If you have been working within your niche for any period of time, you are bound to build up your knowledge and become a niche expert. Whenever you know more about a particular topic, you have something of value to offer other people. And in Internet terms, knowledge and expertise is not only power but potentially money as well.
Thanks to the rise of digital access devices, near universal WiFi, and the global spread of the Internet, the way people seek out information has changed. Rather than spending hours looking something up in a library or seeking out an expert, people usually just Google whatever it is they want to know.
Even people’s smartphones now depend on the wealth of information that immediately can be accessed online. The most popular places for Siri and other virtual assistants to use to find answers are known as authoritative sites. These include such places as Wikipedia, Answers.com, About.com and other similar clearinghouses for information on every conceivable topic.
Putting Your Niche Expertise to Work
You can put your niche expertise to work by participating in community answers forums. These are places where people go online to learn more about specialized topics. It can be anything from how to fix a lawnmower to how to be more popular with the opposite sex. While there are countless community answers forums online, the most popular are Quora, Facebook Questions, Yahoo Answers, and Answer.com.
Even social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are getting in on the action. On LinkedIn, users can go to LinkedIn Answers to get information about their career or industry. Facebook Questions is another great place where you can go to answer questions, as is Quora, another site that can be used to capitalize on your niche expertise.
Becoming a Niche Expert on Facebook Questions
Building your expertise on multiple platforms is the best way to develop your reputation as a niche expert. Facebook is often the best place to start because it has the most users and is the easiest to use.
Facebook Questions is a feature of the world’s most popular social media platform that allows people to ask any question and immediately get responses from both their contacts and other people on Facebook. Go to Facebook question and run a search based on the keywords that best describe your niche. If you can answer them off the top of your head, go ahead. If you need to do a little online research, you can do this as well. Just make sure to include links to your research materials in case other people want to seek out more information.
Join the Conversation on Yahoo Answers
Most people probably know about Yahoo Answers than Facebook Questions. Its responses tend to get ranked higher on Google Search Engine Results Pages as well, which makes it an even better place to build your online reputation as an expert in your niche.
The strategy is the same: Find “low-hanging fruit”, in other words, questions you already know the answers to and respond to as many of these as you can. Make sure to include a link to your website and/or your social media pages on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and others.
If there’s a site that Google has even more respect for than Yahoo Answers, it’s Answers.com. Visit the Answer question and search for niche-relevant questions you can answer in order to show off your expertise. Keep your answers brief and to the point. It’s also helpful to direct people to resources where they can find more information, preferably your web pages but other pages if necessary.
LinkedIn is a social media platform generally devoted to career development and industry information. But what better place to build your niche expertise and online reputation than in a forum where industry thought leaders can see you best?
Look for the New Questions from ‘Your Network’ section of your homepage. The goal here is not simply to answer questions but to develop professional relationships with people within your industry with whom you can network.
Browse your niche category and look for easy questions for you to answer. Or find somewhat more complicated questions and research thoughtful, complete answers. Once again, make sure to include links to your reference materials. You get bonus points if those are your own web pages.
The Question of Quora
Quora is a forum on which people can visit to discuss practically any topic. You will need to use your Facebook or Twitter account to set up your Quora profile. Once you do, you can search the website for niche subjects related to your business and jump right into the conversation.
Some forums are live chat rooms while others are strings in which you can post responses that people can read and respond to later. Either way, Quora is a great way to get your name out there, build a following for your website, and enhance your professional reputation with your expertise within your niche industry.