A former reader explained that he did not approve of my methods. He promptly unsubscribed from my blog after reading 17 Reasons High Page Views Should Make You Panic.
Apparently, I am not solely to blame for my flaws. According to this commenter, I am a product of my country. I use “hard sell” methods along with everyone else in the United States of America.
This is my response to my critic– Great! I will gladly admit to using unorthodox methods as long as they are helping people.
This post is a follow-up to #1 Secret Tip that Will Make You See More Search Engine Traffic in which, according to one reader, I shared “underground tips”. I freely admit to it. I mean, this is blogging, not espionage.
Today’s article contains a tip so unorthodox, there are people who don’t want you to know it.
I will give you a spoiler alert: It is my last tip, so make sure you make it to the end of this post.
As many of my other articles have claimed, competition for your readers’ attention is daunting. According to Quora, 152 million blogs exist in the world.
Bloggers have claimed they wouldn’t have started blogging if they knew the competition was that high.
Why You Need Credibility
However, there are ways to get visitors to your blog to become permanent subscribers. Those reasons all boil down to trust. Your readers have to trust you. That is the only way you will hold credibility in their eyes, so they will keep wanting to read your articles.
What gives you credibility in the eyes of your readers is called social proof. Social proof is what gets them to trust you.
How You Can Easily Gain Credibility
- Quote experts. Recently, a commenter wrote, “I love it when you reference so many people.” I offer quotes as a way of providing social proof. Anyone can make up quotes, but when I link to the commenter, it provides proof that people actually said what I am attributing to them. The result, I look more credible in the eyes of my reader.
- Interview experts. Experts have respectability in their area of expertise. If you interview them, your readers will respect you more for knowing them and citing them. It won’t just be your word anymore. Cite experts that support your position. In this way, you will be providing “proof” that you are right, and your credibility will rise.
- Be interviewed. If you are the subject of an interview or on an interview panel, people will hold you in higher esteem. I always put posts that included me in an interview on my About page. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is always looking for people to interview on various topics. Get on the mailing list, so you will be notified on the topics they need quotes about. Afterward, include the interview on your About page. It will help establish you as an authority in your blogging area.
- Get included in a Weekly Roundup Post. Bloggers publish the Best of the Week posts, often on Friday. The link gives a detailed explanation of how to find these. If your post could be included in a Best of the Week Roundup, it would certainly provide social proof to your readers that you are an expert in your area, and credibility will be established.
- Prove you are right. Include stats and screenshots as evidence. My post How To Make 1,406 People Look At Your Site in 1 Day included a screenshot showing my page views. Otherwise, why would people believe that I actually got 1,406 page views to my site in one day? Neil Patel explains every single one of his posts includes expert opinions and statistics in order to enhance his credibility in the eyes of his reader.
- Include case studies. Readers love to read case studies, so they can replicate the methods of the subject of your case study and get the same results. Here is a link to my case studies if you would like to see examples.
- Invite your Facebook friends to “like” your pages. Likes on Facebook pages provide social proof that your brand is good. People have asked if you need a Facebook page for your blog. My answer– absolutely!
- Ask your satisfied readers for testimonials. According to Donna Merrill, “Testimonials are essential to growing your blog and online business.” For a long time, I collected testimonials without realizing I needed to link back to the author in order to provide authenticity, social proof.
- Make sure your post is free of mechanical errors. According to CopyBlogger, no one will consider you an authority if there are grammar errors in your writing. Grammarly can ensure your writing is error-free.
- Include social share buttons. You might wonder how other people sharing your work will enhance your credibility. The answer is it won’t. What will increase your air of authority is the count on the social share buttons that will come from your readers sharing your work. Due to the Bandwagon Effect, people like to get out with the crowd even if it’s the virtual crowd.
Counts provide social proof. I know a blogger who doesn’t want to put her subscriber count in the sidebar. However, people like to do what other people are doing. According to the Bandwagon Effect, it must be good if others are liking it.
In addition to showing a count of your subscribers, you should show a count on your social share buttons.
You do realize this is my last tip; therefore, it is my secret tip. Have you guessed what it is yet?
On November 20, the powers-that-be over at Twitter decided they did not want you to be able to show a count on your Twitter shares.
Their rationale was that people were not reading the articles tweeted; therefore, the count was not a true measure of social proof. Apparently, their stock was falling as a result, so the almighty dollar spoke.
The problem for you is that while it may not be a spot-on accurate measure of social proof, it was, at least, some measure. If your readers don’t know if your content is valuable, they will share less. If they share less, you could get fewer visitors.
Fear not! Even though the folks over at Twitter do not want you to have a count on your Twitter bird, this post will explain how you can have the Twitter social share count again if you still desire.
I can’t take all the credit, though. My friend Sue from sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au turned me on to the tip. It turns out the folks over at Social Warfare developed a code. If you go into the “Text” or “HTML” mode in your post and paste the code when you are in edit mode, the Twitter bird will show a share count.
You have waited four months to be able to have Twitter show the social share count once more.
Here is the code:
Both self-hosted and non self-hosted bloggers can install the code. The only catch– you have to paste the code for every blog post you want the count to display.
Self-hosted bloggers should be in Text mode when pasting the code. WordPress.com bloggers should be in HTML mode when pasting the code into the post you are working on.
Considerations: Sometimes, I will paste the code, but the bird doesn’t show the social counts. When I go back into edit, Text mode, I find the code is gone or not working. In both instances, I go to a post where the Twitter bird does show the count and copy from that post and paste into my more recent one. The point is not to panic if the bird isn’t showing a social share count; just paste it again and update your post.
Although my former reader considers my blogging advice “unorthodox,” my suggestions explain how to get around obstacles to success. Pasting the code offered in the last tip solves an obstacle that’s been in place for four months, not having a count of who shares your articles on Twitter.
Readers, please share, so other bloggers can once again have the count on their Twitter bird. Such a hue and cry went out around the blogging community last November. Now, there is no need for dismay. You can have the Twitter count back and all the other ways of getting social proof recommended in this article.
What do you think? Did you miss the social share count on the Twitter bird? Will you paste the code and put the Twitter count back?
This post provided a 9-step action plan to enhancing your credibility in the minds of your readers so that they choose to become your blog subscribers. Did I miss any? Can you think of additional ways to provide social proof and enhance credibility? I look forward to your views.
Update: A contributor to the code development wrote in the comments section to remind us that we need to register for the code.