Blogging: Does Adding Your Credentials Add Or Subtract Followers?

Posted at 02:13am on 19th October 2009

Do you ever feel that the more you know, the more you know you don’t know? I, for instance, didn’t know until I wrote that sentence that The More You Know was the title of public service announcements in the USA! Googling the phrase – as you do – brought up the following YouTube spoof.

But the ignorance, or rather uncertainty, that I’m referring to has nothing to do with spoofs, public services or announcements. What I’m confessing to is a genuine insecurity, and I’m hoping you will help me to overcome it. (Please don’t click off elsewhere at this point because this is not a naval gazing exercise, but is a genuine survey which, I hope, will focus your mind on your own blog as well as mine!)

Now I realise, as I write my confession, that you may well feel that this is a spoof. I mean I come across as a fairly confident sort of person – don’t I? Well, yes – but . . .

MICHEL FORTIN: MASTER COPYWRITER

Let me get right down to it and tell you what I’m talking about here. In one of his many varied and useful blog posts, Michel Fortin, Master Copywriter, who (together with Darren Rowse of Problogger) has taught me almost all I know about blogging, once wrote that he always adds his credentials at the end of every blog. (Forgive me if I’ve misquoted you there, Michel. I haven’t been able to locate the article.)

GOOGLE ANALYTICS

It was something I’d never previously practised because, quite honestly, it hadn’t occurred to me. I suppose I thought that visitors to your website would automatically know who you were, what you stand for, and your qualifications for writing as you do. But as soon as I’d read Michel’s article, I realised how wrong I was. You’ve only to look at your Google Analytics to see that some people arrive on your landing page and bounce straight off again. They certainly haven’t had time to get to know you!

CHARITIES

Now because my blog was originally created purely and simply to draw attention to my latest book* (which I wrote to help other parents suffering loss and bereavement) and because all the proceeds from this book are sent to my nominated charities, Care For The Family and Tearfund, naturally I wanted people to know.

So, with Michel Fortin’s voice ringing in my ears, I started advertising A Painful Post Mortem and, more importantly, linking in to the projects which I support from sales. To give credence to my plea and authenticity to my credentials, I added the blurb about the books I’ve had published and my speaking experience.

To date, book sales have enabled me to send several hundreds of pounds to the two charities. But few, if any, of my visitors have ever clicked on the links I’ve provided. And I’d like to know why?

  • Is it that visitors find it difficult to trust anyone on the internet?
  • Is it that people feel guilty thinking about the sick, the poor and the vulnerable – and they don’t like you for making them feel uncomfortable?
  • Is it that you might cry – as I do, when I see a little girl like Rachel, who’s had to raise her five siblings since she was eight years old because her parents died of AIDS?
  • Is it because you feel that the parents of teenagers who become drug addicts have only themselves to blame?
  • Or is it that you’re sick of being asked for money?
  • Or that you can’t stand people (like me) who appear to be blowing their own trumpets?

Please, please, take a moment to leave a comment. I promise that I shan’t have a go at you if you’re brutally honest. On the contrary, if you can help me to make my appeal in a more appealing way, then not only will I feel eternally grateful, but so will the kids I’m trying to help.

*Since then it has, itself, become a means to an end, and I blog to inform, inspire and encourage, and not simply to sell books.

Your Comments:

22nd November 2009
at 12:06pm

What a kind and honest voice you have.



I've just read a few of your posts (on blogging) and wanted
to say 'hello.'



I've never clicked on a charity link here because this is my
first visit. However, I haven't a dime to my name these
days--full-time college student.



If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say folks, if they're
going to give, have already committed to a charity and simply
cannot afford another? (Since you asked for honesty.) There are
charity links all over the web, in stores, in newspapers; if folks
were of a mind to donate, it's likely, with the economy as low
as it is, that they've already done it.



I think all you can do is what you are doing. And I think
you're doing a tremendous job.

23rd November 2009
at 5:43pm

Good morning, Mel.



Thanks for the visit! I've just taken your personality test
but wasn't sure where to drop a note. I saw you asked for
feedback from Americans. :)



I registered as an INFP. It looks like you'll receive
details about the test so I won't go on.



I recently posted on my INFP personality at my blog. PLEASE
don't feel I'm seeking readership; I'm only sharing as
a fellow writer interested in personality profiling. In case
you're interested, the post is located here:



"http://writary.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/evaluating-character-and-writer-personality/">
http://writary.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/evaluating-character-and-writer-personality/



No worries at all if you lack the time to look. I'm only
sharing for your benefit, not my own.



All the best,

Corra

Mel Menzies
25th November 2009
at 12:38am

Thank you Corra for your kind comments. I think you're right
about the economy but I have been fortunate in that I'd already
sold a good many books before the crash and so have been able to
send fairly substantial sums of money to the charities I
support.



CFF, which has a project helping 'drug-proof' teenagers
is dear to my heart because my daughter was a reluctant heroin
addict for nearly 13 years. Thankfully she succeeded in kicking her
habit eventually.



Tearfund, which supports children born HIV+, or orphaned by AIDS
is also close to my heart. My daughter had a child who, despite her
addiction, was born whole and healthy. So supporting this project
expresses my thankfulness. Plus it makes me cry to see the terrible
conditions so many children have to endure.



So whilst I agree with what you've said, I'm thankful to
loyal people who've purchased books from me and helped to
support these ventures. And, of course, to people like you who
comment on them.

Mel Menzies
25th November 2009
at 12:44am

Hi Corra - again. I'm sorry your two comments arrived before
I got back to you with the first but, as you know, I've already
visited your site and liked what I saw.



Thanks for taking the personality test. I, too, am an INFP. Did
you know that we make up only about 3% of the population, but
I'm not sure that that's relevant to US or only to UK.



I'll certainly take a look at your blog and, from what
I've already seen, encourage my readers to do so.



The reason I was interested in Americans contacting me with
their results is because I'm fascinated by the thought that the
Pilgrim Fathers must have been of a different personality type to
the stay-at-home Brits.

26th November 2009
at 3:06am

I can understand why those charities would be so dear to your
heart.



For me it's the military, the Red Cross, battered animals,
and abuse/rape victims.



Everyone, I suppose, has their own calling, and perhaps
that's best--it helps to spread the goodness to many different
people in need.



In the US, I believe the statistic is that 2% are INFP: 1.5%
male/2.5% female.



Thank you for your words! Please don't worry about
visiting/spreading word about my blog unless you're truly
interested. I know we all have different tastes and am only being
sociable as I share my articles and visit blogs.



It's a pleasure meeting you. :)



All the best,

Corra

26th November 2009
at 3:10am

*The reason I was interested in Americans contacting me with
their results is because I'm fascinated by the thought that the
Pilgrim Fathers must have been of a different personality type to
the stay-at-home Brits.*



That's an interesting thought...



Our heritage is rather mixed at this point, however. We have the
blood of the Native Americans, the African Americans, the French,
British, Asian, German, Irish, Canadian, etc, etc.



We are a rather rebellious group though. :)

2nd December 2009
at 2:23am

Hi Corra,

Harking back to your first or second comment, I forgot to say that
I don't collect data on how people have answered the
personality test questions. And although I do see the result, I
respect people's privacy and would never divulge that
information. I think it's important to say that because I
wouldn't want to put anyone off doing the test. It's been
such a help to me and, from what you've said in your blog post,
appears to have been to you, too.

2nd December 2009
at 2:32am

Hi Corra,



In case you're interested, I've added to my August 2008
blog, with a mention of you. You can reach it by pasting the link
below into your browser.



"http://www.melmenzies.co.uk/blog/2008/08/bring_words_of_hope_by_blogging">
http://www.melmenzies.co.uk/blog/2008/08/bring_words_of_hope_by_blogging



I hope you feel that the endorsement I've written in my
comments above will encourage people to take a look at your
website. They can, of course, do so by clicking on your name, which
is a permalink.



You mention African Americans making up part of the population
of the US. Fascinating all the stuff that's now coming out
about Timbuktoo being an archaic seat of learning. Wonder what
personality type they were?

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