Readership Trust: 8 Strategies To Earn It
It’s true that you have to work a little harder to develop trust when you’re working online. It’s also true that without that trust your readers aren’t going to open their wallets. But take it one step further – Trust is important from the very beginning of your blog, before you’ve even monetized it. If your readers don’t trust you before you monetize your blog, they’re certainly not even going to stick around long enough to see what you’re selling. Here are eight ways you can build trust with your readership.
Create An ‘About Me‘ Page
One of the very first things you should do is set up an “About Me” page on your blog. Make sure the link is prominently displayed. Include a picture of yourself so your readers can see you’re a real person, and then introduce yourself to your readers. This is the time to share personal information, opinions, professional skills, hobbies and interests, if you’d like. Put some real thought into this page and do the writing on a day when you’re in a good mood.
(You should also take this opportunity to connect this “About Me” page to your Google Author account. But that’s a whole ‘nother article.)
Answer Comments And Emails
Answering comments and emails lets your readers know there’s a real, live person behind that blog. It’s not just one of those blogs set up by a scammer. It also shows your readers that you’re a professional business person who cares enough to take the time to communicate or respond to questions. In other words – If you put this much effort into communication now, you’ll probably be even more responsive should they have a problem with a purchase.
Interact In Social Networks
Every opportunity to communicate with your readers is another opportunity to build trust. When you see your readers around in your social networks, take a moment to say hello or share their content or just give them a like. The fact that you took the time and gave them the recognition will do wonders for your relationship.
Give Them Something Free
Promise your readers something free and then over-deliver on your promise. It can be a free mini-guide that you typed up, or it can be a free copy of a new plug-in or app. Whatever it is, make sure the delivery goes as smoothly as possible and give them more than you promised.
Over-deliver in everything you do. Always have fresh, unique content that’s better than any of your competitors. If you tell your subscribers they’re going to get a free, 2-page newsletter every week, make it 3 pages, and make sure you deliver on time. When you share someone’s link on Facebook, don’t just click the link – include an encouraging comment. Go one step further in everything you do.
Always Be A Professional
Avoid getting into nasty, online arguments. Nobody ever wins and both parties just end up looking like shrews. Be professional in all your interactions. That’s not to say you should talk down to your readers, but think about the type of person you’d do business with. Who would you rather give your money to – a gum chewing, wise-cracking egotist who can’t string together a complete sentence, or someone who’s polished, poised and treats you with respect?
Offer Opinions And Be Honest
If you review products or services on your blog, ( and we all do, at some point) don’t be afraid to offer your honest personal opinion. Even if it’s negative. You may end up killing your sales for that product, but your readers will appreciate your honesty and that will lead to increased sales for the products you legitimately support.
Blog About Yourself
Every now and then, include a personal tidbit in your blog posts. Laugh at yourself for a silly mistake or admit your weakness for chocolates. You don’t want to spend too much time talking about yourself, but these little glimpses help your readers see you as a real human being, someone who suffers the same trials and tribulations that they do.
When you're learning how to make money off a blog, you need to understand that the very first step is to create a website. If you're interested in starting your own blog, I have written a step-by-step guide that will show you how to start blogging for money for as little as $3.49 per month (this low price is guaranteed only through my link). You will also receive your own domain name for free ($15 value) by clicking on this link and purchasing at least 12 months of hosting with BlueHost. Keep in mind that if you're learning how to blog online for money, the first thing you need is your own self-hosted website. It will help you look more professional in front of your visitors, clients, companies, and everyone else.