Blogging Credibility and How to Acquire It
If you say it, some people may think it might be true, but if you write it people are far more likely to think it’s true — this is how newspapers work. The written word carries enhanced credibility, and by writing rather than speaking, your own credibility is increased. Enter the blogger and the huge numbers of new blogs being created every day — suddenly it has become cool to blog (read: ‘write’) and now anyone can set up a blog and start spouting whatever garbage comes to mind.
So I’ll just say it: I think the vast majority of blogs out there are just crap.
I have to wade through masses of them to find something worthwhile. Occasionally, I find a real gem that makes the hunt worthwhile, but for the most part I surf on by and never return.
As part of that reader habit, I’m sure I skim through a ton of blogs which are in fact worthy. They just don’t grab me fast enough to stop that automated impulse to go to the next site or hit the back browser.
A big part of my attitude is my automatic assessment of the credibility, or lack thereof, of the blog itself.
Building Your Blogging Credibility
As head of an online marketing company, if I catch Danny Sullivan, Matt Cutts, Aaron Wall or a dozen others in the mix, it piques my attention more than if I see “Joe Schmuck” with the latest SEO tactic that makes him thousands of dollars each day. Partially, it’s also about the subject matter, and what is being relayed over to me as the reader, but it is largely the association of the blogger with the people being quoted too.
If your intention is to become an authority figure on a topic, then both your online and offline credibility are important. The issue is what can you do to cultivate credibility and show yourself in a positive light?
Credibility by Association
We’ve just touched on one thing you can do: become associated with others in your subject arena. If Daniel Scocco was to grace my blog’s presence with a guest post, or I was to grab a comment from Rand Fishkin, then my credibility is enhanced simply by association. You know Daniel, you read and visit his site, so seeing what he has to say on my blog helps me a great deal in transferring the value in Daniel, that you have in your mind, to my blog and ultimately to me.
An alternative is to interview someone for a blog post, even grab a sound bite from them which can then be attributed. This is something which is easier to do than actually getting a busy person to sit down and write you three or four hundred words for a post. Just prepare some questions and email them to them — you don’t even need to actually speak to them to interview someone.
I don’t need to have an online celebrity post to my blog — someone else will do, but make sure they produce the very best content for your blog as you are able. Be editorial in the exercise of your judgment, because if it is a great post, that’s fine, but if it simply regurgitated pulp, that is going to hurt you too if you are publishing it.
Translating Your Subject Matter Knowledge Into Reader Credibility
Your credibility is affected by how you approach the topic you are looking to become an authority in. If your blog is on Mommy tips, your credibility is not helped if you are a 48 year guy who has never had a kid, unless you’re some sort of Dr, Spock character. I can’t write a bunch on the movies if I don’t watch them, and I am not interested with angst-ridden philosophy from spotty teenagers who think they know all about life but haven’t left their hometown yet.
Your knowledge also needs to be current too, which will be reflected in the blogging posts you make. The nature of the media beast is that online users are living in the ‘now’, so the topicality of your blog should reflect what is happening in your niche too.
And you have to be able to make an intelligent stab at expressing what is happening too. It does no good to be light on factual support and heavy on personal opinion, at least that is, until you have established your credibility to begin with. In this respect, more evidence to back yourself up on any stands you take is a good thing, and you can’t have enough either.
When people get into a blog, they are really buying into the person behind it — what kind of character they are, where they are, how old, what sex and what do they look and sound like. For this reason, include your own bio and add photos of yourself too. Be personable and let your readership and potential surfers like me know you are real and not some made-up corporate persona that doesn’t exist in the real world.
Work on Credibility Off Blog as Well as On It
Finally, getting yourself referenced elsewhere will improve credibility quickly too, especially if the reference is from another recognized leader in the field. This is probably the ultimate in getting endorsed, especially if someone like Rand Fishkin was to write about my SEO blog or Matt Cutts referenced me in one of his videos on Google.
Scaling my expectations down a notch, simple getting referenced by other bloggers who are in the same niche as me is good for my credibility too. After all, if I say something, it isn’t as believable as if you say it about me, and the same applies if I write something, it is just going to be so much more credible if you write about me instead.
I’ll just hope what you write is good stuff!
Karl Hindle is CEO of Andersen Internet Marketing LLC and you can find his personal blog at www.KarlHindleSEO.com
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10 Responses to “Blogging Credibility and How to Acquire It”
Andi the Minion
Credibility will come from being genuine, like Usman says, and for publishing real genuine helpful information. Giving people good quality stuff will have people sharing and liking your stuff.
Then it won’t be long before top people start to notice you. I have used the interview method a few times myself and really like it. We end up with having big names on our site and they also leave comments, which is always a winner.
One thing I’m always amazed at is when people use blogs to write about everything but there topic of interest. If you are advertising real estate services, stick to real estate or related topics. No one is coming to your site to find out what happened in the football game last night!
Being real is the best advice I’ve got from this post. I’ve tested it numerous times.
Blogging Credibility is one of the most important factor behind the success of any blog. It helps a lot in gaining the trust of new readers, and allows to reach more and more readership.
However, it is really tough to achieve such credibility rank where most of your work done by others. But thanks for sharing nice tips!
Great article Karl, I enjoyed reading it.
Acquiring credibility helps in blogging is what which takes a lot of time, hard work and patience, but in end Itâ€™s worth it.
Acquiring credibility helps in blogging is what which takes a lot of time, hard work and patience, but in end It’s worth it.
Enjoyed reading this post Karl
Credibility will get you lots of connection with like minded people.Apart from putting your photo and bio,you should have a contact page with atleast 3 easy way to connect with you.I have added my email,Twitter handle and a contact form,also don’t forget to tell people when they can get a response from you(duration of time taken to respond).
As mentioned above, blogging requires a commitment of your time towards it to ensure that it remains fresh and connected. Either way, a true enthusiast will ‘do his duty’ no matter what, only if they enjoy blogging 🙂
Cheers for a great thought-provoking article,
Great article Karl, I enjoyed reading it.
Credibility is indeed the ultimate currency. Authority, trust, ability to position oneself as leader in the niche, they all pertain to credibility.
And even the complexity of it speaks about the importance and the overall value that credibility offers.
It involves connecting with other influencers and nurturing relationships. It also means being recognized for doing great work and being appreciated.
It involves being on top of things in your own niche, hence knowing all the news, events, the things that the audience itself is curious about. In short, it means knowing your niche inside out.
It also involves building up your personal brand which is, just like you said, one of the most important things.
I guess that over time the average internet user slowly but effectively refines his taste when it comes to judging based on credibility. Throw some aesthetics and top notch editorship into the equation, and you have a real eye candy of a site.
Who the hell are you to say most blogs are crap?! Who are you? I was directed by from twitter and let me tell you by displaying such a disgusting display of superiority, all YOUR credibility has gone out of the window. Consider yourself unfollowed and this word of mouth platform will be getting a thorough work out
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