How can Google+ make my blog more profitable? Find out in the Future of Publishing!
Are you more likely to buy something from a random guy on the street, or are you more likely to buy something recommended by an expert trusted by lots of other people? In this video interview I did with VigLink CEO Oliver Roup for our Future of Publishing TV series, we discuss authorship and credibility with Paul Edmonson, the CEO of HubPages:
So why is being trusted so important, and how can building trust help increase your revenue?
Consumers trust friends and experts
Bloggers’ conversion rates for affiliate campaigns are typically much higher than cold email marketing campaigns’ conversion rates. Many things cause this, including blogs being more finely targeted than cold emails and better list maintenance on the blogger’s end (bloggers frequently gleam their newsletter lists of unresponsive emails). However, in his book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust, Chris explains that consumers trust people they know and people who are experts in their fields. That’s why social media advertising campaigns can be so effective: If someone sees their friend post about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, they’re more likely to think it’s a good game and go out and buy it than if they see one of Activision’s countless billboards by the freeway. The same concept applies to bloggers; although readers don’t know bloggers personally as well as they know their friends, bloggers are almost always seen as experts in their field. This means that bloggers are trust agents and can thus run campaigns with good conversion rates.
My readers already trust me, so how does Google+ make me a trust agent?
Google allows writers to associate their articles with their Google+ account. When they do, their name appears next to the search result, along with their Google+ image and the amount of Google+ followers they have.
A picture of their face by itself will increase their credibility and make the author more of a trust agent to new readers because it, quite literally, puts a human face on a post by someone new readers aren’t familiar with. Also, Google+ shows how many circles somebody is in (Circles are a Google version of Facebook friends, though being in one of someone’s circles doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re in one of your circles). People who are in many circles are seen as having more credibility because, perceptually, that many people think that what the author says is reliable. As a result, associating your blog posts with your Google+ account increases how much new readers trust you by showing your picture next to your articles and it gives a numerical representation of people are perceived to already trust you.
How does this affect my affiliate revenue? New readers don’t get my newsletter!
Quite simply, people are more likely to buy affiliate products from people they trust. Although new readers don’t receive your newsletter, they can still click on in-content affiliate links by VigLink. If you’re perceived as a trust agent, they are more likely to buy products from these links, and from other affiliate programs, than if they don’t know anything about your credibility. Tying your Google+ account to your blog post helps make you more credible, so new readers are more likely to convert from your affiliate programs, even if they just found your site from a Google search.