The Fear of Being an Expert

It may be scary to be seen as an “expert” on something when you have others looking to you for advice. Particularly when your advice could be used to make life changing decisions regarding love, money, or health. But if you participate in your field, you’re honest with readers, strive to help them, and produce excellent content, you’ll find blogging to be a far more rewarding endeavor.

Once I realized people actually listened to what I had to say, or wrote, I was a bit surprised. Maybe even scared. Not only does it become your journey, but theirs as well because our advice becomes gospel at times. We are the defacto “pros” in an ever changing landscape of information. Readers have far more access to us now than the  traditional journalism. The barriers are now down and we’re exposed for better or worse.

At first, I was a bit apprehensive of this position. Thoroughly researching every question that came to my inbox. Scouring the internet and books for the “right” answer. Being afraid of ever being wrong. But I soon realized it’s less about always being right and more about being honest and being there. Honest about what you do and do not know and being there when readers need you. This is the difference between us and traditional media.

Have any of you felt the pressure of being seen as an authority? Have you ever been disappointed by the lack of responsiveness from a blogger?


  1. I am no where near being considered an expert, but reading your feelings on it is eye opening.

    I also agree with you about the “being there”. I think, yes we read blogs and seek out information to learn and apply in our lives, but ultimately we begin to form a connection with the blogger behind that information, and we see them as someone who can understand the journey we are going through since they are providing information about it, and therefore someone to connect with.

    1. Too often I see bloggers not “walking the walk”. Particularly those telling others how to be successful. Credibility is hard to establish and easy to lose. I believe it’s one of the most precious things a blogger has.

  2. I struggled with this on my wine blog a little bit, but in the end wine is so subjective that (I think) anyone who says their opinion is canonical… is to be watched carefully. 🙂 But I think a lot of people come to my site *looking* for advice, and I agree that the most respectful way to respond is to express my opinions candidly.

    1. Personally, I would LOVE to become a wine expert. One glass at a time. lol. Sometimes opinions and fact can be confused. As long as we realize that at times, our opinions are biased, we can do a great service to our readers.

  3. I get comments almost every day from people who want me to diagnose their relative who they think might be bipolar. Or people who want me to decide if they should try meds or not. I constantly refer people to professionals. I’m no doctor and wouldn’t diagnose over the net even if I was. People are still so scared of mental illness.

    1. Yikes. Scary position to be in. This is why WebMd exploded. Going to take a long time for the mental illness stigma to change. Love your position.

  4. This is an excellent question. And something I have encountered more than once… luckily I am not an expert on anything.. (in fact expert is a terrifying word) -like most of us, I know a little about a lot of things and a little more about some things and am very happy to share the information I have gathered about one or two things but ALWAYS make sure that the readers know that this is purely my opinion or my experience. We are all so different and we experience things differently especially on the mercurial internet. Great subject to discuss.. c

    1. I honestly do more researching for my readers than myself. They ask questions I never think of. They see angles on subjects that never occur to me. Lived experiences are limiting sometimes and having others involved in your life, and blogging is part of our lives, is interesting to say the least.

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