How To Build Your Blog Credibilty

Credibility is something most blogs lack. This is especially true in the make money online niche. There are thousands of blogs that talk about making money online yet the author has never actually made any money online. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is they see blogs like Shoemoney, Probloggers and this one make a lot of money by blogging about making money and figure they can do the same thing.

The other reason comes from real life. Our schools are filled with teachers and professors who don’t practice what they teach. However, the school setting gives teachers the credibility they need to look like an authority on the subject. Add in the fact that they teach from a text book and not from experience. Here are a few things you can do to increase your credibility.

Credibility Starts with the About Page

Generally speaking, the more transparent you are, the more credible you are. Your about page is the foundation on which your credibility hangs. The more information you disclose, the more your readers will trust you. Trust is the biggest part of credibility. I’ve read about pages where the author used his nickname or his first name only. Would you trust someone like that?

At the very least, your about page should have your full name, a photo and where you’re from. Information about your background and why you are an authority on the topic you’re writing about would be even better.

Blog About Something You Know

It’s really hard to fake it til you make it so it’s best to blog on a topic that you have some knowledge on or have access to. If you have never made any money online but still want to do a make money online blog, then it’s best to make that blog a journal of your online adventure and blog about the trials and pains of trying to escape that 9 to 5 jail.

Guilty By Association

During the 2007 BlogWorld Expo, I lost count on the number of times I was asked to take a picture with somebody. While I’m sure most just wanted a picture with someone who is well know in the blog world, some will use the photo to boost their credibility.

This comes back to my Power of Association post. Birds of a feather flock together and if you can post a picture of you flocking with a successful bird, you are seen as a successful bird. When the Ming Pao did their story on me, they also included this picture of me and Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers.

john-dell.jpg

Join a Related Trade Organization

Being able to list in your about page that you’re part of some related trade organization with some fancy sounding name can help to built credibility. Often time, that is the only reason people join these organizations.

Write a Guest Post for a Big Blog

Getting your post onto a big blog can not only give you a lot of credibility, it can also send you a lot of traffic. The bigger blogs generally are quite fussy about the type of guest posts they will accept. They’re looking for quality that is on the same level as their posts. You should only send your best work.

I get bloggers emailing me about guest posting all the time. The best way to get a post onto John Chow dot Com is to email me the full post. Don’t send me an email asking me to reply if I want to read the post. I won’t. Just send the full post and I’ll read it and decide if it should be posted.

Give a Speech at a University

Being able to say you’ve spoken at the University of [insert state] can greatly add to your credibility. Don’t let the fact that the university will never invite you to speak stop you. Just rent one of their classrooms for a few hours, plaster posters all over the school about your seminar and hope one or two people show up. Now you can say you were the keynote speaker on [insert topic] at [insert university] in your about page. 😈


102 thoughts on “How To Build Your Blog Credibilty”

  1. Success depends on lot of things. One of the things is uniqueness. If a blog/site does not offer anything unique and useful to the visitors, its just another Regular Joe. Hard work is another thing that goes with success. And most of all, some may disagree, luck is something you need as well.

    1. Yes, I agree with you Manick.

      John, I must agree that you really is :twisted:. It really help to open my mind though. I have lots of credibility to give but haven’t. Such as being a top student in university class and such.

    2. rodel says:

      i doubt if luck plays a very vital role in every success we got.. if were into luck were just limiting our chances of being successful..

      why not just say it that…. i did it coz i work hard for it and i deserve it.. no luck involve.. 😀

    3. If you ask me, the luckiest people happen to the hardest working…or in John’s case, the most evil. 😈

      1. rodel says:

        hardwork really pays.. and being as well 😈

  2. DigMyPage says:

    While there is some truth to the assertion that you need to practice something for preaching, it is not essential. Dr. Seuss never had a child, did not know child psychology, did not teach to children, yet he produced contents for children that are still considered master pieces in children literature and tools for teaching children “how to read”

    1. Steven says:

      While that may (or may not be) true, there are always exceptions for everything. I believe John is conveying what he believes to be a general guideline, not a finite answer to getting your blog out there.

    2. While it is true that there are always exceptions, let’s be realistic here…the likelihood of anyone being the exception (becoming an A-List blogger without having first hand experience first) is minuscule. People win the lottery too, but would you advise that someone use that for their retirement plan since there are people that make money that way?

