Are Online Blogs Really as Reliable as They Seem?
These days, it seems like everyone is a blogger. Social media sites are bursting with links to blog posts on every subject under the sun. Want to get information on the best types of vegetable gardens to grow in the city? There’s a blog for that. Wondering if technology is destroying the framework of American society? There’s a blog for that, too. Every business, group, and individual has something to say, and it seems as if blogs are the perfect medium to express those thoughts.
As digital news is taking precedence over many traditional news mediums, more and more people are gaining access to information like never before. It’s believed that free, online news grows the Internet, and the popularity of the digital world is greater than ever before. Over 90 percent of Americans are connected to the rest of the world through their fingertips. And although many blogs end up being outlets for personal opinions and ideologies to be shared, the fact remains that blogs also serve as legitimate sources of news and information from industry experts. Online blogs are clearly in abundance, and the list just keeps growing every day. But, the question remains, can you trust every blog you read on the Internet?
Reasons to Trust Online Blogs
- Blogs can provide readers with insider information. This means that many blogs are typically written by experts actually working within specific fields of interest. They are providing their readers with first hand knowledge that can help guide the decision making process.
- Blogs typically are written without restrictions. Industry writers typically have more freedom when choosing the types of blogs they write. They don’t usually have a chain of checks and re-checks before being published like online periodical pieces would have. Because of the nature of blogs, even the most controversial of topics are given an outlet for discussion. Plus, blogs are usually informally written, allowing readers to easily relate to the language and message. This is perfect for writers looking to provide informative web content that their target audience can connect with and act on.
- Blogs are frequently updated. This means that web sites that feature regular blog posts are providing evolving information that remains relevant and useful. Site owners don’t want their readers to be turned off by stagnant sites that rarely change, so they put significant efforts into creating interesting content that appeals to their audience. By doing so, blog writers are providing their readers with up-to-date information that is relevant to what happening in the world around them at the present time.
The Two Main Problems With Many Online Blogs
- Blogs can be subjective. Unlike news pieces that are meant to give the facts only, blogs have the flexibility to include a personal slant or bias. Readers typically see this if they follow blogs centered on hot-button topics like religion, politics, or lifestyle ideologies. Should you use weed killer on your lawn or not? For every blog talking about the benefits of your lawn care options, there’s one talking about the apparent health and environmental dangers of using pesticides.
- Blogs can be inaccurate. Because there isn’t usually an accountability structure in place for fact checking and monitoring, blogs can easily feature outdated statistics or facts that readers are unaware of. And worse yet, some bloggers provide readers with content that is just inaccurate. Unfortunately, if their readers aren’t discerning and opt for a little fact checking of their own, they can be easily convinced by false information.
Because of these two significant problems, it can be difficult to know whether or not your readers will trust the information they find in the blogs you create. A simple way to help build a foundation of trust with your audience is to be transparent about your business or organization. What is your history? Your industry credentials? Do you provide links with statistical information for your readers to further study? Give your readers a reason to trust that you’re providing them with helpful, relevant, truthful information that they can truly benefit from.
Yes. There are some blogs out there on the Internet that are questionable at best. But, they are countless blogs out there that are filled with valuable information that can effectively connect writers with their intended audience in a much more personal way. This connection is what businesses need to increase their brand recognition and increase consumer satisfaction. Now, that’s successful marketing.