blogger  plus a published post equal expert advice?

In the comments of Write Responsibly Right From The Start, Nadia of Happy Lotus wrote (in part)

… when my blog started to get more popular and people started to ask advice or leave comments, I realized that I had a responsibility because even though it was not my intention, people will look at the author as some type of expert. So it is really important that we honor our readers and write accordingly.

That’s true. Because our works are published online, people may look at bloggers as some type of expert.

And it can happen quite by accident.

Today’s Lesson

When people search online, they are looking to gain information or find answers to their questions

Some will believe the first thing they find, whereas others research the topic thoroughly and become an informed consumer.

Based on the search strings they use, search engines can send them anywhere – to a website written by a professional who has years of schooling, or to a blog of any age.

For those who do believe the first thing they read, landing on some blogs could actually be detrimental.

We’ve all seen them. Blogs which guarantee we can make tons of money by reading the book written by “XYZ”, or by ingesting “ABC” we will have improved health, lose weight, grow hair and/or become a chick/man magnet.

For the person who believes the first thing they read, they could be totally mislead, put their health in jeopardy, and/or spend their money foolishly. The person who does fact checking will see the site for what it is and will move on.

With blogs and reputable websites being so difficult to distinguish between, many bloggers are unintentionally being seen as experts.

For those looking to advance their careers via a blog, this can be a good thing.

But, what happens when blogging is only a hobby, when the author is still fumbling around, is posting just to post, and/or the information they share isn’t fact checked?

Today’s Assignment

How do you feel about being considered an online expert?

With regard to the posts on your blog, is it obvious to the first time visitor what you write are your opinions only?

Have you even had someone land on your site who assumed you were an expert?

If so, how did you handle their questions and/or comments?

Raise you hand and let’s talk about this important matter.

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  1. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    For me personally, when I visit a site – if it’s a new site for me, I’m much more likely to question what I read. It’s not until trust is built up, that I will more fully believe unquestionably believe what has been written.

    That said, I try to write in a way that hopefully portrays my words as real and meaningful, while at the same time hopefully making it aware to readers when I’m expressing an opinion that I believe in.

    I didn’t really consider myself an expert when I started. However, the more I’ve written, the more confidence I’ve gained in myself. And there are certainly times when reader’s have come to the site and I feel like they’re looking for expert advice. So – my philosophy is simply to be honest. If it’s something I believe to be true – I try to let reader’s know that I’m expressing my belief. If it’s something I know to be true – I’m much more likely to take out that I’m expressing my opinion. As I’ve grown, I really do consider this much more in my writings…
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance,

      That’s true. When we land on a site for the first time, we’re often uncertain if the author is credible, but if we follow their progress, see how they act and/or interact in blogosphere, they may gain our trust. And I think it’s the same for us, too. It takes time.

  2. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve had people ask me questions like that on a couple of my blogs that were totally outside what I knew about. I just reply something like, “Sorry, but I don’t know anything about ______. My knowledge and interest is limited to ______.”
    .-= Check out Mike Goad´s awesome post: Balancing at Arches =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s a great answer. We certainly don’t want to mislead our readers into thinking we’re all knowing.

      What you said reminds me of a comment I received on my other blog. I had written a post that recapped something Oprah discussed on her show. The commenter assumed she was reading and asked me questions with regard to the show, etc…. I emailed her, explained I was a blogger and gave her the link to Oprah. That made me realize how confusing blogs can be to readers.

  3. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    Because I was taught as a writer to always consider the audience, I try to make my level of expertise clear. It was tough when I first wrote a personal development blog. As an EMT, the idea of “Do no harm” is rather important, and I try to apply it to writing so I write with the thought, “Can this be misconstrued in a way that will be harmful?”

    When I first considered writing my current blog, which covers physical, mental, and emotional self defense, the need to be clear became even more necessary. If there is an area I don’t know (currently) much about — such as the psychology of domestic violence — I would make that known up front. In the future, when I write my opinions on the martial arts, how to pick a style or school, and the whole traditional vs. reality-based training debate, I will make sure to note I’m coming from my perspective and experience and that other high-level black belts may have other opinion.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Has a narcissist tried this manipulation on you? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      I like the concept you use – “do ho harm”. That is true, both in real life and online, isn’t it?

