When you think of blogging, do you picture family-run websites full of vacation photos? Or perhaps you envision pictures of cat with silly captions included?  Or maybe you don’t even know what to thing when someone says the word “blog”.  But make no mistake, blogs are a powerful tool for business people to build credibility, which in turn promotes their businesses and increases profits.

What is online credibility? Having online credibility means establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field, and distributing your knowledge on the internet. In other words, when someone searches for information about you on the internet, search results will display blogs or press releases containing your name. Considering that online research is now a common and important part of most consumer decision-making processes nowadays, it’s easy to see why online credibility is important.

Online BlogWhat are the benefits of online credibility?
  • Gain trust with potential customers or clients, which translates into more sales
  • Drive traffic to your website – remember, a website without visitors is like a billboard in the middle of nowhere! You need web traffic in order for your site to be effective.
  • Attract more referrals, especially if your blogs are shared on social media
  • Establish yourself as a leader among your peers, which could lead to valuable partnership or other business opportunities in the future

Establishing online credibility is clearly the key to a successful future in today’s internet-driven business world. But you may still be wondering: Exactly how do I use blogging to establish credibility?

It’s really not that difficult! First, remember this rule: Content is king. In order to build credibility and establish yourself as an expert, you must produce and distribute content that will display your knowledge and ideas. The most common and effective way to do this is through blogging.

Follow these steps to blogging success:

Decide upon topics. Write about topics that will interest your target demographic. What are their concerns? What questions are you most often asked? Remember, you want to establish yourself as the friendly, helpful expert.

Produce well-written, appropriately researched content. Remember all of those lessons you learned in your high school or college writing classes. If your audience is bored or turn off by unprofessional writing, your blog won’t be very successful. Remember not to make wild claims; if you cite a statistic, back it up with a link to the source!

Include pictures, charts, or graphs. Depending upon your industry, a visual element can really benefit your blog. Consider adding elements that readers will find helpful, eye-catching, or informative.

Create a schedule, and stick to it. You need to publish quality blogs on a regular basis in order to attract a loyal following. Blogging weekly is generally recommended.

Get the word out.   Your blog needs traffic. While the keywords contained in your blog will help with overall website traffic, go a step beyond that. Provide social media share buttons on your content, so that readers can share information they find useful or entertaining. Create social media profiles and post links to your blogs there, too.

Be flexible, and respond to feedback. Use Google Analytics to track traffic to your blog. Which topics seem to attract more interest? Do some topics appear less popular? Are readers staying on your website and clicking through to read more than one page? How much traffic is coming from social media, versus search engine? All of these statistics will help you to learn what is effective, or which areas of your blogging practice need work. Be flexible in your approach. Respond by producing more of what works, and you will steadily build the type of online reputation that benefits you for years to come.