The Secret to Building Blog Credibility – 7 More Tips


Aditya Mahesh wrote a post on how to build blog credibility by guest posting a few days ago. I figured I would throw in seven additional tips since credibility is something most bloggers lack. This is especially true in the make money online niche, with thousands of blogs talking about making money online but the authors have never actually made any money online.

1 – Use Your About Page

Your bog’s credibility starts with your about page. Credibility is about being transparent. The more transparent you are, the more credible you are. 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 a blog that doesn’t reveal who the owner is?

Your about page should have as a minimum your full name, a photo of yourself and where you’re located. Including information about your background and why you are the authority on the topic you’re blogging about would be even better.

2 – Blog About Something You Have Authority On

Don’t start a make money online blog if you have never made money online. It’s really hard to fake it and most readers will see right through it. 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 tribulations of escaping that 9 to 5 job.

3 – Join a Related Trade Organizations/Groups

Being able to list in your about page that you are 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.

4 – Associate with The Top People In Your Niche

John Chow and Tim Ferriss
John Chow with Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

Every year at Blog World Expo, I receive numerous requests from fellow bloggers asking to take a picture with me. While I’m sure most just wanted a picture with someone who is well know in the blogging, some will use the photo to boost their credibility. This comes back to my Guilty By Association post. Birds of a feather flock together and if you can post a picture of you flocking with a successful bird in your about page, you are seen as a successful bird.

5- Get On The Cover of a Magazine

Nothing build credibility faster than being featured on the cover of a newsstand magazine.

Ming Pao
On the cover of the Ming Pao magazine

The only problem is you need credibility to get the cover. However, getting the cover (or featured inside any print media) will help to boost the high credibility you’ve already established.

6 – Write a Book

My free make money online eBook has been one of my best credibility building tools. Having a document that you can give to your readers which clearly demonstrates your authority on the subject is something you should work on. It doesn’t have to take much time or resources either. I wrote my eBook by using all my past made money online blog posts.

If you really want to take things to the next level, consider writing a real book instead of an ebook. The change in status is amazing. My friend Joel Comm went from “eBook peddler” to New York Times best selling author when he wrote The AdSense Code. Even if you don’t hit the best seller list, the fact that you are a “published author” just adds to your credibility.

BTW – my book should be out in January 2010.

7 – Give a Speech at a University

Shanghai Jiao University

Being able to say you’ve spoken at the University 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. 😈

104 thoughts on “The Secret to Building Blog Credibility – 7 More Tips”

  1. Julia says:

    Thanks for tips John,

    However some of those tips are good only for 2-3 years bloggers who already built a reputation and only needs to proove it and increase a number of subscribers/readers. I.e. Get On The Cover of a Magazine, Give a Speech at a University and Write a Book.

    But what about newcomers who wants to be trusted ? I would like to know more about that. Thanks.

    Also what groups could you advice for new bloogers came onboard? 🙂

    1. Yes, but i think each blogger can do tips number 1 until 4.

      1. OMG Tim Ferriss! That book is amazing and I recommend it to anyone wanting to dramatically change their working life.

        1. Where to begin? I actually had fun reading this book, to be honest. It is, if nothing else, a bit inspirational and motivational. To the author’s credit he has (and I have emphasized this before) come up with a catchy title and gimick to sell you a book–good for him. What’s inside, though, are things that you can find better handled by other authors in other books.

          In the first part of the book one can’t help notice what a great guy the author is. We notice this becasuse he tells us. We are to believe that he has gone through the Hero’s Journey and back again before his late 20’s. Now, dear reader, he has distilled the fruits of his vast experience and wisdom into this little gem. Read it, and you will never have to work again. Just be sure to purchase with the 8 minute ab workout.

        2. I think that the author does his readers a bit of a disservice by telling them that work is not necessary to be financially successful. I have known both success and failure. I have seen others go, literally, from rags to riches (and sometimes back again). Over the years I guess I have given this subject some thought. My conclusion is that you will not get there (wherever “there” may be for you) by working four hours per week. Vision, hard work, and persistence are the 3 main “secret” ingredients for success. Just as exercise and eating right are necessary to be in shape. But telling people this doesn’t sell books.

