There are many ways for bloggers to demonstrate their credibility to readers, potential clients, and customers. A life lived authentically in the public eye is far better than trying to live a false image—something all bloggers know all about!
These strategies and techniques are some of my favorites because they always feel natural, which reassures readers that you're the real deal. You'll feel far more comfortable when you're just being yourself, and you'll find that your readers will, too.
1. Be professional.
Conducting your business in a professional manner is not just about doing things properly or having the right credentials. It's also about:
- Always focusing on your readers
- Paying attention to details
- Looking for ways to take things one step further
- Anticipating needs
2. Use strong branding.
A strong brand is the foundation on which to establish credibility. People need to know who you are and what they can expect from you. Create a logo that's easily recognizable and use other repetitive elements when putting together your brand. People love repetition—it helps them feel secure, and the elements are easier to remember.
3. Gather recommendations from industry peers and fellow expert bloggers.
Testimonials from readers or clients (if you are, for example, a stylist or makeup artist in addition to blogging) serve as third-party endorsements. Endorsements from established industry experts—like another established authority blogger or a celebrity—leave even more powerful impressions.
4. Provide your contact details.
Use verifiable information such as a telephone number or Skype handle on your Contact page. Cater to individual preferences by providing multiple options, such as listing various social media handles. If you'd rather not give out personal info, use a contact box instead. Or use both
5. Create an FAQ page or section on your site.
Think about questions you're likely to get and comments you answer frequently as inspiration. Put all of those questions and comments into a page on your blog so people can refer to it often.
6. Use high-quality photos.
Again, it's time to prove you're the real deal! Use professional-quality photos as a kind of proof that your blog is worthy of your readers' attention.
7. Answer your readers comments and questions.
Talk to your readers and fans! This might seem obvious, but nothing kills a new relationship faster than silence. If you don't answer readers, you could give the impression that you don't care, which won't encourage them to come back.
8. When looking for expert connections, dig into your past.
Take inventory. Don't just stick with the obvious, like people you talk to every day. Who are some niche leaders you've networked with over the past few years who could help you promote your blog? Most people are genuinely flattered if you remember something they put time and care into, so they'll be more than pleased to support you.
Speaking of those influential people… don't forget to build your own reputation and credibility by meeting people in person. Arrange local meetups and other events with bloggers, fashion enthusiasts, and media representatives. Join professional and networking organizations and attend events consistently. Introduce yourself and be genuinely interested in the people you meet.
10. Maintain integrity.
Only partner with brands you really believe in. Your readers will see right through it if you're writing a post only for the sponsorship dollars.
11. If you have a team, introduce them.
Either use formal profile shorts or images that bring out each team member's personality. Keep it real. Their profiles should tell their stories in ways that represents your blog and connect with your readers. Remember your branding, and focus on how each team member can specifically help readers in their respective bios.
12. Invest in quality.
Be sure that every part of your blog—including design, writing, sponsorships, and photography—radiate professionalism and quality. If it's a skill you don't have, find a way to hire or trade for the service.
13. Write a book.
Once upon a time, the privilege of becoming a published author was reserved for elite writers. But nowadays you can easily learn how to self publish a book and then you can self-publish a book in a week or two if you have something to say and you use a platform like Amazon.com. Vanity publishing no longer carries a stigma. The digital age has given independent authors access to helpful tools and apps to produce perfection. But be warned! There's no automatic guarantee of a good product. You must produce a top quality, professional manuscript that has been properly formatted and carefully proofed.
14. Solicit reviews.
Once you've published a book, reviews aren't going to fall into your lap. You'll have to go out there and get them. Search platforms and marketplaces such as Amazon and look for top reviewers in your field. Write to them directly and offer a review copy. Join KDP Select and take advantage of your five “free” days—periods you can set yourself where you offer your book for free. Then announce your book, promote it vigorously, and ask for honest reviews.
15. Use targeted press releases.
Don't send out press release blasts. When you're soliciting coverage, write to bloggers and journalists personally and include a quick note as to why your news might be of interest specifically to them. Make sure you've read their previous work—bonus points if you can reference it in relation to your news.
16. Create a Facebook Group or Page.
Love it or hate it, Facebook is a fact of life. Many of your readers, clients, and customers already have a “home” on Facebook. So create a page for your blog and become a part of their everyday lives. Answer customer service questions quickly and directly. If you can't do it yourself, you can always employ tactics such as using Conversational AI. As potential customers and clients observe you and your interactions, they'll gain confidence in your ability.
17. Be positive.
Always strive to maintain a positive online presence. Don't get sucked into drama. You'd be amazed how many bloggers hurt their businesses years down the line by negativity on social networks. It leaves lasting impressions, even if your fans or followers are entertained or sympathetic to what you're saying. Note that this doesn't mean ignoring bad conditions completely—it means coming up with solutions, or showing people how you handle inconvenience with grace and humor.
18. Give it away.
The best way to get people promoting and recommending you is to provide valuable information they can use right away. Don't wait for sponsorships on every post. Fill your site with helpful content. When people see how valuable your insight is, it will be a boon for any other services you might offer, like styling, writing, or photography—as well as future sponsorships.
