Are You Trustworthy?

Are You Trustworthy?

Reader Comments (69)

  1. Transparency is a great way to build trust – people aren’t looking for bulletproof heroes these days, they’re looking for people they can relate to (and trust).

    I think Naomi (from Ittybiz) and James/Harry (Men with Pens) nail this completely … and their audience grows as a result.

  2. Sonia, I love that comment your Dad made- gonna use it. Sometimes I can be way too forceful about my opinions. Give others room to breath is my lesson for the day.

  3. I appreciate the way you personalize your posts and bring the message home to me. You make a great role model to emulate. If I just persevere, I may learn the art of the rant as well as the art of the blog.


  4. I think you have just written The Golden Rule for Bloggers. I sometimes feel as if I am writing, photographing, and blogging into thin air but I still strive for excellence.
    Best regards, Rosemary

  5. Thank you Sonia! I couldn’t agree more and I believe that taking the personal approach, proving your trustworthy, makes being an internet marketer much more gratifying and that’s what it’s all about, right? (I’ll keep working on the ‘be bold’ part!)

  6. I’ve often struggled with what I call “the authoritative voice” when writing. It’s tough to sound like an expert. But my writing always reads better when I am ruthless about editing away the wishy-wash. Good advice here Sonia, thank you.

  7. An awful lot to think about. I’m just an individual blogger, not a business, but I can still take your message to heart.

  8. My audience IS my most valuable asset, at least when it comes to blogging. Time is the most valuable thing we have. I know that if a reader is subscribed, then they’re giving me a loose commitment to their time. I want to do everything I can to show my appreciation.

  9. Sonia,

    I really appreciate the link you make between being willing to take a stand and trust. I’ve spent more time since I began blogging learning to hold back than I did in my entire life previously. Being terminally nice, dutifully presenting all views, is not necessarily a virtue on a blog. Thanks for this post.



  10. Hi Brian: I am just amazed by the consistency of content at this site. More than any other site I pay attention to, this one has the most consistent & regular marketing thinking. Have a GREAT day!

  11. I didn’t know that being so personal with your audience was such a great tactic. I had been struggling with how I was going to create content for my blog. This article has really helped me create more clarity. Thanks!

  12. Sonia – one of my readers posted a link to this blog on my forum and I’m thrilled she did! I preach a philosophy called “Sell with Soul” which includes much of what you say right here in your wonderful little blog about blogging. BE yourself… (yet) BE respectful… maintain the integrity of your referrals…

    Great stuff.. I must read more.

  13. One of the biggest ways to gain a reader’s trust is to give them something better than anyone else. In the blogosphere that means helping readers cut through the clutter of all other similar information, inspiration or entertainment that’s out there.

    In the case of a developing blog like my own, it is equally important to trust yourself to create the right content and devise solutions for finding the desired audience. That way, when they do come, the pieces are in place to win the reader’s trust.

    That’s how I see it. You might see it differently.

  14. Thank you for the insight. I have in the past, erred on the side of caution and perhaps come across as casper milquetoast . I really appreciated the “lukewarm wannabe”, it hit pretty close to home…. ouch! At least now I can fix it! Have a great day!

  15. One of my older posts was entitled “Why Bloggers should show their Pictures on their Blogs” Proving that the blog was created by a human being is the first reason I mentioned.

    I think the problem with trust is that it is very hard to earn but very easy to loose. One mistake can destroy everything you worked for.

    But then, taking care of your people / readers is the best thing to do. When worst comes to worst, your followers will still trust you as you have already build trust.

  16. Rosemary, you wrote “I sometimes feel as if I am writing, photographing, and blogging into thin air” – a sentiment I heartily understand, as I’m sure many of us do. For what it’s worth, I had a look at your blog and love it for its authenticity – don’t stop, keep it up!

    Thanks for the encouraging post, Sonia! Always good to get that external validation our inner compass is bearing in the right direction. Especially when it sometimes feels like we’re the odd ones out, no matter how passionate and pure our commitment is.

  17. Thanks! Thinking about photographs and “trust” on your website…how recent is your photo and do you still look like that? Are you using a glamor shot or been adobe’ed to the max? If your readers were to meet you in person, would they recognize you?

    Just a few fleeting thoughts on a Monday morning…

  18. LOL, Maggie. I can confirm that no images used on Copyblogger are actually me, including this one. Woof. 🙂

    I like it, Bill!

    @DOC, that’s because if we write mediocre stuff, Brian locks us in our rooms without supper. He’s very strict that way.

    @Liz, I agree, most of this holds just as much for personal bloggers as it does for biz bloggers. The same issues lie at the core, whether you’re selling a product or just selling people on reading and discussing your ideas.

