How to Fake Your Way to Becoming an Expert


I am a fake.

When I started my fashion blog, the only thing I knew about fashion was how to put together an outfit that didn't get tomatoes thrown at it. When I started IFB, I had only been blogging for six months, and knew very little. When I started Eat, Sleep, Denim all I knew about denim was that jeans were comfortable. Over the years, it became evident that I had learned quite a bit from blogging, and was no longer a dedicated amateur, but indeed an “expert.”

The truth is that many blogs are not started by “experts.” Unless the expert is somehow out of work, or is starting a new venture, for the most part bloggers are dedicated amateurs who just love a topic, and start a blog about it. While some traditional-media-ists proclaim the demise of western civilization due to non-expertise, and they're partially right, the truth is everyone, even the experts started knowing nothing.

Perhaps the easiest and best way to become an expert, is to act as if you are an expert.

This post does not advocate ignorance or lying. This post will tell you how you can become an expert in your niche. This post will tell you that you don't have to be an expert to start your blog. Perhaps the easiest and best way to become an expert, is to act as if you are an expert. Not by going around saying, “I am an expert.” but by doing the things experts do. Pretty soon, you're not faking it… you're the real thing.

So let's get to it!

Research Your Topic

Just because you started knowing nothing, doesn't mean you can remain a know-nothing if you want to have any kind of credibility. Read, read, read, absorb everything you can get your hands on. When you write a post, don't just spew out what you think, read the reviews, read the Wikipedia pages, check out books from the library. Dig up articles, magazines, newspapers, other blogs, really… anything you can get your hands on. Read it, and put your own spin on it for the post.

Interview Experts

There is nothing that will help you become an expert faster than getting to know other experts, and picking their brains. Of course for your blog, it's a great opportunity to get content, so don't just ask the boring, “what is your inspiration” questions, get deep, get the questions you want to know the answers to.

Document Your Journey to Expertise

I did this with most all of my blogs. Sharing the knowledge I picked up along the way provided for some compelling content. Your readers are there to learn new things, and what better way to please then than to share what cool things you just learned?

Focus on Story Telling

What you lack in knowledge, make up for in story telling. There is always something say to make something interesting. You know Stephen Hawking? He is an expert yes, but more importantly he's an expert who can tell a story. What good is knowing something if you can't make it interesting? While you're building up your knowledge, focus on the story that makes it interesting. Your practice will always come in handy, especially as your expertise becomes more robust.

Harness Your Enthusiasm

You know what's awesome about not knowing anything? Everything is new and exciting. You're not jaded by the same-old-same-old. You're looking at a new topic with fresh eyes, bringing your own unique experience to it. It's exciting! Harness that excitement and share it with your readers.

Stay Teachable

The biggest reason why experts hit a plateau on their quest for knowledge is because they think they know it all. Avoid this at all costs. There is nothing, I repeat, nothing that you can possibly know all there is to know about. There is always something new, something changing and your job as an expert is to stay on top of that.


You may not know much now, you may not be good at what you're doing, and there is only one way to fix that. Practice. Practice researching, practice writing, taking photos, practice your social media networking. Practice, whatever it is that helps you communicate your expertise. And soon enough, you don't have to fake being an expert anymore!

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28 Responses

  1. Jeanine Marie

    When you find something you really love, you put positive energy into it. The more information you obtain, the more you want. People do not start out at experts (most of the time) you just become one over time. Anyway this is a good article with good tips.

    Jeanine Marie

  2. Monica Lee

    Enjoyed this! I interview people all the time. That’s what I decided to do…become curious. It’s worked, now people pay me to coach them and I have a n e-course as a result of all the interviewing and coaching.

  3. Juliana

    I love how you wrote this article! Ever since that post where you told us that we should never write “I think” in a blog post, I’ve started to feel more confident about what I have to say and the way I write.

    I definitely agree that there’s a difference between pretending you’re an expert (fake it ’til you make it, right?) and just straight out lying or being condescending. Thanks for giving tips on how to make pretending a little bit easier!

    – Juliana

  4. dacy

    great advice, and great to hear how you felt when you started blogging, i’ve been reading your blogs forever!!

  5. Melanie Wickwar

    Great post, Jennine! I certainly don’t know everything, but what I don’t know, I research. And, when I get hung up on not being an ‘expert’, I just think “it’s a personal style blog for a reason — it’s personal!” 🙂

  6. Aurélie

    Such a great post! And it’s true. We all start small and grow over the years. After all, becoming an expert needs time and commitment…

  7. E-M

    I absolutely agree! As an amateur myself, I’ve discovered over time how much possibilites for evolving there are! I have grown so much in posing, taking pictures, writing posts … I’d say the problem many bloggers do is that they don’t write much and the lack of writing really ruins many posts for me. Writing more, exploring the background and sharing that is what makes a blog more successful! People love to read so now I’m also trying to dedicate more time to researching a subject 🙂 Your tips were very helpful!



    Certainly blogging is the way to increase your confidence , day by day as you post articles ,while seeing it ,and getting reviews from the users ,you will get a star feeling, because your posts make you star in every body eyes.

  9. SabinaSabina

    Amazing. Thnx. Although I blog about fashion and have been dealing with from an early age actually making it interesting and getting to know what your are talking about is totally different. So appreciate your tipps, they worked for me and some are really new.

    Sabina Styleblog Only In Frankfurt

  10. Onianwah

    Wow, this is a post I really needed to hear now…at this very point of my life.
    Sometimes I am asked to write about something I really don’t know about or ask questions I don’t actually know the answers until I google or check out other sites and blogs. When I send in the answers and people say thanks to me, I feel like a fraud because the information didn’t actually come from me.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  11. Nikki

    This information was really insightful especially as a new blogger among many who are viewed as ‘experts’. It’s an on-going process searching for new information and absorbing new material. Your work will never be done. In my opinion when your overly certain is when you are gambling with losing readers.

  12. Chelsey

    Definitely good advice! I definitely don’t always know what I’m talking about, but pretending I do has helped me learn SO MUCH. It’s crazy how much research and reading goes into trying to sound competent. 😛

  13. Anna & Juju

    This Post is great! It helped me thinking about what i can change in my way of blogging. Great Post, great site…. Love it!

  14. Mary Uiese

    Thank you for this post. I am new to the blogging world and find I question myself every time I start a post because I think does anyone really care about what I have to say? This really is a confidence booster and will be taking your tips on board.

  15. Fusion

    WOW! Such an inspiring post indeed. And like you said, learning, learning, learning because the expert of today was yesterday’s novice. No one was born an expert, it is years of trials and errors, learning, dedication and the passion for doing what one loves doing that bring the best in them. And also, the longer you stay around in what you do, the more trust and reputation you gain along the way.

  16. Tamara

    This is so true! I use to say the same thing to my friends when they asked me where did I start. Awesome advice!

  17. Talita Taiti

    I love this “fake till you make it” concept. Personally, I’ve noticed this at work in my own blogging experience. I started blogging about fashion when I was 16 and didn’t know much other than the fact that I loved talking about personal style, trends and shopping smart. Immersing myself in fashion websites, books and whatever else I could get my hands on paid of. Now I look back and I’m often surprised by how much knowledge I’ve picked along the way. I still wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I surely feel much more confident creating fashion posts on my new blog.

    Great advice!
    xx, TT