Leveraging Subject Expertise in Content Marketing

If you own a website, you likely consider yourself somewhat of a subject-matter expert. If not, you're likely in the wrong business.

The Web, by its very nature, is the single greatest source of information ever collected. The obligation of website owners and operators is to leverage their expertise for the benefit of acquiring traffic and driving conversions.

But how exactly can you do that? Let's explore the variety of content types available.

The list of content types is long as it relates to the Web. In years past, subject-matter experts were limited to but a handful of options - from books to magazines, and perhaps even the occasional "letter to the editor." The definition of content (and, for that matter, subject-matter expertise) has changed.

So many options are available that it's not always easy to know where to start. Below you'll find some guidance on some approaches that have worked for subject-matter experts in the past few years. You're likely going to be familiar with many if not all, but it might prove useful to revisit one or two of these periodically if you're struggling with establishing yourself as a subject-matter expert.

Books and eBooks
Every expert needs a "seminal" work. I've seen in my 10-plus year career (has it been that long?) that true experts routinely publish books (and increasingly ebooks) that showcase their expertise.

Make no mistake, writing books can be a long and cumbersome process, but the payoff can be enormous - although not always directly. My advice for anyone taking on any such project is to understand what they want to get out of it, and this might hold most true for those writing longer form ebooks or traditionally published books.

Books and ebooks provide a formal way to establish yourself as a subject-matter expert, but blogging serves as another way entirely that might better fit into your daily routine. What most of those who fail at blogging don't understand, however, is the planning and organization required to be successful.

But if you're a true subject-matter expert, planning ahead and dedicating yourself to the wholesale sharing of your insights will prove useful. In fact, with the proper planning, you might even find that all of that organization is leading you directly to the publication of a book or ebook.

Formal Articles
The one characteristic that the subject-matter experts I know all have is that they are freewheeling when it comes to sharing their expertise. You'll find them ready and willing to pen an article for publication - often when it's not even within their own property.

True subject-matter experts understand, however, that sharing information comes at a cost and readers will pay with their attention. Publishers of articles pay in a variety of ways, including sharing links (that's good, right?) and providing a platform on which to engage future buyers (that's good, too!).

Everything Else
Subject-matter experts have many demands placed upon them. If you're not writing books/ebooks, blogging regularly or sharing your expertise in the form of articles, you're going to have a lot of time on your hands. Fortunately, there remain many opportunities to establish (or start establishing) yourself as a subject-matter expert.

From participating actively in social media, hosting webinars, engaging within forums and more, the list is by all accounts long and by some accounts never-ending.