The first thing you’ll want to do in order to become known as an expert on the web is to have a website or blog that proclaims your expertise.
Some of you will be surprised to learn that I strongly believe that most people who are looking for real information online will not be as impressed by a site’s snappy design – complete with lots of bells, whistles and moving objects -- as much as they will be impressed by the caliber of the information your site provides.
Questions to Ask Yourself
• Is my site newsworthy? Does it contain good, solid information?
• Are my articles well-written?
• Are my links not only informative, but inspired? (In other words, does my site contain links to important information that I had to dig for – i.e., that only a real expert would know about?)
Ironically, the size of the site’s organization is often NOT indicative of the caliber of the information the site provides. In fact, I have found that often, a large organization – probably because there are so many people who must approve all the information that ends up being posted – will not always have the level of information contained on a site owned and maintained by one or two experts!
Some Examples of Experts' Websites
For instance, one of my favorite expert websites is The Annie Appleseed Project, owned by the indefatigable Ann Fonfa, who calls herself – very accurately, I might add - “a woman with breast cancer and an attitude.” Ann is an over-14-year survivor of breast cancer, who has kept herself alive (she would rather say “thriving”) through almost constant research on available treatments, both alternative and conventional. She is passionate about sharing all this information with her site’s visitors. And she is proud of the fact that nearly 6000 groups, companies and organizations link to the site.
Take a look at Ann's site, and you’ll see why. There is so much information, neatly categorized for easy use, that it’s no wonder she has a national reputation – all because of the work she has put in to this un-fancy, but excellent, website.
Ditto, Vera Sharav’s wonderful Alliance for Human Research Protection website and blog, started and maintained by a woman with a wealth of knowledge in another health-related field: the protection of human medical research subjects. One look at both her information-filled site and blog, which contain much of the same information, will reveal WHY she is so well known as an advocate. (She has been quoted in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal.)
Vera’s blog, by the way, is partially maintained by another extremely important expert, Dr. Aubrey Blumsohn, whose own blog, the Scientific Misconduct Blog, is another example of sharing very important (and in Aubrey’s case, very personal) information with the public.
So, remember, information first. Design, bells, whistles and moving objects later (if at all). But your web presence must confidently proclaim that you are an expert.