Today anyone can be an expert. In order for you to become an authority figure in that realm instantly, pick a niche that is small enough but one that has enough traffic in order to sell some products to people.
When in doubt always go for the smaller niche. An expert right now is not someone that is ultimately very knowledgeable on a specific topic, but being an expert has more to do with communication and social structure.
The Quizmaster Effect
You cannot call yourself an expert for the status. You always need approval of other people, and this is why its very important that you pick a very specific niche. In order to do this, you will use two psychological processes: one is the halo effect, and the other is called the Quiz master effect.
The quizmaster effect basically says that people think that the quizmaster is always a very brainy person; it doesn’t make sense to ask those questions if you don’t know the answer to them. This effect still holds for people who become aware of it.
This means that in order to be perceived as an expert, you don’t necessarily have to give the good answers. You have to ask the right questions.
Interview Experts to be an Expert
The easiest way to become an overnight authority figure is to interview people who are very knowledgeable in the niche and are very well known. In that interview, try to challenge them in a friendly way. Find out if you can dig so deep in the topic that you can ask some difficult questions that makes sense that they don’t really know what to answer, and what they might do is acknowledge the fact that your question is interesting and that they will have to do a bit more research to answer that question.
You then publish those interviews and that gives you two things: one, the quizmaster effect, and two, it may also gives you TV time with one of the very well-known experts in that niche. That is important because that will mean that you will be associated with those people.
Forming Social Structures
Being perceived as an expert today, is less about the actual knowledge, but more about the ability of that person to form specific social structures. Those social structures could well be represented in a digital way, for example, through social networking sites.
One of the easiest social networks we have available from a technical point of view is the blog. There’s a specific hierarchy to the blog because one person is writing an article and the other people are commenting.
However, very often, it is the commenting that is actually more interesting than the article itself, especially if the community of readers step up and share their objective or subjective views that lead to a very informative debate. Of course, some readers opt to troll, spam or vandalize the comments section, but the really good ones provide you with a lot of SEO bonus because your readers will put comments that are related to the keywords of your topic.