      With your area of expertise and what you write about, I can see how the need to be extremely careful is very important. You certainly wouldn’t want your words and/or advice to be misconstrued.

  4. Does sharing what one knows make one an expert? I’m not sure. I tend to look at experience and consistency in message before I’d assign the moniker. But I have no hesitation to recommend those whose advice I’ve found helpful. Disclaimers, such as the kind Lori references, actually help evaluate – and I’m usually inclined to assign more authenticity when there is a disclaimer, depending upon how it’s written. I’m happy to share what little I know in an effort to foster more information accessibility to anyone who might be interested in the subject matter.
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: THROUGH A GLASS GRIMLY, PART 3 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      That’s true, isn’t it? When we see a disclaimer, it shows the author is being extremely careful not to mislead the reader. It might also encourage the reader to become a more informed consumer.

  5. Hi Barbara,

    Thank you so much for putting a part of my comment in this post. I am so honored and happy.

    This is a subject that has been on my mind for sometime. Like Lance said, my philosophy is to be as honest as I can. None of us are perfect and none of us has all the answers. We can just share what we know and what has worked for us.

    I think it is very important to respect your audience and if someone mentions something in a comment, it has to be addressed and not ignored. People inevitably will look to the blogger as an expert, otherwise, why else would a person be blogging. I mean….usually people blog because they have something that they want to say or share. If they didn’t, they would not blog. So I think bloggers have to realize that to some degree you will be perceived as an expert…so you have to act accordingly and not treat your audience like idiots.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: You Are Not Your Past =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re very welcome Nadia,

      That is true. Bloggers will be looked at as experts, even if they don’t feel they are. And you’re right, if a reader asks a question or wants more clarification on a topic, it’s our responsibility to address their concern either by expanding on what we already know is true and/or by saying that’s not our field of expertise. A link to another site might be helpful, too.

  6. Great questions, Barbara. Great observations, Nadia.

    I think with age I tend to do more of “not believing the first thing I read.” As Lance and Betsy note, it takes consistency and experience to build up reader trust.

    I don’t believe anyone expects me to be a “fun” expert since that is such a subjective thing but I have noticed the types of posts that resonate most with people — great to tune into and keep open to creating more of. Even tho I suspect people are not expecting me to be all sunshine and roses 24 / 7, I do feel a responsibility to stick to the lighter things in life. And that ain’t a bad thing at all!
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Sunday Photo, Plus An Amazingly Original Thought On Laughter =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jannie,

      WHAT? You’re NOT a fun expert? I’m heart broken. 🙂

      Seriously though, what you said about age is true. When we’re younger, we may be more apt to believe the first thing we read. But maturity teaches us to fact check and to remember “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Thus, if our target audience is a younger demographic, it becomes even more important that we publish accurate data.

  7. Very good questions Barbara. While I consider myself an adventurer not a writer, my experience taught me not to believe things at first pass. Nowadays, media is full of untold lies. Just watch TV and you’ll see it in the ads.

    I believe in the golden rule.. “Do as you would be done by”. I do not consider myself as an expert and would gladly take any comments from other netizens.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Adventurous Wench,

      Ah yes, the golden rule. We certainly can’t go wrong if we practice that. You’re right, all types of media can be filled with untruths. At least we bloggers do have control over what we publish.

  8. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    For me it comes back to integrity in all aspects of my life.
    Integrity standing for doing things coming from responsibility, accountability and ownership.
    I love that we as bloggers are a lot more transparent than any other form of communication.
    We are not just one article or one advertisement but we are a string of articles that in the end can give away how authentic and honest we are.

    And if some pretent to be a bogus expert, than I do not see any difference with that in real life.
    In the end we all are responsible for what we take on board, are we not?
    Or do we want some legislation to protect us from harmful bloggers as well.
    I do think that is giving our own responsibility into the hands of others, again.
    You have imposters everywhere in life and the blogging world will be no different.
    I am with Mike, when some people have asked me questions in a personal email, I have given an honest answer and lovingly explained my limitations in what I could do for them.

    bigger advertsising agencies could take a leaf out of that book. As a blogger you are transparent anyway and people will
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: Accessing the wealth that has me BE a wealthy base camp. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wilma,

      Yes, bloggers do become very transparent. Not only do we see what they stand for from their blogs, but how they conduct themselves in blogosphere. There’s no hiding, is there? (well, except for those who blog anonymously).

