Sloppy content breaks trust, here’s how to avoid it and give your audience the most reliable information for their wellbeing 

 

Photo credit: Sammy Williams (Unsplash)

In a world of fake news and health misinformation it can be hard to know where to get your facts’n’stats from when talking about mental health. If your business relies on people trusting in your advice or product, then not delivering trustworthy content can create more barriers than it breaks downs. 

 

If you’re looking to write your own content, here’s some tips on where to go for information that makes your blogs or resources look professional and factual. 

1. Spend time researching 

When you book a content or copy writer, you might not alway see what goes on behind the scenes.

 

A final, polished blog or article may only be a few pages long. But before it got there it was drafted and planned from scribbled notes taken from reading articles and latest research. 

 

Or, at least that’s what a decent content writer would do. 

 

If you’re planning on writing your own content, block out some time to do the same. You can keep up with the latest news and research in your area by:

 

Remember to bookmark or save anything that you think can help your writing. 

2. Back up your ideas 

 

If you’re going to be advising people on how they can improve their mood it’s really essential to make sure you back up any ideas or claims you put forward. Saying something is good for you is one thing, saying something is good for you and here’s how I know it is another. One can create hesitation and the other trust. 

 

For example in this blog I’m putting forward the idea that you should produce trustworthy content.

 

I could leave it there and you could agree or not. 

 

Or, I could say; a report on health information on social media has highlighted that false health information spreads faster and further than accurate information. This can lead to negative effects in the real world such as creating controversy and promoting unproven treatments, emphasising the importance of backing up content with credible sources. 

 

Which are you most likely to trust?

3. Cite credible sources 

This may be the last point, but it might just be the most important. 

 

There is a lot of information out there that is not credible. If you’re thinking about using Joe Bloggs social media status, eating 5 tomatoes a day has improved his mental health as a source. Step away from the laptop. 

How to check if the source is reliable

 

  • When was the information written?

If it was written 20 years ago, unless it’s a seminal piece, you will likely be able to find more up to date information. 

 

  • Who wrote it? 

Is the author reliable and trustworthy. Below is a screen grab from Very Well Mind, who have all their articles reviewed by a professional for accuracy.

Taken from verywellmind.com
  • Are there any conflicts of interest?

If you’re using research papers as your source, check there aren’t any conflicts of interest. 

 

  • Find other sources that back up the information 

 

Examples of credible sources

 

Here are some sources that I use on the regular

 

Mind – UK based mental health charity 

 

Mental Health Foundation – UK mental health research 

 

NHS – staple source for health 

Very Well Mind – Professionally reviewed mental health information

 

If you’re looking to outsource your content find out more about what I do here