This AI generated image shows a herd of buffalo running across the prairie and is to illustrate the idea of how best practices for obtaining and growing topical authority is "doing the work".
This entry is part 12 of 44 in the series Topical Authority

The lead post in this series is Mastering Topical Authority: A Comprehensive Guide to Boost Your SEO.

Topical authority strategy: Step 1 is mindset

You have to turn not just the generation of content, but the capturing of ideas for content, into daily habits.

Ideas are all around you and you can train your unconscious to “bring them to your attention” by committing to the task.

Which leads me to a story I think is very relevant.

Inspiration and perspiration

An aspiring writer visited an established successful writer he greatly admired to ask for advise on how he too might become a successful writer.

The successful writer spoke of the importance of commitment and habits.

He explains how he writes every day from 9 am until 1 pm, 6 days a week. No matter what.

Some days the writing is mediocre, some days the writing is fantastic.

But the successful writer emphasized the secret to his success is that he writes for four hours every day.

The aspiring writer protested that being inspired is necessary for him and he asked the established writer if the same was not true of ALL writers.

To which the successful writer responded that inspiration is critically important, and for that reason he gets inspired every morning at 9 am.

This commitment and mindset tells your unconscious to bring that steady steam of content ideas to your attention.

Capturing content ideas

And when they bubble up, you’ve got to capture them.

I live in a Windows and Android world, so the tools I use are Google Keep and Google Sheets. They both run on all my devices.

If I lived in an Apple world I would probably use different tools, but I would use them as I use my current tools.

When an idea bubbles up, I jot it down quickly in Keep, then later at my desktop I review it and copy it to my Google Sheets documents.

Sometimes the idea doesn’t look quite as good upon review as it did initially, but initially there are no bad ideas, just a need to capture them.

Write for people, format for people AND search engines

Yes, write for people.

That’s not just a saying, it needs to be part of your daily tactics.

But, be aware that the search engine spider needs to crawl the webpage and determine what it’s about. So on-page SEO optimization does matter.

Use section headers and if appropriate bold text to make your posts easily scannable to a person who visually scans it for pertinent sections, and to the search engine spider that scans it for HTML tags.

Create topic clusters

This is for both people and search engine spiders.

Attention spans are getting shorter, so information needs to be packaged in smaller chunks.

But some topics are really big.

So you create a “topic cluster” where a large number of posts that cover various aspects of a topic are linked up and down and back and forth and across, to each other.

This makes it easy for readers to move from idea to idea, it also signals the search engines that the posts are related.

External validation

Links still matter, but not how we used to think about them.

Bulk link building from high domain sites is no longer the lofty goal. The goal is now topically relevant links from the main content of topically relevant webpages.

Earning links

You need to shift your thinking from “building links” to “earning links”.

This shift matters because to earn links you need to publish quality stuff.

Social proof and engagement

In theory, when you publish enough content on a topic, over time the search engines will “notice” and bring you organic traffic.

And people will start linking to your content, which is important external validation.

But, if you engage with an audience before that happens, you can help that happen faster.

But, posting links to blog posts on social media is no longer enough.

You have to find where you crowd hangs out online, and engage with them.

That is unlikely to be Facebook groups or LinkedIn group as in my experience such groups are where people post, with minimal interaction and engagements.

Instead, you need to find TRUE online communities, which could be on Reddit, various forums, Slack channels, Meetup groups, etc.

The key thing here is you’ve got to put in the work to find them, and you’ve got to participate.


Knowing what content of yours is most popular helps give you ideas for future content.

While Google GA4 does seem less intuitive than Google UA, for this need, it’s good enough.

I’ve created a report of Page and Session Source/Medium that gives me the basic overview I want.

In closing: Rinse and repeat

The day to day work of growing topical authority never ends.

You need to adopt the idea that you’re never “done” publishing about a topic. You’re like a journalist or newsroom.

Always looking for new stories of interest to share.

Series Navigation<< How to leverage topical authority to improve search rankingsExamples of successful implementation of topical authority >>

Kevin Carney
Kevin Carney

Kevin "fell into" SEO by accident, like many others. The SaaS platform to help writers boost their topical authority came years later after various SEOs said it was something they would like to see.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.