      With regard to legislation – some day that may happen. Although most of us us blog responsibly, others don’t. And as you know, it’s those who don’t that can ruin it for the rest of us.

  9. WalterNo Gravatar says:

    Frankly speaking I didn’t thought of myself as an expert. I just write what’s in my heart and express my thoughts about life. I want my readers to learn from my experience and at the same time have some feed backs about their thoughts. 🙂
    .-= Check out Walter´s awesome post: Why are we having problems with problem? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Walter,

      I don’t know if many bloggers do see themselves as experts, but the more we blog about specific topics, the more our readers begin to believe we know “our stuff”. Even if it’s just your experiences, how you handle different scenarios can teach your readers a lot.

  10. Hi Barbara,
    I do believe I’m an expert. I have a master’s degree in psychology and a ton of wisdom and experience in many areas including parenting, grandparenting and relationships. I’ve worked in a prison, grew up and worked on a farm, self-published a book and speak professionally.

    That said even experts don’t know everything! I have no problem “saying I don’t know but ________ can help you.” I’ve referred counseling and coaching clients to colleagues who were a better fit than me.

    I’m grateful to readers for their faith and trust in me and commit to being honest, open and willing to admit errors and mistakes. Nobody’s perfect but everyone has to take responsibility!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      I see you as an expert, too. 🙂

      What you said about referring others to colleagues shows the sign of a true expert. You know your limitations and also know who will be a better “fit” for that person. It ends up being a win-win-win. Can’t beat that.

  11. I think it’s pretty obvious my blog is mostly opinion, not facts. When I do state facts, I always double check them to make sure they are accurate.
    .-= Check out vered | blogger for hire´s awesome post: Internet Addiction Rehab Center: Do We Really Need It? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Yes, your writing style lets your readers know right from the beginning you are only stating your opinion. And I do notice, like on your most recent post, one of the links goes straight to a government website. It doesn’t get any more accurate than that.

  12. elmotNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!

    Lately some people have been asking me, not really strictly for pieces of advice but more infos in order to help them think more about political issues and decisions especially on the upcoming elections in our country.

    I feel really good that people turn to ask and interact with me; but I don’t really consider myself as an online expert. I consider myself as but only one voice that could help facilitate my readers personal search for answers.
    .-= Check out elmot´s awesome post: Why I Blog About Willie Revillame, Conrado de Quiros, Sen. Lito Lapid, and GMA =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Elmot,

      That’s a huge compliment your readers are paying you – by asking your advice. You apparently come across as an expert based on your writings. Even though you feel like you’re only one voice, you’re words are resonating with many. That says a lot, Elmot.

      • elmotNo Gravatar says:

        Thanks Barabara. I indeed felt that way though my intention was different. I just wanted to share my thoughts. And it feels great with somehow some people are trusting your thoughts that would help contribute to their individual discovery of things.
        .-= Check out elmot´s awesome post: Do They Have the Balls To Do It? =-.

  13. George AngusNo Gravatar says:


    I think this is even more true for a writing blog. Folks look with a keener eye and a lot of people assume that if you have the cajones to put up a writing blog, then you must be some kind of expert.

    It’s up to the blogger to be honest about their experiences and to not advise about a topic they know nothing about.

    But hey, they read it on the internet so it MUST be true, right?

    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: New Twitter User Name =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Oh George, you make me laugh,

      With you having a writing blog, I would guess many take a closer look at you as that’s what we do with blogs (write) and we look at you to tell us how to do it right.

      You do carry that cross real well. 🙂

  14. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    I tend not to deliver lectures on my blog. If at all my posts are sharing lessons I’ve learned while I blog. Some readers, however, still misconstrue that as expertise. It’s not bromide, but I learned more from my readers than the other way around.

    It’s fascinating how people and buddies seek you out in email and direct messages in Twitter. And sometimes you just have to divine the unspoken questions in their comments. I always give thoughtful replies, knowing they invested something of themselves when they pose those questions.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: Giving Good Loving To My Top Follow Friday People =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      That’s true. Even if we try our hardest NOT to sound like an expert, others will seek us out based on the topics we write about. I think that also has a lot to do with the way we say things – with a little more certainty, perhaps.

