Authority Bloggers: 5 Secrets They Don’t Want You To Know


secretsHave you ever wondered what separates an ‘authority blogger’ from bloggers like me and you?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get into such a position?

Here’s 5 secrets that you probably don’t know about what it takes to become an authority blogger.

Secrets that they would much prefer you NOT to know about.



Yep, that’s right. Most ‘authority bloggers’ who are up there and in the limelight are not single crewed, despite what they try and tell you.

They tell you that you can follow in their footsteps. They create an illusion that they have got themselves where they are now, all by themselves.

And it’s absolutely not true.

Many of these authority bloggers hire small teams of experts to help them with everything from branding to writing to promotion.



Have you ever wondered why the same names and websites are mentioned over and over again in all of their online and offline material?

Go to any authority blog, and you will find numerous examples of name dropping and links to the same group of bloggers and their websites. Go to those websites mentioned, and you will find reciprocation on a grand scale.

‘You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’.

And this then goes full circle in a way you didn’t even realise. Because the constant endorsement of others seems a natural strategy for linking out, it breeds a generation of bloggers who then copy and paste, in the hope that one day those authority bloggers will reciprocate.

Which they will never do.

But what it does do is grows their own blog. Linking to an authority blog in the hope they mention you somewhere, somehow? Forget it. All you are doing is growing the long list of smaller bloggers who are then backlinking to an authority blog.

Name your top 5 authority bloggers, and then visit their site. It won’t take long for a link to appear to someone who’s in their secret group. Go and visit that site. I can guarantee you that site will be full of links linking back to the site you just came from.

These secret groups are hardly ever spoke about.

But make no mistake about it, they exist.



Graphics, SEO, research, courses, audi, PR, promotion. It’s not done on the cheap. It’s outsourced to professionals who do this sort of stuff for their bread and butter.

But, they tell me I can start a blog by using thier link to get some hosting and a domain? By all means, you can go and get some hosting for $5 a month. It’s a cheap way to start. But that’s the crux of the matter right there in that sentence. It’s only the start.

But what they don’t tell you is how much they are spending are all the other stuff. How much does a team cost to create and maintain? How much does outsourcing SEO cost? How much do their pro looking graphics cost on their blog posts?

The answer is a lot of money.



Far from it. These bloggers put in more hours than they would care to admit to.

To achieve what they are achieving takes a lot of time and dedication. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of time. A good blog post can take hours of research and prep before it’s even remotely ready to be published.

And that’s not even counting all the other work they put in, like promotion, social media, podcasts and personal coaching.



Don’t be fooled by the success stories. These successes are often on the back of multiple failures. How come authority bloggers don’t seem to fail at anything? Well they do, but they don’t care to tell you about it.

Building any business, whether that’s on or off line, takes time.


But authority bloggers will hardly ever mention how long it has taken them to get to the point they are currently at, or of any failures they have experienced. If they do, it will be buried deep under a pile of hope and encouragement.



It’s fair to say that these authority bloggers nearly always put quality content out there. Quality content keeps people coming back for more. But hey, maybe you feel like you have quality content out there too? What’s the difference?

The difference is the 5 secrets above. Imagine if you were part of secret group of bloggers who promoted the hell out of each other? Imagine if you had a team of people working for you? Imagine if you had a huge resource of money to throw at your blog? Imagine if your blog was your life, and you didn’t have your full time job to go to?

Stop imagining, and I’ll tell you. Your blog would have progressed far further than you’d ever imagine.



In my town, there is a family run burger bar right across the street from McDonalds.

McDonalds, a household name across the world.

But guess what, that family run burger bar has been there for years, and prospers greatly year in, year out. They are taking their slice of the pie.

Here’s what I’m going to say. If you aim to be the next McDonalds, chances are you are going to fail miserably. If you aim to be that small, family run burger bar, you chances of success increase exponentially.

I used to read a blog post from someone who had been blogging for less than a year. One day, the blog was offline. I emailed them to ask what had happened. They said they felt a failure because they had only achieved x amount of traffic and x amount of income from their blog. They then proceeded reel off a list of authority bloggers and how much they had earnt, and how much traffic they were getting.

It’s like comparing the specifications and performance of a Ford to a Lamborghini. If you are gauging your results on the results of an authority blogger, then you are doomed to failure from the get go.

Yet, there’s no reason on this earth why you cannot take a nice slice of the pie, just as the family run burger bar do in my town, year in, year out.

