This post is part of a series of posts on blog credibility
Tangent Time – I used to go out with a girl who lived in a small rural town a few hours outside of Melbourne (a long time ago). We spent a fair bit of time in this town but it soon became evident to me that I was seen by the residents of that place as an ‘outsider’. People were not rude to me but it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t considered a ‘local’ (even though I spent a lot of time there over three years).
I asked my girlfriend’s mum about this after a year or so and she told me that there was an unspoken rule in the town that you had to live there for 10 to 15 years before you’d become a ‘local’. In the mean time you had to prove yourself by living there and participating in the community.
Becoming a local (or being seen as a credible and accepted part of the town) was not something you could achieve over night.
Longevity in Blogging
While 10 to 15 years might be a little over the top there is a similar thing at play in the blogging community and longevity of blogging seems to be one factor (remember this is a series of many) that impacts the credibility a blogger can have within their niche.
Are you committed to blogging on your topic for the long haul?
Blogs get started every day (or every second according to Technorati) but a large proportion of them don’t last longer than a month or two. I suspect that this has led to blog readers becoming a little suspicious about whether bloggers are in it for the long haul.
I know that when I discover a blog that I’ve not seen before that is writing good content that I always look back into it’s archives to see how long they’ve been going. This isn’t because I believe new blogs have little to offer (they definitely do have a lot to offer), but because sustained quality blogging on a topic isn’t easy to do and to me it is one signal that the blogger is in it for the long haul and might be someone that I want to invest some time into reading.
I’m not sure that other blog readers dig into archives in this way but I do know that a lot of blog readers that I talk to get very frustrated with some bloggers who constantly chop and change from blog to blog, never sticking at a project.
Longevity and Search Engine Credibility
The other factor with long term blogging is that it builds credibility in the eyes of the search engines also. There’s a lot of theories about Google and it’s ‘Sandbox’ process but one thing that most experts agree on is that it takes time to gain ranking in Google (and the other SE’s) and that sites with a long history (and that are registered for a longer time into the future) are at an advantage. Once again this is not the only (or most important) factor, but it comes into play.
Take Home Advice For New Bloggers
This might be a little depressing for new bloggers who can’ t just summons up ‘longevity’ – but my take home advice for you if you’re a new bloggers is to hang in there with your blog over the long term. Successful blogs don’t just happen – make a commitment to your blog and it’s wider niche for and as the months and years progress you’ll increasingly become respected as a part of that blogging community.
Let me also reemphasize that new blogs do have a lot to offer and they can be very credible. All I’m really saying is that longevity can add to the credibility of a blogger. If you don’t have it you might need to work harder at some of the following factors.