  15. These comments are so great to read. I liked how Tess said that even though she has a bunch of experience, she doesn’t consider herself an expert necessarily. I think back to when I worked as a marketing director in an engineering firm. We used to joke that one project in a certain field gave us experience. Two or three projects made us an expert. Back before there were official degrees and in pioneering days, someone who was passionate about the human body, for instance, and had taught themselves through experimenting could be considered a doctor. No medical school or licenses necessary back then. Today I think we’re degree- and license-happy. I’ve known many so-called experts with more licenses than the DMV who weren’t very good at what they did.

    But I digress. Ultimately, all any of us can do is write from a place of personal opinion. What’s the truth? Who ultimately knows the truth? Is there one, or is it just what the human collective agrees to for the time being? Now I’m thinking back to the butter & margarine debate. We flip flop as a species…

    So maybe responsibility is in both the writer AND readers’ hands.
    .-= Check out Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s awesome post: The Unique Gift Awakening Brings =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Megan,

      I was reading your comment thinking of all of the people I know who keep going back to school to get another degree – not knowing for sure what they want to be “when they grow up”.

      I totally agree with what you said – both we and our readers have responsibility. Unfortunately, because we publish online, many readers believe if it’s online, it’s true (like George said).

  16. My goal is to be the Someday expert so I hope fervently that people land on my site thinking so. 😉

    That being said, once I get into working with people, I’m always clear up front that they are not working with a mental health professional in any way – my work is a form of action-based mentorship, not therapy.
    .-= Check out Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s awesome post: Dealing with Negativity: The Lab Rats Look for Naysayers =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alex,

      I can see how some might perceive you to be a mental health professional since you teach others how to rid themselves of the someday syndrome. By being upfront with them, that should clear up any misconceptions.

  17. I’ve been an online expert now since 1998 in various niches.

    I feel it is quite a responsibility, but then again, so is your typical job (and being online is MY job).

    The important part is to know where your responsibility ENDS. For example, I can recommend a product/offer a technique/etc. but it’s up to the reader to do their research to satisfy their own needs as well. Everyone needs to take ownership of their own actions.
    .-= Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach ´s awesome post: Today’s Humor of the Day – Karate Bloopers Part 1 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barbara,

      That’s true. Whether online or in real life, we do have the responsibility to our jobs.

      I like how you said your responsibility ends and the reader’s responsibility begins (or it should), as that’s part of being an informed consumer.

  18. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I would hesitate to call myself and expert on anything. Like one of my favourite rappers says, “I must confess, I don’t know everything but I know what I know, know what I mean?” (1)

    I have had teachers email me and ask for more resources, such as my long range plans and I am glad that I can share them. It feels good to be able to share what I know and resources I have created or collected over the years with other teachers.

    I do know quite a few things about hip-hop and teaching that I share on my blog. I hope that people will be able to take something away from my posts, whether it be an idea they can use in the classroom or a tidbit of hip-hop history or culture.

    1. from “Mircale” by the hip-hop group Move.meant
    .-= Check out Chase March´s awesome post: Afternoon’s Will Never Be The Same =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      Thank you for sharing the line from the song – it says it well. We know what we mean, but often others don’t.

      It’s apparent your blog is touching a lot of lives. Not only do you share what you’ve learned with your readers, but other teachers feels it’s also of great value. It goes to show how what we write and what we know has a reach greater than just the pages of our blog.

  19. The message I want to convey to a first time reader is that I’ve spent a lot of time consciously pursuing personal growth. I don’t want to be an expert. All I want to do is share my growth experiences and hope that readers can take value from it. I want my writing to convey that I’m human and I make mistakes so a reader feels open to leave a comment correcting me or enlightening me to something I might have missed.

    When I write something, I try to write it on the basis of personal experience but I don’t want to write “in my opinion” or “I think” all the time because that makes the writing weak. I would also hope the reader understands that anything he/she reads anywhere has the potential to be wrong, even the “experts”. It’s up to them to test things out to see what is true for them.
    .-= Check out Broderick Durisseau´s awesome post: Visualization – Day 4 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Broderick,

      As I was reading your comment and the ones before yours, it makes me wonder if there shouldn’t be a disclaimer of some sort prior to someone logging to go online. As bloggers we’re all very careful to not mislead our readers, but like you (and others) have said, they also need to take responsibility.