You may think that this article is a dig at all the bloggers out there that are classed as an authority, or are earning substantial amounts every month from their blog, or have become minor celebrities.

It’s really not.

It’s simply the truth.

On my blog welcome page, I actually tell people that earning online is not as simple as some make it out to be. I actually tell people to leave my blog and go and find employment if they are looking for riches, or if they are looking for a solution to their money problems.

Just like we can’t ALL become the next Beckham, Beatles or Branson, we can’t ALL be the next Patel, Rowse or Flynn.

And it’s those 5 secrets that are key to separating us. 5 things that they really don’t want us to know, or at the very least east, don’t share often enough with us.

But one thing’s for sure.

We can still take a nice slice of that pie.




  1. Hi Richard.

    I do some of these things. I have a team. Well, one of my writers does add to the blog occasionally – does that count?

    And I don’t do things on the cheap. I invest my time.

    OK, the one thing I do is to hunt in private groups. I have deliberately determined where I want to be and with whom I want to network, and I consider that crucial.

    Some of those places are not all that secret, such as Kingged and Triberr and Viral Content Buzz, where I spend more effort than certain other communities.

    Others are more private, such as FaceBook groups and Skype groups. These groups vary in nature. Some are Mastermind groups. Some are very specifically to cooperate on a specific aspect of blogging or promotion. I participate in three different FaceBook groups for mutual support and tips on Tsu, for example.

    It’s not so much a you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours approach, although that is definitely a side benefit that results; it is more a matter of having a team, not standing alone. And that makes a big difference.
    David recently posted…Write into the woodsMy Profile

  2. I would agree – not standing alone is definitely a huge help. To have people to fall back on, to bounce ideas off, to see things from a different perspective.

    It’s great, but it’s not something that 99% of us have.

    I have thought about private groups and masterminds before, and they do have value if you are within the right group of people I guess.

    Thanks for chiming in David.
    Richard Martin recently posted…Thrive Content Builder ReviewMy Profile

  3. A lot of what you said is true, although its important to keep in mind that it’s still possible to become an authority blogger if you are starting small. You have to keep in mind two things though:

    1) if you are trying to make it big based on what you freely find online it’s going to take you longer to figure things out. Authority bloggers don’t reveal ‘secrets’ for free and these ‘secrets’ matter.
    2) I see small-time bloggers making the step to becoming an authority blog all the time. It’s still possible and you don’t really need big budgets. You need hard work, patience and a good mentor.

    It’s completely realistic to say that one’s target is to become an authority in one’s niche after 2 years.

    I think you might find the article I link to below interesting. Cheers.
    Jeffrey Romano recently posted…How to make it big in your first year of blogging. A case-study approach of 5 popular bloggers.My Profile

    • Hi Jeffrey.

      Thanks for your comments. I have no doubt that patience, hard work and having a mentor will get you to your desired goal faster than those who don’t take on these 3 elements.

      However, many fall into the trap of thinking success comes far quicker than the 2 year point, and many will simply give up after a matter of months.

      I have a list of bookmarks with blogs and websites in. These are bloggers who i like and I find their content valuable. Over the last 2 years, all but a handful are still there in my bookmarks, mainly because the blog has been pulled.

      I think a big point of this article is not to judge yourself by the achievements of others, because it creates expectations that are only possible to a very few.

      Will take a look at that link, thanks Jeff.
      Richard Martin recently posted…Thrive Content Builder ReviewMy Profile

  4. Hey Richard,

    I agree with what you said. I first noticed something similar to what you said when i was in Network Marketing.

    They teach that if you pass out 3 DVDs a day, then you’ll find wealth. Well after rubbing noses with some of the Leaders within the company, they indirectly told me that it was much more than this!

    When I came onto the blogging scene, at first I thought it would pretty a bit more easier to grow a blog and home business on the internet. But later I realize it was much to internet marketing and blogging than just posting your content yourself every week. You really have to put in some work and do it more intelligently!

    Thanks for the share and letting the cat out the bag!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Why Aren’t You Getting Email Subscribers?My Profile

    • Hi Sherman.

      Yep. That’s what everyone thinks. They think it’s easy, but what they don’t realise is the massive amount of work involved in the background.

      I just really wish these authority bloggers would share more about their journey to becoming an authority blogger, and then maybe people wouldn’t think it was so easy.

