“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.
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.
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.
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.
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"I found Marya’s blog completely by accident. She suggested a guest post and I checked out her stuff, and was blown away by the quality educational content. Marya writes excellent tips, and has a great community of commentators over at her Writing Happiness blog." Danny Brown - Prominent Social Media Blogger
A checklist for everything you need to do to make your blog awesome. Jon Morrow, Boost Blog Traffic
Best advice I have seen on this: 23 Top Tips to Make Your Blog Posts More Conversational. Michael Hyatt, Platform University
Nice roundup of tips here. Great write up and keep up the good work! Chris Garrett, Authority Blogging
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