16 August 2009

Blogging Tips : How to Build Credibility

How do you rate when it comes to credibility? But more importantly, how do you go about getting credibility if you don’t have any or not much of it? Important question for bloggers - Andrew Rondeau from We Build Your Blog shares some tips on building credibility as a blogger.

There are some interesting theories around this topic. One such exponent of a theory is Graham Jones who writes about the credibility pyramid.

This pyramid is made up of four key elements.

1. Knowledge (10%) - At the bottom of the pyramid is a band of knowledge. Although this only represents 10% of a credibility score, it is nevertheless the foundation. If you don’t know what you are talking about, you have no credibility no matter what else you might bring to the mix.

Focus (15%) - The next level up according to Mr Jones is focus which constitutes 15% of the total score. Focus describes the process wherein people do not deviate or go off at tangents. This is when we come across people who seem to be single minded in their opinions, approach and knowledge.

This does not mean that you need to bombard other people with huge amounts of details and information in order to be considered credible. It is more the clarity and enthusiasm as well as the consistency of the information that is being presented that allows people to assess the credibility factor.

In some instances it is even possible that providing far too much information can undermine the credibility score. Perhaps this is where the popularity of the ‘elevator speech’ comes into play. You have two minutes to present your information. You have to be focused and only provide the most important points.

3. Enthusiasm (25%) - The next component on this pyramid of credibility is enthusiasm. This has an allocation of 25% which is fairly high. We probably call this passion more often than not. We view enthusiastic people as being far more credible than those who are not.

Perhaps it is because we feel that if the person can’t be enthusiastic about their own topic then he can’t be believing in his own words. Of course this can be unfair. There are some people who are too shy to speak up never mind appear enthusiastic.

4. Care and Concern (50%) - Possibly the most surprising component of credibility is the top part of this pyramid. It shows that 50% of your credibility is associated with your care and concern. If you show that you care about your audience you will be able to gather up half of the score towards a strong credibility rating.

This means that when building up your online credibility you have to show a huge amount of caring and concern for the interests and well-being of your audience. No matter what you are trying to do online, whether build a blog, communicate with readers, sell a product or even just hold a conversation on a social media platform such as Twitter or Facebook, if you care for your audience you build credibility.

It seems that a small percentage of your credibility is knowledge, add to that focus and enthusiasm and you only have half of what makes up your credibility. The other half is all about caring and concern for the other person’s well-being.

That could almost sound right.

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