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Build Authority by Sharing Trade Secrets

This guest post is by Rich Gorman of Direct Response.

The tipping point for me, as a serial internet entrepreneur, was when I took up blogging. Blogging has made me exponentially more successful in my business than I ever could have been otherwise—but I know that’s not how it turns out for everyone. For every truly successful, cash-generating blog, there are probably a dozen more than never really seem to take off.

So what’s the difference? In a nutshell, the difference is authority. The bottom line is that anyone can sign up for a blog these days; having a WordPress account and throwing up an occasional post hardly helps you stand out from the crowd.

When you establish authority as a blogger, though, people within your industry sit up and take notice of you. Once that happens, you’re already on the inside—you’re an industry leader on the fast track to success, and you’ve got your blog to thank for it.

How does a brand new blogger develop authority, and become known as a true mover and shaker in his or her given industry? The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what industry you’re in—whether it’s online marketing, reputation management, or something else altogether. The key to becoming known as a blogger of authority is showing a willingness to give away trade secrets.

Personally, I’ve given away hundreds of trade secrets on my own blog, and I’m much better off because of it. That’s because when people visit my blog, they find useful, practical, make-money-in-the-real-world-now tips and techniques that they can’t find anywhere else. Immediately, readers see that I know what I’m talking about. And when they put these trade secrets to use and start making money from them, they’re obviously going to keep coming back to my blog for more.

But what does giving away trade secrets really look like? Here are three essential tips that have served me well, along with some examples.

1. Share actual trade secrets

If someone can conduct a quick Google search, or go buy a book, and find the same “insider information” you’re sharing, then guess what? It’s hardly a trade secret! The effect you need to go for is to make your reader say, “Wow—I couldn’t buy a book on this subject! This is truly revealing, and truly valuable!”

The best way to do this is to share insider secrets that you’ve actually come across on your own, and used yourself. Base your blog writing in your own experience. I once wrote a post about vertical monopolizing, where I shared some real, step-by-step techniques that have worked wonders for me—right down to the very URLS readers can visit to follow my lead. This is my story of success, written in a way that it helps readers make it their own—and that’s why it’s effective!

2. Give something away

You’re not really revealing trade secrets if you give someone half a blog post, then tell them to sign up for your services to learn the rest. This is not about teasing and tantalizing. Building authority as a blogger means you actually have to provide some value, right here and now, through giving away your secrets of success.

I did a post on media buys that more than fits the bill, and shows you what I mean when I talk about giving something away. This isn’t a post that suggests possible actions, or gives the reader some good places to start from. This post will hold your hand and walk you through every step of the process.

And that’s really what you need to provide to your readers. You need to give them the whole thing, and leave them with the unmistakable impression that you’re someone who gets your industry on a higher level. That’s what will keep them coming back for more.

3. Get specific!

For an example of what I’m talking about, check the post I did here. In this post I give the specific names, phone numbers, and email addresses of vendors I trust. I tell my readers who to contact, what to ask for, and even how to secure a discount!

By contrast, consider if I had simply said, “find some good vendors,” then sent my readers off to Google for their own contacts. This would have been slightly helpful, perhaps, but really, it’s information they could have heard from anyone. It hardly establishes me as an industry insider, or as a blogger of authority.

That, of course, is what all this is about: showing those within your industry that you’re a leader, not a follower, and that you’ve got original ideas that lead to immediate value. Giving away these trade secrets reveals that you get it, and that you’re confident enough to share it with others—all of which is essential for setting yourself up as an authoritative blogger.

Do you give away trade secrets on your blog? Le us know how this tactic has worked for you in the comments.

Rich Gorman is a veteran of the direct response marketing industry and an expert in reputation management and direct response marketing for companies large and small. Rich also operates the official blog for the Direct Response industry, Direct Response, where he shares his thoughts on Direct Response Marketing.

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Comments

  1. Robert says:

    Great tips. I think that applies to all secrets, not just the business sites. For example, I made a video on how I exactly screen for stocks, and it has been a hit on my site as well as YouTube.

    • Rich Gorman says:

      Robert, that’s exactly right. People want to see how you actually make it work, and by revealing your trade secrets you’d be amazed at the trade secrets people reveal to you!!!!

  2. Nathan Kash says:

    I do give away a lot of trade secrets but I make sure I don’t give away every single thing I have. I leave some of it for ebooks I release. It’s something of a bonus for my subscribers. I also use it as bait. I also like the way you explain the point at which you become an “insider”. Until you get noticed. You’re not one.

    • Rich Gorman says:

      Nathan – good point. You shouldn’t give-it-all-away, rather give enough away so that you can show people that you know exactly what you’re talking about.

      With that bait you can hook them into your program, service, etc. !!!!

      Thx for pointing that out as it is a very important point: DON’T GIVE IT ALL AWAY!

  3. david says:

    Hi Rich,

    That actually makes a lot of sense. That is why people will want to come to your blog to learn things that they can’t get anywhere else.

    Do other bloggers steal your ‘gold’ or have you found that does not happen?

    • Rich Gorman says:

      other bloggers steal our gold all the time, but by the time that they release the trade secrets they’re already out in the open :)

      Human’s are the ultimate SPAM blockers

  4. Hi Rich,

    The thing I learned a while back about REALLY successful, wealthy people: they gave it all away.

    You receive a great deal of money when you give away a great deal of value. Pretty funny, this post reminds me of the Justin Bieber movie I watched a few days ago. He did not give away trade secrets but he gave away immense value, doing free shows, visiting hundreds of radio stations, giving, giving, giving, for months on end.

    He is not worth hundreds of millions of dollars by mistake. He GAVE away his best stuff – not holding back, not attaching, – and then RECEIVED fame fortune, millions, and more. Easy formula.

    When sowing, never, ever hold back. People who create and give stuff away for free, world-changing, helpful, valuable stuff, become really rich, successful, and are able to inspire the masses. Keep giving it all away, and it returns with increasing less effort.

    Thanks Rich!

    Ryan

    • Rich Gorman says:

      that’s so true Ryan, a true phenomena of the world. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and many of the other wealthiest men on the planet give more than anyone else.

      There’s not great gift than giving!

  5. Everyone loves getting something for free, specially if they think it’s a secret, but make sure it really is a secret or something that isn’t known by most. So many times I click through to a post titled something like “20 traffic tips that nobody knows about” and most are common tips.

    • Rich Gorman says:

      if it’s not a true secret you’re sure to turn off the visitor. bait and switch “secrets” create 1-offs, which might be something scammy bizops don’t mind, but as bloggers that’s exactly what we look to avoid

  6. Ehsan says:

    Giving something away and real is efficient way to build authority. Nice post Rish.

  7. If it’s something that really works (and the after affects of making something public has been taken into account) and you still want to release it to the public; it will definitely add authority to your blog. But you have to make that decision on what to reveal and what not to reveal. Some are more open than others. It’s just how it is.

    But you can’t reveal everything – especially if you are in a competitive niche (as supposed to an infomartive blog). I’m sure, that not every blogger on the sphere will reveal all their secrets to gain authority. You just have to have some in the reserve ;)

  8. Josh says:

    Great insights here– definitely helps highlight the difference between a blog entry that is genuinely substantive and useful, and one that is really just fluff. It’s amazing how many bloggers are content to rehash the same ol’ info, passed off as profound; giving away insider secrets really can help you stand out.

  9. Rich Gorman says:

    spot on!

  10. Real trade secrets can’t be shared on a public blog and are usually shared only with trusted associates. However, I think trade knowledge that can help others within your industry succeed will definitely make people sit up and pay attention to the content you publish and maybe even subscribe to your blog.