Blogging: Balancing Accuracy and Authenticity

As bloggers, we aspire to create content that reaches the masses. We hope to craft a message that appeals to a specific persona. Over time, we expect to build an audience in the form of a loyal following. However, to do so, we must first establish credibility and trust among those viewing our posts.

Informative Blog

Image courtesy of LEENTech Network Solutions

To establish and maintain credibility among our viewers, we must appeal to our intellectual side while creating content that is factual, accurate, and helpful. Such content should be supported with quality sources, such as books/textbooks. A truly credible blog post likely wouldn’t cite other blogs as sources. However, this becomes a catch-22, since we’d rather not cite other blogs for our blog posts, yet we hope our blog will gain enough credibility to be cited by others.

Compu-Heart

Image courtesy of Iconfinder

To establish and maintain trust, we must appeal to our emotional side while creating a blogger persona that our audience can truly identify with. Our closest followers would feel like they know us personally, as if we go way back. Those who can identify with us will feel compelled to read our content regularly, in hopes of obtaining advice that would truly speak to them, thanks to the similar nature of the two sides. In other words, such a success story might feature an audience member saying “I can’t wait to read Jeff’s blog post this week. I really get that guy, as he and I are quite similar. He offers frequent advice very specific to my current life situation, which I obviously appreciate.” Perhaps this success story sounds a bit too fairytale-ish, but it should serve as a general aim for bloggers looking to identify with an audience while the former gains trust from the latter.

To simultaneously sustain credibility and trust among our audience, we must find and actively implement a balance of information and emotion within each blog post.  To borrow a cliché, we must find a “happy medium” for our content. In a perfect blogging world, a blog would be informative while sounding like it was written by a human being instead of a robot.  Easy enough, right?

About delwichej8841

Writer / Editor / Content Developer / Communication Specialist

Posted on October 7, 2018, in Blogs, Digital, Social Media, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I appreciate the reflection here, but don’t forget to preface posts with mention of the assigned readings.

    • Hi Dr. Pignetti,

      That is my mistake. Moving forward, my blog posts will feature such prefacing.

      Thank you for the reminder.

      ~Jeff

  2. Hi,

    I liked the reference in your post to credibility and tying this into the citing of other blog posts. While I would agree with you that building credibility is not always associated with using others as a source or reference other’s blogs throughout, however, the linking between other authors begins to help establish your knowledge and reference of items specifically in your own blog. I begin to discover other bloggers exactly through this approach and sometimes in stumbling across “other” bloggers I end up finding the “other” bloggers and their content more riveting or worthwhile than from the blog I first began reading the post from.

    In the text “Net Smart,” Rheingold in chapter 1 references the idea of multitasking and how the brain can process roughly 7 chunks of information at a time. While I pondered this fact in more detail it reminded me of the text and your post which relates to citing other’s and the movement a reader may take, which directed by the blogger, to jump between multiple blogs and sources. While I think a reader can be entertained by a single blog post without any citations to other blog posts, a reader may get more out of being redirected and engaging with a variety of blogger’s perspectives on a similar idea. What are your thoughts on a blogger being able to maximize his/her learning efforts from a variety of sources?

    Thanks,

    Kim

    • Hi Kim,

      Thank you for your thought-provoking feedback on my post. You raise some excellent points, particularly about bloggers citing other blogs that the audience may ultimately enjoy more than the original blog. Therefore, if you think about it, bloggers run this risk each and every time they cite another blog. Could a blogger possibly use this risk as incentive to ensure that his/her blog is packed with helpful, compelling content?

      To answer your question, I see nothing wrong with a blogger maximizing his/her learning efforts from a variety or sources, as long as all sources are cited. In fact, despite the aforementioned risk involved, I agree with you that citations can help to build an author’s subject knowledge.

      Thank you!
      Jeff

  3. ***Test comment***

  4. Hi Jeff,

    I liked when you said, “To establish and maintain trust, we must appeal to our emotional side while creating a blogger persona that our audience can truly identify with.” I think that bloggers building trust with their readers is part of the reason why companies go to blogs so often to be reviewed. We see this on blogs and on instagram all the time, the blogger or instagram influencer is given free stuff by the company (and/or paid for advertising it on their channel) and because the followers of the blog/instagram account already have a built up trush with the person they are following, products sell faster. It’s definitely a modern-age way that companies are marketing some of their products.

    Thinking about some of the blogs and instagram influencers that I follow I can totally identify with the emotional appeals part of that statement too. I feel connected to these complete strangers because they are showing their raw selves (or curated raw self) to their followers, expressing their struggles and successes in life and using that to build a connection with their followers. As this connection grows, their follower base increases because people are telling their friends, and this in turn makes the individual blogger/instagram influencer more likely to be promoting products that companies are paying them to promote. It’ll be interesting to see how marketing teams can keep pace with the ever-changing popularity of people and products.

    Thanks for your post this week.

    Brittney

    • Hi Brittney,

      Thank you for your intriguing followup insight. In summation, it seems the blogger consciously makes him/herself vulnerable to their audience. As a result, such vulnerability creates trust among their audience, which actually HELPS the blogger to successfully market for other companies. It may seem a bit backwards to the traditional-minded, though it is certainly an effective marketing method in the 21st century.

      Thank you!
      Jeff

  5. I can completely relate to your discussion regarding the balance of creativity and being credible. I find myself challenged by that with these blogs because my creativity tends to run away with me and then I have to reel myself back in. Many times, I nearly start my own blog but become nervous that I won’t create anything that anyone would value. Whether that is true or not, I would bet that many bloggers feel that same anxiety.

    We all struggle with the balance.

    Thanks!

    Jennifer

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for your reassurance that I am not alone with my ‘blogger angst’! As natural born technical communicators, I have to imagine our biological makeup is such that we are constantly (yet subconsciously) looking to smooth content over with creative polish. I compare it to a compulsive cleaner who consistently cleans up around him/her, often without even realizing it.

      Thank you,
      Jeff

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.