So You Want to Be An Expert . . . the Secret Ingredient

Filed as Features on August 14, 2007 4:00 am

Recently a post I wrote over a year ago, 7 Steps to Being Recognized as an Expert, was picked up on a popular list of “must read” posts. It didn’t surprise me that a some great traffic followed. The list was popular — not quite viral — but passed around a great deal.

I’d like to think the popularity of this post is because what I recommend is rock solid advice. I’d venture to say that no expert blogger has gotten to where he or she is by doing only six of the seven on this list. In my mind, no one could question that these seven steps work. I’ll set a short version here.

  1. Be the expert you are, not the expert someone else is.
  2. Be an expert in ONE thing.
  3. Write expert content.
  4. Be an expert at keeping track of your niche.
  5. Be an expert at specialized searches.
  6. Be an expert at getting the word out.
  7. Be an expert at going deeper into your niche.
  8. And the bonus one: Be an expert at having fun.


When I wrote the post that includes these, I thought of the time it takes to develop expertise — education and experience — and the time it takes to get that message out. That much time could be years.

Yet the post experts has brought a small segment of bloggers whose expectations aren’t quite in line with that. They come saying, “Tell me what you did — really. What’s the fastest way to where you are? I don’t have time to do all of the things on that list. I plan be where you are in a matter of weeks, if not days.”

Even if I could do their homework . . . how would that help them?

I wish them well, but expertise can’t be borrowed, bartered, or bought to claim.

For folks who want to be the next Darren Rowse, Lorelle VanFossen, or Brian Clark, look very closely. Every one of these heroes work every hard even today. If you look back through their archives you will see that got to be something special one well-written post at a time. Each of them knew that to do the work they were investing in their future and themselves. They’s how they got to be experts — they met everyone of the seven steps on their own.

Most anyone can do it, if we are willing to invest as much as Darren, Lorelle, and Brian did to keep learning about their field and the folks they serve.

One other thing that isn’t on the list . . . every expert has it and you’ll need it too.

Faith in yourself. If you want to be an expert . . . believe you’re worth the time it takes to prove your value one person at a time until you have an audience following you.

That’s the secret ingredient — belief in you.

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  1. By Mohsin posted on August 14, 2007 at 6:37 am
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    Well said Liz. It takes patience and continued learning to become master in any subject.

    Reply

  2. By Glen Allsopp posted on August 14, 2007 at 8:11 am
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    You hit the nail on the head with the last comment. You have to believe in what you are telling others

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  3. By Liz Strauss posted on August 14, 2007 at 11:34 am
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    Hi Moshin!
    I agree. Early in my career someone said “Do the work and the recognition will come.” She was right. No one can take what I learned and I’m grateful for every minute of it. :)

    Reply

  4. By Liz Strauss posted on August 14, 2007 at 11:35 am
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    Hi Glen!
    Thanks. So many are so busy writing what other’s said that they haven’t stopped to decide whether they agree. Yep. You have to believe in what you are telling other folks to do. :)

    Reply

  5. By Deron Sizemore posted on August 14, 2007 at 12:20 pm
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    I completely agree. Being the expert you are is really important. To many times people try to be the expert that someone else is in that they imitate every single thing the other person does. You’ll probably have some success doing this but in the end you need differentiate yourself from everyone else to really succeed.

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  6. By WTH posted on August 14, 2007 at 12:21 pm
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    Don’t for get to make your tagline say “Im da {whatever} expert.” :D

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  7. By Liz Strauss posted on August 14, 2007 at 1:46 pm
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    Hi Deron!
    Folks forget that they can only be a bad facsimile of someone else just as I can be only a bad copy of them. But if we are who we are we bring something unique and valuable to the world. YEAH!!

    Reply

  8. By Liz Strauss posted on August 14, 2007 at 1:46 pm
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    WTH!
    Some folks who leave that tagline off . . . should. :)

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  9. By Skellie posted on August 15, 2007 at 5:52 am
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    Some great tips. Nobody ever got to be an expert who didn’t also slog through the long haul. It takes days and months and even years of hard work to get there, from what I’ve observed. I say that because I’m certainly not there yet, but I do hope that I’ve started on the way.

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  10. RickMahn.com » Blog Archive » links for 2007-08-15August 15, 2007 at 6:28 am
  11. By Liz Strauss posted on August 15, 2007 at 7:59 am
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    Hi Skelite,
    Yeah, that’s exactly my point. It’s great to hear from a guy who sees how hard the folks I mentioned worked to earn their place. It bothers me when folks come along and ask me to do their work for them.:)

    Reply

  12. By Two Knives posted on August 16, 2007 at 8:45 am
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    Liz, what a timely post for me and just the inspiration I needed. This one’s going on my bulletin board. Thanks for your support of all bloggers!

    Reply

  13. Two Knives » Blog Archive » Mattel’s Eckert to parents: “I’m really sorry :( But for God’s sake, keep buying!”August 16, 2007 at 10:10 am
  14. By Liz Strauss posted on August 16, 2007 at 1:07 pm
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    Hi Two Knives!
    I’m delighted that this piece added something you needed to your already great tool chest. We’re good for each other!

    Reply

  15. Liz Strauss: How to be an ExpertJuly 27, 2009 at 4:33 am

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