      That’s true what you said about adding “I think” or “in my opinion” to all of our work. It does weaken our writing, and almost makes it sound like we’re being too careful.

  20. BunnygotBlogNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, when I wrote about Tesla, I was asked what happened to his belongs after he died. Well this was a good question since the FBI had taken his stuff.
    I did remember it was given to his nephew then the nephew donated it to a museum but I forgot which country.
    So before blurting out Croatia and not being sure it was true. I Googled it!
    It is in Serbia. So better to Google before shooting out a wrong answer.
    .-= Check out BunnygotBlog´s awesome post: The Hidden Dozen: How Bunny Blogs =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      That’s a good point. If we’re even in doubt, it’s easy to Google that which we’re unsure of. And even then, depending on where we get our information from, sometimes we need to double check that source, as well.

      I remember finding a quote online and the credited Mother Teresa, when in fact it was a quote by Saint Teresa of Ávila.

  21. Hi Barbara — it’s funny, I used to make sure to cite some author in each of my posts to make sure that I looked credible. When I experimented with not doing that anymore, my pageviews went up and people started leaving more comments. My sense is that citing sources all the time had my blog actually occur as overly intellectual or detached to readers. Or maybe it’s got nothing to do with it at all. 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chris,

      Hmmmm. I’ve never heard of that happening before, but it is odd that when you stopped citing other authors your pages views and comments went up.

      Just think, now when you need to link to a reliable resource, you can just link back to a previous post. 🙂

  22. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Like Vered, I think it’s pretty obvious that my opinions are just that and I’m not holding myself out as an expert in anything. My problem usually lies when people take something I wrote in humor seriously. I’ll correct them if it seems they have taken a joke as fact, but ignore them if they get huffy or feel insulted about some silly thing.
    .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: Who wants to be rich and happy? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tracy,

      Humor has to be hard to write. It seems like so many find some stuff funny, and others, not so much. With humor we often have that play on words, and like you said, some don’t get it, get huffy or feel insulted. It’s a fine line, isn’t it?

  23. Hi Barbara,
    Great topic and these comments are a joy to read. I agree with what Lance wrote. Like him, the more I write the more confidence I have. But at the end of the day, I’m just another person, and my expertise is in the eye of the beholder!
    .-= Check out Jodi at Joy Discovered´s awesome post: My Happy Place, Your Happy Place =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jodi,

      The comments are a joy to read, aren’t they? I love how everyone shared how they see being viewed as an expert, or not. There’s lots of points of views.

      Yes. Expertise is in the eye of the beholder, and hopefully the “beholder” remembers to do their homework.

  24. […] Blogger – The Unintentional Expert | Blogging Without A Blog […]

  25. I am an expert in building a business around your true calling so I totally invite questions and opportunities to express that expertise. Once again, the solution to many of the questions you ask her is simply to be authentic all the way. Be who you are off line while online and all is well.
    .-= Check out Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s awesome post: Is Your Business Authentic? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tom,

      You’re right. When we’re authentic all the way, it makes blogging easier as we’re not putting on any airs. With that said, I think it comes through our writing and if what we say resonates with our readers, they may see us as an expert of sorts.

  26. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara –
    Boy this topic AND the comments are wonderful food for thought. Obviously bloggers need to write responsibly because you just never know who is going to be reading what you wrote – on the other hand blogs are opinion-based, experience-based bits and pieces of our lives or our thoughts. I don’t know of any blogger I read who pretends to be the world’s expert at ANYTHING, though I am sure they are out there!

    Even with the best of intentions, we can offend people. Perhaps that happens when a rookie is floating around in the blogosphere not knowing anything about blogs – and boy, there is a universe full of them I’m sure. Heck, I didn’t know what a blog WAS a year ago – I had NO idea! But I don’t think bloggers need to constantly issue disclaimers, do you? I know this is a litigious society, people sue their shrinks too, but maybe it’s the all the degrees that bring that out – advertising you have a degree in this or that seems to be a magnet, or bait, a lawsuit waiting to happen?

