Do Your Readers Trust You?3 min read

Those who blog for fun and those who blog in order to earn a living out of it seem to be on two ends of a spectrum. On the one side: logic, strategy and profits. On the other: empathy, passion, and heart.

There’s one point where they do come together, though. Whatever moves you to build an audience for your content, you need to inspire one key response.

More than admiration, money, or attention, you need to earn your audience’s trust.

Prove you’re human

It’s a weird, Bladerunner world when we have to prove we’re human, isn’t it? But the Internet is a giant tangle of mistrust, aggravated by the use of viruses, bots, spiders, and other not-human things that creep around the web making trouble.

Let people know you’re a human being. Put your photo somewhere on your site—we’ve got deep and important wiring in our brain that lets us create relationships with faces.

Tell stories from your personal experience. (And don’t make yourself the know-it-all hero.) Talk about mistakes you’ve made, and how they made you stronger and smarter, even as your ego got a little bruised.

People trust people. You don’t need to get painfully confessional if that isn’t your style, but let your individual human personality shine through in the content you create.

Take a stand

This society we live in has long been plagued by the curse of niceness.

This is a horrible quality in a blogger.

No, you don’t want to be a bitter crank or a narrow-minded bigot. But nothing is more boring than lukewarm wannabe writing that refuses to take a position.

We can’t trust a person who won’t come out and stand for something.

The truth is that if you stand for nothing, you’re likely to fall for everything.

When you find yourself wanting to write, “on the other hand,” hold back. Let your readers chime in with the other hand, or another writer on their own blog. Don’t try to hold all sides of the conversation by yourself.

This is not about the truth, it’s about your opinion. That’s how you see it, and you acknowledge that others might have a different opinion.

Be bold. Take a position. Then greet differing opinions with a generous, confident spirit. Not only will your work become more interesting, but you’ll mark yourself as a trustworthy person with strong opinions, who values debate without being threatened by it.

Take care of your people

This ought to be obvious, but sometimes it isn’t. You must treat the trust of your audience as your most valuable asset. Trust takes a long time to build and an instant to destroy. No matter how tempting the payout, never go for short-term gains at the expense of long-term trust.

The most obvious example is never to promote affiliate programs or products that you haven’t thoroughly vetted, or that you don’t believe will offer exceptional value to your content community.

Promoting great quality will increase your audience’s responsiveness the next time you have something to offer. Promoting junk will trash your relationship, and your bottom line along with it.

Your loyalty must be to your audience first.

At the end of the day, earning trust is about putting the needs of your audience ahead of your own. Speak with a personal voice that shows your humanity. Let your actions speak as loudly as your well-chosen words. And treat the relationship with respect.

Earn their trust for the long haul, and your audience will follow you anywhere.

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

49 thoughts on “Do Your Readers Trust You?3 min read

  1. I refuse to allow my readers to trust me. I want them to be thrusted into mystery and confusion with each click of my stories. The best thing I can do for my readers is keep them at the edge of their seat gripping onto the seat belt unaware of which direction I’ll turn. But overall good advice 🤗🧛🏻‍♂️

  2. I have no idea if they trust me. I’ve never been good at being trusted except through personal interaction. I’m freaking out because what I stand for is so broad… and I don’t know. Just want people to learn to trust each other even if they don’t trust me. It’s not really about *me* so… I’m keeping my face out of it until after my birthday… I’m not comfortable putting my face next to my message until I feel like the coast is clear… esoterically… It’s not the time to sign the dotted line just yet. November 15 is my birthday, November 16 is when Venus goes direct and love can go back to normal, instead of frightful “tough love, mamma is mad” everyone is used to dad being the disciplinarian but… It’s like the people of the world are ready to grow up and not have to hold the hands of these mythic parental figures and have to face their own bullshit they created for themselves.

  3. Hello Cristian! Hope you are doing good.
    Great post! Reading your post was motivational. Thank you for this 🙂
    But as i am very new here at blogging, i really don’t know if any of my readers or followers actually trust me.

  4. “If you stand for nothing, you’re likely to fall for everything.” Wow, that’s an amazing way to put it. Thank you for posting this. I believe in any work place, people should put building a relationshop with clients first to keep them coming back. This post showed me how to do that.

  5. You make some very good points. Truth is, being a people pleaser is just going to hurt in the end. You cannot please everyone! I don’t think bloggers should jump into hot topics unless it relates to what their content, but trying to please everyone can make bloggers seem wishy-washy.

    I also wanted to note that your advice applies to customer service as a whole. My day job is to sell products to people, whether or not they are currently interested. My job is to raise awareness and sales in-store for the product of the day.

    Greeting someone and commenting on a mutual interest/something I notice/or any noticable need for assistance, no matter how unrelated to the product, draws their attention to me. They like me, and that is when I can go in to share more information related to my product of the day. Bloggers are selling their content like I am selling a product.

    Once again, great advice!

  6. You can never really know online because of the nature of the beast. If your too trusting your often disappointed and if you have no trust then you have been hurt and become cynical. I think a middle ground is true. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me I missed the point again.

  7. I love your tip on building trust with your audience. I believe that just the same way people can tell when you’re not being genuine in the real world, they can tell online too. I recently wrote a blog about disability and somebody contacted me stating how my use of humor may rub the disabled community the wrong way. This was a person who does not follow my blog. For a moment I was going to erase and/or change pieces of it but then I realized that I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true, she just didn’t like the way I phrased certain parts. I knew that my followers know my tone and sense of humor so I didn’t want to change that and become all cookie cutter for one person.

  8. Thank you for this one. It is a great reminder to me personally. I think it is even more important when you write for a niche group or market, especially one where you work with living things and a technical side that can make things live or die.

  9. I gain trust of my readers by:

    – giving them facts, evidence, etc.

    – talking about my experiences whether they are positive or negative

    Most of my blog posts are based on the truth. But, I do give possibilities and my opinions sometimes.

    I would advise any blogger who wishes to improve that he or she should be both professional and personal on his/her blog posts.

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