Establishing trust and credibility as a blogger is no different than it is in any brick and mortar business. However, it’s much more important online since transactions are done in a “virtual store” and a buyer can’t physically see or, in most cases, talk to the merchant before handing over payment information. I’d like to explore five ways you can start to build credibility with your site visitors in order to make more sales.
- First, post high quality, relevant content for your readers. If you post poorly written, uninteresting information your visitors will not be stimulated and won’t become returning visitors, tell others about you, opt-in to your mailing list or buy anything. High quality, interesting content is the answer to getting respect and building a loyal following.
- Second, instead of just making blog posts, respond to reader’s comments and questions. Be part of the discussion. This gives the impression that you aren’t dictating or preaching to your readers but are having a conversation instead. They will see that you enjoy interacting with them and appreciate their presence. However, you still have to communicate with confidence or you will not be regarded as an authority in your niche.
- Third, build relationships with other bloggers in your niche. This is the same as getting referrals in the offline world. If people trust a merchant, they are more likely to trust the people that the merchant recommends to them. You can build relationships easily by posting thoughtful comments on their blogs, by swapping website links on a blog roll, posting articles on their sites as a guest blogger and allowing them to post articles on yours.
- Fourth, post positive testimonials from satisfied customers. Set up a separate page on your site devoted to “Customer Feedback”. See if those people whose give testimonials can make their email addresses available for those prospective customers who would like to ask questions. This type of third-party validation is powerful “social proof” that you’re trustworthy.
- Fifth, post as much personal information as you’re comfortable with on an “About” page. A lot of people feel more comfortable buying from someone they feel they know. Some bloggers post their name, physical address, phone number and picture. I realize that for privacy and security reasons you may not be comfortable with this. Certainly, if your blog is related to a controversial or political topic you don’t want this information made public. A way around this is to use a pen name, or nickname, and rent a P.O. Box to accept physical mail. If you want to accept phone calls, you can use an answering service and be sure to get a private domain registration.
Even still, none of this is absolutely necessary and posting a “Privacy” policy with a contact email should suffice. However, be sure to follow up with any inquiries in a timely and precise fashion.
I hope this article was helpful in learning how to build credibility as a blogger. If you have been active as a blogger, what have you found to be most helpful in building credibility in your niche?