One of the primary characteristics of a reputable person (or business) is trustworthiness. In fact, most people equate trust with reputation. With that in mind, the importance of whether your blog visitors trust you cannot be overlooked.
About Online Reputations
As a blogger, you have an online reputation. If you are lucky, it is clean. However, when research is conducted, many bloggers are surprised to find some unpleasant things may be posted about them online. Even worse, the blogger may be responsible for the negative content that is posted.
Online reputations have a way of going back to times before bloggers ever start blogging. Posts at places like Facebook can add to the online image created. Obviously, this can sometimes work to the blogger’s advantage, and in other cases, if the content is negative or inappropriate in some way, it can be a huge disadvantage.
From blog posts to press releases and other content posted on the Internet, online content has a tendency to stick around for a long, long time. That fact combined with the fact that it has become common practice for many people to Google the name of bloggers or anyone else they find interesting online makes building trust and reputation management increasingly important.
This means blog readers are likely to be exposed to anything that happens to be posted on the Internet about the blogger. Reading positive comments about a blogger or about his/her affiliation with reputable organizations or businesses can add to the blogger’s credibility.
Reading negative comments can have the opposite effect. It can detract from any trust the reader once had in the blogger.
Even Talented Bloggers Can Suffer
Thanks to the Internet, bloggers have gained an important status in many industries. They are integral to the marketing strategies used by most businesses. And the reputations they gain play a major role in how the bloggers are perceived.
But even talented bloggers can have a very difficult time overcoming negative reputations. Negative reputations can happen to bloggers that have a true flair for creative writing as well as those that provide informative content.
Positive Reputation = Increased Trust
Bloggers work online, and everything online depends greatly on perception. This perception is partly based on search engine rankings and partly based on the results returned when the blogger’s name is searched.
If a blogger has a positive reputation, readers tend to have increased trust in him/her. That’s why reputation management is so important.
Negative feedback or less than flattering comments about a blogger can have a snowball effect. If the comments are ignored or the situation is neglected, it can worsen over time. Every blogger should take the time to Google his/her own name on a regular basis.
I have a talented team of writers with extensive public relations experience, so they understand how to write and how to portray our clients in the best possible light. For individual clients, we take the time to understand their online goals and establish our clients as experts and authorities in their line of business. For small and midsize companies, we develop interactive digital content that supports their brand marketing and messaging.
In addition to a negative online reputation causing a decrease in traffic to the blogger’s blog, in some cases it can also have negative impacts on other areas of the blogger’s life. This can result in missed professional and personal opportunities.
Treat Your Reputation with Respect
The key to maintaining a stellar online reputation is being proactive. Besides checking to see what comes up in Google searches for the blogger’s name, it is also important to monitor social media profiles on a regular basis. In essence, an online reputation should be treated as a personal brand.
Trust is earned. Bloggers have to show that they are worthy of the readers’ trust. This is done by demonstrating you are a person with integrity. In the same way that it can take years to build a solid reputation, it can take a long time and a lot of work to earn trust.
Debbie Allen, founder of TheThingsWomenWant.com, is a professional writer and blogger who specializes in topics of interest to women and online marketing strategies. Debbie’s articles often include tips about marketing techniques that provide built-in reputation protection for bloggers and online businesses.