This post was guest blogged by Steven York of seopher.com.
The world has literally millions of bloggers competing against one another (Technorati alone claims to track 112.8 million of them). So how can you automatically give value to your writing? Easy, just write with confidence. Most people assume writing with confidence is all about your use of language but that’s not even half the story.
Let me explain this in a way that you’ll certainly have experienced; you’re reading a post about “how to get more traffic” yet the next post is about “I got 1,000 visitors yesterday”. Suddenly the credibility of the information in the first post is sullied by the user’s inherent lack of confidence. A user who is excited about 1,000 users is unlikely to have a lot of traffic – therefore their advice on the topic loses value. Here are my 5 tips on writing with confidence.
#1 – Don’t Ever Talk About Being Dugg/Reddited/Stumbled
Unless you’re being featured in the national press don’t discuss the exposure you’re getting unless it’s topical; otherwise it completely detracts from the message you’re giving. Bad bloggers talk about “I received 2,000 visitors yesterday from Digg”, good bloggers talk about “How to leverage Digg for traffic”. Showing your excitement about bursts of traffic shows your inexperience and stops your information being reputable.
#2 – Don’t Disclose Failure Unless It’s To Make a Point
While failure helps you to be seen as “real” to your anonymous reader it can also make your readers doubt your abilities. This is especially true in the professional blogging field – Shoemoney didn’t become famous by showing you his smallest Google Adsense cheque did he? No, he shows you a massive one and suddenly his advice means something. So unless you’re trying to make a point (e.g. why making money online is hard) don’t discuss your failures.
#3 – Shout About Your Successes
While I don’t recommend disclosing your failures it doesn’t mean you can’t shout your successes. As I stated above, you become reputable by proving that you know what you’re taking about. When Shoemoney posted the picture of him and his biggest Adsense cheque he suddenly gained credibility within the “make money online” field. The best way to introduce your successes naturally is to use them as case studies: if you’re an SEO analayst then you can explain “how I got [x] to #1 on Google for [whatever]”. If you’re talking about how to make money online, then explain “how I made $10,000 this month”. Just make sure your success is worthy of being bragged about – otherwise you’re going to be that inconfident blogger again shouting about his 1,000 visitors from Digg.
#4 – Write with Authority
Ambiguity doesn’t inspire. Professionals don’t offer uncertain advice – they have given it many times before and know exactly what they’re saying. Your blogging needs to become more like this. If you’re explaining “how to get more traffic”, a confident blogger will write specifically how to leverage various sites and mechanisms as if they have done it before. A blogger lacking confidence will offer suggestions explaining that you “might do quite well” if you get Dugg. This leads me onto my next point:
#5 – You Don’t Need To Tell The Truth All The Time
If you’re feeling evil you can use confident language to make it seem as if you’re experienced in a field you are not (while I don’t advocate this). It’s entirely possible for you to write about “how to get Dugg” without ever having experienced it. You can read other blogs and collate this use this information to add authority to your own musings. So if you are lacking confidence on a given topic it pays to research it properly rather than express your inexperience.
There you have it, 5 tips to write more confidently. But don’t just limit them to your blogging, these can be used in any aspect of your life. If you speak (and write) with authority and confidence then people will pay attention. When was the last time you read a blog by a famous writer that lacked confidence? Exactly.