Six Ways to Establish Credibility with Your Audience

Lauren Owens - July 11, 2012

Businesses seeking to establish themselves as industry experts or thought leaders should first take a look at whether their web content is helping or hurting their case. Follow these simple guidelines to start producing stellar content that not only increases conversions, but establishes your business as a credible voice.

1. Write with Authority

It’s important that you use an authoritative, yet approachable, voice in your blog, web and social media content. To write with authority, present thoughts easily, clearly and with confidence. And, write in an active (rather than passive) voice, putting the subject before the verb, i.e. “I ate five hamburgers” verses “Five hamburgers were eaten by me.”

Communicating clearly and effectively will go a long way in establishing your authority, but so will making sure you have something new to say. It’s important when you’re blogging to add to the collective conversation rather than simply putting your own spin on the same old information.

2. Know the Facts

Provide your reader with detailed information and back that information up by using sources. In other words — don’t be vague. Simply stating, for example, that ‘many’ people died last year due to lightening strikes lacks the gravity (and authority) that a real number can convey.

But passing along erroneous information will undercut your credibility more than anything else you do. If you’re citing a scientific study, government data or other industry expert, make sure you get it right.

3. Be Honest

It’s crucial that your audience be able to trust you. That’s why you should always convey honesty and sincerity — even if it’s bad for your brand in the short term.

4. Respect Their Intelligence

Your blog readers are just like you. They’re looking for solid information about something they’re interested in. If you talk down to your readers, give false information or attempt to “dumb down” your content, you’ll lose readers — and credibility – fast.

5. Maintain Consistency

Something as simple as using an en dash (—) in one place and an em dash (–) in another can make your website look as though it were rushed or cobbled together. It’s a good idea to follow style guidelines such as those defined by the Associated Press or the Chicago Manual of Style so that everyone who provides content to your website can do so correctly and with confidence.

Alternatively, companies can create their own style manuals that serve as quick and easy guidelines for anyone writing for your website, or about your products and services.

6. Do it Right

You can have the most brilliant ideas in the world, but if they’re not being communicated correctly and effectively, you’re undercutting your credibility. If you know that you’re not a good or effective writer, hand the task of maintaining your company blog, website and social media posts to someone who is. Because grammatical errors and clunky sentences can quickly repel readers — just as soon as they found your blog, they’ll back out and go someplace else.

If you need help in that regard, MoreVisibility has a team of seasoned copy writers ready, willing and able to help you with your blogging, web content and/or social media communication.

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