  3. worknplay says:

    Great post John. I agree about the credibility of a blog starts from the “about page”. The more you know the more you feel connected to the blogger. Also the other thing is about ” make money online ” blogs. They are growing like wild mushroom in a jungle, people havent made a penny and they start writing about how to make money.

    My blog personally is about things that I enjoy writing about. My views , my opinion. I am not an expert in anything its ablog where a general user shares his views and opinion as he sees it while welcoming everyone else’s to lemme know how others see it as well. Conversation is the key to any blog.

    1. Agreed with posting what you know. Just check the Adsense forum at digital point and you’ll find 100 similar threads on why isn’t anyone earning any money with their ‘make money online’ blog.

    2. agreed, great post. good good info

  4. Wakish says:

    John Chow you are the man! I feel really inspired and motivated to blog just by hearing your name in my mind!
    I’m learning a lot from you..

    Best Wishes as always,
    – Wakish –

  5. Good post! I need to add some more info to my “About Me” page. Thanks for reminding me. :mrgreen:

    1. me too, just not sure what… problogger has a good article on the about page as well. just got to do it. 😈

  6. Really good post. This came at a fantastic time, I’m going to start a blog at the beginning of December called road2blogging.com, a journal type blog on a 24 month project where I aim to learn, advise (and hopefully teach) other about blogging.
    Being yourself and writing in your own words is something that I’ve come to understand as being good work from great bloggers – on the other hand trying to become something or someone you’re not, will only push people away.

    1. Neil says:

      And what a great choice of theme you’ve made too Nick. 😀

      1. It is a great theme Neil, tried to find one that I liked for a few weeks now, and I really do like the theme. 😀

    2. Neil, I will be checking out your blog on a regular basis. I just started my blog, http://www.notjohnchow.com, where I am demonstrating to anyone who will listen, how I am learning to blog and learning to make money following John Chow’s advise. Please stop by some time and maybe we can have a RSS competition later in the year! Good Luck!

  7. For some reason I don’t think my 2 paragraph about page stacks up… must get onto that 🙄

  8. Karen says:

    It’s interesting that you feel being passionate about your subject, and transparent to your readers is the best way to build credibility. I can see you are passionate, and I’ve been reading your E-book, which certainly makes you transparent. Until I read this post I didn’t even HAVE an ‘about’ page, and being a smartaleck I called mine “Unauthorized Autobiograpy” which I’m pretty sure I swiped from someone’s book title. I’m massively transparent as I write about every single weird thing that happens to me. I guess I mostly wanted to thank you for setting my mind at rest, as I was pretty sure I was driving people away with all that transparency.

  9. Excellent post. I’ve still got to get an ‘About’ page up, will do that in the next few days. Glad to hear that you guys accept guest posts, I’ll definitely send one in! 😀

  10. Karen says:

    Make that Unauthorized Autobiography. And I just read your book about always spell checking…doh!

  11. James says:

    I like that University idea. 😈

  12. youfoundjake says:

    Boy oh boy, I can’t tell you how right on this post is as I’m 3 days into a new blog. Time to update my About page. And the nugget of wisdom I read is basically, water seeks its own level.. hanging out with like-minded people, and hopefully get a picture taken with them.

  13. unchow says:

    I miss their “Dude you’re getting a dell” camaign. Kind of…

  14. Good advice…most of us like to retain some semblance of anonymity though..

  15. But I think you’re right…the more personal info we put on our about pages the more transparency and thus more credibility..

  16. This is really hard to do when you’re first starting out. I think credibility also comes with age. As you keep blogging people realize that you probably know your stuff and therefor you earn their respect.