    I write honestly, always using a bit of humor, to get people thinking about things. I’d be the first one to stand up and say, hey I am a student of life – we ALL are! I’ve had a follower who sent me an email saying after reading my blog a few wks. she finally “got” me. I guess my humor can be a bit irreverent or sarcastic at times so a first read is of anyones blog shouldn’t be an absolute judgment of anything. I know I’ve followed blogs that when I first read them I thought “hmmm, this is interesting, wonder what else they will say?” and so I went back again. I don’t agree with everything I “hear” or read anywhere ALL the time but I love how it expands my thinking and challenges me to continually see the other side of things. I suppose we need to keep in mind there are people “out there” that aren’t like this though – but I don’t want to focus on that when I write or I’d freeze up entirely!

    Anyway, I’m rambling here – did I make any sense at all? LOL

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Suzen for the great comment,

      I do agree with what you said about not having to be constantly issuing disclaimers, however, I do feel having at least one on our blog is a smart move. Even though it may be labeled as “the small print”, it will tell readers a little more about what we’re responsible for, and not.

      That’s great how you got the email from your reader. Fortunately she took the time to continue to read your work. And what you said is true. If we land on a blog for the first time, the current post may not resonate with us, thus going back a few times will give us a better idea if we want to subscribe and/or continue reading. First impressions can be deceiving in blogosphere.

      And yes. we all are students of life. Isn’t it grand?

  27. […] Swafford recently said that bloggers can be seen as experts and thus have a responsibility to their readers to disclose the fact that they are not necessarily […]

  28. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. What I find interesting about this is that one “expert” will not necessarily be the “right” expert for someone, no matter what their business. Depending on what type of information I’m looking for I will search and do the research. I tend to not believe the first thing I read and will take information from many sources to draw my own conclusions. Similar to shopping around for good prices, I would keep looking until I found what “felt right” to me.

    My blog is more of a personal blog that offers my own perspective about how I see life “talking to me”. My truth will most likely not be someone else’s truth, but I like to think that my sharing will offer more perspectives for reader’s to consider — to help expand their perception, if you will.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: 7. Just Passing the Thyme =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      You’re right. We can read ten blogs (or websites) on the same topic, and may only find one that we can identify with. It comes down to the author and how they present the information. If they come across as “knowing”, we’re more likely to see them as an expert we can trust.

      Even though your blog is of a personal nature, I can see how by reading your stories, readers can not only learn from what you share, but may look at life a little differently based on how you do. (Just like your current series. You’re teaching how if we slow down, we will find more beauty around us. )

  29. KrisNo Gravatar says:

    Wow that’s awesome. I’ve been blogging for few months now and it seems that don’t have enough visitors. Maybe it really needs a lot of time to be able to have more visitors.
    .-= Check out Kris´s awesome post: Video Door Intercom- Are You Sure that You Have The Right Guest! =-.

  30. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I might be a bit paranoid actually – but I usually check things if I state them as fact – luckily with the internet that is not so difficult to do. I have found myself checking things I have believed to be true for years!
    .-= Check out Robin´s awesome post: Can Limitations Be Useful? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Robin,

      Can we ever be too careful? Fact checking is a great habit to get into. If we inadvertently posted an untruth, then we’re only making matters worse. Like you, I want to know for sure.

  31. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. fortunately my blog wouldn’t tolerate me being an expert – the whole of the universe could not be digested by me or regurgitated for others .. I just try and highlight points I find of interest and hope others have fun reading them, seeing the pictures, perhaps picking up some interesting snippets .. and generally a relaxing time, while perhaps learning a little about something new.

    Though if I go to blogs for expert advice .. or even advice .. such as your SEO post + comments .. I’d pick over the facts and take the points I thought were salient .. ie I suppose I’d add to my already small knowledge with a little more, without trying to absorb too much – some of which may not be terribly helpful.

    Though we seem to be extraordinarily lucky in our group – well I consider myself so – as we do have wise people around, who offer good advice which appears to come from a true heart – and that says and means a lot .. I tend to trust more in these circumstances.

    Thanks .. I am definitely not an unintentional expert! Nor an intentional one .. just someone who enjoys learning and seeing things in a slightly different way ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: The Rhythm of Life …. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      One thing I like about your blog is you teach me about things I either haven’t heard about, or haven’t had the opportunity to research. Although you may not see yourself as an expert, your posts are filled with great tidbits of information we can all learn from.

