Welcome to the fourth and final installment in the inaugural BlogStars Series, covering Online Credibility.
- Hector J Cuevas started the series with an excellent post titled: 4 Ways You’re Destroying Your Credibility and 5 Tips To Avoid It
- Kiesha Easley of WeBlogBetter continued with this fantastic post: Sharing Blogging failures: Will it build trust or make you a loser?
- And then Ana Hoffman from the Traffic Generation Cafe joined in the conversation with: 10 Rules of Social Engagement That Will Make or Break Your Blog Readership
So now it’s my turn…
The first thing I am realising is that going last in a series behind bloggers like these guys puts me in a dangerous place; for two reasons.
1: Hector, Kiesha, and Ana know their stuff, and all three posts have pretty much covered every aspect of building and maintaining online credibility.
2: The quality of their posts means that I had better make sure this one is at least grammatically coherent (puts down the Scotch)
But then I realised that I am in a fantastic position to use and abuse these guys, and in so doing – create a post of my own looking at Online Credibility from another Blogger’s perspective. So here goes…
When we talk about building credibility in our online presence we often broach the subject from the perspective of a new blogger trying to gain momentum, and so we share with the readers tips about what should and should not be on our blog, where in the blogosphere one needs to be, and the typical social media dos and don’ts.
Today I want to broach it from the point of view of another semi experienced blogger. OK so I am not Darren Rowse – not even close, but hey, I’m not Johnathon RhumenHeimer-Jackson either (who is that guy you ask? EXACTLY)
I knew Kiesha, Ana, and Hector long before this Blogstars Post Series was put into place, so I am going to share with you how THEY built their online credibility with ME. In so doing I hope to shed some light on the realistic nature of getting noticed in the blogosphere, and what it takes to standout.
How did Kiesha, Ana, and Hector catch my attention in the first place?
Hector Cuevas: Blog Commenting: Hector seemed to be commenting on every blog I frequented, but each comment was insightful and engaged both the blog owner and other readers. I had to go and see what he had to say if his comments were this good.
Kiesha Easley: Guest Blogging. Kiesha was a regular contributor to what used to be a very popular blog. I then found her blog through these guest posts and became a regular reader over there too.
Ana Hoffman: Socialite and Guest Blogging. I was regularly contributing to TechnShare.com when Ana showed up to do the same. Then I went to FamousBloggers.net to contribute and there she was again. I ran off to the sanctity of BlogEngage and found her as a top contributor – and again at SERPd and BloKube. Try as I might, she would not go away.
What is it about them that made me Subscribe?
I will look at each blogger individually but all three of these blogs have one thing in common, and it is this commonality that reveals the one true secret to blogging success:
Content is the Engine, Not Search.
If you look at your Blog as a fancy car for instance, then think of the content as the engine. You can have all the bells and whistles you like, but no Plug-in or Widget – no matter how good is going to get you there when the engine stops turning. Granted the trip becomes a little more enjoyable when your ‘car’ looks awesome, but if the engine is not up to scratch then you are surely going to break down sooner or later. Then you can sit there going nowhere with your fancy Widgets and new look theme. Go You!
But Why EXACTLY Did I Subscribe/Follow/Stick Around?
Hector Cuevas: His Blog Design showed him to be both human AND accessible. He engaged with his readers through his content and the following comment threads, backing up and giving credence to what his blog design had already been telling me. The important lesson here is to make sure the design of your blog reflects the overall message of your blog and your person, but even more so – that YOU then commit to this trend.
Kiesha Easley: Kiesha is a well established blogger with an ever growing readership, and if her engaging content is not enough to entice you, her social proof certainly is! Over 3,700 readers subscribe via RSS to WeBlogBetter and yet I can spend hours on her blog without being sold anything. Kiesha has built credibility through honest engagement, and clean honest content. No banner ads here folks.
Ana Hoffman: I subscribed to Traffic Generation Cafe because of two reasons: Content, and not wanting to get left behind! Ana has proven her credibility through brilliant and genuinely helpful content but more importantly – she seems to have a knack for being everywhere at once, and being there first. I better stick with her or I might miss something and get left behind!
How have they made themselves Credible in my eyes?
Hector Cuevas: Consistently good content. By this I mean content that is relevant, useful and most importantly – comes from the experiences of someone taking action! Hector has started a Podcast for Business blogging, has created his own Build Your First Blog Course, and is the one who came up with this Blogstars series in the first place – and he’s only been blogging since April! THAT makes him credible in my eyes.
Kiesha Easley: Kiesha is in my eyes at least – a fairly big blogger in the scheme of things, yet she is so accessible. Her Blog is not only a source of relevant and helpful information, it is also a community of like minded individuals – who all genuinely want to help. The old adage of ‘Give to Receive’ is brought to life at WeBlogBetter and if Kiesha is not raising awareness for Charity, she is giving awesome stuff away on her blog! That makes her Credible in my eyes.
Ana Hoffman: Ana is also a relatively newcomers to the blogosphere but she has proven her worth at all four corners. Ana’s content comes from a wealth of knowledge and from someone who obviously takes action, and she stays connected! Ana keeps her ear to the ground at all times, and as a result knows what is going on, when it is happening, and whether she needs to be there or not! The resulting online presence alone is enough to make her credible in anyone’s eyes – but for me it is cemented by the fact that she actually knows what she is talking about!
What Can I Take Away From This?
I think the recurring theme speaks for itself in that content and engagement are clearly key. Being everywhere is important, but if you do not have something valid to say then you are wasting your time. Be honest, be engaging and be helpful and you are on your way to building credibility in my eyes.
Oh and above all else – Enjoy what you do! These Bloggers I speak of here clearly do -and it shows. If they were not into it, I would not be into them, so to speak.
You Want Credibility Online?
- Then Take Action,
- Write About It,
- Share it Everywhere,
- Engage in the Conversation,
- and then do it all over again!