Writing Articles – Am I Really An Expert?

In all honesty, I am not an expert in writing articles.  So why the heading “Am I really an expert”? I’ve used it because I have written about 15 articles, and according to some article-submission sites this classifies me as an “expert author”. 

My “status” got me thinking about what we really mean by the term “expert”.  There are so many self-proclaimed “experts” on the internet, particularly in the field of internet marketing.  Another word which is frequently used, and a pet hate of mine is “guru”. 

Let’s look at definitions for these two terms.  According to Wikipedia:

“An expert is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience or occupation and in a particular area of study.  An expert ….. is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain.”

“A guru is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others (teacher).”

How many self-professed experts or gurus actually fulfil these criteria, particularly in the field of internet marketing?  Very few!

I think that the keywords in these definitions are “accorded authority and status by their peers” and “regarded as”.  The status of expert or guru cannot be self-proclaimed, it must be attributed by others.

I have been a teacher in schools for over twenty-five years, and have developed a certain amount of expertise in various fields, including pedagogy (the study of being a teacher), classroom management, personnel management and department leadership, probably more than most.  However, it is not for me to describe myself as an expert in any of these fields.  If my peers and colleagues choose to refer to me as an “expert”, then so be it.  Flattering, but probably not justified!

So, the next time you see the term “expert” or “guru” used in the context of internet marketing, consider the source of the description.  Is it self-applied, or applied by others?  I know which form of application I would trust!

Referring back to the heading – “Am I really an Expert?” – I think I can say categorically “NO!”.   It’s something I can aspire to, but it’s going to be a long journey.

See you along the way,

Graham

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