          1. Money-Era says:

            Exactly, I could not agree with you more.
            Show me 1-minute millionaire.
            Perseverance is what drives success…

      2. nathan says:

        About number 7, you should have quite a name before you can do that or else, no one would listen..I think.

        1. Money-Era says:

          No, you are wrong.
          It depends on the # of posters you plaster.
          This is called ‘aggressive marketing’ 😉

    2. gaban says:

      i have to start from the first point and will take along time to finish all this tips
      poor me 🙁

    3. MoneyNing says:

      Everyone wants instant success, but not only is it near impossible, it’s also not as rewarding because you never put in the “sweat equity”. As Warren Buffet famously said “you don’t get a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”

      Time and consistency is part of the trust/authority building process.

  2. Excellent tips, John! Definitely going to use some of them (some I’m already doing, others I don’t see happening for me – i.e. being on a cover of a magazine)

    Do you think I should put my picture with you in my ‘about me’ section? 😉

    1. Based on this article, I think posting the picture with John is probably a god idea. It is social proof. Social proof is underrated when it comes to popularity and credibility.

  3. That trick about being a keynote speaker at a college is freaking awesome. Where did you even come up with that idea?
    I’m always shocked when I read SEO experts who get no traffic via search engine (according to Alexa) and have an Alexa of 500,000.
    I know Alexa isn’t really a true measure of traffic, but it is certainly a quick indicator if someone has at least some traffic. If you aren’t in the top 100,000-150,000, you probably aren’t even getting 100 hits a day. (exception: your blog just started, even then checking 7 day avg or 1 month avg can be an indicator of blow growth, and thus credibility.)

    1. earningstep says:

      i am on my journey to the top of alexa rank.. lol

  4. Doug Dillard says:

    All great tips John. Hopefully I will get to all of them one of these days.

    Can we be buddies, as I think having you as a close friend might help build up my credibility? I’ll buy the first dinner 🙂

    Also John… what is the best way to get in contact with you if I have a business proposal? Do you usually read what come through your Contact Page?

    1. John Chow says:

      Yes, I read all email sent via my contact form.

      1. Doug Dillard says:

        Thanks John… I sent you a proposal via the contact form. I ended up having to send you a link to a PDF as your form only allows for 1000 characters, and it was a little longer than that…. sorry.

        1. John instant effect of your post and point no 4 on Doug … lollzz

          1. Benjamin Cip says:

            Hey Doug, did you finally became friend with John Chow?

          2. Doug Dillard says:

            We are like best friends now 😉

          3. Sahil Kotak says:

            Nice to see Doug already started implementing the tips. 😀

          4. Long live friendship of John and Doug …

            Perfect combination of east and west … 🙂

          5. Benjamin Cip says:

            How about you ZK? Are you his best friend too? lol

          6. Sahil Kotak says:

            ZK is best friend of John. 😀

  5. for me to start write a book need to start with ebook…then we can go next level by writing a book 😉

    1. We did not get you dude … what do you want to say here ?

      1. gaban says:

        yes i am confusing as well 🙂

        1. Benjamin Cip says:

          I guess he wanted to say that he will first write an ebook and then find an editor and write a real book.

          1. Sahil Kotak says:

            Nope. He is saying that for writing a book, first he needs to write an ebook. 🙂

          2. Benjamin Cip says:

            Yes I know. That’s pretty much what I was saying. He somehow have to write the ebook first as he said he has to write an ebook before writing a book…. quite confusing though.

          3. Lee Ka Hoong says:

            lol.. I get what he want.. he is meaning that writing an ebook is more easier than writing a book.. before you can go to next level to write a must first learn how to write an ebook.. 😉

          4. Hey Problogger

            Come here and clear everything … because of your post … here is too much confusion.

