In this week's post, we're going to talk about a topic that's not often discussed on blogs, and that topic is trust in blogging. Trust can mean everything to both blog readers and blog authors. Once established, trust takes time to nurture, especially for new blogs. Below, we'll look at 5 smart ways to build trust with your blog.
Does trust really matter in blogging?
Yes, of course, it does. A crucial process of building a successful blog is building an audience, attracting loyal readers, and growing a community, right. You simply cannot do any of those things if people don't trust you and your blog.
The same as in real, everyday life. Trust gradually comes after you've spent some considerable time nurturing the relationship you have with someone. You don't just gain trust, you have to earn it.
So, the same applies to your blog. If someone new arrives and chooses to subscribe, they've essentially begun the process of learning to trust you and your blog. It is then up to you to nurture that trust.
Building trust with your blog can be hard and quite time consuming, but definitely, worth the effort you have to put in. And building trust doesn't just apply to your blog. It applies to every single marketing channel you are using to distribute content and for building an audience, be it Instagram or YouTube, etc.
On a smaller but nevertheless important note, I should mention that losing trust is also very easy to do, as a blogger. It can happen to anyone.
I will point out a few things that you should avoid doing completely if you don't want to lose the trust of your readers and potentially even tarnish your blog's reputation.
Are you ready? Let's begin.
Let's start with your blog content.
Your blog content is essentially your holy grail for creating trust. It needs to be reliable, credible, and authoritative.
Producing this kind of content for your blog is not easy and takes time and patience. So, make sure whatever type of content it is that you're putting out for your readers, that it's both relevant and trustworthy.
Let me give you an instance:
One thing I love to do in a number of my posts is to use data and statistics. If you like doing the same, just make sure your sources are credible and that you cite them well.
This especially applies if you are making claims about something controversial, etc. Ensure you're backing them up by linking to reliable sources from your research before adding your thoughts and theories. It all helps towards creating trust.
Every blogger will occasionally create reviews (written or video form) of their favorite tools, services, apps, etc. Which is great. I do this myself quite often.
The important thing to remember when reviewing or recommending anything on your blog is to be 100% transparent, completely unbiased, and wholeheartedly honest.
We'll talk more about transparency in blogging later on.
Often I see newer bloggers making the rooky mistake of reviewing and recommending products and services that they have never even heard of, used, or 100% trust themselves.
This is a monumental mistake to make. Because doing so will not win trust credits from your fans. If a product or service you recommended turns out to be malicious or inferior in any shape or form, that's on you.
From day one, I've always reviewed and recommended tools that I've used in my blogging and other online businesses. Never have I suggested to my readers or community that they try out something that I've NOT used or fully trust in myself.
In my reviews, I often share a copy of the receipt for any purchases of tools and services that I'm reviewing and recommending. I also add a disclaimer.
I use videos quite a lot in my product reviews and recommendations. Videos can be a great way to reinforce trust in people. Don't believe me? Check out the statistic below.
57% of consumers say that watching a video gave them more confidence...Source
These are just some powerful ways to build trust. And I believe it's important because if you want to review more products and services in the future, with transparency, you will already have a nice and large reader base that trusts your judgment, opinions, and insights.
Honesty pays, trust me 🙂 (Pardon the pun)
I'm all for making myself accountable when I say I'm going to do something. But what I wouldn't recommend doing is making a promise and then not delivering on that promise.
I know a lot of entrepreneurs and bloggers think differently about this, but sure, it's nice to create some hype and excitement about a new post, incentive, or exciting product that you're working on or planning to launch.
But, if you set expectations high for your fans and then don't deliver, and you do this often, you can kiss goodbye to any trust or loyalty you instilled in them, it will gradually fade away.
The simple solution is to deliver what you promised. If you say you're going to do something, do it.
Not all bloggers are comfortable about being authentic and original.
Really? Yep... Really.
I've spoken to many new bloggers in the last 10 years and many have had this notion that the best way to win the trust is by hiding behind some kind of made-up persona.
You still see this today, especially on social media. Folks glamorizing their lifestyles on Instagram and YouTube by conjuring a personality out of thin air, and it looks like they've really made it, right?
If they have, then that's great and you can be inspired. But if they aren't quite living the life they're working towards, then why f**king fake it to begin with?
You know what I think the best strategy is? Especially for newbies. Just be yourself, be you right from the word Go. There's only one 'You' so be the best version of 'YOU' that you can be.
You're not trying to fit into everybody's perfect category of high expectations, you're trying to stand out your way.
If you're struggling with your blog, share your struggles and how you plan to overcome them. If your blog is succeeding, write about that too, but be authentic and original about it all.
This is kind of a sensitive topic, I know. As with being authentic and original, not all bloggers are willing or respectfully able to be 100% transparent.
I'm well aware that we're all fixated on this privacy this and privacy that, and that's fine if you want or have to live like that.
Personally, for the most part, I feel that this privacy thing we've got ourselves wrapped up in is a pile of legislative bullsh*t. If such a word exists. That's just my opinion, I appreciate it might not be yours.
I like to share everything that's happening with regards to my blog, from my highs and lows, failures and successes.
The best thing about being transparent in blogging is that you can crush everybody else that's spending far too much time 'fretting' or 'worried' concerning their privacy and what they should share and shouldn't. Again, that's just my opinion.
What I'm saying is this:
Sure, respect everyone else's privacy, your readers and your community foremost. But, with your own blogging journey, don't be afraid to share what's really going on.
Another thing I love to do is share a lot of 'behind the scenes' stuff on my blog, Instagram profile, and my YouTube channel. For me, I feel it helps to make my blog, content, lifestyle, and journey as a blogger and online business owner more relatable.
I know, I know, you're thinking -
Fabz, that's way out of my comfort zone!
I appreciate that, but if you can step out of that zone just for one moment, it will help towards you being more open as a blogger. And when you are open, people tend to trust you more.
OK, so there you have it. Five smart ways to build trust with your blog. I hope you found those tips useful, and more importantly, I hope you take action and apply them to your blogging strategy.
Let's do a quick recap -
Right, that's it from me, feel free to leave me a comment below and share this post with your friends on social media! I appreciate you.