Posted by Bhupinder Kaur Chhabra
March 31, 2017
While setting up a blog is a simple and straightforward process, having a good reader engagement plays a crucial role in its survival, or it would only be floating around in the cyberspace. With billions of blogs on the web and the reader’s short span of attention, creating a perfect blog can be a great challenge.
How can you encourage your blog readers to engage with you and build a strong reader base?
You can make this happen, and in this post, I’ll show you how.
To make your blog successful, you need to craft the content that your audience will enjoy and want to share it with the world. Because audience is the reason of your blog’s existence, it makes sense that you know and understand your audience, what they expect from your blog and how your blog helps them.
A blog can be a collection of informative posts, short and informal ones, sometimes personal and at times controversial. But every blog is developed with a purpose to serve a group of people interested in the particular niche. Understanding your target audience is critical because it helps you know what information they are seeking and Is your blog helping them with the relevant posts.
The best way to know your target audience is creating marketing personas. There are various tools that allow you create your audience personas. You can use software like Google Analytics to get the necessary information including profiles of your average readers, their interests, their needs, and how they access information(web or mobile).
These tools help you know the facts like your readers’ values, who they are, where they work, what they’re interested in, and other demographic information. Having this information lets you publish posts in response to their needs.
For example, Socialmediaexaminer posts on all things social to attract the attention of those marketers and the nerds in the social network space.
Raise your hands if you want more readers on your blog!
Once you’ve determined who is your target audience and how can you help them, it’s time to give your blog a makeover. If you’re wondering how? Here are five best practices to implement which will allow your blog posts promote reader engagement forever.
Whether you’ve noticed or not, your blog posts are a type of marketing and being a writer or marketer, the first step to transit your post from glossed over to read and engaged is a killer title.
As titles are the magic wands that draw readers into your content, they can make or break your blog. Here are two important factors to consider while crafting truly magnetic headlines that attract people’s attention:
– More than 80% of readers never make it past the headline to your content
– Your headline is displayed with many other headlines, with just a glance yours can stand out from the crowd.
Besides, you can pique reader’s curiosity by creating the headlines in these three forms:
Stats & Numbers: In the ocean of words available on the net, numbers stand out. Numbers are great at conveying how common an issue is or creating a sense of urgency. Here’s an example:”10 Article Headline Examples That Got Us 10,000,000 Readers”.
Questions: Nothing is as attracting as a well-written question that just pushes the readers to read your post to find out an answer. Here’s a great example – “Is Your Online Shopping Cart Neglecting These 3 Best Practices?”.
Buzzwords: There are certain words like ‘killer’, ’ultimate’, ’epic’, etc. that yield conversion. If your title doesn’t fit a number or a question, let the user think as if they’ll miss out something imperative by not reading your post. Consider something like – “Optimizing Images for SEO – The Last Guide You’ll Ever Need.”
Lastly, remember that your blog headlines often serve as the link where your content is shared, so keep it short and H1 centric.
Only a few people make it past the headline. And once they have opened and started reading your content, your blog’s introduction should compel your readers to read further.
The introduction is the next thing that sours readers after a magnetic title, and you’ll prove to be lucky if at least 50% of your new visitors don’t exit right then. So the first step is – hook up your readers with an excellent introduction, and the key to it is creating curiosity.
A good introduction is build on itself and has a magical content flow from one paragraph to another. It’s good to start by explaining why your post is important, how it will help the readers, and what type of information they can expect to receive. Here are a few tips to capture reader’s attention right from the beginning.
Use numbers: Just as you used numbers in the title, it’s a good idea to include them in your introduction. They help your posts do well while leading to some important data or metrics. Moreover, numbers convey a more real image in the user’s mind.
Use humor: Assuming that your blog post is aimed to solve a problem, you can turn that problem into a joke in a sarcastic way to provide the solution. However, this hinges on how much you know your audience.
Storytelling: Create a scenario where you can help the reader imagine that how helpful it would be to read your post, and you are 99% of the way there.
Introductions are the best examples that support the belief ‘First impression is the last impression,’ so don’t waste the opportunity. Do build on your blog’s title and explain why this post will help readers and then see – users can’t wait to read the body.
Words are of course the most powerful weapon, but there are many beneficial things like images, graphics, videos, and links which not only help in making your content more engaging but also help in your SEO efforts.
Graphics, Videos, and Images are a great way to convey ideas and captivate readers. A random study from Hubspot says, 90% of information that enters our brain is visual with the brain processing images 60,000 times faster than the text does. That’s the reason, including visuals in your content can boost the opportunity to make your post remembered and shared. There are endless ways you can use images, but some of the best ones are Graphs, Product images, Screenshots and most contemporary images – infographics.
When it comes to links, you’d probably think about Google. Yes, Google better understands your website, but the readers also get encouraged to explore more articles through links. The best way to start is adding a small section at the end of each post which recommends other articles on your blog.
By covering all these aspects, you’ll be creating pillar posts that will act as the spine for your blog.
It is important to get credibility with your readers, especially when you’re trying to be an expert in your industry. In this competitive cyberspace, only 3% of brands are able to produce 90% of impact online.
Bring home new floods of convertible traffic by getting influencers share your content so you can generate more impact from each post you create. How? By using their status and prowess as famous bloggers and contributors. This lends credibility and legitimacy to your marketing efforts. In other words, it will make your content marketing strategy more valuable.
Here are a few ways to use influencers and experts to your advantage:
– Include them in a list of experts, appealing their ego
– Mention their Twitter handle, and they may retweet
– Ask them to contribute in the form of guest post
– Quote them in your post to add credibility
Responding to your readers is by far the best ways to encourage reader engagement. Readers who see that the writer or publisher engages and responds are more likely to engage more. This helps build a loyal readership.
If you’re willing to have a more interactive blog, communicate with your readers and respond them in a friendly and professional way. This will let your readers know that they are being heard and valued.
Here are a few ways you can ask your readers for engagement and respond to their comments:
– If you’ve published a recipe or instructions on how to make something, ask your readers to share pictures of the meal they’ve prepared with you.
– If you’ve published a blog on a controversial matter, you can ask your readers to weigh in on the subject.
When the readers share their feedback on your blog, take the time to respond to most of them, if not all of your blog’s comments. At the end of each blog, you can ask your readers to comment on what they would like to read from you next.
So, tailor your blog’s reader engagement approach to suit your style, and by no means be afraid of sounding desperate by doing so.
We’ve shared a bunch of tips you can put into action, try them and see how things go. Remember, getting an increased user engagement through blogging is not an instant task, it requires to have a long-term strategy in place.
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How do you get more reader’s engagement? Do you have any ideas to share?
You can share your thoughts with us in the comments below!