ve spent time browsing products in the, “Learn Internet Marketing” niche, you’ll have noticed a pattern. People emulate. Those people who first study Internet marketing from an ‘expert’ learn (wrongly) that in order to make money online you have to teach others how to make money online. This process results in a huge army of amateurs attempting to replicate what their mentor does. These people don’t realise that without expert status based and a proven track record, it’s almost impossible to succeed in the same niche.
Although the subject of making money is one of the most compelling, the trick is to find your own niche market. One that isn’t saturated with people all teaching the same thing, email marketing, SEO, pay per click, affiliate marketing and all the sub-niches that fall under the category of Internet marketing. I believe that everyone is an expert at something, find your expertise and you’ve found your niche market.
Report on Your Process, Not Others
The secret to progressing from reporter to expert is to report your own journey, don’t focus on other experts. Report what you are learning, implementing, studying and thinking and use it as content for your blog.
If you learn a technique from an expert it’s fine to acknowledge this and even become an affiliate for their product, but you should then take that technique, apply it to your blog and report your results, not the experts. Give your opinion, your stories and don’t just regurgitate what the ‘experts’ say.
An expert is someone who knows 5% more than the average person. Expertise comes from doing things most people don’t do and then talking about it. Do this often enough and you’ll be the expert.
You Are Already An Expert
Most people fail to become perceived as experts because they don’t leverage what they know. Either they don’t want to be known as an expert (which is fine) or they don’t know how to use that leverage.
If your goal is to become an expert blogger and leave the world of reporting behind you must start teaching by leveraging your real experience. Tell people what you know, help them to learn. Experience is nothing more than what you’ve done, what you are doing and what you will do.
Don’t feel insecure about what you know, commit you knowledge to paper (as it were), persevere and the rewards will come. Blogs and the Web in general are amazing resources when you leverage them as a communication tool to spread your expertise.
Reporting Is A Stepping Stone
If you are beginning a new venture (adventure) and you are starting from scratch the reporting path is the path you must walk, at least for the short term.
Reporting is fun. Being part of a community of bloggers is not a bad way to blog. Have patience and endure, learn and translate that experience into lessons for others.