Perhaps now more than ever, it’s crucial that writers and bloggers alike are held accountable when it comes to posting factual, legitimate content.
We understand that competition is absolutely fierce in the blogosphere, with thousands of new posts popping up day after day in any given industry. That being said, with the recent Presidential election cycle dominated by an epidemic of “fake news” and controversial content on both sides of the aisle, it’s no secret that today’s readers are holding bloggers under more scrutiny than ever.
While failing to fact-check and cite your posts may seem like no big deal, consider the importance of putting out the most well-researched, legitimate content possible including:
- Being perceived as an authority: without linking out or citing your sources, you’re just spouting noise
- Readers are more likely to link and share your posts if they actually offer meaningful and legitimately helpful information
- Linking and citations are crucial to your SEO efforts
Especially when blogging for the sake of your business, it’s crucial that you get the facts straight 100% of the time. That being said, where do you start and how do you ensure that your blog will be perceived as credible by your readership?
Face the Facts:
You should always strive to provide links or sources for any combination of the following in any blog post:
- Quotes, especially those from influencers; however, you don’t necessarily need to cite colloquial quotes such as “Rome wasn’t built in a day”
- Statistics, which are important to back up your content with data versus solely relying on your opinion
- Any sort of controversial claim: your readers don’t want clickbait, but would certainly benefit from meaningful commentary or advice
Any links should be attributed to credible sources; however, what makes a source credible? Consider first and foremost publishers with name recognition that have been around forever, such as the New York Times or Washington Post.
Additionally, you can use metrics such as Moz’s domain authority to ensure sites that you go to are legitimate and have a healthy number of inbound links. Remember: just because someone random person said something on Twitter doesn’t mean it should be a source for your next article.
Google Goes a Long Way:
If you’re considering a source for your blog but aren’t sure of its legitimacy, simply rely on the power of Google. For example, perhaps you stumble upon a shocking statistic but can’t find a source: if you Google the statistic word-for-word and nothing pops up, chances are it’s bogus.
While there’s nothing wrong with citing smaller bloggers, the responsibility is on your shoulders to deem them as credible. Ask yourself: are you willing to attach your name and reputation to something that is potentially false or incorrect? Chances are you don’t want to take that risk for the sake of your blog.
Perhaps the best way to keep your blog error-free in terms of facts is by regularly blogging and keeping up with trends within your industry. Always strive to get your story straight first and foremost, both for the sake of your readers and your bottom line.
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