Blogging: Does Adding Your Credentials Add Or Subtract Followers?
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.)
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!
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.