I’m going to show you how you can write with authority and inspire trust by providing you with information and techniques you can apply to your writing. People want reliable information they can trust. A trusting readership is a platform from which you may launch anything you like, including ethical monetization efforts which will succeed.
In the recent past, I helped a friend of mine change direction for his blog as he shifted from one type of work to another, related field. His problem was that his announcement was very meek-sounding and wishy-washy. It had no boldness to it, nor did it speak with authority. Because of this, my friend’s decision appeared arbitrary and he made himself seem as though he lacked the skill to excel in his new field. Nothing could have been more untrue, but he hurt himself with his writing.
All it took for him to really improve his game was for me to tell him what I’m telling you in this article. Now his writing is much more mature, solid, and bold. He speaks with authority, which inspires trust in his skills. You can do this, too. I’m going to tell you some of what I told him and more (more because this is general and the context is different). Here we go:
Know what you’re talking about in the first place
Does this really need to be said? Considering all the blogs out there about how to make money online by people who aren’t earning a dime online, I’d say yes. You must know what you’re talking about, or game over. Are you an expert in your subject?
Prove you have experience
Prove you have experience in your field by relating it to your audience. I just did that in this article’s second paragraph when I told you the story of my friend. I do it on my own blog in order to sell blog consulting services when I relate the successes of my clients. This technique cannot be applied to every post you write or your writing will be formulaic and repetitious. How are you proving to your audience that you have trustworthy experience?
Begin with a strong lead
Go back to the beginning of this article and read the first sentence again.
It is matter-of-fact and it tells you what you’re going to get from this article. It is a statement without flourish or slight-of-hand with the wording. In journalism, this is known as a strong lead. When you write sentences before your main point in order to set up your main point, in nearly all cases you are weakening your writing, which weakens your authority. Telling readers exactly what they’re going to get from reading an article isn’t the only way to do this, as Brian Clark shows us here, but it is a simple and effective method anyone can use. Are you beginning your articles with strong leads?
Remove qualifiers from your language
Would you feel that I carried authority and was trustworthy if my first paragraph read like the one below?
I would like to show you how you too might be able to write with authority and inspire trust by providing you with information and techniques you can hopefully apply to your writing. I believe that people often want reliable information they feel they can trust. In my opinion, a mostly trusting readership can be a platform from which you may launch anything you like, including ethical monetization efforts which have a good chance to succeed.
Of course I exaggerated for effect–but not by much! Wishy-washy language communicates to others that you are unsure of yourself. This creates an unpleasant dissonance in the mind of your reader, who wants to see you an expert, but you undermine this with your language. Your writing must sound confident and sure of itself in order to be authoritative and inspire trust.
Ignore feelings of inadequacy that spring up inside you as you edit your writing! I know this is common, and I used to experience it myself, but I do not any longer. That is your inner saboteur whispering to you. Tell it to shut up and take a hike. Show a little courage. Remember that readers want to see you as an expert. You need to meet them halfway and sound like one.
Command your reader
Yes, that’s right, I said command. When I told you to go back and reread the first paragraph above, did you do it? Have you noticed that the headline to this article and each sub-head is a command? I’m not being a bombastic blowhard. But I am telling you what to do, and that is exactly what you want. After all, what did you read this article for? To learn how to write with authority in a way that inspires trust. How are you going to do that if I don’t tell you? How could you trust me if this article isn’t a good example of its own precepts?
Never deceive, always keep your word
Trust is something that builds up in the minds of your readers over time, and it can be shattered with a single deception or broken promise. The perception of your authority is transformed into an ugly sense of betrayal in the minds of your readers. One of the great things about blogs is that they are like one giant sales brochure in the form of posts and comments. Over time, if you can prove that your word is good and that you can follow through, your readers will trust you. If your blog is for business marketing purposes, this is a most precious achievement. Are you doing anything on your blog that if your readers found out they would lose trust in you?
Writing with authority is a conscious decision. So decide. You can begin to apply these techniques to that blog post you have in draft right now. If part of your problem is that you need more knowledge or skill, get it as fast as you can, because everything you write between now and then will be a waste of time.
Tell me about a post you wrote where you applied these techniques in the comments below. Let’s work together to provide more examples for everyone. I will freely make recommendations and point out good examples so that the whole group benefits.
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