      Thanks for your comments Sherman.
      Richard Martin recently posted…Thrive Content Builder ReviewMy Profile

  5. Interesting post Richard.

    In my opinion the problem is much deeper:

    1. Too many people want overnight success and don’t want to put in the research, time, and effort.

    2. People don’t want to spend money to be successful or start small and build up to where they want to be over time.

    3. People don’t think of this as a business because the start-up costs are so low and the barrier to entry is easy. With that said, the barrier to entry is either spent in time or cash to gain traction or both.

    4. People don’t take the time to get help to learn their business and the blog just becomes a list of what I do and buy my stuff.

    5. They don’t get help learning how to build a business and create a plan that includes strategies, goals and objectives.

    Here is the big one in the context of your article:

    Stop taking advice from everyone who appears to be successful, or is successful. Figure out what your business is and then get clarity, focus and execute.

    I just recorded a podcast with Ryan Biddulph where actually talk about this some and how to network online to grow your business. It’s about 3 weeks before it posts.

    I suppose I could go on and on Richard, lol… You covered the subject really well!!!! Great read.

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted…3 Truths To Understanding Successful Internet MarketingMy Profile

  6. Hey Don.

    Thanks for your time, and a great list of some of the common and not so common problems facing people (including myself I may add).

    I especially like your advice on figuring out what your business is, then clarifying, focusing and executing.

    Will keep on eye on the podcast with Ryan!

    Thanks again Don, I appreciate your input.
    Richard Martin recently posted…GUEST POST: Essential Data Back Up Strategies For EntrepreneursMy Profile

  7. Another awesome piece of content Richard.

    Guess I never really even thought about it. Though it does make sense now that you spelled it out.

    I do have to say, that so many of the success stories have similar theme’s. They put up this killer post, it spreads like wild fire and they are now a authority, blogging rockstars. Though, this content usually did not seem to be so incredibly outstanding.

    Sure, you pay some one to create incredible content and your off and running.

    Always wondered how some of these people could command social media so quickly, and what seemed so easily. Maybe because they did not do it alone, huh?

    Sure does make a lot more sense now.

    Guess you could say this is a newer form of marketing and a powerful one if done correctly.

    So another question might be, are some of these authority bloggers income claims legit? I know stats can be faked, it’s quite easy. just makes you wonder how many are.

    opps, now I am getting negative.

    Don’t see why a group of smaller bloggers couldn’t collaborate, master mind and make a different in each others businesses. Well, think you’d already suggested that. Very interesting idea. Could multiple each others success with maybe less work?

    Your so right about small businesses doing well. We have a small place in town here, they sell corn dogs, only corn dogs, call them pronto pups. It’s maybe a 10×10 stand, but they’ve made a killing over the years. Been in the press, ect. Only open in the summer, while the owner spends winters down south.

    We also have a local hamburger joint, been around since my parents where young. Even with Mcd’s, Wendy’s and Burger king close by, the place is still very busy.

    Great post Richard. Smart Thinking 🙂
    Ron Killian recently posted…Here’s Why You Might Be Losing Email SubscribersMy Profile

    • Ron, thanks for commenting my friend.

      Interesting comment about income claims. Of course, none of it can be verified, so it has to work on an individual basis on whether we trust them or not.Some I do, some I am very skeptical about.

      It’s easy to put up a number. One number, and people sit up and take notice, and immediately think ‘I must do what these people are doing!’.

      Take Christmas and New Year. My earnings dropped right across the board in December. I checked a few of the people I ‘watch’, and guess what? None of their earnings had dropped. I find that incredible to believe, i really do.

      Great examples of smaller businesses taking their slice of the pie Ron.

      Thanks again for your comments.
      Richard Martin recently posted…OptimizePress or Profit Builder? The VerdictMy Profile

  8. Hi Richard,

    Motivating Post!
    Yes, if you think about it, there is always a big distance between authority bloggers and beginner bloggers. Everyone wants success in blogging, but they have to get an overview of success of a successful blogger. When they try it yourself and do not generate anything in a few years, they were disappointed and finally stopped blogging.

    Indeed, to be a successful blogger is not easy. Time and dedication on your blog needed. 🙂

    Thanks for this great article, Richard.
    Have a nice weekend for you!

    Nanda Rahmanius recently posted…7 Great Tips How to Use Tags EffectivelyMy Profile

  9. Hi Richard,

    Excellent well thought out post as usual.

    You know I’m guilty of some of the things you’ve mentioned, but hopefully now I’m back on track and moving in the right direction.

