Are you wondering how to influence potential customers and prospects?

Blogging cultivates community, which is where influence is birthed. Blogs rank favorably with consumers for trust, popularity and even influence.

The latest findings from Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report show that “consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase.”

The report found that blogs are now the third most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchasesbehind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%). Consumers said that blogs rank higher than Twitter for shaping their opinions and higher than Facebook for motivating purchasing decisions.

Why are blogs so influential? Bloggers tend to be very honest and sincere in their reviews of products and services.

They talk about both negative and positive aspects of a brand, and in doing so become a trusted source of information. Trust drives action, and thus consumers look to bloggers before they buy.

We’ve seen that trust is the currency of influence and that consumers are looking for “trusted digital friends” to give them advice on what to buy and where to go. That’s why bloggers who offer such advice are influential—because consumers trust their guidance.

If you want to grow your influence, the key is to become a trusted source of information in your industry. Provide compelling content on your blog and then amplify it through social media. People will listen and you will become their go-to resource for specific advice.