Boost Your Blog's Credibility By Sourcing
Why do you write a business blog? Is it because you have a need to share your thoughts with a wider audience than the cat in your lap or your spouse (I hope so since it's a business blog)?
People need to hear what you have to say for some reason, so you are obliging them by writing consistent blog posts.
But what gives your posts credibility? Why would someone think of you as an expert?
Have a job that is connected to the subject of your blogs?
Write because you are you someone who has done this for a long period of time and thus has a lot of experience to share with others?
Belong to a club that has provided you with a certain amount of expertise?
Own a small business that is connected with these blog posts and are thought of as a subject matter expert in some circles because of that fact?
Whatever your reasons for blogging and your expertise in a specific subject matter, everyone needs a credibility boost. There are a great deal of people who blog on the same subject you do (most likely as there are literally millions of blogs on the web... as of 10/11/2014 there were 10,288,718 downloads of WordPress.org alone) who may have the same right to claim expertise. So, you have to set yourself apart somehow.
A wonderful Christmas movie was made in 1947 called Miracle on 34th Street. The cast and the plot are not important to this discussion, but one critical plot point is. Kris Kringle, the real Santa Claus, was playing as a Macy's store Santa. After a child would sit on his lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas, he would tell the parent where they could find it if the product was not available at Macy's. This provided a big sales boost for Macy's and was quickly copied by similar retailers.
As far as blogging is concerned, this is a great lesson. Some people will come to your site because they like you, your small business services and/or your writing. More likely they have found you because they did a search and found your site. But what happens if they can't find what they were looking for on your site?They leave and go somewhere else!
Well, the goal is to keep them there and turn every eyeball into a consistent reader. One way to do this is to give the reader good information even if means showing them other similar sites that may be closer to their needs. That individual respects the fact that you are looking out for them and will come back again.
So, including other sources in your blog content could benefit you in this way, but let's talk about credibility for a minute.
You have a few readers who know you, or have grown to know, like and trust you through your business blog. They respect you and read what you write because there is some connection there and you are providing them with solutions to their problems or questions.
What if you lie to them? Not something obvious, but something subtle that people find out about later. Will they continue to read what you have to say? Probably not.
First of all, you need to source material because you should give credit where it is due. The internet is wide open and there is no police force scouring the Internet ready to arrest plagiarizers, unless you count the people who read your blog.
You need to credit sources for thoughts and words that are not your own because you would want them to do the same. Plus, in some cases, you could face legal punishment for plagiarism, including fees and jail time.
"Claiming that you are what you are not will obscure the strengths you do have while destroying your credibility." ~Tom Hayes
But credibility is a little more complicated than that, also.
In other words, there are sources and then there are sources.
Wikipedia has become a common go to website for many because it is rife with information about almost any topic you would care to research. The problem with Wikipedia as actual source material is in the way it is compiled. Anyone, no matter their expertise or opinion, can be a Wikipedia contributor. This means that the information is suspect.
Just like many news reports these days, Wikipedia contains a great deal of opinion. Readers don't want opinion, they want reliable information.So where do you find reliable information?
Actual peer reviewed research studies that can be found on many academic sites.
.org websites (medical, legal, etc.) with information written by actual doctors, lawyers and other experts.
Trusted industry websites (including competitors).
All of these are good sources, but you still need to exercise caution.
Read the information and verify it by reading what others are saying about the same topic. There may be varying opinions and this could be very good for your blog. Create a conversation by stating the evidence and then letting the readers hash it out in the comments.So what have we learned?
Never source Wikipedia as the information is often opinionated and therefore unreliable.
Give readers sources other than yourself so that they can have all of the information.
Send people to other sources through links in your blog. They will trust you more for it and come back because of it.Sourcing is a great way to gain credibility for your blog if it is done the right way. Missy Tincher
, Blog Content Marketing Manager, is the owner of My Miss Assist
. Missy is passionate about helping clients with their content marketing strategies to build their expert status, build more relationships with their audience and drive more traffic to their websites. She is like a "high-octane" Hummingbird... efficient and vigorously energetic about dynamic blog content marketing plans! For blogging and content marketing tips, visit My Miss Assist's blog at http://mymissassist.com/blog