    Thanks for helping to ground me and letting me sound-off to you. I’m here for you if you want to chat anytime. I won’t have all the answers, but it helps to get things off your chest sometimes.
    – David
    David Hartshorne recently posted…How to Pick the Perfect Blogging PlatformMy Profile

  10. Hi Richard,
    Thanks for this thought provoking post!
    Yes, many newbies struggle to achieve in the initial stage and soon quit! Thinking or comparing with the authority bloggers!
    The secrets you revealed is surely an eye-opener to many bloggers!
    Thanks for sharing this informative post, often the authority bloggers do not say or like to share LOL
    Hey, I like the illustration of MacDonalds’
    I would like to quote that again here:

    “Here’s what I’m going to say. If you aim to be the next McDonalds, chances are you are going to fail miserably. If you aim to be that small, family run burger bar, you chances of success increase exponentially.”

    Richard~ This is indeed a wonderful and vital advise all upcoming or newbie bloggers.
    So, aim first to reach that level of Family run burger bar 🙂
    Wonderful illustration Rich!
    Keep Sharing
    Best Regards
    May you have a great and profitable weekend
    ~ Phil
    Philip Verghese 'Ariel' recently posted…Philip Verghese ‘Ariel’ (P V Ariel) the Knol Author- A Small Write-up About MyselfMy Profile

  11. This post definitely touched a nerve or two (LOL)….

    No one is ever going to admit to all the hard work and long hours it took to get to the pot of gold.

    Even in network marketing where you hear the rag to riches sob stories, they never really tell you how they really achieved success.

    In the case of blogging, what sets those Blogging rockstars apart from everyone else is of course a lot of them have been doing it longer and a lot of them have formed alliances just like you stated.

    You can do nothing about the length of time you’ve been blogging or whatever, but you can begin to form alliances with the top people in your niche.

    You can warm up to them by commenting on their blog posts, share their stuff on social networks, mention them positively by name on social media, guest blog for them or even write a blog post specifically about them on your blog and then let them that you did so.

    They will eventually take notice and be more likely to let you get a foot inside the door of their syndicate.

    Just my two cents.
    Corrisa recently posted…Make Money on the Web Ideas: What You Should KnowMy Profile

    • Hi Corrisa.

      Some great advice here. But if I may, I’ll add a caveat to your advice.

      I see many, many people doing what you suggest, but only to get that proverbial foot in the door. I think that’s the wrong way to go.

      My rule is, you have to genuinely like that blogger, you have to genuinely like their content; their status should not be a reason in itself to start doing the things you mention here, but unfortunately, many people try and it must stick out like a sore thumb to those already at the top.

      My take on it is simple. If I’m to get to the top, I do it on my own merit, and not through the strategy you propose. Nothing wrong with your strategy, and I wish you luck if it’s yours, but I believe that if you are in the game long enough, and you are putting the quality out there, then those authority bloggers will notice you – through 3rd parties who mention you in passing. In a way, it’s a 2nd tier way of getting noticed, instead of thousands of bloggers all doing the same thing and promoting the hell out of them in the hope they will get noticed.

      Which 99% of us won’t.

      That’s my strategy. Lets see where it gets me.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments Corrisa, i appreciate them.
      Richard Martin recently posted…Thrive Content Builder ReviewMy Profile

  12. Hi Richard

    An eye-opener post, indeed.

    Many pro bloggers do know these secrets but don’t want to share it not to deprive others of them but they feel embarrasment to share such tricky tips.
    The second secret has now become an open secret because many bloggers open declare they are member of a few secret groups.

    Yes without team it is almost impossible to build a blogging empire like CopyBlogger or QuickSprout and they themselves admit that they have a team.

    Outsourcing is the best option if someone can’t make a team to achieve blogging success.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this revealing post.
    Mi Muba recently posted…7 wicked ways to spice up your dud blogging mentor programMy Profile

  13. Hi Richard,

    I applaud you for hitting people in the face with reality.

    The thing with blogging is this, a lot of people are under the illusions that they can publish a post here and there and some how it generates cash. NO! It’s a business and it has to be run like one to succeed.

    Most of the methods you mentioned above are applied in offline business to, why? Because that what it takes. It’s not easy, it’s not overnight and you need to ready for the competition.

    I do believe that people can make it seriously big with their blogs by applying the right methods, of course. And shouldn’t let your post make them feel bad about their blog and current achievements.

    Instead I hope they are grateful that they got to learn this information now, so they can change or alter their current strategy.

