It used to be that we could look to a blue check mark on Twitter to establish if a writer was – quote unquote – “legitimate”, but that world is long gone.
Now it’s up to the individual to prove their worth in a consistent and very public way. Writers of all kinds need to demonstrate that they care, that they are knowledgeable in the subject, and that they can be trusted. Why? Because that’s how readers start to form a relationship with your writing.
“People jump to all kinds of conclusions about you when they read documents you have written,” writes Barbara Wallraff for HBR. “They decide, for instance, how smart, how creative, how well organised, how trustworthy, and how considerate you are. And once they have made up their minds, it is hard to get them to see you differently. Research in social psychology shows how sticky early impressions are.”
So it’s super important, and we need to, as writers, establish credibility if we want to gain readers and head for success. But first: what do we mean by “credibility” in the first place?