Blogging to Bust Myths and Build Trust


“Was the oldest woman a fraud?” asks, referring to French socialite Jeanne Calment, who appeared to be making history when she died in 1997 at the age of 122. (Later investigation revealed that Jeanne had actually died at the age of 59 in 1934. Her daughter had actually assumed Jeanne’s identity, later dying at the age of 99.) Valery Novoselov, assistant professor of the Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics of RUDN University, known for studying medical documents to investigate the deaths of famous Russians, was actually the mythbuster, revealing that the reason for the hoax had been to avoid the payment of inheritance taxes on Jeanne’s estate.

One of the bigger myths about trust, says Charles Green in, is that trust takes a long time to create, but only a moment to destroy. That in itself is a dangerous myth, Green contends. Human emotions take roughly as long to get over as they take to develop in the first place. Trust formed quickly, Green agrees, can be lost quickly; trust formed at a shallow level can be lost at the same level.  But trust formed deeply, or over time, takes deeper violations, or a longer time, to be lost. Thinking of trust as something you can lose in a minute makes you cautious and unlikely to take risks. But the absence of risk is what starves trust, is the point Charles Green wants to make. There simply is no trust without risk – that’s why they call it trust.

Business blog posts are actually the perfect medium for “mythbusting”, I teach at Say It For You. Blog content writing has the power to clear the air, replacing factoids with facts, allowing readers to see their way clear to making decisions. Offering little-known explanations that explode common myths is a good way to engage readers’ interest. Done right, blogging about myths related to our own products, services, and company history can provide value-packed “verdicts” on each false claim or misunderstanding. Citing statistics that disprove popular myths gives business owners and practitioners the chance to showcase their own knowledge and expertise.

There’s a proverbial fly in the ointment here, though. People don’t really like being proven wrong. And, since one of the purposes of any marketing blog is to attract potential customers to the business’ website, it would be a tactical mistake for blog writers to prove those online visitors wrong.  The skill lies in engaging interest, but not in “Gotcha! – I’m-the-expert-and-you’re-not” fashion. (Anyone might reasonably have come to the conclusion you did, should be the message, without knowing the facts I’ve researched and which am providing here.)

Many misunderstandings about a product or service present themselves in the natural order of business, in the form of questions and comments from readers and customers. Shining the light of day on that misinformation is one function of blogging, and, provided your blog post is well written, perhaps with a bit of tongue in cheek, it can offer enlightenment in a way that engages searchers and keeps them coming back.

The goal – blog to bust myths while building trust!


Please Stop Blogging the Same Story

storytelling in blogs
“Please stop telling that same story,” Elizabeth Bernstein begs in the Life & Arts section of the Wall Street Journal. Storytelling is supposed to be a bonding experience, she says, because, when we share our personal narratives, we disclose something about our values, our history, and our outlook on life. But the bonding benefits of storytelling only work if you’re good at it, she warns, and many of us aren’t. We simply tell tales we’re told before, tales that don’t have a point.

Bernstein offers some valuable “advice from the experts”:

  1. Have a point (the details of the story must convey the reason you’re sharing this story).
  2. Flesh out the characters in the story.
  3. Disclose something about yourself.
  4. Build tension.
  5. If you’ve told the story before, explain why you’re repeating it now.

As a professional blog content creator and trainer in corporate writing, I think storytelling is a perfect vehicle for blogging. While blog marketing can be designed to “win search”, once the searchers have arrived, what needs winning is their hearts, and that is precisely what content writers can achieve best through storytelling. The point? Showing why you are passionate about delivering your service or products to customers and clients.

The characters in the stories? They can be the people delivering the product and service, or they can be customers – what problems did they have that you helped solve? What funny things happened to them, to their kids, to their pets that relate to your product or service? Creating compelling business blog content can – and should – incorporate both people storytelling and product storytelling. In terms of disclosing, I recommend including anecdotes about customers, employees, or friends who accomplished things against all odds. That shifts the focus to the people side of your business, highlights the relationship aspects of your practice, plant, or shop.

To reach the point of building trust, there must first be some sort of “tension” or issue. Talking about industry issues and your strong opinion about those is a good path towards building trust through your business blog. Sharing your own failures helps others, Beccy Freebody writes. In business blogs, true stories about mistakes and struggles overcome are very humanizing, creating feelings of empathy and admiration for the entrepreneurs or practitioners who overcame the effects of their own errors. Award-winning sales training expert Tim Roberts agrees, saying there are two skills needed for an effective inquiry conversation with prospects: vulnerability and transparency.

Good business blogs, of course, offer valuable information to online readers. But, the fact is, people want to do business with real people. Blog stories, not the same old, same old story, but the ongoing story of you, your people, and the people you serve.