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Old 12-16-2009, 06:00 AM
bholus10 bholus10 is offline
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Default Credibility, Trust, And Your Name At Stake

The Internet is turning out to be a commercial engine based not on technology, but on trust. Ebay figured that out early, when it started rating vendors using its services according to how well they'd fulfilled the letter of their contracts. Most people today

prefer online vendors to have an offline store; it makes them seem more permanent if they have invested in creating a bricks-and-mortar business, even though it's just as easy for a business like this to fail as one online.

But this shows you something important: it's all about appearances online, and unlike appearances in the real world, an Internet vendor must work hard to create the proper one. More than with any other business form, you are really creating your online brand

identity. Because it's so easy for people to praise or castigate you online, your business practices online are more transparent than they could possibly be offline.

And yet your customers probably don't even know who you are - only your virtual identity.

The key is convincing your customers that they can trust that virtual person you show them online. You do this by demonstrating that you are an expert.

Creating A Guru

It takes time to build up a stock of trust in your customers, and is just as much an investment as anything you put into your company. The first thing you must do is show your expertise. You do this by talking about your product online. And the medium people talk in online is text.

Ideally, you need to create articles under your name - your byline - that demonstrate your expertise in your field of knowledge.

If you can't write, this might pose a problem. And that's not uncommon. You may know your field inside and out, and you may be able to talk about it for days, even sell it in person as if you were Andrew Carnegie. But online, it doesn't matter if you can't express yourself well in writing, or at least seem as if you can.

The ideal solution: purchasing articles. PRA (Private-label rights articles) are a good possibility; you purchase them in bulk, ten or twenty or fifty articles on your area of expertise or on a related one, and you own them completely. This means you can modify them to support your business, you can put your own name on them, and you can

add or delete any text you like. Another somewhat more expensive possibility is to hire a writer to create articles to your specifications, purchasing all rights in a similar manner and publishing them online under your name.

How Long Does It Take?

Once you've started putting articles up online under your name, if your customers like them and appreciate the information they're getting they will start building up trust right away. The key is to focus on a narrow niche market and figure out what they really

want to read about. You can do this in part by soliciting feedback on your site - perhaps putting a response form at the bottom of each article. This helps you target your articles closer to what your customers really want to read.

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