There are so many articles and blog posts about how to build traffic, income, etc. but not a lot about building credibility — another critical component of online success.
After all, if your audience doesn’t trust you and see you as a credible source in your niche, generating an income will be difficult.
Here are some tactics you can use to help build credibility…
About Me Page
An About Me page is a must-have. It should not only provide your name and a photo, but should briefly explain the motivation behind your site.
This shows how you’re connected with your topic and can explain what inspired you to create your site or blog. The more detailed you can get, the more genuine you will come across to your visitors.
If you have a special offline connection to your topic, this is a great time to explain it.
Let’s say you have a site about diabetes. Perhaps you or someone in your family has this disease. Your “About Me” page could explain your personal motivation for creating a site on this topic. This is a great way to help your audience connect with you.
Now they can see you are a person who is personally involved with your subject matter, so they are more likely to take your advice and see you as a credible source.
Video has been a wonderful asset to my online portfolio. It allows me to show my personality and it’s a nice way to give my visitors a break from a lot of reading.
I believe it helps build credibility because it says to people, “Hey, this person is not afraid to show who they are.” With so many faceless websites out here, people find video a breath of fresh air.
Another plus is that it may help extend your “length of visit” statistic. This is important when getting traffic from organic search.
When people find your site via Google for example, Google monitors the time it takes for that person to return to the results.
The longer it takes for them to return to their results, the more relevant your site is perceived to be for that keyword phrase. This could help boost your ranking over time.
Adding a relevant video near the top of your page will ensure your audience won’t miss it, and will hopefully entice them to watch, thus increasing the amount of time they spend on your site.
Limit Your Ads
It annoys me when I view a site and the ads are the center of attention. Some sites are so bad that you have to scroll down just to read the main content.
Not only does this scream “Amateur!” but it lessens you’re credibility because people will feel your main goal is to sell them something rather than inform, entertain, or provide some other visitor benefit.
Remember, when people arrive at your site, they are subconsciously thinking “What’s in it for me?”
They don’t want to be bombarded with ads or annoyed by those flying ad windows that you have to chase down in order to close.
Dare to Be Different
How many articles and blog posts have we seen about building traffic or making money?
Most of the articles don’t really tell you anything new. It’s often the same material recycled and reworded over and over again.
People appreciate fresh content so if you’re going to write about a popular topic, that’s fine. Just try to add a new perspective to get people thinking in a different way.
Offer Useful Freebies
Everyone is so conditioned to believe that free comes with some kind of catch. So if you can develop some kind of useful, free offer for your site, that can really build respect and credibility from your audience.
And when I say free, I means really free. Not the free where you make them give you an email address or buy something first.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when these strategies are very appropriate and useful. However, sometimes it’s good to give away something for free with no strings attached.
You may not get an immediate return from doing this, but people remember things like this and the long-term benefits will be worth it.
Just don’t insult your audience with a low-quality freebie or something that can be easily found on the Web.
Take The Good With The Bad
When reviewing a product you’re affiliated with, it’s tempting to only highlight the positives. You feel that if you call out anything negative, people will not want to buy.
Sure, negative points may deter a few people from buying, but I believe the net effect is worth it.
Your audience will take your reviews more seriously because they don’t appear to be too biased in one direction.
The long-term result of this practice equates to more credibility and sales for you.
F. Spina says
I’d like to compliment you on the approach you’ve taken with your content and commend you on your insights, honesty and the quality of your products. The internet needs more Lisa Irbys!
I’m also promoting Niche Site Success on my site and encourage you and your members to visit http://www.resourcestomillions.com
Its true, building credibility is important especially with the cyber age we are in. I do find that the standard sites are a bit dull and boring, you can only do so much to make them better. Bella2001 suggested personavia.com. I have also become a user and have thoroughly enjoyed the advantages it has given me.
I love to use my blog as a personal journal. However, when it comes to networking or my building credibility I like to use some thing separate. I used personavita.com to create an online portfolio. I like it because you can list your goals, achievements and work history with others validating your credentials. I think that helps build credibility. Blogs are great, I just think persoanvita sets you apart from just another blog.Plus, you can upload pictures and give a direct URL link to those you want to view your profile. I think it is a lot more professional than a standard blog.
it’s all true, and yes, i hardly have my pics taken in the real world, but i think about me page is equally important as my contents.
Chris H. says
What a breath of fresh air this post is! I agree with you 100%. Building credibility is crucial to achieving online success. I hate it as well when I visit a site where it is hard to find any content among the jungle of advertising. I also think that is a great point you bring up about taking the good with the bad. In the past, when reviewing affiliates, I too have been guilty of only mentioning the positives of the product I am marketing. However, in the future I will be sure to write both the pros and cons. In fact, I have just written a post in my blog about the later point you brought up. Thank you so much for this informative post and for your superb website, blog, and videos. I have bookmarked your blog and website. Already, I have visited it several times and I’ve learnt so much from you.
Online Camera says
Hello webmaster , I agree with this article, just sometimes I read so fast everything and I miss things that after read them again, I can understand it better.. ;). Your Build Credibility Online Blog Stumbled up and Bookmarked, so I keep updated on every article you write from now now on online camera.
Every business need trust. If you don’t trust the seller, you are already out of the door before taking a look at their merchandise.
Establishing trust online is much more harder. Good things take time. The online venture just take a little longer.
Awww 🙂 Thanks guys!
Carla, I agree with Eric. From the half that I saw (LOL) you have a pretty face so why not show it off girl? 😉
@Eric – Thanks for the advice and suggestions!
Hi Kazi, it’s one of those deals where I just haven’t gotten around to signing up. I started preparing my logo (card) for it and never completed it. 🙂
Lisa,thank you very much for the information. u always do a great job.
i like to ask u a question….why u don’t use ENTRECARD???
@carla and lisa — actually I don’t think that Facebook photo is too bad even though it is cut off. I have to also add – Carla judging by the half-face pic, I see nothing for you to be shy at all about. Why don’t you do this: take your camera and just take a ton of pictures of yourself – smiling, not smiling, side of the face, front of the face, etc… eventually you will take one you are happy with. I recommend that because I do have to agree with Lisa about putting a photo on the About page. It does add credibility. No, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t but still I think it really helps.
I absolutely hate having anything flash or pop up at me when I open a web page. That is the number one thing that will make me leave a site. I think your tips are right on!
A photo is not an absolute must but I do think it’s important. If you’re not comfortable sharing your face in the NETmosphere then it’s not the end of the world if you leave it off. I just think it does help with the overall credibility building.
I’m not sure the picture with half of your phase showing works either. It would make me wonder “Why is she only showing half her face?” So I would just not put anything up if you’re not comfortable.
Great advice, but I have one question:
“An About Me page is a must-have. It should not only provide your name and a photo”
What if you don’t want to use a photo? I am camera shy and don’t want others to see me. I fear of being judged by my looks, etc. Is it really necessary? I have a photo on my Facebook profile, but its not a complete photo. Would something like that be OK? http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720054577
Thanks Eric. You found me on Problogger? Cool. This is another lesson that consistent blog commenting can produce traffic and subscribers. Good luck on your new blog!
Hey thanks for the tips – I have started a new blog and did not even think yet about posting a pic on the ‘About me’ page! I will do so tonight.
I like your blog too – found you after clicking on a comment you posted to problogger. Added to my rss too 😉 Thanks again! – Eric