Can YOU Actually Become an Authority Online?
There is often a concern when someone new to the online world enters a niche, either one they know something about, or something they are interested in learning. The typical question goes something like this: "Can I actually become an authority in my niche? "
I mean, there are already other experts in the niche, is there going to be enough room for you to actually make a presence (and earn a significant income) online? I completely get the rationale, but the problem with this thinking is that it is rooted in the conventional type of thinking.
A Story of a Shoemaker
There is a shoe repairman named "Chet" that I have gone to several times over the years, a local shoemaker. Every time I go to him, within our small jurisdiction of around 30,000 people he literally has 100 pairs of shoes that he is working on at any given time.
He is very successful. He runs a little niche business and he earns enough to live a good lifestyle. He is a very hard worker though and dedicates a great deal of his day to helping people with their shoes. That is how successful businesses are run, by working hard and helping people.
This particular Shoemaker is not privy of the opportunity online. The interesting part about the online world is that we are nearing 3.9 BILLION active users. If there are this many people that need help with their shoes in a small little town, could you imagine how many people need help online?
Let's extrapolate that data.
If I live in a location that has 30,000 people, there are surely people with shoes and that need a shoemaker worldwide. People are going online for everything, not only to purchase shoes, but help for various aspects. Fixing their shoes, replacing parts of their shoes, laces, making them more comfortable, changing out heels, finding an online shoemaker etc.
So if there are 3.9 BILLION people online, there is room for 130,000 authorities in the world. Many of which can be within the online space.
So even if you see 100 other shoemaker websites online, there is going to be room and opportunity for MANY more to be very successful within the same space. It is not a matter of sharing the niche with them, the reality is that they are not covering the entire niche in a way that reveals even a percentage of the "real" opportunity.
And this is just discussing the shoe making element.
This is not to mention that the average man owns 12 pairs of shoes, the average woman owns 27 pairs of shoes. I personally own 100+...but I certainly have a shoe addiction. This data point alone should get your wheels churning as to how vast the shoe industry is and how lucrative it can be. Zappos knows this very well, they created a shoe website and ended up being purchased by Amazon for $1.2 BILLION dollars. One of 1,000's of shoe websites, and there are room for 1,000's more online (hint).
Look at Electric Cars.
Elon Musk. He started what is now one of the biggest payment processing companies in the world. Was he from a background relevant to this? No. He was a computer programmer that put his focus into something that he became very passionate about. He sold PayPal for several billion dollars. Now he is most well-known for Tesla, the company that is ubiquitous for their electric cars. Similar to how people think "phones" when they hear the term Apple, people think electric cars when they hear the term Tesla.
Musk wasn't an electric car expert before he started dedicating his time, energy, and thought into electric cars. That is the reality. What we view as the most prolific electric car company in this day and age, their CEO was once in a position where he knew nothing about electric cars.
And this could be said about any authority, in any industry.
And of Course, Lets Look at Wealthy Affiliate.
WA is no different. Carson and I at one point had zero knowledge of affiliate marketing, of the internet marketing space, or technology. We both went to school for computer science back in 2002, which is when we both independently started our affiliate marketing businesses.
Here we are 16 years on being full time online. It is pretty crazy looking back, and I am still learning new things each and every day (as you do within any business...or you are not evolving).
Our expertise and our authority has been established over time and working with others. We put people first, we help others, we are constantly engaged with our niche and our audience. That is exactly how authority and expertise will naturally happen within any niche.
Us creating success with Wealthy Affiliate was not circumstance and it wasn't a fluke. It was a consistent focus on being great and working hard at one thing.
The 10,000 Hour Rule is Changing.
There is a conventional idea that was brought into the populous by one of my favourite authors, Malcolm Gladwell several years back within one of this most ingenious books, Outliers. Within it, he indicates that "you needed 10,000 hours to become a phenom (world-class) in a particular trade.". This idea originated by K. Anders Ericsson.
That is probably quite true within the online world. If I want to become the best Shoemaker, I probably need 10,000 hours of dedicated time to that niche to really become a true phenom in that space. I would need to comprehend everything about the process in such an intimate detail, to the point of it being second nature to create and fix anything to do with any type of shoe. Not only that, but to be able to creatively think of new solutions.
My argument, and one that stems from a great deal of experience indicates something much different. YOU can become an authority and world-class at something with MUCH more efficiency than 10,000's hours. In particular if you are targeting a specific niche and operating within the online world, you can speed this up by 3-5x in my opinion.
A few years back I wrote an article about Organic Milk and the benefits to children. I was doing this for a case study, and I didn't really know much about it.
Within a day, I had written an article that showcased expertise in this area and that still ranks to this day. People have gotten a lot of value out of this article, I have helped 1,000's of people over the years with this information. The crazy part is it was articulated in ONE day with a bit of research, a bit of thought, and bit of content creation.
The same can go for you, any niche, whether you know something about that niche or not. Feel confident that you can and WILL become an authority within the online world if you retain focus, actively work hard to help others, and are constantly engaged in learning more about your audience. Authority awaits YOU.
I would love to hear your feedback, questions, or experiences with authority or becoming an expert within the online world.
PS. If you haven't already checked out Jay's hour long live class on Authority, I recommend you do so here: