One of the primary reasons you probably set up your blog is so you can establish yourself as an expert, in whatever area you’re knowledgeable. But you’re not the only one in the world, and every once in a while you may want to see what others in the industry are talking about as well.
There are a couple of different reasons you may seek out other experts in your field, such as inspiration, additional perspective, basic market research, or validation of a point you’ve already made on your blog. There are other times you may want to turn to the “general public” to see what they think of your area of interest, for many of the same reasons I just listed above.
But how do you go about this without compromising your own status as an expert? Simply asking a question can make you appear as though you need advice, instead of being the expert that’s capable of offering advice to others. But there are ways to reach out to others without appearing “out of the loop” regarding your area of expertise. I’ve listed a handful of ways below:
Create a Poll
This poll can ask a basic question, and offer up a few options for others to choose from. Another option for a poll is to let others write in their own answers, which will give you a great deal more feedback on your topic. There are several poll creation sites out there that let you put your poll in a widget format that can then be posted on your blog or any other site that supports HTML.
That means you can post your poll on various social networking sites, or ask others to post your poll on their sites or blogs as well. Some third party applications for poll creation are supported in a more integrated fashion on social networks, and sites like Facebook have native apps for creating polls and quizzes, which are then sent to your friends within that network. The wider you cast your net, the more perspective you’ll be able to gain from an array of people.
Ask Questions in your Blog Articles
If you include questions in your actual blog article, you’re easily able to request the opinions of others. On the one hand, you’ve already expressed your opinion, establishing your authority. But asking others to contribute their two cents as well makes you appear open and willing to consider the opinions of others.
It’s a win-win situation for you, as you get to spur ongoing discussion around your topic, while providing an engaging environment that you and your readers can learn from. In this case, I would also recommend integrating your outreach questions and statements throughout your article instead of merely placing a “closing” question at the end of your article. This is a more thoughtful approach that is also less templated.
Turn to the Twitterverse
Twitter is a great way to ask a lot of people for their input on a single question. But in asking a question on Twitter, you can easily come across as less than adequate. If you are in the process of establishing your authority through your blog, or you have already done so, posing such questions in a place as public as Twitter can put you in a compromising situation.
Reword your questions so that your followers know you are seeking additional insight, or would just like to hear from them for engagement purposes. You’ll be surprised by how many people are willing to help you out if you simply ask. Be sure to continuously engage these users, as they may be able to help you out the next time you need inspiration or insight from others.
image credit: Gaddum Centre