List Trust: Turning Subscribers Into Loyal Customers
Take a look at your own spending habits and you’ll notice that there’s always a certain amount of trust involved when you open your wallet. You buy certain brands because you recognize the manufacturer and you know they’ve earned consumers’ trust, or you buy from a certain sales person because either you trust him or you know someone who does or you trust the company he works for. So it stands to reason, if you want your list members to open up their wallets, then you need to earn their trust.
Be Consistent: The Internet Marketplace is like a downtown shopping district. You’ll find abandoned blogs and disreputable blogs right alongside the Big Name blogs. It’s a little more difficult to tell them apart on the Web, though, because you can’t tell if there are any people inside those blogs. The only obvious tell-tale sign is the content, and even that’s questionable if the blogger doesn’t date his posts.
Since most readers will have to visit your blog at least a few times before they’ll trust you enough to open their wallet, the best way to show them you’re real, you’re reliable and you’re trustworthy is to always have fresh content every time they come to your blog. Post fresh, unique content on a regular basis so your visitors can see you’re concerned about quality.
Be Unique: It’s not enough to have the same old content that everyone else has. Then you just look like a second-hand dealer, or like one of those people dealing knock-off purses out of the back end of his car. Your readers will think, “Well, if I can find that same thing here, I might be able to find it somewhere else, too, and at a better price.”
Be Honest: If you’re going to review a product, make it an honest review. Buy the product and actually use it, and then give your readers your personal opinion. So what if you lose a sale because you pointed out some defect. In the long run, your honesty will earn your readers’ trust and they’ll be that much more likely to buy the products you do recommend.
Be Professional: It’s one thing to use lots of slang terms and sarcasm and just mess around on your blog if all you’re worried about is Adsense clicks. But if you’re trying to earn the trust of your readers so they’ll eventually buy from you then you need to act like a professional. That doesn’t mean you have to be all stiff and stodgy like an English butler or an encyclopedia salesman. But polish up your content and “speak” to your readers with respect, intelligence and maturity.
Be Above Reproach: Word travels fast on the Internet. All it takes is one unhappy customer and within hours your name is plastered all over every social network and forum on the Web. It only takes once, too, and your online reputation is shot. Avoid getting involved in questionable deals. Do you really trust that other blogger enough to recommend him to your readers? Do you really trust that product? Would you use it yourself? Chances are your list members are all connected via their social networks and other blogs they comment on. When you build trust with one, you build it with all.