  17. Screenshots or a real time guide (ie on a PPC campaign)

  18. Kabatology says:

    Great post John, only when you talk about technology or Operating Systems(Linux, Open Source) like I do it is difficult to get personal, you’ve got say things as they are, at times it is even difficult to be objective. You’re write…. Thru your about page it is possible to make people understand why you write the way you write

  19. George Burke says:

    John doesn’t it reduce your credibility to talk about ways to trick people into thinking you have cerdibitliy. I do think it is funny, and I personally don’t have a problem with the topic. The implentation of these tactics are a bit shady. Before I go on I will admit my blog doesn’t have a focus and I will probably end up breaking it into several blogs once I have enough tie to orient my topics so I don’t have any credebility as a critic. I also, don’t have any pictures. It is just tough for me to hear your comments on education. My teachers beyond highschool all had a lot of success in carreers before becoming teachers, and I can stratch that to include many of my highschool teachers as well. A lot of them wanted ime to publish papers their day version of blogging with a lot less pay. You should consider the loss of you credibility when making blanket statements about professors. My comments is not meant to get you down. I read your blog religiously with my brother. Despite the morally concious lecture I am not above using some of the tactics.

  20. drt says:

    The university idea proves one more time that you’re a root-of-evil, but don’t worry, one day you’re going to stand at the podium of those ivy-league schools, telling their professors and students how did you make money. I love that part about university John beside all other stuffs you mentioned there.

  21. drt says:

    Forgot the emoticon, John. Here they areL First, for the university part, I need this one. 😈 Second, I need this one. 😆

  22. MoneyNing says:

    I think that’s the first time I saw John without a huge smile! I definitely can understand that he’s nervous and all with Michael Dell beside him but be yourself 🙂

  23. Etienne Teo says:

    Money making blog no longer just talk about 100% money making opportunities but also give insight values on how you can better optimize your blog to make more money.

  24. Shams says:

    Making a speech in Uni – not a bad idea 💡

    1. More than an idea, it is a dream. It is not easy that you can gain access to make a speech in Uni, even for that you need credibility.

      Some good points over there John, some things I can adjust for myself. Looks like this post goes bookmarked from me 😉

  25. Mike Huang says:

    Great post Mr. Chow 🙂 These are great tips, but it’s hard for some of us to follow it.

    -Mike

  26. Gyutae Park says:

    Very good post. This goes to show that it’s not really about what your credentials really are but how people perceive your credentials to be. It’s not always a good idea to fake things but you can always twist every experience you have to accentuate the good points and to make things sound a lot more important. I wrote up a post on how image is everything here: http://www.winningtheweb.com/thirst-nothing-image-everything.php

  27. dicky says:

    Great posts John. Before read your article, i don’t know the about page is so important. I think i had to rewrite the about page again…

  28. I think that credibility is very important in blogging and online business.

  29. Bobby Rio says:

    I agree with several of the comments…. i must change my about page.. or create one for that matter. i never realized that many readers will go to that upon a first visit.

  30. Hi John,

    That’s a wonderfully insightful post! Credibility is one of the most difficult things for a blog to establish since the barrier for entering the blogging field is almost nill. I agree with you that one of the first pages that I go to with respect to a new blog or website is the ABOUT page. Your post has given me some real thought to reworking my own about page so that it’s more functional and credible. I also think that having good quality, unique and insightful content on a blog, rather than regurgitated or rehashed material that you can find in a hundred different blogs speaks highly of the blog author in terms of credibility as well.

    Thanks for giving me some great ideas!

  31. Terrence says:

    Good post. Will at least make me rethink some of the things I’ve decided to do on my website. I agree that credibility and trust are very important things, but there are important reasons not to as well. All in all, I think it really comes down to the purpose of your blog and why you are doing what you are doing.

  32. silentpillow says:

    John, want to do a free SilentPillow.com tshirt give away? I can send you a bunch to give away.

  33. tyler ford says:

    Great post. I could not agree with you more.

    Thanks for your insight.

    http://www.weeklyincomenow.com

  34. Smarter says:

    Pretty cool ideas. I don’t know about joining a trade guild, but doing a guest post is always a cool idea.

  35. RickH says:

    Hey John, why not take that uni idea one logical step further. Just christen your basement or bedroom office “The University of Woolwich” (in my case) and say you “give regular seminars at The University of Woolwich”.
    That would be much more efficient. You could give lectures in your bathroom too. “The University of Scheibenhaus.”

    1. John Chow says:

      You could but you’ll be lying. Remember the first rule of advertising. You can’t lie, but you don’t have to tell truth.

