Is your writing short circuiting your reputation?

Today, our readers are inundated with an overwhelming amount of options for the information they seek. In order to have a chance at capturing their attention, there can’t be any questions around the quality of our work. That means we can’t give them reasons to believe that our insight is suspect in any way.

Here are three things we can do to protect our reputation and improve the chances of winning readers’ attention.

1. Link to sources

It’s a good idea to cite reliable sources to add credibility to our insight. So let’s be straightforward. Let’s not make our readers work to believe us. Let’s link to the study or research we’re using as support. It communicates that we’re on the up and up.

2. Don't extrapolate carelessly

We need to be careful not to stretch the significance of a fact or a piece of research, hoping that our readers won’t look too carefully at our sources. If the facts don’t support the point, do a little more research. Or rethink the premise. Otherwise, we could be eroding a reputation.

3. Be balanced

Want to earn points with readers? Tell both sides of the story. Honesty and transparency wins every time over blatant promotion.

It takes work to build that solid reputation. It doesn't happen over night. But it can be eroded that quickly. We need to be vigilant if we want to earn and keep our readers’ trust.