Students have always been taught to evaluate the credibility of a writer before using a source. In today’s digital-centric world, credibility as a writer is even more important. There are a lot of writers on the web who aggregate content from other online sources instead of pulling from their own knowledge. This information may or may not be factual, and readers are much more interested in those who write content based on their own authority. Those with have built their authority find more writing contracts, gain more online readers, and receive more clout in the digital world.
This stems from studies in psychology that show the ways that first impressions stick with people. It’s very difficult to undo a first impression, and if that opinion is negative or lacks credibility, you’ll have a hard time winning over your readers or clients with a second chance.
The importance of authority in your writing style can’t be understated, but it’s not something that simply appears for most writers. It takes dedication and hard work. If you’re looking to increase the clout of your words, here are some things that can help.
How to increase writer credibility
Experiment with the Subject Matter
Say you’re writing a freelance column for a health magazine. Your topic is on the effectiveness of hCG injections for weight loss. This is a hotly debated topic that requires accuracy and experience if you want to make a positive impact on your readers.
Aside from doing your research on the pros and cons of hCG injections, you can better influence readers by trying the product yourself. You can also talk to those who have tried the product first-hand to boost your credibility on the subject. First and second-hand experiences always make for a better article, no matter the subject.
Gain More Education
An instant way to make yourself more credible is to seek formal education. Most freelance writers hold a bachelor’s degree in English or communications. Some writers even hold a master’s or Ph.D.
It’s not always wise to get such a high level of education for the sole purpose of writing, since writing alone may not cover the costs of your education. However, it can be a useful tool for freelance writing in addition to another career.
Nobody is perfect, and everyone has their own style of writing, thinking, and talking. You need to let that side of you show in your writing when appropriate, otherwise, you’ll sound like a robot. Robots obviously don’t have much credibility in life subjects, as they’re run by computers.
Though adding personality may not apply to writing technical documents, it will be very important for things like blog, article, and advertisement writing. Your personality will show that a real person who is skilled in their craft is providing the work.
Improve Your Writing
In many instances, the best way to show you know your stuff is to be an excellent writer, particularly if you’re trying to prove credibility in the technical writing field. Impeccable grammar, non-wordy style, and the ability to simply explain complicated processes will be invaluable here.
Improving your writing in more creative fields requires the use of adjectives, sentence variation, active verbs, non-passive voice, and concise sentences. It takes practice and dedication to your craft, but it can be career changing.
The ability to provide insights on topics that others haven’t yet covered shows you have the potential to be a thought leader in a certain subject matter. It shows creativity and critical thinking that sets you apart from the routine blog posts, white papers, and newspaper articles that scatter the internet and print publications.
These insights will be actionable pieces of advice, ideas that haven’t been published, phrases that haven’t been said before, and a style of thinking that’s groundbreaking in your field. Coming up with insights is probably one of the most difficult elements of writing for any author, no matter their skill set or level of education. But those who dedicate themselves can find ways to stand out with their knowledge base.
Higher quality writing, insightful sayings, experience, and more all play a role in the writing journey. Credibility cannot be achieved in one day. The most credible writers are typically older with more experience, and oftentimes, the journey to achieving authority is a matter of being patient and learning as you go.
However, it’s those who put their shoulder to the wheel and start honing their craft who will achieve their goals before their peers and become thought leaders in their field.