As a blogger or social media influencer, one of your top priorities should be building your credibility. This is something that I am really been working on more than ever this year.
It’s easy to get caught up with numbers and statistics in blogging, but those aren’t everything. They don’t reflect your worth. Numbers and statistics are important and definitely play a role in your work, but they don’t define your work as a whole.
I’m just going to go right out there and say it… Your credibility matters more than the numbers that are shown on your social media profiles.Your credibility matters more than the numbers that are shown on your social media profiles. Click To Tweet
This is something that I have been preaching to myself ever since I got serious about blogging, and even more so after I became a full-time blogger. It’s also something that I’m constantly reminding my blog friends about. Yes, numbers and statistics matter, but your credibility is what you want to focus on cultivating.
What does credibility look like in the online world? Credibility in the online world is different than what credibility might look like in real life. Both are similar but credibility in the online world is harder to gain. Your readers and audience typically don’t know you in-person so it will take longer to gain their trust and to keep them coming back to your content.
7 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR CREDIBILITY AS A BLOGGER:
1. Develop Consistency In Your Brand // Consistency is the key to grasping your reader’s attention and more importantly, keeping their attention. You can’t expect to blog about every category under the sun and still keep your reader’s attention. This can confuse your readers. Even most lifestyle bloggers have top categories that they share about on the regular. For me, I share mostly about self-care, fashion, and affordable lifestyle. Sure, I have some other categories underneath those umbrellas, but I always keep those categories at the forefront of my content creation.
Developing consistency in your brand helps you to define your target audience. If you’re just hoping for increased pageviews but don’t actually know who you want to reach with your content, it’ll be very hard for you to grow. Why is that? There’s no consistency. When you know your target audience, you’ll then start to develop a real, tangible consistency throughout your brand.When you know your target audience, you'll then start to develop a real, tangible consistency throughout your brand. Click To Tweet
If you want to grow your credibility as a blogger, you need to know and define the answers to these questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- What are some main topics that I can generate content about regularly?
- Do these post topics fit in with my target audience’s needs?
If you’re posting about every topic there is, it’s hard for you to gain credibility. It’s not that you’re not credible, it’s just that in order to grow credibility as a blogger, you have to have to narrow down your focus and stay in your lane. I’m not saying to “niche down”, I’m saying to create an overall focus and mission for your blog. This way your dedicated readers (target audience) will always have an idea of what to expect from you, and in that case, they’re more likely to stick around.
Consistency isn’t just important in what you write about but it’s also important for your branding and your voice.
2. Get Involved With Your Online Community // Bloggers… this one is so, so important. I can’t stress it enough. If you’re wanting to grow your community and gain trust from them, you have to be involved with them online.
What does this mean? It means you shouldn’t rely on automation for everything. Yes, scheduling posts and tweets are important for growth, but you can’t rely on automation to ever grow your credibility. You need to be online and actively engaging with your community in order to gain their trust. Posting a pretty picture on Instagram and then calling it “a day” is not how you gain trust or credibility.Posting a pretty picture on Instagram and then calling it a day is not how you gain trust or credibility. You have to stick around and engage with your audience! Click To Tweet
Always try your best to respond to all of the comments you receive on your blog and on social media. I know it’s hard to do, but all you have to do is try. Be active on Twitter throughout the day. I know not all bloggers like Twitter, but it’s one of the most conversational tools out there for bloggers. Respond to people using their first name. Learn who your dedicated readers are and always let them know that they’re a part of your story.
Related reading: Why Bloggers Should Use Twitter
3. Collaborate With Other Bloggers // This may seem like a simple way to grow your authority online, but it’s extremely impactful and it’s fun, too! When you team up with your blog friends for a project or even for an in-person meet-up, you’re building your credibility. How so?
- You’re showing your audience that you’re a real person.
- You’re expanding your readership to other potential readers AND helping your blog friends do the same.
- You’re showing how you can work together with others.