    Thanks, Naomi
    Naomi Dinsmore recently posted…10 Free Business StartUp Tools You Shouldn’t Launch WithoutMy Profile

  14. Hi, Richard,

    Very thought-provoking article, and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts about this all important topic.

    To my audience, I am an authority. To those above me and ahead of me on the journey, probably not so much.

    I’ve never concealed the fact that I outsource a lot of tasks and even help others learn how to do the same. It’s just smart, in my opinion.

    Did this pretty early too, on a small scale, of course, but I needed to reinvest in my business. I have the luxury of having my husband as the main bread-winner so my business has been used to pay cash for college education and extra things.

    Craig Emmerson issued a challenge to pay it forward, and I’ve taken that challenge. Linking to someone who has not done anything for me, just out of kindness and encouragement. Pretty cool stuff.

    I agree with Mi also. Outsourcing is the way to scale, and is much more affordable than people think.

    Awesome article, Richard, and I appreciate your insight!
    Carol Amato recently posted…WP Curve Offers the Best WordPress HelpMy Profile

  15. Good post Richard!!

    You shared some very good insights on blogging and bloggers online.

    I just don’t agree that every “Authority Blogger” is not sharing the entire truth about how they have built their blogs.

    I have met many very successful bloggers online who shared exactly how they have done it!! .. they do not hide anything at all!

    The only bloggers who have “secrets” are the ones who get ignored most of the time. No one like to hear from an unreal and ingenue blogger anyways.

    All of the successful bloggers i personally know share exactly the strategies they have used to built a successful blog online.

    You have shared great tips in here on building a successful blog online. I just do not agree every blogger tries to make them a secret lol

    Just my 2cents!

    Keep up the great work man!

    Freddy G. Cabrera recently posted…Gain More Exposure Online with Audio Marketing!My Profile

    • Hi ‘Freedom Blogger’.

      I’m so glad you don’t agree with me on everything! I love it when people present a flip side of the argument to me.

      Of course not every blogger has such secrets, but many do. They present themselves in a manner which seems to show them doing everything on their own. And then they say ‘hey, you can do all of this too, you just need to buy x, y and z below’, but the truth is they haven’t done it all on their own – a lot of the time they have had massive help, and have poured a lot of money into SEO etc to make it work.

      Thanks for your input.
      Richard Martin recently posted…A Link Too Far. How Many Links Should You Have In Your Blog Post?My Profile

  16. Really important lessons in this post Richard. I believe a person just starting out could do so with the intention of being an Authority Blogger. I guess it becomes about the niche you select.

    The MMO niche is crowded for sure, but as it grows, many sub-niches begin to take on strengh and an authority in any of those sub-niches can be a good thing.

    I like the message of not trying to be the “McDonalds of the Town”. This is really key for the mindset in the beginning. If you came to blogging with the mindset of making $50,000 a month right away, sorry, you’ll fail even before you start.

    Dan Maxwell, Jr recently posted…Here’s My Plan for Earning a Minimum of $100,000 in 2015My Profile

  17. Hi Richard,

    If Authority bloggers don’t want us to know about these “secrets” then they are “secrets” indeed!

    I agree with you these are hidden facts and if we consider them while we blog then we would very much succeed easily.

    Blogging needs time, resources, commitment, and discipline. The amount of these virtues put in by one authority blogger often remain the “secret”.

    There is no magic wand for blogging; only prepared, planned productivity!

    Its time to stop taking authority bloggers at the “face” value but by what they really can do!
    Sunday William recently posted…4 Motivation Killers That Could be Holding your Business Startup…From StartingMy Profile

  18. Hi Richard,

    You are absolutely correct! Loved this article and I’ve noticed that people are getting wise to the empty promise syndrome. I feel the internet is coming into a phase where the cream must rise to the top. Sharing b.s. content isn’t going to cut it anymore. We must share our most valuable content and hold nothing back.

  19. Hey Richard,

    Points 4 and 5 are really telling because many bloggers take those for granted.

    First, they don’t want to put in the necessary work. But it’s the work that actually helps them and puts them in a position to get to that next level.

    And yes, they’re not overnight success stories. Virtually no one is — and if someone plans to be that, they’re in for a rude awakening.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of these authority bloggers do constantly promote each other and you’ll have to move mountains for them to even look in your direction, but it takes time, persistence and work.

    Nothing in this world is given to you — and if you want recognition, you have to go out there and not only get it, but earn it.
    Andrew recently posted…Bloggers Beware: What WordPress Plugins Are Truly Essential To YOUR Blogs’ Success?My Profile