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Blogger Credibility

Posted By Darren Rowse 24th of April 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Question from ProBlogger reader – Joshua:

“My question is how to make yourself a credible source. For example, when I came across your site, I got the impression that you had no experience with blogging, but found your niche in “making money from blogging.” But since you had never actually done it, I’m curious as to how you made yourself the source that you are now. You have very good tips and information, but obviously didnt have them to begin with.”

Thanks for the question Joshua – I think it gets to the heart of a really important issue for bloggers and one of the things that is often at the heart of a blog’s success or failure – the credibility of the blogger.

Let me start with your example/question about ProBlogger and then move on to outlining a number of ways that we as bloggers can build credibility.

Obviously when I started blogging three and a half years ago I had no experience in blogging and started out like a newbie like everyone else – but my first blog wasn’t actually on the topic of blogging. It was a personal (ish) blog. Then over time I added new blogs to my blogs and learned as much as I could about blogging and blogging as an income. Gradually over a number of years I built a way to make a full time living online through a variety of blogs. It was at this point that I launched (in September 2004) after I’d been blogging almost two years.

If I’d started ProBlogger as my first blog I suspect it would not have been seen as anyone as being a credible source of income – simply because I’d not proved myself as being someone who had expertise on the topic that I was writing about.

The Series Ahead
Over the next few days I’ll attempt to outline a number of things that I think can add to a blogger’s credibility. By no means will this be an exhaustive list as each circumstance is so different on a number of fronts:

  • Credibility is a slippery thing – what is credible to one person can be seen as suspicious to another
  • Every ‘credible’ blogger I know has gotten to that position in my mind for a slightly different reason. What helps build credibility in one blogging niche might not necessarily add to it in another.

Lastly I want to make it clear that in my experience each of the points that I make in the following posts don’t tend to lead to credibility alone but rather when they come together they add to it.

Anyway – enough disclaimers and explanations – lets dig in and explore what it means to build blogger credibility.

Here’s the Series so far:

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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  • The question and answer both presume credibility is the goal. That’s fine, but credibility is not necessarily the biggest challenge or key to success.

    For example, with my personal blog I had instant credibility.

    Lives in Chippendale. Tick!
    Not demented. Tick!
    Can write. Tick!

    Therefore, has credibility.

    The challenge here was not in building credibility, but in building community. This happened slowly, and involved as many conversations at the local pub and swimming pool as on the internet.

    But when it comes to credibility, my number one tip would be to ensure everything you write is defensible. You don’t have to make people like you or agree with you, but you must be able to justify your posts with reasoned argument if they come under attack. Because remember, when you write about a person, an organisation or whatever, you are affecting their reputation, and it is their perogative to challenge anything they see as damaging.

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  • The challenge here was not in building credibility, but in building community. This happened slowly, and involved as many conversations at the local pub and swimming pool as on the internet.

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  • Credibility is the key. I appreciate your discussion on credibility. In affiliate marketing, you may be 1 in 10k affiliates for 1 product or service. If you have taken the time to develop a name or an image of credibility, you can easily move way ahead of the pack.

    It does take time and effort to build a following. I teach my Internet marketing students that, in order to build a substantial, long term Internet business, it is essential to create an aura of credibility. Article writing and blogging are essential tools for building this foundation. Thanks for bringing this to light on your blog.

  • YES!
    Credibility of blogger is much more important especially these days.
    If you are selling any affiliate then your reader will be much more interested if you have such high credibility rather then any normal person selling that same good.

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