This is a guest post by Joshua Noerr of JoshuaNoerr.com.
It’s clear that social media, specifically blogging, is about so much more than making money. Sure, we all want to be compensated for our time and our talents, but if the only goal was to make money, blogging would certainly not be our first choice.
If you’ve been reading ProBlogger for any length of time, the message will be clear to you: blogging is not a get-rich-quick kind of deal. There are certainly a few stars that rose to prominence quickly, but they’re the exception, not the rule.
The truth is, blogging for dollars is a slow process that requires many different factors to click into place before it produces a dependable income. One of those key factors is trust. The bottom line here is that your readers absolutely must trust you in order to buy from you, or to subscribe to your feed or newsletter.
I remember reading a book on sales a few years ago that said, essentially, “The prospect does not have to like you, he or she just has to trust you.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall any time I’ve said, “Wow, I don’t like that guy, but I sure do trust him.” Likability and trustworthiness have a tendency to go hand in hand.
Give back to build trust
Giving selflessly is a very powerful way to build the trust that you need to boost your repeat visitor levels, and your traffic overall. I’m going to share with you a way to do exactly that, but first I want you to consider something.
Have you ever noticed that most large corporations have either a foundation established in their name, or a department that handles charitable giving on behalf of the company? Think about that. I could name ten corporations that do just that off the top of my head. Consider why they do it. If you answered “to build trust,” you’re right!
What I’m proposing is that you donate a small portion of your online real estate to a good cause.
I know that the thought of giving even a small portion of your sidebar to charity may seem painful at first. For many, that means less space for direct advertising or AdSense promotion. It might even mean removing a featured affiliate product.
What I promise you is that the trust you get in return, while impossible to place a dollar value on, will be worth it. The good that you do in the world will become a part of your legacy.
Get started giving
Head over to FirstGiving.com. This website sets up free donation pages for thousands of charities and non-profits. After you set up your giving page, you’ll be able to create a widget that displays the amount of money you’re trying to raise, the organization you’re supporting, and how far you’ve progressed in your fundraising.
Place this widget somewhere on your blog. Now, you’re almost done, but there’s still one more step.
I suggest that you announce what you’re doing, which charity or cause you’re supporting, and why you’re supporting them (if you would like to see an example, take a look at my post asking for help to cure multiple sclerosis).
Writing this post is key, because it’s highly likely that it will be Stumbled, Dugg, and Tweeted, drawing attention to the cause, as well as your blog.
I also recommend that you choose a charity that’s near and dear to your heart. I decided to support the MS Fund because I have a wonderful friend who struggles with the disease. I can’t wait for the day when this disease no longer affects so many people. I’m sure you have a similar story, and I encourage you to share it with your readers.
Can blogging change the world?
Blogging has already changed the world in so many ways. It has changed the way news is reported, the speed at which information travels, and the way we get that information.
But I believe it can do much more than that. I truly believe that with so many wonderful, giving people out there in the blogosphere, blogging will change the world for the better in the years to come.
Please share your thoughts in the comments. What other ways can we give back and make the world a better place through blogging? Is there an organization that fits perfectly into your niche that you would like to support?
Joshua Noerr is a former competitive fighter turned blogger. He owns, or is partnered in, several blogs in different niches including personal development and fly fishing. He has one simple mission that drives all of his blogs: to change the world.