Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Being trustworthy is a vital component of any relationship in life. This includes those relationships you form online, whether it’s friends on Twitter or with the Google algorithm. In any case, trustworthiness is often a cornerstone of success.
After all, you want your audience to trust what you’re creating. This is true whether you’re a freelance writer paid by a client or building up your own blog.
Unfortunately, trust isn’t something you can instantly earn.
Just like any other relationship, it’ll take time to build up a level of trust that will help you make more money down the road.
Think of it like this; would you trust a high-school student to change the oil in your car at Walmart, or an expert who has been doing oil changes for the last 30 years at a professional auto shop?
Granted, the teen in this example may be very good at what he or she does. But it will take a great deal of work to build up that reputation.
Why Being Trustworthy Matters
Generally speaking, people want to trust their sources of information. Especially in today’s climate when the term “fake” is tossed around because you may say something that contradicts someone’s belief.
This could happen even if you have undeniable and credible evidence to support your claim. It’s best to leave the trolls under the bridge where they belong.
When your audience trusts your content, it’ll lead to building respect within your community as well as helping you generate more revenue. From clients to blog posts, people will flock to someone who has a reputation for trustworthiness.
From an author’s perspective, the same applies. People will trust that you’ll entertain them with the next story. The end result is your audience buying more books.
It’s one of the big reasons why every Stephen King book is a massive success the day it comes out. People trust they’ll enjoy the book and buy it for no other reason than because his name’s on the sleeve.
What Affects Trust when Developing Your Content?
Perhaps the most influential element of building trust is speaking with confidence. In fact, that’s where the term, “con man” came from back in the day.
A “confidence man” speaks with authority and presents the information in such a way that it seems trustworthy. This is how millions of people are bilked for money every year. Scammers present themselves in such a fashion that the information they share appears legitimate.
Now, I’m not telling you that you should dive into a career as a con man. YouTube and Twitter are full of those as it is. This is merely a point that demonstrates just how effective having confidence in your abilities is when interacting with others or creating content.
Secondly, being able to cite sources of information shows that you are trustworthy when making certain claims. It demonstrates that you value that knowledge and have no intention of steering someone wrong.
Thirdly, offering a bit of personal insight has the potential to denote trust. Of course, you don’t want to divulge too much personal information. But making yourself seem more approachable and human can go a long way in your career.
How to Be Seen as Trustworthy Online
Whether you’re just blogging or an experienced freelance writer, I suggest that every professional has a blog. From fans to client contact, a website acts as your base of operations.
This means you want to do what you can to make your online content as trustworthy as possible. Especially if you plan to monetize it in some way.
So, how do you go about building up that trust for your blog?
Have an About Us/Me Page Fleshed Out
An “About” page is probably one of the more important to create for your website. It tells people and search engines who is behind the development of the content and about their expertise and experience.
Now, you don’t want to go overboard by adding in a bunch of trivial information that has no bearing on your niche or business. For instance, if you’re running a financial planning blog, you can skip adding your hobbies about collecting porcelain dolls.
It’s not relevant to why people want to visit your blog, in the first place.
Add the background experiences and knowledge that support why your content should be trusted. What makes your site the one to read for certain topics? Why should people trust you and not some other random website?
Also, consider updating the About page regularly. A lot of things can change over time, including your precise expertise and the overall flow of the website.
Backlinks act as a kind of “vote” for your content. The more of these votes you get, the more search engines believe your content to be trustworthy. Of course, it also depends on where those backlinks are coming from.
Over the years, Google has cracked down heavily on how backlinks work in terms of SEO. Years ago, it was enough to simply add your link to just about any website to make it appear popular.
That doesn’t work, nowadays.
Organic backlinks from sources that are relevant to your post’s topic are what is most important. Reach out to other bloggers for backlinks, write up some amazing guest posts, or simply provide the best information about the topic.
Have Purpose Behind the Content
Having a purpose for your content builds trust regarding your niche. It’ll also help you from covering topics that would be seen as confusing on your website.
For example, you wouldn’t want to write an article about how to smoke a pork roast if your blog is centered around vegan recipes.
Case in point, this website is focused on helping others learn everything I’ve learned about writing. I cover blogs, freelance writing, and self-publishing. That is my purpose with this website.
You can still be trustworthy if you don’t have a purpose. It just takes much longer, especially in the Google algorithm. If you stick with a specific niche, it makes everything much easier to handle from the perspective of SEO.
The point is that when humans and bots can easily tell what your site is about, it supports trust in what you create. Everyone and everything involved will understand what to expect from your blog.
Keep Content Up to Date
Keeping content up to date is imperative when running a blog. In fact, a lot of what I do for clients is updating older content. Take today, for example. We just had a blog post increase in traffic by more than 265% over six months because of a few updates, which took less than 30 minutes, if I remember right.
When you update older blog posts, you’re not just improving traffic by engaging a wider audience. It also signifies to Google that you value keeping information accurate. And Google loves accurate and fresh information.
For instance, it’s unlikely that you’d find an article written today about the benefits of using a 56k dial-up modem and why you should buy one. That’s because the technology is long past its prime.
My point here is that you don’t want your content to become obsolete. Sharing information that is no longer considered “fresh” doesn’t help you build trustworthiness.
It makes you look archaic. And yes, I know, I have a lot of updates on my sites to perform.
Use High-Quality Sources That are Trustworthy
Always cite your claims. Don’t just pull random facts out of the air because they fit your narrative or because it makes you look authoritative. The last thing you want is to be associated with sharing misinformation. That, alone, can ultimately destroy any trust you have built over the years.
You don’t want to use just any source to support your claim, though. You want to use sources that have a high degree of credibility. By sharing that information, you’re building your credibility as well.
For example, I often link to the National Library of Medicine when citing facts for my health and fitness blog. That’s because it’s full of scientifically-backed data from actual studies conducted.
The bottom line is that you want to use high-quality sources within your content. Don’t just point to someone’s podcast because someone said something one time. Unless they can cite the information, it’s not a credible source.
Write from Authority and Expertise
As I said earlier, creating any type of content with confidence is effective. In many cases, this comes from the aspect of authority and expertise.
It’s sad that I have to say, “many cases” nowadays. So many people flood social media with false information but will do so with confidence.
Anyway, when you combine an authoritative stance with expertise, more people trust your content.
Take me, for example. I started my career by making a great deal of money using content mills like Textbroker. I’ve had commentors try to poison the accomplishment by saying that it’s “impossible.”
Showing screenshots of the amount I’ve made and how I’ve helped a lot of new writers has improved my trustworthiness overall. This is because of the authority from completing more than 8,000 articles across several platforms and proving I was able to quit my job in 2013 to write full-time.
Nowadays, I’m pretty easy to find on Google as my name is tied to a lot of projects. And I’m still one of the biggest names when it comes to Textbroker content online.
At one point, I was even ahead of Textbroker themselves for certain articles relating to their own platform.
This goes to show just how effective writing from authority and expertise can influence the level of trust people have in your content. And in my case, it was all based on personal experience over the last decade.
How Trustworthy is Your Content?
At the end of the day, success comes down to how much you are trusted. Whether it’s the trust between you and a client, you and your blog’s visitors, or you and your readers, being trustworthy is vital.
Just remember that it can take some time to build that trust. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. But as you progress, it’ll deliver opportunities you never thought possible.
What kind of content do you make that you would like others to trust?
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