So early on I decided to expand my reach by discussing things I learned as a website and blog owner. I dropped the "in-post" affiliate links and concentrated on describing my first hand experiences and personal learnings. I talked about new features released in Blogger, other broadcasting tools such as Zemanta, hacking attempts on my site, etc. After a while, I realized that being an experienced author helped to establish and maintain a limited but dedicated following.
More recently, I've begun to include stories of my own personal living experiences as well. I wasn't sure why, but I felt that it was important to interject a personal touch to create a bond with my readership.
Then listening to my favorite radio talk show host, Michael Savage, this week, I learned why personal stories were important to my blog. It's because:
Openness Creates Trust.
Savage explained that one reason for his radio success is that his listeners trust his opinions and advice. This didn't happen overnight. Instead, it took him 16 years to gain the following he now has.
While his message is primarily political conservatism, he mixes his show with stories of his dog, wife, boat, children, dining and shopping experiences, and more. People trust him because they understand who he is, and he's not a stranger.
Without knowing it, I too began establishing a trustful bond with my readers by sharing some of my Christmas disasters, thoughts about raising children, and political viewpoint. It's not important that readers agree with my message. But, it is important for my readers to understand who I am.
Trust Takes Time
Establishing a trustful dialog with your readers does not occur immediately. Think about the fact that: The internet is full of scam artists who are trying to steal your content, identity, or money. Why should anyone trust a complete stranger?
Whether you are just a beginner or a seasoned veteran in the online world, its important to continually ask yourself:
Why would readers trust my advice?
Once you believe you have the answer, you will find that: Openness was the key to establishing your own online trust.