Becoming an Authority Blogger: Interview with Chris Garrett

How do you become an authority on a subject? And how do use your blog to communicate that authority, so that people will actually listen to you?

I read bloggers like Michael Hyatt, Chris Brogan, and Darren Rowse, and I marvel at the way they captivate their readers’ attention. How do they do that?

Chris Garrett
Chris Garrett, Authority Blogger

That’s what I set out to find out by interviewing Chris Garrett.

Chris has become an authority on the subject of authority blogging with his sought-after online course that teaches bloggers how to become experts in their own right. I’m currently on the waiting list.

Here’s my emoticon-laden interview with Chris:

Jeff Goins: How did you get started blogging, Chris? And after so many years, why do you still do it?

Chris Garrett: I got started back in the early days of the Internet when everyone had a “personal homepage” with bookmarks, maybe a diary, photographs and so on.

From there I progressed to writing “How-to” articles about programming to save me having to repeat myself when I answered questions in communities.

And I because I hung out in online communities, I had a website about science fiction and fantasy TV shows, books and movies. Most of the stuff I did just because I am a geek. 🙂

JG: Although I’m sure it’s more complicated than this, how do you become an authority blogger — in three steps?

CG: Yes, it is more complicated than would fit into a nice succinct response. 😉

But it comes down to:

  1. Having a mindset of service. Being extremely generous with your knowledge, experience and advice.
  2. Building a relationship with your audience that is based on respect and customer service
  3. Working to participate in the communities where your target audience hangs out, and show up as a valuable member of that community.

JG: If you had to make a prediction, what would you say is the future of online marketing?

CG: I am looking closely at the convergence of all the media — things like Netflix, Internet-connected TV, mobile, etc.

JG: On your blog, you offer a free eBook on how to create “killer flagship content“? How do you do this? Can it happen iteratively? Or does it need to developed intentionally all at once and then released over time?

CG: All of the above. 🙂

JG: Funny. I guess what concerns me is that I feel like my message is being revealed to me over time. In other words, I’m still learning what I’m supposed to be blogging about, if I’m being honest.

Am I a lost cause, or can my blog’s cornerstone content still be created?

CG: None of this requires immediate perfection — aim to make progress instead. As long as you put your audience first, you won’t go far wrong.

Obviously, my free eBook on the topic will give you some pointers, but essentially it is a manifesto of how I think you should approach creating truly valuable resources rather than “filler” content.

JG: Who is your favorite authority blogger? And why?

CG: I have lots of authority bloggers who I follow. Some are friends; some are people I just enjoy reading. That said, I try not to play favourites. 🙂

Scott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist, is one of my favourite bloggers. Even if I don’t always agree with his conclusions, he has a fascinatingly funny and creative brain. 🙂

JG: When blogging, how much does the quality of your content matter versus the relationships and connections you have? Is it enough to have just really good content?

CG: It’s not enough to have just one element; you need to work on the whole package. Who wants to be the Internet’s best kept secret?

JG: What’s one new piece of technology that you’re really excited about?

CG: It’s not really a new technology as such, but as an author and content creator I am looking forward to what Apple might do with moving media to the “cloud”.

This has a potential to be more far-reaching than just having your music library all online. Think about what a paid “all you can eat” model does to all of content consumption?

It could be really, really bad for content creators, or it could be very cool — exciting times.

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To find out more about Chris, check out his Authority Blogger course and subscribe to his blog (and get two free eBooks!).

Also he has a recent post about the problem with generosity in business that I thought was pretty interesting.

What do you think it takes be an authority blogger? Who’s your favorite? Share in the comments.