          5. Sahil Kotak says:

            Well, Wait for his return and then we will know exactly. What he was trying to say. 😉

  6. I’d love to give a speech at a university, these are all great tips, thanks John.

    1. But dont you think that to get a call from University you will need great reputation on such field. People of your locality should count you as expert of that field.

      1. Benjamin Cip says:

        Do we really need to give a speech at Uni to become an authority in the blogosphere?

        1. In coming years I am sure this will be also a profession and you will get lesson in university for this.

          So prepare … you may need this … 🙂

        2. Lee Ka Hoong says:

          I don’t think we must give a speech to become an authority in blogosphere, you can participate all the charity events in your country, print your blog logo on your t-shirt and go for it. Slowly you may be able to become famous and everyone knows you, then perhaps you’ll become an authority.

          Just my 2 cents. 🙂

          1. Sahil Kotak says:

            It’s not something needed now but in near future, you will need that. So get ready from now.

  7. love the comics in the beginning.

    1. Yes … that was simply great. I think big corporate offices do think about this and take important points so that presentation can be perfect.

  8. Review Unit says:

    The article was partly informative and heavily inspiring. Loved It.

  9. Admiyn says:

    Hi John Chow, great tips guy, I decided bring my about page back, lol, I had excluded it, but now my blog has an About Page.

    well, I hope to write some ebook, but, firstly I need to define the respective niche to talk about.

    That’s It, see yeh

    1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

      About Page is very important for your readers to know more about you, and they know whose blog they’re reading, and what kind of blog they’re reading. Writing a killer About page would helps in keeping a reader and becomes your loyal reader.

      Don’t forget to share us your ebook when it’s completed. 🙂

  10. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    Nice tips John! But I think these tips are definitely not for newbie, newbie can only follow the #1 tips, to create a About page and blog something they authority on. For getting on the cover of magazine, write a book, giving speech in university and etc, I don’t think many people can do these right now. Perhaps in future.

    1. I think Lee if you are a new bie that you can use first 4 points. If you will use them than I am sure in coming years you will be able to use rest of points as well … 🙂

      1. Benjamin Cip says:

        How about you ZK, are you a newbie? are you on the cover of magazine already? did you give speech at Uni?

      2. Lee Ka Hoong says:

        Haha yea ZK, seems that I’m newbie in this field, building blog credibility.

        Same question with Benjamin, how about you ZK? How many points did you use from the list? 🙂

        1. I would like to be within 4 points …

          University always bore me … lollzz 🙂

          1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

            lol! Same to me, I’m getting bored to be in University, but no cure I got to finish the 3 years course now. 😉

          2. Benjamin Cip says:

            No Uni for me, just a full time blogger…

          3. Lee Ka Hoong says:

            I prefer to be like you Ben, what no cure, I’m forced to do that, perhaps I will work full time online in future, but who knows? 😉

  11. What a shame, I must start from step one which mean I do not do anything in this great seven tips to build my blog credibility. But, I must do exception for real name. 😀

    1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

      That’s fine Dana, not only you, many people out there doesn’t know about these, as long as we learn it now. 😀

  12. I’m trying to write an ebook and finding it really difficult. 🙁

    1. Just fix a plan … may be one hour in a day and stick to that …

      Whenever you got a nice idea just record it in your mobile and later on note it down in your computer or diary which you are managing to write.

      Believe me Gordie this will work …

      1. Benjamin Cip says:

        Just take example on other ebook already written to get an idea about how to write an ebook properly, after all you need to do is putting yourself in the place of your reader and then ask yourself weither or not you like what’s written in the ebook, then modify, modify and modify untill you are satisdied with it and then publish it.

        1. Nope Benj … I am not at all agree with you …

          Believe it or not but if you will start writing your own book by reading other books first than take my words your writing skill will be effected by that person writing.

          1. Benjamin Cip says:

            Then I won’t be able to write anything as I read almost everydays. I think it depends on people. They get affected by what they are reading. But if you have an over all idea how what you are going to write, you can get some inspiration in other’s ebooks? We don’t invent anything as everything as already been said in different way, we just interpret what we read in a personal way.

