The blog credibility rules, are you violating them?

Blogs are one way to enhance your website content. Plus, they allow you to easily maintain your site without having any technical expertise.

Unfortunately, it's that very simplicity of the blog that often causes the most problems. Because they're so easy to use, many bloggers assume their blog is a "plug 'n play" technique that requires no tweaking whatsoever.

If you've simply installed your blog and started typing, you might want to check it against these top 6 credibility issues:

1. Being an anonymous author

Because most blogs are not full-fledged websites, many bloggers think they don't need an "about us" page. But maintaining complete anonymity reduces your credibility and in time, reduces your readership. Always include a page listing your credentials, experience, certifications etc that is easily accessible from within your blog.

2. Not including a face to put with the writings

Our human brains are actually wired to remember and recognize faces and, subliminally, seeing a familiar face puts us all at ease. Including your picture on your blog enhances your credibility and increases your "likeability factor". If you want to use your blog to position yourself as the expert in your field, be sure to include high-resolution, camera-ready photographs that the press can access and use easily.

3. Not writing for the web

Yes, a blog is akin to an online journal and yes, it is OK to express your opinions in your posts, but your blog is no place to ramble. Web browsers don' read, they scan, but most blogs are not designed to be scannable. Always use descriptive headlines and sub-heads and stay away from all caps, which reduces reading speed by over 10%.

4. Trying to be cute

It's easy to open your blog and start typing away, forgetting that you're actually creating a business correspondence. The next thing you know, you're using insider clichés, referring to others on a first name basis, referencing industry jargon, and your writing is no longer clear to your new readers. While it is important to be personable, it's not necessary to create a junior high clique.

And along those same lines, don't assume all your readers have been with you since post #1. If you reference a past article, include a link to it. If you talk about something that's happened in the past, include enough information so your new readers will know what you're talking about.

5. Using obtuse navigation

One of the great benefits of a blog is that the navigation is done for you. Unfortunately, most blog navigation defaults to listing posts by date. This makes it difficult to navigate and follow a particular topic. Take the extra step and break down your posts by categories.

6. Not having a domain

If you're trying to position yourself as an authority, it's imperative to have your own domain name. Not only does it look more professional, but it telegraphs that you are in for the long haul. And while it might be tempting to get started with a free service with plans to move to your own domain in the future, be sure to consider the time and hassle involved in moving your blog before you make your final decision.

Time to implement: It only makes sense to take time to make sure your blog is right. Most of the techniques mentioned above will add less than 10 minutes to your actual posting time.

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