Since we launched Pixelgrade Club a few months ago I started to masively chat with a bunch of bloggers out there. No matter the industry they’re representing — fashion, food, lifestyle, education, they all have a common goal: building and maintaining trust.
Trust is a serious thing and it requires a consistent effort to gain it and some small mistakes to lose it. After getting in touch with a wide range of bloggers and storytellers I found out how they earn it and amplify it for the long game.
Trust has to be earned. You can’t buy it on Google AdWords or increase it through popups. It’s built through open and honest dialog, over time. Being a trustworthy human with transparency isn’t a quick growth hack, it’s a long term path to growing an audience.
— Paul Jarvis via Grow Your Audience
#1 — Be genuine and consolidate your brand
Most of the professional bloggers (in this particular scenarios, it equals those who earn money out of their passion) have a solid personal manifesto on their website. Frequently, it’s all about the values they stand for, which topics they choose to cover and why, how they refuse collaborations, or which rules they apply in different situations.
Often, being genuine is all about being true to yourself. With other words, if someone meets you offline, he or she should get the same feeling as the moment they read your stories, listen to your podcast, watch your videos.
Don’t pretend, don’t be fake, don’t mislead. There’s no shortcut that will bring you overnight fame and glory, there’s just you and who you are at the end of the day, no matter the medium. Look after the long-game achievements.
Takeaway: Write as you speak and put your personality into the spotlight. Nobody can steal your unique style, at least not in the right way.
#2 — Be active and keep things up-to-date
Trust is hard to earn without having a consistent activity. You need to put hard work to keep your blog relevant. People need a certain dynamic to perceive that things are rolling, you are doing your job, and they belong to a lively community, always there for them.
In more specific terms, this means to develop an internal strategy around the topics that define you. Make sure you write in harmony with what you sincerely believe in, and you do it regularly. Otherwise, folks will soon notice that you’re superficial or you are trying to grab attention for hidden interests.
On the opposite side, if you succeed to develop an editorial and content tactic that makes sense and draws a statement about you and your blog, results will definitely show up.
Takeaway: Create and follow a content calendar with a strong mix of topics, and write about complementary ideas, not only self-promo.
#3 — Be an authority in your field
Another great way to nurture trust is by teaching what you know and position yourself as an authority. Being an expert means that you know more than someone else in a specific area. Teaching involves experimenting the first two ideas — be genuine and be active — since without them the foundation is pretty fragile.
The smartest approach on this one is to teach a similar audience by listening a lot in the first phase. Don’t pretend that you know it all or that you have solutions for each struggle out there. Instead, focus your time and energy in understanding the particularity of that ecosystem, and adjust your know-how accordingly.
Takeaway: Lead by example and teach after you gathered some lessons and takeaways as a result of direct experience (no matter if you failed).
The truth is that trust can come in many forms, it’s a long term commitment, and it definitely lies in design too. Most of the bloggers I reached told me that our WordPress themes inspire confidence through their overall look-and-feel.
After spending some time browsing the Pixelgrade site, I’m really impressed! Your themes are beautiful. — Maya
We haven’t achieved this stage out of the blue nor did we gained recognition overnight. There are more than six years since we’ve been iterating and making things better on multiple levels. But enough with saying, just give the Club a go and add another layer of trust for your blog. You can kick-off with a 14-day free trial period, so make it count!