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5 Ways to Add Credibility to Your Website & Attract A Bigger Audience

“I want to start blogging but why would anyone listen to me?”

“I have no fancy degrees. I have no endorsements from successful bloggers.”

“My life story is boring. I have never backpacked around the world, I have never been fired and I am happy with what I do.”

“I am just starting out. Why would anyone listen to me?”

Many people who want to start blogging are often held back by thoughts such as these. Most people, who have been blogging for sometime but haven’t had much success either, are just about to give up out of sheer frustration.

And I understand where you are coming from. I totally relate.

There are millions of businesses competing with each other, fighting for attention and more eyeballs. They want to attract blog readers, build their brands and perhaps start online businesses.

And yet, nobody is paying attention. They are stuck on 19 subscribers and nobody takes them seriously.

There is indeed an solution for this problem.

All they have to do is answer this one simple reader question – why should I listen to you? What makes you credible?  

In short visitors are asking – what makes you worthy of my time and attention?

And one rock solid way to do that is to start adding these credibility building elements to your site from day 1.

#1 As seen on

This one is HUGE and gives you the biggest boost in terms of creating authority. This also takes a bit of time, serious effort and a thick skin.

You already know the best way to do this: Guest posting.

You land guest posts on other blogs and get the right to (proudly) display their logos on your site. Most do this on their sidebar or near their main navigation bar. Some show these off down the bottom of their landing page. No matter what the location, these raise your credibility in the eyes of new visitors like nothing else will.

A lot has been written about guest posting but here I will say this:

Start with the blogs you are comfortable approaching. Maybe you already read some of these blogs, have left comments, the blogger knows who you are and are willing to give you a go.

As you gain experience in creating content and writing headlines that seduce readers, you’ll feel more confident approaching blogs that have bigger audiences.

Lastly, you have the A-list or the elite bloggers. Sites like Copyblogger, Lifehacker, Zen Habits, Entrepreneur, Forbes or Huffington Post with audiences running in hundreds of thousands. Before you get too excited, or depressed about your chance of getting on those sites, think about the time investment.

A post worthy of getting published on these sites typically take 10+ hours to write. However, the mention itself is well worth the effort. You might also get some nice traffic and new readers depending on the site as some perform better than others.

My advice, start small, hone your pitching and writing skills and work your way up.

#2 Content

You need to create purpose driven content from day one. For this, before you publish anything on your blog, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is material relevant to my readers? Is it on topic?
  • Will this help them in some way? Will it inspire them, educate or empower them?

You also need to show you expertise in your content. Show your readers you know what you are talking about. Talk about your experiences and how you can make a difference.

Show your readers you care and that you are more than competent, and worthy of their attention.

#3 Design

If you are surprised to see it here, allow me to explain.

A professional looking design can add instant credibility to your website. After all, it is the first point of contact and sometimes that makes all the difference.

Imagine you follow a link and land on a blog for the first time. The first impression you get is a feeling of total chaos.

There is so much happening that you don’t know where to look, what to do or worse, what the site is about. There are flashing ads, loud colours and scrolling images, all competing for your attention.

The first thought that comes to mind is either spammy, or amateurish.

You hit the back button. Never to return.

Yes, such is the power of a good design that is user friendly and allows your readers to spend time on your blog. Design that is clutter free, with easy navigation.

Notice I said professional looking. You don’t have to spend big bucks to get a designer. Install wordpress and look into DIY or customizable themes like Headway, Thesis, Genesis by Studio Press, Woo etc.

Unlike social media shares, this is totally in your control and you can choose to display your content in a professional manner from day one.

#4 Social Proof

When lots of people hang out at a place, you want to go join them as well. It must be good or why would anyone bother?

At the least, you want to check it out for yourself. You are curious and are willing to give them some time from the beginning.

This is the power of social proof.

On your blog, social proof can take the form of social shares such as tweets, Facebook likes and shares, Google pluses and pins (on Pinterest). This word of mouth is extremely important for your image.

The number of comments also let your readers know that you have a thriving community which is worth looking into.

Again, these will take time to build. (Also, it is common to see high number of social shares in certain niches such as marketing, social media and news. Don’t let these numbers depress you.)

For a new-ish blogger, you might think you need to spend a huge amounts of time on social media. This is where most people get it wrong.

Many sites that have extraordinary social proof did not build it in a day. Not even a month. Try years. They focused on creating useful content and providing value to their readers way before they got the return in the form of public adoration.

Focus on content first instead of trying to seek validation from your readers. This will come in time. Especially if your content is really good.

#5 Mentions

This will not happen initially, but eventually will. You will have famous bloggers retweet your post, leave a comment on your post or say something nice about you in a post.

You can display these on your website. Many do this strategically, I advise to keep things simple and add them under a tab titled ‘Praise’ or ‘Nice things people say about me.’ Now this is different to testimonials as they are not from paying customers, but does wonders for your image.

You can of course add testimonials once you have sold your products or services. This usually comes in last, especially if you get clients or customers as a direct result of your blogging efforts.

That’s it. This is the missing link – the credibility factor. You get this right and everything will fall into place.

Know any other ways of adding credibility to your blog, especially when you are new? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Have you taken my 3-minute Client Attraction Quiz? Check it out now, it’s awesome! :)

29 Comments

  1. carol
    Posted on April 23, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Also “Why would MY story be interesting to anyone else other than myself?” Thank you for these tips, reading them justifies my feeling that I am on the right track regardless of my self doubts.

