Blogging with Integrity – Build an Online Business You Can Be Proud Of
Regular blogging is a massive component of online business success nowadays. It doesn’t matter if you have a bricks and mortar store or are solely based online, blogging is essential to any businesses success. But, much in the same way that blogging or as it’s often called content marketing can make a business successful, it can also break a business. It’s therefore important to blog with integrity.
Don’t steal Content
It’s simply wrong to take content from other websites be it written content or images without permission and without giving credit. Even if you get an idea from someone else, it’s important to give them credit for the idea as that builds credibility.
Give Credit where Credit is due
This includes content ideas you might have, as well as giving credits about photos and images that you use. Always be sure to use legal images too, you can’t just take an image off the Internet and use it. You must have permission and you must meet any license requirements, for instance almost every image used on website-designs.com has been purchased for commercial purposes from Photodune.net.
If you’ve been paid to write a review, write a post, or have been given free products, or you’re going to be linking to a product you will earn commission or revenue from, you should ethically tell your audience about this.
If your website utilizes guest bloggers you should seek to obtain pledges from each guest blogger to stick to a certain set of guidelines, to help them understand what guest blogging with integrity actually means. If you have a really popular website you could have webinars and other events to help both your guest bloggers and audience understand this.
It basically all boils down to honesty and being transparent. Be honest in your interactions and with your intentions to your audience, and your integrity can never be questioned. Don’t tell people things you’re not willing to back up with facts and figures. If you’ve not made a million dollars from blogging, don’t tell people or even imply that you have. People respect honesty and by being honest they will respect you more for it.
Conversely, there is no reason why anyone would think making money from your blog is a bad thing. It doesn’t have to undermine your authentic view of anything, as long as you don’t allow any money you make off a product to determine what you think of the quality of the product is. In other words don’t say it is a good product simply to generate sales, be open and honest that way there should not be a problem, and your integrity should never be questioned.
One way to curb any issues is to only recommend products you have legitimately tried and actually like. If you’ve not read it or used it how can you recommend it? If you do product reviews, mention how you got the product. Did they give it to you, or did you purchase it yourself? It’s important to let people know where you stand and why.
If you are only promoting your own products and services, then be honest; don’t blow smoke. You need to be who you are, the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s essential in order to command a strong presence with your audience who will want to know what you think about many things.
If your audience read what you say and purchase or use products that you’ve recommended and/or created, and they are winners, they’ll see you as someone they can trust. That trust will carry over and help make your business much more successful.