  19. Sonia, hurrah for heralding “Small” as the “New Big,” and for linking the idea to the importance of establishing trust. I just took my college daughter’s dog, a small Blue Heeler/Border collie cross, for a hike. Hagen and I are just getting to know each other, so I kept him on his leash until we were hiking on the path through the aspens, away from the houses. I trusted our budding relationship and the consistent training he has received from my daughter. He explored the woods but stayed within sight, readily coming when I called him. Our outing was a small one, but an important one. I spoke with conviction when calling his name, and he responded with confidence. A great metaphor, for those of us who blog, for our relationship with our readers. Thanks!

  20. Great perspective on how blogging is breaking down barriers and making business a lot more fun. Some people just don’t want to take the risk. Really, we have a responsibility to do that – for ourselves and the people we serve in our businesses.

  21. This was the most amazing, well thought out post I have seen in a long, long while. I like to Blog, but frankly, I’ve been getting overwhelmed by the cheezy products, fluff posts, and self-promotion I have seen going on in the Web World. You told it like it is. If folks follow what you say, they can sleep soundly, knowing they have made the world a better place. Kudos! G.

  22. Hi Sonia. Being trust-worthy is the only way to go in any profession.

    Looking at the opposite, if you don’t build trust and give people a reason not to trust you, that will spread like wildfire, especially if your work is local.

    True that financial success can be achieved through dishonesty and a lack of trust, however, true success in life and business go well beyond simply making money.

  23. Trust is King. Period. And this post says it better than I have ever seen. If people do not trust you and what you write, you may as well be selling hamburgers at your local food place. Being human is all to easy-showing it sometimes is difficult. Rocking hot post.

  24. I must agree and sound like a recorder, but trust is the finality when people are reading your material. They either trust that you will entertain,educate, or inform them in some manner or another.

  25. @HighGrace, the nice thing about all the cheese is that the path is open for us to differentiate ourselves! The less trustworthy the world gets, the more valuable our trustworthiness becomes.

  26. Great post Sonia. I completely agree with what you’re saying. Having that human, personal touch makes all tje difference. I hate dealing with call centres and automated responses that lack human interaction.

  27. I am not sure who coined the phrase, “If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything”, but it is right on the mark.

    I love to read blogs from writers that seem to be speaking to me. Over time, I really feel like I know them, and of course the trust level rises in direct proportion.

  28. Focusing on building trust means you make a thousand little decisions differently, which add up to a big effect. For example, in the ads vs. no ads debate for a new blog, trust-building puts you squarely in the “no ads” camp. Ads without a trusting audience can hurt you in the beginning. That’s just one example of how that goal changes everything, even beyond your writing.

  29. interesting post.

    But for me the key is ‘people aren’t looking for bulletproof heroes these days’

    (but people are going to work harder for you precisely because they aren’t bullet-proof)

  30. I’m guilty of trying to write from both sides of the fence in an article. I’m an engineer in my day job, and I get caught up in trying to address every little pro and con in my articles. I forget that writing doesn’t always have to be logical…

  31. @Nimic: This may help you. Check out Ned Herrmann’s work on “Whole Brain Thinking”. Your engineering left and cerebral brain is dominant. Exercise your right and limbic brain by letting go of the detail and telling a story. If you want to know more, just ask me.
    – Maggie

  32. @Sonia Thanks for the response.

    @Doug Firebaugh I like your idea that “being human is all to easy-showing it sometimes is difficult.”

    Unless you are curmudgeonly, we all want to be liked and respected and showing the less than flattering or less than admirable sides to our character or the decisions we make is difficult to do. But without flaws, how is our audience going to identify with us as people? We just have to have a sense of humor about them and not be so consumed with controlling other people’s perception of us because, you know, you can’t control it.

    @Page Lambert That’s a touching story but I hope that you aren’t comparing your readers to a dog who’s gone through obedience lessons. Because I don’t know about you but in my experience, readers do what they want when they want. And they can instantly perceive any condescension the writer might have for them.

  33. @Liz – thanks for your comment. I agree, readers are way too astute for an author to be condescendng, and I hope I never am. The relationship my daughter has with her dog is based on mutual respect and the trust that comes with consistency. Rather than training, perhaps I should have said “communication.” When we consistently communicate with our readers in a responsible way, they develop trust in what we say. Readers know when writing is authentic, and when it’s not, just like animals seem to instinctively know who they can trust.

  34. Very well put Sonia. Bottom line is trust I agree. As a business owner myself it is imperative to me to be seen as resourceful as well as human and not just someone peddling around or pushing their products. That trust is built when I provide value to someone else, even if it means offering free advice. It is in the spirit of community that is given and that community is also built on trust.

  35. That’s one of the best posts I’ve read this week. I could also add that it would be a good idea to add your bio, or a couple of personal sentences. I don’t feel right about adding my photo (I got some real concerns) but I think I will get past that.

  36. It is of utmost importance that you build trust with your clientele. Otherwise, you will not move forward with your business. Customers are the lifeblood of any online business, once you capture a certain audience’s trust rest assured you have formed an alliance sufficient to keep your business going. 🙂

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