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7 ways to show authority in your writing

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Why do you write? Is it a calling? Or do you write with a purpose? Regardless of your writing motivation, if you want readers to take you seriously, you need to convey authority on your topic. Yes, even a writer from Long Beach can be seen as a national information treasure when he or she writes with authority.

Below you will find seven tips, tricks and techniques that will help you express confidence, authority and expertise in your writing.

1. Know your topic
It is better to write about what you know. And, if you must write about something that you don’t know well, at least do some research. You’d be surprised how many people are writing about things they know nothing about and did little or no research to help them out.

The important thing isn’t so much to know everything about your topic, but to know your topic well enough to be able to show your readers that you not only know what you’re talking about, but that you have an idea of what they might want to know about it, as well. Don’t bluff — readers can tell.

So how do you show that you know what you’re talking about?

  • Write in your audience’s language. Every group of people has a unique set of terms that are commonly used. Some are more developed than others, but you need to know the terms your target readers will expect to read from an expert on that topic … and you need to use the terms correctly.
  • Know more about the topic than your target readers. A wise teacher once said that you only need to know more than your students in order to teach. You don’t need to be the supreme expert on the subject, you just need to know more than those you are writing for.
  • Write with confidence. Don’t down play your knowledge. Own what you know and be open to learn what you don’t.

2. Prove your experience
When appropriate, share stories from your experience that help communicate what you are writing about. These stories not only tap into the human mind’s natural learning method, story telling, they also prove you have experience and knowledge on your topic.

3. Use your USP
What is the “unique selling proposition” of your article, book or topic? When writing persuasive copy, you need to keep your USP in mind. This will help you hone your copy to the most important benefits or features of your subject. Being this focused and on topic will help create the authority you’re looking for.

4. State benefits and advantages
When writing persuasive copy, be sure to strategically address potential faults so that they highlight strengths, benefits and advantages.

Write about both benefits and drawbasks of your topic and you’ll come across as more honest and trust-worthy.

5. Use facts and figures
When appropriate, state facts, figures and statistics that support your topic. Using third party sources lends weight to your writing, as well as give what you have to say credibility. For example:

According to Neils Bosma and Rebecca Harding, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2006, about one in 10 adult Americans (aged 18-64 years) are taking active steps to create a business.

A factual statement like this points out that the information isn’t just coming from your point of view, research supports it. When used correctly, facts and figures can help you make a point or emphasize a message.

6. Back up your claims
You might need to use more than facts and figures to prove your point. Sometimes you’ll need to share other people’s stories to illustrate your point. Use stories that your readers can relate to and that show your message in action.

7. Don’t mess with the language
I has been said that you should always follow the rules of grammar … except when you shouldn’t. The key is knowing when to ignore the rules.

A good rule of thumb is to follow the rules of grammar unless you strategically have good reason to break them. For example, sometimes breaking the a grammar rule helps you illustrate someone’s personality. Using slang or commonly known non-words can add a human element to your writing.

However, be careful how you use this technique. Poorly written copy can really effect your authoritative position.

Are you an entrepreneurial author? Do you want to be? Are you ready to build your business and platform so that it expresses your creativity, conveys your worth and message authentically and is profitable? Visit www.carmaspence.com to learn more.

NOTE: Are you a writer, author or editor connected to Long Beach in some way? Please contact me ... and you can be a part of my series of profiles of local writers!

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