Related reading: 7 Ways To Collaborate With Other Bloggers
4. Say “No” To Sponsored Work That Doesn’t Fit Your Blog’s Mission // I have said it before and I’ll keep on saying it… Don’t take on sponsored work just for the money. 1. Money isn’t everything. 2. You’ll hurt yourself by taking on sponsored work that doesn’t fit your blog’s mission. 3. Your readers notice when something sponsored doesn’t fit your blog and that can lead to a few things: loss of trust and readership = loss of being credible in such and such reader’s eyes.Don't take on sponsored work just for the money. 1. Money isn't everything. 2. You'll hurt yourself by taking on sponsored work that doesn't fit your blog's mission. 3. Your readers notice & that can lead to a loss of credibility. Click To Tweet
I know that’s forward, but I have seen it happen many times. Trust me, I know it can be tempting to take on sponsored work simply for the money. I get it. I’m a full-time blogger and need to make money in order to pay my bills. But taking on sponsored work that doesn’t reflect my brand’s overall mission just for the money will only ever hurt me. Getting a paycheck will never be worth it if I’m losing part of my audience and credibility in the process.
This year alone, I have already turned down close to 10 potential partnerships because they didn’t align with my overall vision.
Stay in your lane. Do you. The right opportunities will come in time.Getting a paycheck will never be worth it if you're losing part of your audience and credibility in the process. Click To Tweet
5. Be Available & Answer Questions // It’s important to be available to your readers (tying into point 2). Being available means being able to respond to them and answer questions when they’re asked. When you’re an online influencer of any kind, you’re asked questions daily. Questions ranging from what hair products you use all the way to questions on growing your blog. Answer them.
There will be some questions that you don’t need to answer in full and that’s okay. I get questions all of the time on how to start a blog, make money blogging, and so on. Some of those questions I don’t want to answer in full because I don’t need to give all of the information I have learned on my own away. Point them in the direction of some reputable resources, but don’t spill the beans on all of your knowledge. Doing this will actually grow your credibility because you’re showing that you’re there to help, but you still respect yourself enough to not give away everything you’ve worked for.Want to build your credibility as a blogger? Be available to your readers and answer their questions. Click To Tweet
There will be times you’ll get questions that you don’t know the answer to. When these questions come, answer honestly. “Thank you for reaching out! Unfortunately, I’m not sure I know the answer, but _______ might be able to help you out!” If you don’t know the answer, simply say that and direct them in the direction of someone who might know or where they might be able to find the answer themselves. You don’t know all and that’s okay!
6. Share & Be Shared // Circling back to point 2 again – you need to be active on social media, especially when it comes to sharing content from other bloggers. When you share similar content, you’re reiterating to your audience that you’re not just about you, you’re about sharing the love and supporting other bloggers. This goes a long way, friends! What goes around comes around…
If you’re sharing the love, others will start to do the same for you.
One important thing to note here is that in order to be shared, you need to be creating great content. What is great content? Well, that’s up to you to define. BUT I would give you two tips here:
- Never settle. Reach for more.
- Write every blog post as if it’s going to be your best post ever.
7. Open Up & Share Your Story // Authenticity is one of the greatest assets that you have in growing your brand and in building your credibility as a blogger. Before I go any further I just want to put a little disclaimer out there: Authenticity looks different for everyone and that’s okay. Only you get to decide how much you want to open up and share your story online.
Whatever authenticity might look like for you be sure to make that an instrumental part of your brand.
When you’re real with your readers, you’re letting them know that…
- You’re human
- They’re not alone
- It’s okay to not be perfect
- Trials are part of the journey (just like joys are)
- You trust them with your story
Don’t be afraid to open up to your readers, even if it’s a story about how you wore mismatched shoes to the store. Authenticity isn’t just about the struggles in life, it’s about the joys and funny parts, too.
Related reading: Why Authenticity Is So Important In Social MediaDon't be afraid to open up to your readers, even if it's a story about how you wore mismatched shoes to the store. Authenticity isn't just about the struggles in life, it's about the joys and funny parts, too. Click To Tweet
WOW! I know this was a long post, so if you read all the way to the end… MAJOR kudos to you! I’m actually going to be sharing a follow-up post to this one in the near future since it’s just a loaded (and important) topic.7 Ways To Build Your Credibility As A Blogger Click To Tweet
What are some areas you can focus on here? What are some ways you want to grow your credibility? Any methods you’d like to share? Let’s chat!