      1. drt says:

        No John, you really don’t need that University of WC 😆 Believe me, like you’ve said, everybody seems to like to get your authograph and get the picture taken with you. That number would increase John. Not only that, if your income keep growing exponentially like that, I’d repeat it one more time, that one day you’re going to be standing at the podium of those ivy-league schools telling people how did you make money the way you always telling everybody here. Mark my words and write a special post about this prophetic note at that time, John. 😉 😉

  36. Super post John, Thanks. I’m filing this one.

  37. Thansk for the great post! I am happy to see I am not the only one who doesn’t have an about page. I think that will be my project for the night. 😀
    I know if I am getting information from a blog I want to believe the blogger has some experience in the field. Otherwise, how do I know it isn’t all BS?

    1. Terrence says:

      How do you know everything in the About section isn’t BS? That’s the thing about the web, you never really do know. John makes a good point that a good About page helps, but even then, it takes time for a site to establish itself and gain credibility. Most people start a site, and give up after six months. It’s those that endure, and gain a following, that eventually establish the credibility. Those with great content will last, because their content shows they know what they are talking about.

      1. MoneyNing says:

        Good points. I wonder how many blogs actually last past 1 year!

  38. Dandruff says:

    Very nice post. Thanks John for teaching so many things.

  39. mohd izzat says:

    i just started my blog, and reading this article give lot of information,
    i never know that ‘about’ page is very important, but now i know..
    in my blog i try to put many different kind of stories do it is good or not? and why…
    may i ask you opinion about my blog what should i add and what should i do not do? 😀
    -thank you

  40. Prija says:

    I’m going to have to try that Speech at a University.

  41. Kabatology says:

    What ever you write on your About page is your problem, very few people get there, it’s more important to write well.

    1. Wayne Liew says:

      No, the first thing I do if I stumbled across a new blog that I have never visited before, the About page will be the first page I go. 😉

  42. “That university thing” is actually how one of my lecturers got started:

    First he rented a few rooms for a conference event – when that was cancelled, he kept the rooms and did a lecture.

    From that – and after having a good turn-out – he rented a room again.

    He was invited back a third time and by his tenth ‘official lecture’, he was invited to be a part-time guest lecturer and now he’s full-time staff at the university.

    So it does work. Just be careful what university it is in case they have a strict policy against unofficial lectures and events.

  43. Everything works like a dream in the post till you come to the last paragraph. Come on John, some guys may just take you seriously and do precisely what you suggest! There are some gullible guys like that still around you know?

    1. John Chow says:

      I was being serious in the last part. 😈

      1. 😆 did you try doing that at some point of time John?

  44. Wayne Liew says:

    I should say that credibility is one of the most important elements if we want people to trust us and also to listen to what we have to offer.

    I should say this post gave me hope. I thought you are a blogger that don’t really like guest posts since I seldom see it here. I know that a blog with your name as a domain will be difficult to fit in a guest post but I’ve seen it here. Anyway, I hope some of the bloggers out there (perhaps me) will be lucky enough to produce a post that John Chow likes.

  45. Raymond says:

    I love the last tip. Wonderful!

  46. I gave a few presentations back in the day in college. I wonder if that counts as a keynote speaker?

  47. Michael Woo says:

    Hey john, you have excellent tips for blogging. It’s crucial that you have your own credibility.. thanks for the tips..

    and i love your make money online e-book.. really opens up your mind on other things that I didn’t even notice while blogging for money..

  48. There’s an easier explanation for your success. In the words of Louis Pasteur, “Luck favors the prepared.”

    In any given market there are only a finite number of above average returns while most are below. No different for mo’ money blogging. You and Shoemoney are the exceptions. There was a opportunity ‘space’ to be filled and you happen to be there to park.

    Instead of advice on how to write a great blog (which you do), help us figure out how to make a bigger lot.

  49. aop says:

    Offer some free food/soda and student will show up.

    1. MoneyNing says:

      Pizza would help too.

  50. remus says:

    Now you gonna get a lot of emails with guest post.You should make a section with the “Not to do” when is about Guest posting because i’m pretty sure you get a lot of crap.Cheers

  51. iamned says:

    In general, building cred takes a long time. Techcrucnh has tons of cred because ithas been around for awhile.

  52. Eric says:

    I have started a “how to make money online” blog as you mentioned but as you mentioned, I use it only as a journal and to pass info to new stay at home parents. I don’t expect this blog to generate a fraction of the revenue my niche blogs do. Great advice and I love the last tip.

