Expert Advice

illustrator familyDing! Ding! Congratulations, you just won free access to my blog! And, believe me, you won’t be sorry. I’m an expert. Scratch that. I’m a semi-expert. Hmmm, maybe you better scratch that too. Well, here it is: I’m pretty darn good…at writing that is.
Right now, rumor has it that the search engine people, you know, like Google and Bing, are re-evaluating writer’s content and what page it belongs on when people search for something. When I heard that, I instantly started pounding in the titles of some of my articles to see where mine were at. It wasn’t long before I was doing the happy dance. I came to find out a few of my articles were on the first page. They weren’t just on the first page. They were on the top of the first page!
Woohoo! I almost forgot I had arthritis. This is big! I’m gonna be rich! Okay, maybe not quite rich, but I’m gonna make some real money doing something I love – enlightening people to a new way of looking at things! Yep, that’s what I thought anyhow. Turns out, I might not be an expert writer; but, I’m not an expert SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) analyzer either. I’m not even sure if that’s what I needed to be to understand that the reason my articles were on the first page was not because I’m all that. A fellow writer let me know that they were on the first page because I entered their titles in the search box. There went my house on the beach. There went my pina coladas. There went my 100 inch t.v. In fact, the only thing that came and didn’t go was my arthritis. Yep, it came back with a vengeance.
My back was killing me so I went to soak in the tub. While I was in there, I started to think about what I was gonna write in this blog. I was thinking so hard that I was on my third shampoo before it hit me. That was the first time I ever followed the instructions on the bottle (wash, rinse, repeat, wash, rinse, repeat, wash). Looks like I figured out where my expertise is … getting my hair squeaky clean. I did a pretty darn good job.
What it all came down to is me wondering what exactly it is that constitutes “an expert.” Do you have to have a degree to be considered an expert? Or, could people legitimately call you an expert because of your life experiences on any given subject? Who gets to decide? If you have most or all of the qualities of a licensed expert, does that make you almost an expert?
I was a kid once. Not only that but I, also, started babysitting when I was ten years old and since then I’ve babysat some more. I’ve had two kids and three step-kids, and a whole circus full of grandkids. My life experience with kids dates back more than five decades. Does that make me an expert on kids? I think so. I’m pretty sure I’m more of an expert on kids than any child development expert with no kids and a PhD.
Anyhow, I’m interested in your thoughts. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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