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5 Essential Ways To Build Credibility On The Web Through Your Articles
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Originally uploaded by *BlueMoon

When you start an article marketing campaign you'll often hear advice on ways to improve the technical SEO oriented side of article marketing, but there is one very powerful aspect of article marketing that folks commonly overlook:

Building credibility with readers

What is credibility? 

According to, credibility means:

1. capable of being believed

2. worthy of belief or confidence; trustworthy

Remember, as respectable business owners we're not just trying to "drive traffic to a website"–we also want to form relationships with our readers where trust and confidence will grow over time and where the reader/potential customer would eventually say,

"I believe him/her. I think I can trust him/her. I have confidence in his/her abilities to provide me with what I need." 

But how do you build credibility, trust, and reader confidence through your articles?

I think there are 5 crucial make-or-break areas where an author has the chance to start building a healthy relationship with a reader:

1. The Art of the Soft Sale

Truly make your article educational with no outside objectives of getting the reader to buy a certain product or service.

When you write, you should write as an expert in your field, rather than a sales person. 

  • What sorts of information do your readers need to know about your topic?
  • What are common questions you get?
  • If you were teaching about your topic in a classroom, what sorts of lessons would be on your curriculum?

In real life and especially on the internet, I think a soft sale goes a lot further than a hard one.

By a "soft sale", I mean that you offer useful information to your readers in your article without trying to make a sale. A soft sale shouldn't  feel like a sales situation at all to the reader, but rather as an information session led by an objective expert in that field. 

This is one crucial way to build credibility–when a reader gleans information from a teacher, he feels much more open and relaxed than when a sales person provides info. 

Your goal in your articles is to take the position of teacher–you are not trying to make any sales in your articles, but by building reader confidence you will go a long way towards accomplishing that goal. 

2. Are You For Real?

Use your full name in your resource box and give some basic info about your qualifications as an expert on the topic. 

Have you ever seen those sales people in department stores who stand in the perfume department ready to spritz folks with cologne or perfume? 

If you watch from a distance, you'll often see people going out of their way to get around that person because 1) they don't want to get spritzed and 2) they don't want to have to say "no" to being spritzed.

It's a sales tactic you can see from a mile away. You don't know them. They don't know you. They aren't really interesting in helping you find the right scent for you–they just have a specific product that they want to convince you to buy.

Well, when you're writing your resource box and you just launch straight into a sales pitch without even a "Hello, my name is…", it's a bit of the same feeling.

A reader gets the impression–"He just wants to sell me this product." And then a wall goes up that prevents a relationship from developing further.

When you include your full name with your article, as well as a little author bio info, you're telling the reader

"Hey, I'm a real person. You may start to trust me as you get to know me. You can have confidence in the information I've just provided you. I take full responsibility for and ownership of this article." 

3. Don't Forget About Your Human Audience…

Remember that article quality always precedes SEO.

I see it time and time again–articles that are obviously stuffed with keywords to the point where the quality of the article suffers. I always tell folks–write on the topic of your niche and don't worry so much about cramming a million instances of your keyword terms into the article and title. 

No one is fooled by that–not Google and least of all your readers.

If you write naturally about your area of expertise, your keywords will pop up naturally, and natural sounding occurrences of your keywords are what Google likes to see. 

If you stuff your articles with keywords, your readers get the impression, "He isn't writing for me–he's writing for Google."

Don't let that happen with your articles–when a potential customer sees your article you have a very special opportunity to form a connection and to inspire confidence. Always, always keep the needs of the reader first and foremost, and you will find that your reader-centric efforts will pay off with Google as well.

4. Exceed Expectations

Write articles that are of a decent enough length where you can convey a generous amount of information.

Try aiming for a 700-800 word count — I give that advice to the folks who make a habit of writing really short articles, under the 400 word range. Really, fewer than 400 words is not that much room to show your knowledge of anything, is it?

I know that there are some publishers who will accept articles that are that short or shorter, but why not do more than is required?

As a business owner who is trying to show a little of what you're about through our articles–Why not provide more value than is expected?

Whenever I see an article that is clearly thought out, teaching a specific lesson on a topic that the author is clearly knowledgeable about, I think of the author as a writer, as a real human being, as an expert, as a respectable business person, rather than just someone who is trying to drive traffic to a website. 

On the other hand, when I see an author consistently submitting incredibly brief articles where little actual information is provided, it makes me think that they're just thinking more about reaching the lower end of word count requirements rather than writing to provide ed
ucational information to readers.

If you really want to impress a reader–don't skimp on the information you provide. Your articles should be useful to the reader, and when you achieve that level of value and helpfulness your credibility will increase in the eyes of your potential customers. 

5. Be Consistent Over The Long Term

Submit quality educational articles steadily, every month, over the lifetime of your website.

Article marketing is really an avenue where you can show your endurance, your reliability, your continued dominance or presence in your niche. Technically we are best off if we submit articles consistently every month over the lifetime of our websites, but having that stick-to-it attitude has the extra perk of showing readers and potential customers that you're a stable person that they can count on. That goes a long way in any business, but especially if your business is online. 

When you write your articles with the idea that you're sitting across a table talking directly to your potential customer, you build credibility. The more confidence a reader has in your abilities and your good nature, the more comfortable they will feel in their interactions with you. The more comfortable they feel with you, the more likely they will partake of your services or products. 

These are my "top 5" ways to build credibility with article marketing–what are yours?

Related Resources:

How Do You Establish Trust Online?

Does Your Article Feel Like A Big Comfy Chair?

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"

10 Responses to “5 Essential Ways To Build Credibility On The Web Through Your Articles”

  1. Great post.

    Not only is trust important in generating interest in your website and business but also in ‘closing the sale’.

    Prospective customers will regularly do some homework about a business before they ‘sign on the dotted line’. Having useful articles and other types of informative content dotted around the place helps cement your credibility.

    In fact, I wrote a post on just that topic:

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Mark,

    Yes, I agree–thank you for sharing that reference.

  3. Delords says:

    Building Trust is important in any business and its not exceptional in affiliate marketing, you ca build trust as a great article writer that readers would always want to read more from you.

  4. Earma says:

    Thank you for your insightful articles. They are always thought provoking. They continue to give me a fresh perspective each time I read one.
    I’m beginning to trust you (smile:)

  5. Hi,
    And thanks for that wonderful post
    It’s really an eye hopener.
    This confirms my thought that keyword
    condensed articles usually lost it’s

    You are really an industry leader


  6. Doreen says:

    Thanks for reminder to offer substantial information to our readers. People really are looking for quality over quantity when researching topics.

  7. `Darren says:

    great post, also I think articles need to be high quality that make sense and help the reader

  8. I liked this a lot…Sometimes when writing articles I question the value and return. It is fun to share ideas, information with hopes someone will gain something valuable.

  9. When writing an articles, one should focus on providing information to the reader to make an informed choice. This will create a healthy-reader relationship and credibility.I liked the way you illustrated the classroom scenario!
    Thank you for a well thought article-)

  10. Rus Morgan says:

    My most comfortable range is 7-1000 words. This allows a bit of research on the web in order to substantiate/corroborate/justify personal observations. Sometimes this shoots favorite ideas out of the water. Do not use the personal pronoun ‘I’ except when nothing else will suffice. One of the earliest lessons learned in writing was that my final revision had better be correct and provable. NEVER FORGET THAT.

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