  53. Justin says:

    Oh dear, I, like the masses have recently jumped on the “make money online train and for a start, this isn’t me in this picture. I’m a lot more handsome. 😎

  54. Wow, I’m working trying to build my blogs credibility right now. Thanks for the tips!

  55. rodel says:

    speak at a university??? 😈 let me check with various university in my place if they wanted me in to speak on their career forum.. hihi. i’d rather teach them how to blog and make a living out of blogging compared to working fulltime just to pay taxes and debts.. 😆

  56. Tyler says:

    You make some excellent points. I learned about the “speaking” at the University trick from reading The Four Hour Workweek. I plan on using that at a very prestigious school here in the next month.

  57. rodel says:

    a simple round table discussion on a certain topic you know could be a good start i guess..

  58. Would you gain more credibility if you charged an entrance fee for lectures/lessons on blogging for money?

  59. rodel says:

    well if your commercializing too much i doubt.. people got some weird interpretations about commercialization.. i used to join hr forums that charge for less still credibility of the speakers are intact.. what’s important is you’ve shared lessons.. but everything boils down to who you are and you’re up to.. seen bloggers sharing their failures to others including me to learn from those mistakes.. at no cost.. even some management guru’s could offer their time being your mentor for less or even for free.. thus, it’s up to you..

  60. Mike says:

    that last suggestion you gave john sounds like its right out of the 4 hour work week book… Before I may have thought that anyone speaking at a university might have had some credibility but I don’t anymore. it’s an evil suggestion, but sorry, not a good evil suggestion…

  61. Jepes says:

    This is the great way to drive traffic..

  62. Will says:

    LOL. good idea about speaking at a university. Maybe in a few years when I’m graduated. Plus, I’m a real pussy when giving speeches.

    1. MoneyNing says:

      Who cares? No one will know anyway 🙂

  63. You have to write on topic that u have some knowledge and passion not just research informations and write with it own article but also include your own thoughts and experiences.

  64. Etienne Teo says:

    I just go to a school and tell them i make more money than you do kids and show them a little fancy stuff. Will they believe?

    1. rodel says:

      expect them to laugh at you.. 🙂 learning sessions at school will be great.. knowing that you can spearhead such activity then most likely they’ll believe you..

  65. Scott Weaver says:

    I don’t mind taking pictures with people but giving speeches, no way. I’d have a seizure on the spot. :mrgreen:

  66. brian says:

    Hi there,

    Nice post. There are so many different ways to build credibility. However, seeing someone pose with a celebrity isn’t one of them. In fact, sorta makes me think the person might be a stalker, lol!

    Seriously, the focus for bloggers is to always build their online credibilty. You touched on teaching a course at a local university, which may not be possible for a lot of folks.

    I wanted to chime in and mention that most Community Centers or Chamber of Commerce -type organizations are always willing to give you a platform to speak. If you teach an hour class 5 or 10 times a year, you’d be surprised at how quick your rep can grow.

    You might even be able to contact the Learning Annex and be a part of their offerings in your area. Then you can even get paid for your efforts.

    Point is, the best way to build credibility is slowly, by providing great value to your readers. I’m new to the blogging game, but I have been making modest money on the web for a decade.

    I have no name to speak of, but I guarantee you that what I have to offer will help a ton of folks. Once people start to benefit from my experience, the credibility will happen naturally.

    Have a great week!
    brian

  67. At the end of it all I think the single most important thing is content. If the content is good a lot of things fall into place.

  68. zaki says:

    Wow, I found an interesting statement from Mr. John inside this post. Great informative helpful post as usual. Thanks. 😎

  69. Israel says:

    u listed what to do to add cred, but you didnt list how to go about it.

  70. toothpick_tp says:

    I fully agree that many blogs need more credibility. One of the ways of building your blog credibility is to be honest with your readers. I’m sure this first step will help many bloggers.

  71. Liz Strauss says:

    Hi John
    Sorry I missed you at Blog World. I would have enjoyed a conversation. . . .

  72. Maher Saleh says:

    Hi John!

    Nice advice i have been trying to write guest posts on your blog but you never replied thanks for mentioning that i will work on a guest post for your blog soon!

  73. Steve! says:

    And never look like you are trying to make a buck off them. I wrote a post about this somewhere in the “ongoing series” catalogue in my blog.

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