If you want to talk someone into doing nearly anything, there needs to be some level of trust involved. The higher the ask, the more trust it requires. If, for example, your blog’s primary goal is getting visitors to sign up for your services, then that level trust becomes quite high.
Ultimately, you need a sizable audience that trusts your opinions if you want to run a successful blog. However, getting to that point takes time and skill. After all, building trust may be difficult, but losing it is quite the opposite.
In this article, we’ll talk about why building trust with your blog’s audience is critical to its success. Then I’ll walk you through five tips to help you get to that point. Let’s get to it!
Why Building Trust With Your Blog’s Audience is Critical
Whatever type of blog you run, one of your primary goals should be getting conversions. By conversions, I mean anything from email signups, to making sales, referrals, and more. The math is simple – the more conversions you get, the better your blog should be doing overall.
However, to make any type of conversion, there needs to be a baseline of trust. That means visitors need to believe you’re not trying to scam or deceive them, and know they can trust your recommendations.
Getting new visitors to trust you takes time, there’s no way around it. Only a very small percentage of your audience will convert during their first visit, so building trust is critical to your blog’s growth.
5 Ways to Build Trust With Your Blog’s Audience
Ultimately, building trust boils down to not trying to deceive your audience and making sure you can back up any claims you make on your blog. Those are two rules you should live by. However, for this section, we’re going to focus on more specific advice you can start applying right away.
1. Avoid Hard Sales
Most of the time, it’s obvious when someone is trying to talk you into making a purchase. If you’re anything like me, the more pushy salesmen are, the more turned off you become by the whole idea.
Instead of including dozens of Calls-to-Actions (CTAs) and trying to sweet talk visitors into converting, what you should do is provide them with all the information they need to make a decision. Once they have all that data, they can choose what works best for them.
Ultimately, this approach might not net you as many conversions in the short term as driving a hard sale would. However, it can help you build long-term relationships and keep visitors coming back for your advice.
2. Test Any Products/Services You Recommend
These days, a lot of blogging comes down to helping readers decide what products or services are a perfect fit for them. Let’s say, for example, you’re looking for a web host to start a new blog. If you run a search for ‘best WordPress web hosts’ you’ll find literally hundreds of comparison articles at your fingertips:
If you take a close look at some of them, though, you’ll notice their writers have absolutely no clue what they’re talking about. I’d go as far as to say a lot of them haven’t even tested most of the services they recommend. Instead, what they do is push the products that offer them the most lucrative affiliate margins. In the short term, that can translate to more earnings, but it’s also a great way to tank their credibility.
Testing every product or service you recommend can be expensive and time-consuming, but there’s no way around it. It’s the only way you can be sure you’re making the best possible recommendations, which helps to build trust with your blogs audience in a way that is genuine.
3. Keep Your Blog’s Information Up to Date
Imagine you write an incredibly detailed guide on How to Start a Blog from Scratch. The year is 2019 and all the information is up to date, which makes following every step of the process simple. However, a couple of years go by and those instructions become outdated. Now, users are still finding that blog post, but when they get there, they realize the instructions don’t work at all.
If I were that visitor, that’d be a quick way for me to lose interest in your blog. I probably would avoid visiting it in the future as well and instead opt for better-maintained sources.
The primary takeaway here is a lot of your blog’s content can become outdated over time. If you want to make sure your content doesn’t lose its value, you need to take the time to update it occasionally.
4. Let People Know Who You Are
If your parents ever told you not to trust strangers on the internet, they might have been right – just not in the way they intended. I have no problems chatting with strangers on the web, but when it comes down to making a purchase or signing up for a service, I need to know who is on the other end of the transaction.
That doesn’t apply as much if, let’s say, I’m buying directly from a company. However, if I’m browsing some random blog and they’re trying to get me to make a purchase, there’d better be an author’s blurb in there somewhere, at the very least.
When you’re the public face of your blog, that means there needs to be a face people can attach to your name. That means including some personal information about yourself, perhaps an About Me page, and of course, links to social media.
Even just a few small details can go a long way towards improving your credibility. If you’re not comfortable with that idea, then you might as well blog under a company name and build up that brand.
5. Engage With Your Audience
The more your blog grows, the more discussion it should attract around its publications. That means you’ll have people making comments, sending you emails, following, and interacting with you on social media.
All those things are fantastic indicators that your blog engagement is growing. However, there’s no faster way to turn off those users from keeping up with your website than to ignore them. It can be hard keeping up with visitor interactions as your blog starts to pick up steam, but it’s an effort that’s well worth it in terms of return.
The more you engage with your audience, the more likely they are to keep coming back to you for advice and to stay up to date with your blog’s latest publications. It’s those very same users that are most likely to convert and to recommend your blog to their friends, so it’s not a smart move to ignore them, busy as you might be.
If everything works out, you’re going to be blogging for a while to come. That means writing dozens or hundreds of articles, and sometimes telling readers what they should do. If you want to convince them, there needs to be a baseline of trust, so you can’t go around making any claims you want.
When you boil it down, there are five basic ways to build trust with your blog’s audience:
- Avoid hard sells
- Test any products and/or services you recommend
- Keep your blog’s information up to date
- Let people know who you are
- Engage with your audience
Do you have any questions about how to build trust with your blog’s audience? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.