Blogging is little more than what we have all done for years down the pub – chatting to people. A blog allows you to hold conversation with your readers and chat away, just like the “real world”.
For businesses this can be a bonus; it can help spread “word of mouth” about your products and services. And as you know, “word of mouth” advertising is the most powerful. Several surveys show that we respect what our trusted contacts say about other products and services they have used. If they like it, so will we.
For the past few years many businesses have been experimenting with blogs to see if it can have an impact on their income. Indeed, I have encouraged several people to write blogs to boost their own business; yet many of them come back to me and complain they haven’t made any money online using blogging.
Now, new research on “social shopping” shows us why. The study shows that blogs are the least respected source of information on products and services you can find. As ever, the research finds we respect “people like ourselves” more than anyone to give us credible information about business products and services. We also trust analysts and academics a great deal. But as the graph shows, we detest bloggers. Interestingly, previous studies have always put the CEO of a company at the bottom of the list of credibility. Now, bloggers have pipped them to the post as the “least trusted” people.
So, the reason why many people don’t make money from blogging is because their blog, well, it is a blog. Many blogs look the same, using templates; they all have the same features; and many are poorly written. Blogs scream “Hey, I’m a blog…!” – and that’s the last thing you need to do if you want to be trusted, this research suggests.
I make money from writing these articles because people read them and pay me for consultancy work or speaking engagements. But this blog doesn’t look too much like a blog; yes I admit it has a lot of blogging features, but it looks more like a web site – plus I haven’t called it a blog. Maybe that’s why I make money from blogging and some people I know don’t. They’ve called their set of articles a blog – and that is the big turn-off.
So, if you want to make money from blogging – and you can – don’t call your blog a blog. Indeed, this study has suggested that I need to revamp this site so it looks even less like a blog. Watch this space…!
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+