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on April 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      Ah – self doubts. We all have those, Carol. No matter which stage of blogging you are at. Good luck and keep going … that’s the only way to learn and get better. Cheers. 🙂

  2. Lynn Wallace Says :
    Posted on April 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you. I’ve made some comments and received a few. I believe my content is good; I just need to get out there more. I put up a good looking design. I still have to figure out how to do sidebars. I’ll try to spend a little time on Twitter and Linkedin. I’m on Facebook, but get a little attention. I’m still trying to figure out how to do it. I’ve called a tech, but haven’t heard back from him. I’m trying to figure out how to show my book reviews and comments from readers so that people can find them. My webmaster hasn’t responded to my last e-mail.

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on April 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      “I just need to get out there more.” – You said it. Follow your own advice, Lynn. And thanks. 🙂

  3. Andrea T.H.W. Says :
    Posted on April 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    All good advices as usual Marya. The credibility factor, that’s right. I’m still working on that and to begin I’ve put my Alltop badge above the post and above the fold so that when a new visitor comes immediately sees that “I’m a kind of a Big Deal”. 😀

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on April 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      You are on the right track. Go for guest posting now …

  4. Barbara McDowell Whitt Says :
    Posted on April 24, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Marya, thank you for these important suggestions. Why do you think so few people leave comments on blogs?

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on April 24, 2013 at 2:16 am

      Barbara, I think there are two reasons for this: First one being information overload. If you are subscribed to 100+ blogs then everything starts to look the same, nothing stands out, you don’t have the time to read anything properly and can’t be motivated to do so.
      Secondly, with the ever increasing popularity of social media, people are shifting to places like Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Discussions are still happpening, it’s just that the conversation is moving over to these social media channels.
      Oh, there are other reasons, too. Maybe the content is not good enough or is so good that there is no room to add anything. Or, people might feel they don’t have any insights to share… Do you leave many comments? I used to in the beginning, now I just don’t have the time. I also limit my info intake …

      • Barbara McDowell Whitt Says :
        Posted on April 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm

        Marya, thank you for taking the time to reply to my question. I appreciate your keen insight. I do like to leave comments following other people’s blog posts. Since my blog is a nightly transcription of the diary entries I was writing 50 or more years ago, it is “static” by nature. I see my commenting on other blogs as an opportunity to practice my writing skills.

  5. Hala
    Posted on April 24, 2013 at 7:19 am

    I believe that you attract more readers Marya, because you give from your time to reply to everyone. Which shows care and dedication.In return readers feel that they want to be part of your team,and try acknowledge your efforts.

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on April 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Aww — thanks so much. Means a lot! 🙂

  6. Ivan
    Posted on April 24, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Maria, you are a mirracle! 🙂 Yesterday I had a discussion with few of my friends why is there so few comments on my blog… and here you are, with the sound advice. Thank you so much! I’ll get on implementing your tips ASAP…

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on April 24, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Do and let me know how you go, ok? Good luck! 🙂

  7. 5 Must See Images | Snitch Blogger - Eric Pangburn Says :
    Posted on April 26, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    […] Photo Credit: https://www.maryajan.com/add-credibility-blogging/ […]

  8. Troy Says :
    Posted on May 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Great post Marya! Is there any premium wordpress them that you specifically favor? I’m looking online, and I can’t choose. Should I go for one that’s really fancy, or one that’s fancy (but not excessively too cool) but nice and clean?

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on May 10, 2013 at 4:38 am

      Troy, I always recommend a clean look for your website, but choose something that works for you. Can’t recommend anything off the top of my head, it has been ages since I looked.
      Marya

  9. Cameron Chardukian Says :
    Posted on May 18, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Another point worth mentioning is that social proof can also work against you. If you have 100k subscribers my all means show that off, but if you only have 3 it’s better to hide your number of subscribers until you get to a respectable amount.

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on May 20, 2013 at 1:42 am

      That’s true. I find it so amusing to see people saying 19 subscribers by feedburner. Don’t show that number just yet. Same thing with number of tweets, Facebook likes etc.

  10. Melissa Curran Says :
    Posted on May 20, 2013 at 12:29 am

    I’m a new subscriber and have been blogging for a little over a year now. I appreciate your information and believe I’m doing some of your points correctly, but see where I can improve on others. Thank you!

    Melissa Curran =)
    Author of: Find Your Paradigm: The Art of Living With Grace and Ease

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on May 20, 2013 at 1:50 am

      Thanks for your kind words, Melissa.
      And, welcome! 🙂

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  12. Caroline Says :
    Posted on June 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks for the great tips! I have just started a blog so this is very useful.

  13. Lynn Swayze Says :
    Posted on July 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    This is very timely for me – thank you! I am working on A-list blogging right now, and so this content is exactly in line with my goals. Thanks!

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  16. Clark Kent aka Suhail Says :
    Posted on February 16, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Hi Marya,

    Today I was given my 9th accolade on the blogging site. This one is on being popular with the readers. But after regularly reading your blogs recently, I know I have to make lots of improvements to get my message across to a wider audience. I write articles mostly about forging a working partnership with humans’ best friend – dog. My articles have dogs connecting us with nature and dogs helping us in wildlife conservation. But the real message for the people, specially our younger generation, is to go out and explore nature and help protect it for our future rather than spend time on our electronic gadgets and play egames lol.

  17. Ginger Harrington Says :
    Posted on February 18, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Thanks for the great ideas. I have struggled about the idea of putting up the things that people say, but you’re making me rethink that. I also hadn’t thought to add the logos of blogs I have posted for. Thanks:)

  18. Aditya Nath Jha Says :
    Posted on June 27, 2014 at 10:12 am

    But what if nobody mentions us even after a long time and efforts of posting, how do we get rid of such a situation???

  19. Muhammad Mairaj Says :
    Posted on August 24, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Hi Marya,

    Impressive post. Thanks for these important suggestions.Another think is also very important if you are engaged with your readers and think what they want it is also helpful in this scenario.

    Thanks for