Today’s educated readers want information from a credible, trusted source, says researcher and writer Michael Low. When you convince them you are that source, they will believe and read what you have to say.
Here are twelve ways to make your blog posts more credible:
1. Use rich, vivid detail.
When you use rich, vivid language, words that paint vivid pictures in your reader’s mind, she tends to believe what you are saying because she can see it for herself. After all, seeing, as they say, is believing!
2. Use scientific or technical language.
I know this goes against the grain of what most people suggest. But depending on the type of article you are writing, it might be appropriate to use scientific or technical terminology that demonstrates (without over doing it) your grasp — and thus, your authority — on the topic.
3. Use sequencing or process description.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to describe the steps involved in achieving an outcome. A list of numbered steps would be a good example of this. Or even a simple description in a single paragraph such as:
After taking your new computer monitor out of the box the first thing you will notice is a small bag containing three cords. One cord is blue, one is red, and the other black. Take the blue cord and plug the USB end into your computer, plug the other end (color coded orange) into the left side of the monitor in the port labeled “audio in”. And so on.
4. Use charts, diagrams and graphs.
There’s a saying in selling (where credibility is paramount) that “nothing sells like a demonstration”. The saying holds true in building the credibility for your article content too. If the content of your article lends itself to demonstration via a chart, graph or diagram you should use it.
5. Use a photograph depicting the article topic in action.
This may not always be possible. But have you noticed how the news media use intriguing photos to pull you into the article by attracting your attention? Photos can be as equally powerful when used in your articles to add credibility to your message.
6. Use awards, certificates or qualifications.
Have you any special certificates or awards for achievement that support your credibility as an author or that support the message you are writing about? If so, use them in your articles. The majority of the masses still regard qualifications as a measure of a persons knowledge and trustworthy-ness.
7. Use testimonials and endorsements.
If you say it it’s hearsay. If someone else says it it’s probably true. So use testimonials or endorsements in your articles, especially from a recognized source. If it’s written about in the New York Times or if someone famous backs it up, mention it in your article.
8. Use a logical flow of information, especially logical argument.
Start your article with a strong point your reader will agree with, then carefully walk the reader through a series of “facts” or flow of information that leads them to the conclusion you want them to accept. In this way, you can build a bridge from the things your reader already believes to the things you want them to accept and trust.
9. Use personal stories or anecdotes.
It’s pretty hard to argue with a true story about something that happened to you or someone you know (or even someone famous). If you have stories or anecdotes relevant to the point you want to make in your article, use them.
10. Use case studies — especially examples from the lives of people your reader can relate to.
If there’s a good documented case study of the point you want to make, use it in your article. Bring out the detail of the people and places involved and your argument becomes even stronger.
11. Use meaningful specifics, not vague generalities.
There’s a certain attractive quality in the specific. The more specific facts and details you use the more people feel what you’re saying is accurate. For example, avoid using phrases like: “Many years ago”. Instead say, “On the 26th May, 2005, a week after my Dad’s birthday …”
12. Use examples to illustrate your point.
Even in conversation it helps if you give your listener examples of what you are saying to help him or her understand your message. It’s no different in writing articles. If you want to see the true power of examples as a “communication improver,” try deliberately explaining yourself through examples in the next conversation you have with someone at home or at the office.