Trust is something that has to be won. We don’t ever… at least exceedingly rarely, meet somebody that we trust with our deepest darkest secrets the moment we are introduced. It just doesn’t happen. You need to build a relationship with each other, and over time, the trust comes along.
As with everything, trust starts out small, and then gradually builds up into something real.
This is true from working relationships, sexual relationships, and all other forms of acquaintanceship. If you ask me, the same goes for blogging, or rather, reading of any nature.
Why do you read one particular author, why do you look out for their books and queue up to get them (Modern Definition: Pre-Order on Amazon) on the day of release? Because you like their previous books, because, after so many adventures together, you trust this author to delivery a good read.
Blogs should be no different. Sure, blogs are often easier to judge and to get acquainted with than other people. There isn’t the social pressure or etiquette involved. If you start to read a post and don’t like it, you can just click the close button and off you go again. Yet even if you read the best blog post you have ever laid eyes upon, and agree with every single work the author of said post as used, the trust still isn’t there. An interest in other posts and viewpoints is there, and framework for the thing that could develop into trust is there. Trust itself can only come with time.
Therefore, when it comes to offering advice on blogs, you need to be careful that you have built up that trust level with your readers.
This relates to a couple of posts I wrote last week about Links in Blog Posts, and about How a successful blog is about more than just having something to say.
When I visit a blog for the first time, I view it as kind of a sales pitch. I mean, it is important to make that first post count. Which also goes to show that every post deserves your full attention, because there will always be people visiting for the first time. I will read the post, but if it is filled with links and advice on products or what have you, there is a great chance I will not click them. Why? Because the trust isn’t there.
I am sure there are people who think differently, because some people are by nature more trusting than others. I know for a fact that I am not someone who trusts people very quickly, I need to get to know them first. But tell me, just out of my own curiosity, do you feel the need to build up trust with a particular blog before you start to truly consider the advice they offer?
An example I have is, I am always looking for tips on how to improve my eBook sales, and so the other day I did a quick Google search and opened up the first five results that came through. Two were nothing more than endless sentences of vague promise so long as I paid $50.00 for a book, and the other three were, regular posts. Much like this. They offered their advice and said how they had increased their sales significantly. Interested in what they had to say, but un-trusting at the same time, I check out their books on Amazon – the site they had claimed to be doing so well on. To my surprise, their books were… well let’s just say in the six-figure section of the rankings.
If their advice was as golden as they claimed in their posts – all of which were very recently written – then I found myself thinking that either, they cannot follow their own advice, or that their tips just didn’t work. Either way, the trust was not established and the framework that was built – as if automatically the case withe very blog we visit – was unstable to say the least.