Do visitors find your blog trustworthy? Not sure? Trust is a critical attribute on social media platforms and blogs are no exception.
To ensure your blog makes the grade for consumers, here’s a ten point checklist laying out how to make your blog more credible.
- Professional look and feel. Does your blog’s appearance support your brand and give visitors the impression you’re an authority on your topic? While you may feel your content should stand on its own merit, the reality is many people judge a blog by how it looks.
Fix. Don’t use an off-the-shelf template without modifying it in line with your brand. Need more help? Here are some blog design tips.
- Solid content. Are you just rehashing what other people are blogging? Even worse, are you just reprinting other people’s content? Or do you offer fresh information and perspectives?
Fix. Set up an editorial calendar to provide a variety of content. Having trouble coming up with ideas? Here’s how to overcome blank post syndrome. Alternatively, get some help from your friends or hire a ghostwriter.
- Authority. Have you received awards or been named to various lists such as Ad Age’s top 150 marketing blogs? If so, have you posted the badges on your blog for visitors to see?
Fix. Post the badges if you’re on one of these lists. If not, are there other achievements you can use to prove to readers you’re an authority. Among the alternatives are your job or education. For example, Matt Cutts gets his authority because he’s a Google spokesperson.
- Social media standing. Are you an active participant on various social media platforms? Do you have a sizable following in your niche? Are you someone that others seek out or pay attention to?
Fix. Work to establish your presence on the social media platforms that are best for your niche. For example, B2B marketers and executives will do best with LinkedIn and Twitter while knitters can focus on Ravelry. Additionally, include a badge on your blog so readers can join your group on other platforms such as Google Plus and Facebook.
- About page. Don’t underestimate the value of your About page. New visitors check it out so that they can get a sense of who you are and what type of perspective you’re taking on your blog.
Fix. Review your About page. If it doesn’t draw the reader in and give them a sense of who you are, then give your About page an overhaul. Here’s an About page checklist to help you.
- Advertising. Are your readers assaulted with an overabundance of advertising on your blog? Is your blog content an after thought to hold your advertising in place? While you may need to make money from your blog, realize that web-savvy readers block out advertising. Secondly, you don’t want to scare prospective readers away because your content is difficult to read crammed in between your ads.
Fix. Limit the amount of advertising. Preferably choose advertisers whose products you endorse as Chris Brogan does. If you like the products, it feels less like your blog is just shilling for others. Assess other revenue generating opportunities. Remember advertising that works well encourages readers to leave your blog!
- Links out. Do you include links within the body of your blog posts? Part of the strength of incorporating links into your posts is to direct readers to other strong information, thereby building your credibility.
Fix. Add at least one link to a third party site in every post. Make sure this link enlightens your readers.
- Supporting content. Do you add charts and graphs from reputable sources where relevant? Also, do you including other supporting illustrations to help clarify points for readers. For example, I often include charts and data in my posts to gives readers a quick visual to help them grasp the information.
Fix. When you’re discussing results or data rich information, provide a graphic representation. A picture is worth a thousand words and is much quicker to process. Remember to check that you can use the information and to give it proper attribution.
- Comments. Comments are blogger’s idea of nirvana and, while comments can be challenging to gather, they show real engagement with your content. If you’ve got people who comment on your blog posts, do you actively respond to them as quickly as possible?
Fix. Here are some tips on increasing the number of comments. Respond to comments quickly since it shows you’re involved and someone’s home on your blog.
- Social media sharing. Do you make it easy for readers to share your blog posts with others in their social media network? Many bloggers find social sharing is a great way to expand their readership and reach.
Fix. Add social sharing buttons to your blog posts. Select the major platforms and have unique buttons for each one. Also, get people engaged with your blog’s groups on Facebook, Google+ or other platforms. Incorporate a call to action to get readers to act.
Remember it’s important to make your blog trustworthy to ensure visitors feel your content is credible and worth their time to read. These ten steps help you to achieve this.
Are there any other tips you have to help make a blog credible? If so, please share your perspective with readers.
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