  13. Julia says:

    Btw, the tip about writing ebook seems very nice… I would love to have such an experience.

    What do you guys think of it? Is there a possibility for a person with only technical education to write a whole book ?

    1. If you are writing about a topic which you love to talk and write than sure you can write … but if you do not like topic than I do not think that you will be able to complete even of 20 pages.

      1. Benjamin Cip says:

        It won’t make you get much authority if you don’t have a long past experience in the field you are writing the ebook….

        1. I agree. It’s hard to write an ebook about something you know nothing about. Even if you know about the topic, if you can’t show results, you still have zero credibility.

          1. Benjamin Cip says:

            That’s it. It’s understandable. I won’t give credit to someone that doesn’t have at least 3 years experience in the topics he writes, and show quite good results that could make the ebook worth reading.

          2. Well time is not the factor here … your quality of learning things will play a big role. Few people are into any profession from past 15 years wont able to do significant changes … but new people with 2 years can do a lot ….

            So your quality of learning things also play a big part my dear friend.

          3. Benjamin Cip says:

            Yes, I agree with that. But if two person have same skill, except one of two years experience and the other one has 3 years experience, I would tend to follow the later one because he certainly know a little more his field due to his additional year experience…. it’s just stereotype though.

  14. Sponsor Ads says:

    I used the about page thing and ebook giveaway. Some really new ways have been mentioned here. Thanks.

  15. I saw many youngster who do not made even a single penny and started to write about money making.

    Their resource is top bloggers blog and after reading latest post they just twist words and tell people how to make money.

    That’s why this niche is considering one of the common scamming niche.

  16. If you are looking at the prospect of earning a little extra money to pay for the bills, you might want to consider writing eBooks as another source of major income, as it has become very popular these days and there is so much potential in this business that it would be a waste if you will not try it at least once. If you have no confidence when it comes to putting your thoughts into writing, you might want to consider taking online lessons that will help you improve not only your writing skills but also your thought process.

  17. Your ‘About’ page should be written appropriately for your blog – not copied from a professional bio or CV where you talk about yourself in the third person.
    Tell readers about the challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them. Be real with readers. When you are transparent, you become someone readers can relate to; readers will begin to connect and see more than words written on a web page.

  18. truant says:

    Very very thank you for this post,i have made a big i changed it.i’m reading your book now.I am eager to make money,this is what most people be eager,too!:)

  19. Rocky Garcia says:

    I think if these tips are implemented to your blog, then it will skyrocket its credibility as well as its traffic.

  20. Surfer Sam says:

    Here’s an excerpt from my article about Tim Ferriss and The Four-Hour Workweek.

    The Four-Hour Workweek, a new book by Timothy Ferriss, is for people who were not born rich, people who want more free time and want to live like a millionaire. The most entertaining part of the book is the author’s own work history and the way he created a business for himself..
    An enjoyably good read.

    I hope you have a very happy day!
    Surfer Sam

  21. The Envoy says:

    So….basically try to turn yourself into a celebrity.

    1. You defined all post in one word … just forget to add in front of celebrity Internet

      1. Sahil Kotak says:

        I agree. That’s “Internet Celeb” 🙂

  22. poorblogger says:

    Yeah.. ABout Page is important..
    When the people read your about page it means your credibility..
    Still working on it

  23. Sahil Kotak says:

    I always spent time with about page.You have tell your readers about your ideas and everything you are interested in

    1. Sahil Kotak says:

      WOW!! Nice to see someone copying me, it is good for me, LOL 😀

      1. This is not at all good for you … he is linking to other website … you should ask John to take neccessary steps for this.

        1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

          I’ve experienced it here as well, the spammer use my name and “his/her” link to leave comment here..his/her intention should be he/she wants to get backlinks at the Top Commentator list..

          1. Sahil Kotak says:

            I agree, they try to get link there easily. 😉

        2. Sahil Kotak says:

          I know, But i do not care that at all. 😀

  24. If you would be speaking to a University John, speak ate first our university. hahaha. I’ll be the first in the line.

