This post is part of a series of posts on building blog credibility
Tangent Time – If you’ve ever done any traveling you’ll know that it’s often the advice of others that you bump into on the road that give you the best advice on what to see or what to do.
While tour guides know their stuff and bring expertise to your trip it’s the fellow traveler who has eaten at the restaurants, slept in the hotel beds, bargained for the souvenirs and who has seen the new culture from an outsider’s perspective (like you) – as a result of their experiences you learn where to go and what to see in a way a tour guide might never be able to share with you.
Fellow travelers who’ve experienced where you want to go make credible advisers.
Experience adds to blogger credibility
One of the factors that led to ProBlogger growing faster than some of my other blogs in the last 18 months is that I think I’ve proven to be someone who has experience in the field of blogging for money.
I am definitely not the biggest earner of an income from blogging (I’ve discovered a few other very private bloggers in the last year who leave me for dead in earnings) but the fact that I earn a full time income from blogging (and am willing to talk about how) means others are willing to listen and take on board what I have to say.
This is the case in my other more successful blogs also. For example in my digital camera blogs I have some great interactions with readers particularly as a result of my email newsletter in which I will talk about my own experiences with cameras and will give tips on how to use them. In this blog I rarely write in the voice of the ‘expert’ but rather write as a normal guy (a fellow traveler) writing on a topic that he loves – sharing what I know as I discover it. The result is a growing group of loyal readers.
Take Home Advice
The crux of the lesson here is to simply talk about your experience in your blog. It’s not rocket science but it does work. When you are willing to share what you know as a fellow traveler it’s amazing to see how others will gather around you. You don’t need to do it in a boastful or arrogant way, but you will need to talk about it to some degree.
‘But what about if you’re not experienced in the area you’re writing about’ you ask? My response is twofold:
1. Get some experience – if you’re a blogger writing on a topic and want to build credibility in it you better be willing to get some experience in that topic. If you’re not your blog will always be somewhat empty. Get out there and live what you’re writing about.
2. Talk about the experiences you DO have – you don’t have to be an expert on a topic to write about it (although it does help to have expertise too which I’ll talk about in the next post). Even beginners sharing their experiences can be an interesting read and a credible source of information. The key if you are in this situation is to be honest about what you do and don’t know – credibility comes when your readers see your honesty and willingness to admit what you don’t yet know.
Tomorrow I’ll continue this series by talking about Expertise.