Apparently, one of the most visited posts of my blog during this summer was Want To Make Money With A Blog? Build Reputation!. There were a lot of comments, social media interactions and emails going on after I published it. One of my friends, Steven Aitchison, suggested that I should write a more detailed post on how to build reputation. I followed the advice, and, to my surprise, I realized I can’t do it. I can’t write a blog post on how to build reputation with a blog. What I can do, though, is to write a whole series on this topic. And, to be honest, after I drafted the series, I feel like I still have a lot more to say about this. But, who knows, after the series, maybe an ebook will follow. Just let me know in the comments if this topic interests you enough for pushing me to write an entire ebook on it.
What Is Reputation And Why Do You Need It
Reputation is a combination of Authority and Authenticity. But if you’ve read the article which ignited this series, (the one linked in the first paragraph) you already know this. You also know that those are 2 of the 7 traits of the highly successful bloggers. Reputation is what makes you believed and respected.
But reputation is also the thing that drives potential customers to your blog over and over again. It’s the fundamental ingredient of personal branding. It’s the main reason behind any kind of value transfer between you and your readers, being it a click on a banner in your sidebar, or an ebook purchase.
As such, reputation is the fundamental ingredient in building a business based on your blog. It’s hard for me to imagine a successful (read it: profitable) blog, without a lot of reputation behind its writer(s). Yes, you can make some money without it, and the previous article tells a little bit about display and contextual advertising, but these are weakly linked monetization strategies, and they are working in a weak way. It won’t be a lot of money from that pipe. If you want serious money, you have to back it up with reputation.
One final word about online reputation: keep in mind that you need it only if you want to create sustainable value through your blog. If you want your blog to form a solid foundation for your business, then reputation should be a serious concern for you. But truth is you can blog for various reasons. It’s perfectly ok toÂ blog for pleasure, or like a hobby, or every once in a while, as long as you don’t expect a steady financial income from this activity. Just because you blog every once in a while, it doesn’t necessarily means you’re going to make some money out of it. But the vast majority of bloggers do enter this field in order to generate some revenue. This series is for them.
The How To Build Reputation With A Blog Series Structure
The series will have 7 chapters. I will update the links on this page as I will publish the corresponding articles, so feel free to bookmark this page as a reference.
1. Openly State Your Expertise On Your Blog
What you are good at and what you can make others become good at by reading your blog. This is a fundamental part in building reputation, yet so often overlooked. We will go through the basic steps of making obvious what you are obviously good at it.
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2. Write On Your Blog Constantly
Reputation is about what you know to do best, but is also about your reachability. It doesn’t really matter if you know how to do things, if you’re at the North Pole and nobody can reach to you. By writing constantly you will prove at least you’re there and available.
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3. Interact With Your Audience
Respond to comments, tweet your moods and mingle on Facebook. Interaction is all about creating sustainable communication channels with your audience. If you don’t interact with them, chances are they won’t interact with you either, and that will lead to a stale communication process.
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4. Interact With Your Peers
Chances are that other bloggers are acting on the same niche as yours. The biggest mistake is to treat them as competition. Befriend them instead. Try to build a strong and genuine bond with them. Help them and ask for their help. Participate in collaborative projects as often as you can.
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You clearly stated your expertise, you write constantly on your blog from some time now, you interact with your readers and with your peers. But that’s not enough. It’s time to differentiate. It’s time to let out the most different (and sometimes awkward) part of yourself. People usually identifies other people by difference.
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6. Create And Promote Value
As soon as you have your blogging routine going on more or less on auto-pilot, you should escape it. You should start to create new products outside your blog. If you really are an expert, people will soon need a proof of that. A proof outside your blog. The blog is your distribution channel.
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7. Be Patient
I left this part at the end for two reasons. First, if you had the patience to read through the first six articles, then you’ll understand the seventh. And second, because it took me years to understand this for myself. It’s probably the most important part of all.
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So, stay tuned, and while we’re all waiting for the first article, let me know in the comments what do you think about this series. There is something missing from it? There is something you think I should add, based on your own experience? Is reputation valuable for you, not only as a blogger, but as a regular person? If yes, those principles can be applied in other areas too?