    1. nathan says:

      I’ll be the second. What topic do you intend to speak about in a university?

  25. chem says:

    I like the last one. Give lecture. Since I’m a lecturer in chem engineering, i’m not sure to lecture on something else apart from chem eng…but the idea is good. having an official lecture session for online matters… hahaha

  26. waqas says:

    These tips are to be implemented step by step

  27. I have been blogging for two years now and I feel that this is a good way to express my opinions and feelings about what is going on around me. But it is not easy for me to write a book although a friend of mine said that I am a prolific writer. I hope that one day I can write books.

  28. fas says:

    Cant agree more. I hit the about page the first thing when I go a new blog.

  29. Melvin says:

    For me right now what Im working real hard is getting associated with people here in my country that are famous.. My blog has been targted in US and not a lot of people here really know I exist so thats what Im trying to work out right now..

  30. Steven Roddy says:

    Good tips on how to market yourself John. Appreciate it

  31. earningstep says:

    it was cool john.. i have no doubt that you are one of my best inspiration to make money online

  32. cynte415 says:

    I definitely agree with number 2. If you really don’t now about something, it’s also hard to write much about it. Ideas just drain out after a while.

    But number 7; unless you’re already quite reputable as a blogger, you probably won’t be invited to speak. So that sort of defeats the entire purpose of building credibility, doesn’t it?

    And say, John, at which university did you speak?

  33. LOL! The comics were really cool!
    I think your tips were really simple. It can’t get simpler than that. I am sure, though, that it ain’t as easy to do as it sounds. But I am confident it’s an achievable goal for anyone looking for mmo.

  34. soal cnps says:

    You do lot of activities, and you are success.

  35. I think if these tips are implemented to your blog, then it will skyrocket its credibility as well as its traffic.

    Regards, Joe – Premium WP Themes

  36. Money-Era says:

    I think that #7 is too sarcastic…
    John, would you really do that?
    It would be just cheating, not sincere.
    Could hurt one more than one could gain…

  37. Vance Sova says:

    Hi John,

    Very helpful points. I’ll have to implement the ideas on about page soon.

    I’ve been in no hurry with that because I very rarely read the about page myself.

    But apparently a lot of people are reading it.

    I never claim that I make money online but I share what I learn and what I’m doing that is working for me and others.

    I’m not sure about trade organizations. That may work for some niches.

    I’ll work on the rest of the points.


  38. mytheory says:

    i should consider about the no 1 tips
    i never put any about me page on my blog

  39. Great tips John, always write about something you know about and always try to gain exposure wherever possible, the more exposure the more traffic!

  40. Excellent tips John. I can see that they are mostly about “social proof”. So, you can probably try to create a sequence of “social proof goals” (i.e. get some comments on your blogs – get people to write blog posts about you – people identify you with a great idea – …) which can eventually lead to your list.

    Would you agree with that, or do you have a “secret formula” for skipping this and going straight to the cover of a magazine?


  41. Nick Bentley says:

    They are good, but for someone just starting out I’d do the about page using resume’ tactics. If you’ve worked for a big company I’d include “has worked with corporations such as” and list them.
    Also it’s $600 a year, but getting accredited with the BBB can be worth it to display that banner they give you if you’re doing direct sales. For free you can display the “Paypal Verified” logo if you accept that as payment.
    It’s a bit of an ethical stretch, but I’ve seen places advertise PPC on networks like CNN, MSNBC, and others and have a logo banner “As seen on” with the networks they advertise with. I know, it’s not like they covered you in a story but the ads you run there make it technically true (I don’t do it but I’ve seen it).
    For the newbie, I’d first try for online magazines before print ones if you don’t have that much clout in your industry, much easier to get in those. All in all, the easiest way may be to offer a free newsletter where the first month is solid information without any advertising to get a loyal readership and referrals.

  42. videostar says:

    Great tips ! Each one is important in its own way.

  43. work at home says:

    Point no 4 is really noticable. We have to connect with top blogger within our niche which I also follow. Its greatly help us to learn new thing what currently happening within our niche.

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