How can you improve blog credibility? In a world full of scams and false promises, there’s an increasing need to be more credible in today’s online atmosphere. This article will go over 7 quick tips to help you build and maintain a good credibility standing among your readers.
1. Create a Good “About” Page
Your blog’s “About” page is going to be one of your most visited pages on your website, second only to your homepage. Why’s that? Because your readers want to know exactly WHO’s behind all the tips and advice you’re feeding them. They want to know if you’re someone they can TRUST. Your about page is an “open mic” to showcase who you are; to set the foundation for a good relationship with your audience.
Here are some things you can do to make your about page contribute to your credibility:
- Give them as much personal information as you need to paint the picture of a REAL live person. The more real you can be to your readers, the easier it will be to trust you. Who would you trust more? MaXimus_Bl0ggR who runs the website you’re on, or Max Butterfield—a 26 year old guy living in Wyoming with a wife and baby boy?
- Include photos of yourself and your family (once again, this adds to your “real” factor).
- Tell them how you got started in your niche, and the journey you’ve embarked on to get to where you’re at.
- Explain why you created your website; it helps to have good intentions.
2. Don’t Try to Appear Perfect
Nobody’s perfect, so if you try to appear that way on your blog, you won’t seem very “real” to your visitors—making it much harder to trust you. Tell them about some of your past failures and mistakes regarding your website topic.
For example, my website is about making money online, and in my about page I let it be known that when I first got started, I gullibly fell into an MLM scam that caused me to lose a lot of money. Ironically, a guy who LOST a lot of money in the beginning of his journey is now instructing people how to MAKE money. This has worked wonders for my own personal credibility.
Be yourself—warts and all—and your readers will appreciate you for it.
3. Be Bold About Your Opinions
Don’t be afraid to express your opinion—after all, that’s what blogging is all about. Sure you might lose some readers, but your true follower will stick with you. Let those who aren’t a good fit for you and your website leave… they were going to do it at some point anyway.
The last thing you want to do is water yourself down to try and appeal to everyone; it’s just not going to happen no matter how hard you try. You’ll gain a more loyal following if you write for a specific group of people: the one’s who agree with your viewpoints.
4. Promote High Quality Products
This one goes without saying, but I’m constantly seeing people promote products based solely on the commission structure, and not the actual product (it should be the other way around). There’s nothing that’ll ruin your credibility faster than promoting a low quality, shady product that fails to deliver.
You might make a few sales, but those who bought aren’t buying on your recommendation anymore. And those who already know the product isn’t good are going to lose respect for you. It’s best to promote only products you’ve personally tested, or products you are absolutely certain are high quality.
5. Plan on Monetizing? Do It Now.
Another credibility killer is drastically changing your strategy mid-way through the game. The biggest example are those who refuse to monetize to focus on “building their readership” only to do it later, causing a wave of complaints and a reduction in readership. When you don’t monetize at all, build up a readership, and then monetize later on, you appear as a “sell out” and your credibility suffers as a result.
However, if you monetize from the beginning, your readers already expect it from you and don’t think anything of it. For example, with my mailing list, I send lots of high quality articles to them on a regular basis. But every THIRD mailer, I’ll send a product recommendation or a solid review for a product I’m affiliated with. I’ve followed this strategy from the beginning and have had ZERO complaints on my promotion days. If I would have started doing this out of the blue, however, it would be a much different story.
6. Share Your Results
Don’t be afraid to publish your results, even when yours aren’t as good as you want them to be. You’ll always be a step above somebody, and that’s who your readers should be—after all, why would you want your readers who are taking advice from you to be ahead of you?
When you publish your results, not only do you appear to be more real, you become a figure for people to look up to. For example, if you run a health and fitness blog and plan on losing 50 lbs, start documenting your results and share them with your readers. Let them know your challenges; what you’re doing well with, and what your struggles are.
Not only will your content be more interesting, you’ll also be more credible.
7. Be VERY Accessible
Aside from slapping up a “Contact Me” page on your blog, make an effort to encourage your readers to contact you with their comments and questions. Do this and you’ll have an opportunity to really connect with your audience, to find out exactly what THEY want to know.
As an example, with just about every newsletter mailing that I send out, I remind my subscribers to hit the ‘Reply’ button if they have any questions for me. Doing this lets them know that I’m a real person—not just a website that shells out advice on a specific topic. Aside from that, make sure you are responding to all emails you receive, and to all messages you receive on your social network profiles (Twitter, Facebook, etc).
How Do YOU Build Your Credibility?
While the above list will put you on the right track in terms of building and maintaining good credibility with your readers, it’s not an all-inclusive list. What things do YOU do to help boost your credibility with your readers that isn’t in the list above? How effective are your tactics?
I encourage you to continue the discussion by sharing YOUR personal “credibility strategy” with us in the comments section.
Guest post by Jonathan Beebe, an online entrepreneur who writes at MMO Work. Visit his blog to learn more about making money online.