In many respects, people are very generous when it comes to trust. Perhaps it goes back to our early days as humans. The ability to survive often required a strong community. To build a strong community required giving people the benefit of the doubt.
Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice…
But trust will only go so far. If you break someone’s confidence in you it’s going to be a near impossible battle to earn it back.
When it comes to blogging, you can earn the trust of readers. They want to trust you and the content you create. There are a few ways to reinforce that initial trust. And a few key ways to maintain it.
1. Provide Proof To Your Claims
People toss around claims these days. It’s probably always been this way. In personal conversations. It seems more obvious today in the world of social media. It’s easy to post content. And a lot of content involves claims. And it doesn’t seem to matter if you’re wrong. Just continue doing what you’re doing and the old stuff gets buried by the new stuff.
And it’s not even about being wrong. We’re all wrong. It’s an important part of life. But more on this later.
It might not seem like it, but people do pay attention to results. It may take them awhile in some cases, but they do pay attention. Every time you make a claim they’re making a mental note. And if you’re wrong about it they’re going to lose trust in anything you say in the future.
In blogging, when you make a claim, back it up with some proof. Link to the study or source. Link to the quote from an expert in the field you’re discussing. Or share your own story or multiple stories to back up the claim.
This gives people confidence in what you’re saying. It also challenges you to dig a little deeper into research before you make a claim, which leads to better claims in the future and better content on your blog.
2. Calm & Confident Writing
When blogging you want to get attention. Especially from your target audience. There is a balance when it comes to attracting that attention. You want to push yourself to be unique and helpful while not pushing to the point of going over the top.
That would mean screaming and yelling at the audience. In the case of blogging that might be making wild claims or using lots of expressive writing with lots of exclamation points and things of that nature. You see it more on social media where things can get out of hand.
That type of attention is not sustainable. It works for awhile, but eventually people learn how to avoid it. Toddlers often resort to inappropriate attention seeking methods. They work for a little while but eventually they realize the need to grow up as they learn ways to appropriately gain the attention of others.
Calm and confident writing is the best for gaining attention and trust in the long run. When we have questions in any setting we usually want the person that comes across as calm and confident in their suggestions. Obviously we look at their track record, but we also look at how they deliver the message.
3. Slight Optimism & Happiness
People are attracting to those that are optimistic and happy. This helps to build confidence. It builds on the idea of being calm and confident. If you feel good about what you’re writing about in a blog you will naturally be happy and optimistic about the future.
There is always reason to be pessimistic about the future. But that’s not helpful. What is helpful is finding a solution and feeling good about it. But you also don’t want to be overly optimistic. This makes people leery of your claims. You can come across as too much of a salesperson, trying to push something you know isn’t really helpful.
When writing, pay attention to your mood. If you’re feeling relatively peaceful and happy, you’re probably writing about great topics and providing useful information for your readers.
4. Open Minded
It can seem that a know-it-all type of person is one that we trust. But over generations we’ve learned that is not the case. So we often avoid the know-it-all types. We appease them and listen as they push their beliefs on us. But then we often look deeper into the issue.
One of the great things about life is that there are often many right answers to any problem. A know-it-all believes that the answer they have found is the only right answer. Someone that is more open-minded helps provide the information they have found to work while also delivering the message in a way that shows that they are open to additional solutions.
You can also ask questions in your writing. You can seek new information. You can look to continually build your knowledge base. This is obviously helpful to you and for the content you create in the future.
And it also helps you come off as someone that is trustworthy.
In the NFL, coaches seek consistency. A coach will often prefer a player that is good at their job every time as opposed to a player that is great one week and poor the next.
People like to feel confident about the future. They like knowing what people are going to do. It’s one less thing to worry about.
In blogging, consistency comes in a number of ways. And they all help to make you more trustworthy. One is a consistent publishing schedule. If you show the public that you’re consistent with your schedule it shows, even in a small way, that you’re likely going to be consistent in other areas, such as the claims you make. Another way to be consistent is with the claims you make. Be patient with your claims. Force yourself to research more than others. Consistently helping your readers leads to an increasingly number of happy readers that tell others about their experience.
Trust in blogging is about helping your readers. Just about any form of content comes down to education and entertainment. Your content can be one or the other or both. Most business blogs are about education. Make that the goal for your blog. Push yourself to provide the best answers to the questions your target audience is asking.
You don’t have to be right every time. But use each time when you’re incorrect to learn. Have an open mind about what might be a right answer. It can seem counterintuitive, but this actually makes you more trustworthy with your readers.