“But the phenomenon of reputation is a delicate thing. A person rises on a word and falls on a syllable.” – Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis
This online world is a bit strange. It allows us these great tools to reach people half a world away, in truly ingenious ways, and yet trust is still essential to how others perceive (or act upon) our message.
And when your readers lose their trust in you they stop engaging with your content, and the odd thing is that this might not be about what you write, but rather the stuff you don’t write.
Here are seven ways you might be losing their trust.
One of the main benefits of blogging is the social element: readers have the option to interact with your content.
Your blog should provide answers, yes, but you should also offer folks the chance to ask questions.
Are you answering questions? Replying to comments? Urging your readers to leave comments? Offering them that call-to-action that they have to answer to.
2. You’re anti-social
I know, I know. You don’t have time for social media. Somehow, you think that the online world is different than the one outside your window…
Use social media to your advantage, to show your readers different aspects of your life/message, and this will make them trust you more.
3. You forgot about the human element of blogging
Do not write solely for SEO. As a matter of fact, I’d advise beginners to forget about SEO altogether in the first few months of blogging.
Because even if you get the ranking you covet, if folks do not understand your message, or what you’re all about, then you’re not going anywhere.
Keep human. Write for humans. Understand that traffic is the cold statistic of actual human beings. Understand this, and your readers will trust you.
4. You’re not helpful
In the online world, those who help others out have the most loyal friends. Solve problems and offer advice: this is a sure-fire way to earn your readers trust.
5. No one’s home
Nothing says “We’re too busy for you” like a blog with no email address or even a contact form.
Why wouldn’t you want your readers to reach you?
What are you hiding?
If you want to be liked and trusted, you need to remind yourself that someone who wants to contact you has engaged emotionally with you content and have something important to tell you.
And, yes, this also includes haters.
6. You’re never wrong
It’s nice to thank folks when they compliment your blog posts. It’s easy.
But what about the moments when someone disagrees with you?
Do you get defensive? Blame someone else?
7. Your place is a mess
If your website is cluttered and noisy, or if readers can’t easily find what they’re looking for, you’ll make a bad first impression.
In most cases, you’ll never even get the chance to develop trust.
This includes spelling mistakes, poor grammar, clumsy sales pitches, clichés…
Clean up your blog in order to roll out the welcome mat for your visitors.
Let me be clear: Don’t ever, ever, ever do these things.
Without trust, you don’t even stand a chance at developing a proper audience, earning an income from blogging, or even being the center of an online community.
You might as well scribble some thoughts on a notebook and throw it under the bed.