A few years ago, I wrote a post on my blog all about how to best use Pinterest as a blogger.
Pinterest, at the time, was my blog’s main traffic source, and I wrote a comprehensive post sharing exactly how I use the platform to receive maximum traffic and engagement. I shared numbers, stats, and income.
Not long after, a fellow blogger friend questioned whether this was a smart idea. Her point was a fair one: “You’ve worked hard to gain your expertise in this area. Now you’re just helping your possible competitors.”
It was a common argument, and one I also stood behind early on in my work. I did work hard for my knowledge. None of it came easily to me. So, shouldn’t others have to put in the same hard work I did?
Counter-intuitively, though, in the past few years my thoughts on this changed course.
Now, I wholeheartedly believe it best to freely share my expertise, generously and often, in the areas I’ve gained a foothold in.
Furthermore, I’m here to encourage you to do the same. Here’s why.
Give and Take
Freely sharing my knowledge surrounding key areas of blogging and marketing is a win-win but, as I mentioned above, I didn’t always feel this way.
Early on, I felt as though I fought hard for my expertise, and sharing it would surely give my competitors an edge. Throughout the learning process, I did a fair amount of testing, tried techniques that failed, tried ideas that ultimately succeeded, and tried things that failed one month but ended up working another. It was excruciating and frustrating.
Holding my hard-fought cards close to my chest was, surely, the way to go.
Now, I realize I was wrong. Having in-depth knowledge is a gift, and sharing it with others benefits you all the way around.
It will help you go deep
Explaining to another the ins and outs of your area of expertise helps you as much as it helps them.
The more you discuss/debate/explain what you know to another, the more that knowledge becomes deeper and more rooted within yourself. Teaching another also invites a conversation, where questions are asked and other ideas are considered, which often leads to a new insight or understanding of the topic at hand.
It will build your authority
Anyone can say they know a lot about something, but sharing your valued knowledge with others proves you really do know your stuff.
It establishes you as a credible leader in your field. You become the go-to person for information and insights into your particular area of expertise.
It will make you feel good
I always feel better when I give freely than when I suspiciously glare at others while holding all my cards close to my chest.
Of course, we all have businesses to run and bills to pay, I’m not denying that. If you believe in any sort of karma out there or assert, like I do, that you get what you give in this world, it simply makes sense to choose the generous, open-handed option.
Others will be grateful, and will even possibly be there for you when you have a question or are in a tricky spot.
It seems counter-intuitive, but freely sharing your knowledge and expertise helps others and also benefits you, too.
Consider what areas you are strong in, and think about possible ways to share what you know. A blog post, podcast, article, or social media post are all good places to start.
Your audience will be grateful and you’ll feel good knowing you’ve generously given of yourself and helped out someone who needed it.