19. Would you let your mother read it?
What are you talking about? How are you describing it? Would you be embarrassed if your mother read your story or looked over your website? Would she agree that it's written in your natural voice? Using this test is an easy way to make sure you're always being real and authentic.
20. Seek feedback.
Everyone has a unique viewpoint. Be sure you have at least one extra pair of eyes on your blog to alert you to mistakes and blind spots, whether it's paying professionals for feedback or calling in favors from friends.
At the end of the day, you don't have to go to extravagant lengths to establish credibility. But be professional. Be authentic. Be focused on your reader. Have faith that in time, you reputation and credibility will see consistent growth.
Thanks for this article! Although I have to say I’m really struggling because I think I am doing all of these things, but who knows if my ‘credibility’ is there or not? All I know is that it has become increasingly more difficult to drive blog traffic, and I can write back to every comment, solicit reviews, have an FAQ page etc. and network endlessly, but as long as everyone else does the same I will never be differentiated.
I don’t mean to be negative as I really appreciate these posts and read them all word by word, but I am getting discouraged and worried that I am wasting my time. Maybe I should be working on my book!?!?
I feel you Stefani. After a while posts like this can make you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, just take comfort knowing you are doing the right things it just takes time.
What I find has been working to differentiate my content from what I see online is not consistency in my posts, networking, FAQs, or trading on my past work, it’s my voice. I think if you focus on bringing your unique voice and experiences to the table, on top of what this post is saying, you’ll connect with readers and grow your following and credibility.
I know it’s super easy to get discouraged but hang in there! BTW loving your blog girl.
I thought your comment was funny in re to the book. I thought the same thing of myself -lol
Checked out your blog and IG (and will do more of that later). Just wondering from your pics, are you a fellow Bay Area Blogger?
Great blogging tips to establish credibility as a fashion blogger! There are some points that I really need to work on such as networking. Personally, I think the most important aspect to building strong credentials will be to provide great information consistently, which I have been working on! Thanks for all the tips.
I would add that it’s important to hone your writing skills. Also, know what makes YOU unique! It’s not about just throwing nice photos up onto a platform or doing exactly what a fashion blogger you admire does – it’s about providing real value to people with something that fits YOUR brand.
Thanks for the reminder. very helpful. I really love interacting with my readers and I have picked up replying to their comments again after having stopped for a while. I really missed it so much. Of course I have a fb page and twitter. And my mother has been my day 1 reader. Would love to join heartfib events. You would not happen to be branching out to Europe by any chance? 😉 Let me know….xo Sabina | Oceanblue Style
Oh, I love this Ponn. Thanks so much for taking time out to create this list.
Gosh, I’ve missed IFB for sure. It’s good to be back.
As a struggling blogger, I have to thank you immensely for the tips
I strongly agree with answering readers comments and questions. I answer and respond to every single one I get.
I also never forget when one of my favorite bloggers responds to me. It instantly creates a connection and keeps me engaged in her journey for posts to come.
Thank you for reminding people to not feed into negativity and to write for brands that ring true to their values. Staying focused on your path and deciding what’s best for you is truly the best way to a good, cohesive blog.
Great tips! I sometimes forget to reply back to blog comments and this made my open up a new tab and comment back! Thank you 🙂
Wow, what an incredibly informative article! I’ll definitely need to bookmark this!
The Closet by Christie
Marvelous feedback – and frustrating too! I just started blogging in May so am a bonafide baby blogger (say that three times fast). My previous career was in retailing, so I have a definite point of view – and even think I’m pretty different then most other fashion bloggers out there. I’m focusing on how to look good in every day real clothing – as opposed to just trying to capitalize on trendy items. Yet, I haven’t even gotten one comment! I envy the people who’ve written you who talk about getting back to answering their comments when I have nary a one!
I’m on facebook, twitter & instagram and still have no traction. Any chance you have some helpful hints for me? Thanks so much!!
Great tips, but i must add that patience and hard work is required to be successful because doing all this things does not always make for automatic fashion cred. I believe if you are passionate about what you do, you would enjoy the process.
Thank you for this 🙂
Among other thing we can not over emphasis “maintaining integrity”, it is important to associate only with brands you share their values and who also represent what you stand for.
I really love this article. It gives a lot of helpful tools that sometimes you may not think of even when you are doing most of them with your blog . Thanks for sharing this I found it very informative. 🙂 http://bauchlefashion.com
Thank you for a very insightful article! It was to the point and concise, really helpful!
I needed this little reminder today! Thank you! 🙂
These are great tips and some things never thought of doing.
Great tips! I wanted to get anymore information you had on writing a book. You mentioned that:
“The digital age has given independent authors access to helpful tools and apps to produce perfection”.
What are some helpful tools that can help me create a small book? I have a lot of amazing stories and helpful insight in many different categories and am looking for tools or platforms that will help guide me along the path to putting something together. Thanks for all the great info! You guys are the best.
Thank you Ponn, this is definitely very helpful. I am looking forward to more posts from you.
It’s great to be back on IFB, I was away for a while but if feels great to be a part of this wonderful community. By the way, the new design is brilliant*
I will definitely be taking these tips into account, great post.