      I’m like you. I find blogs or websites and take from them only as much as I can absorb and use. Then when I feel comfortable with that information, I may go back and learn more.

  32. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    just a few folks read my blog and comment.
    I would like to be an expert some day….about something, but I still would not know all the answers and I make lots of referrals, even in the basic post.

    I always believe in my word and work at making it the best word I can express…working from values helps that process a great deal.

    I am attempting to share a process of learning values and learning to live from that place….

    Today I am thinking blogging is so much work – for so little return which = my life story.
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: DIY Healthcare: Working on New Directions =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      Ah, you’re not giving yourself enough credit. With all you’ve experienced in life, through your blog you are teaching your readers more than you realize. Your values shine through in your writings, thus you become a mentor to others without realizing it.

      Although many aren’t commenting, I’ll bet many are reading and admiring your tenacity.

  33. SaurabhNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara,

    Undoubtedly there are many website are up in the internet, whose sole intention is to make money anyhow. And the common prey for them are the people who believe the first thing they see. In this situation people there is a need of the people to be aware, to save themselves from the trap of these site.

    Now, there are people who write to inform people, who like interaction with the people through their blog. And whose intention is to enrich their reader with the maximum knowledge they can give.

    And as far as advice is concerned, when a person writes the content by himself he knows what he has written because the good content is a result of goo research and this research makes him eligible to give advice on the subject.

    This was really a thought provoking post 🙂
    .-= Check out Saurabh´s awesome post: Who Is She? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Saurabh,

      That’s an excellent point. Many bloggers and/or website owners know there is a large population of individuals who will believe the first thing they read. Although preying on them is morally wrong, for a buck, they’ll do it anyway.

      And yes. When we provide reliable information, others will begin to see us as experts and respect us for our knowledge.

  34. Jon McDowellNo Gravatar says:

    As a researcher or search engine user, I try to do another relevant research before concluding if what I’m reading is right or wrong. It’s a matter of judgment on my part, but based on my extensive research. Luckily, I haven’t experienced buying unnecessary stuffs because I’m not easily persuaded by what I’m reading. LOL
    .-= Check out Jon McDowell´s awesome post: How to Treat Angular Cheilitis =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jon,

      Doing our research beforehand is smart. Not only can we blog more responsibly but our readers will continue to come back to our sites, knowing what we post is well researched and accurate.

  35. KrisNo Gravatar says:

    Great post. Sometimes people do not know that the owner of the blog is new when it comes to blogging. Well, it depends on the article on how good it is.
    .-= Check out Kris´s awesome post: Folding Chair in a Bag =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Kris,

      That’s a good point. Chances are a visitor to a blog has no way of knowing how new (or old) a blog is. All the more reason to start off on the right foot.

  36. jakeNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging is really awesome. You can’t predict that you can be an expert blogger someday or shall we say a known blogger.
    .-= Check out jake´s awesome post: Babylock Embroidery Machines =-.

  37. hi Barbara, great post!
    I feel that I am very transparent through my blogs which come across as a mentorship. I focus on encouragement and reassurance for my readers and that is my intent. I rarely post based on opinion, rather a sharing based on experience. I believe that our experiences make each of us an expert. There is more respect for someone who has lived through something (and we all have a unique story) that gains readership (when applied to that niche even moreso!) I am naturally responsible so I guess I don’t prefer the term ‘expert’ but I have come to see that I must realize that I am one, because with that comes the confidence that you believe in your Spirit work. If one does not believe in their dreams, and or how they live their life,.. hmm.. well maybe they shouldn’t blog too much, cause it could be they are just stating opinions to avoid living a life of love, and building character through their divine experience 😉 Blessings , Jenn
    .-= Check out Love’s Leading Companion´s awesome post: Love in a Time of Global (Uncertainty)~Awakening: =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jenn,

      Isn’t that interesting how that works? Through your own experiences which you have shared on your blog, you begin to look like an “expert” to others. It’s like your readers know you will understand and have empathy for them because you have been there, too.

      Like you said, when we have confidence in our Spirit work, we come across believable – because we do (believe).