5 Ways to Establish Credibility

If you’re blogging about a company you work for, or a friend’s store, your readers probably want to know about any potential bias. A brief disclosure statement at the end of your post will do.

Publish a correction when you make an error

We all make mistakes. If you got someone’s name or age wrong, a simple edit of the post will do; but if it’s something bigger and more harmful, you need to consider your options to make things right. You can add a paragraph at the end of your post that notes your mistakes; issue an apology to the wronged party; or even scrap the post entirely. If you admit you’ve made mistake, your readers will respect your integrity.

Attribute information to its source, but respect their privacy if they wish to remain anonymous.

If you plagiarise someone else’s work without giving them credit, don’t assume they won’t find out. Journalists self-regulate – and bloggers do too. If a reader suspects you’ve ripped someone off, it’s entirely likely that they’ll go to the original source and let them know.

If someone comes to you with information – say, about a secret sample sale, or a store’s closure – then the best thing you can do to make this information seem legitimate on your blog is to name that person as a source. However, if they wish to remain anonymous – so they don’t lose their job, for example – you’ve got to respect their decision.

For more on ethical journalism, take a look at The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp) or Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism_ethics_and_standards).

This post is by Amelia Marshal of Further Ado

6 comments
  1. This is a brilliant article! It’s hard to know the boundaries and etiquette when writing a blog and while it can be great having contact with PRs, sometimes they can try to cloud your judgement.
    Thanks for the advice! x

  2. Just last week, I noticed someone’s guest blogger shoot her mouth off about some designers (not me) without seeking comment from them. When confronted, she retracted everything and groveled so much I was embarrassed for her. Either attempt to interview people BEFORE you criticize their hard work from the safety of your Cheeto-covered couch OR stick to your guns and defend your opinion when confronted. This person (who is mostly famous for commenting on the NY Times fashion blog, not even for having one of her own) has no credibility with me at all now and she never will. If she starts her own blog, I will be on her like white on rice, pointing out every stupid thing she does.

    I always assume that what I write could be read by the person I’m writing about and I’m prepared to stick to whatever I say unless there’s a correctable error. And, no, Heather Mills, saying you’re a batshit-crazy gold digger is NOT an error.

  3. think I find this post rather difficult to relate to as my posts tend to depict my views on trends, rather thanon the designers themselves. Therefore, I rarely feel the need to back up my views with reliable sources and facts and other stuffs. However, I think this article serves as a decent reminder that it is very easy to get into trouble by not providing reliable information to the reader. And for this, I thank you 🙂

  4. Great post! I’m building my first blog and I feel like I have no idea what i’m doing. ;(

    Anyway, you can help me out?

  5. I’d say it’s best to stick to the facts and add a little flavour with your personal opinion. That’s fine as long as you don’t offend anyone.. works for me!

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