With an estimated 181 million active blogs worldwide, it can be easy for your blog to get lost in the crowd. With so much competition, how is it possible for your blog to actually be read and noticed? Better yet, how do you gain a loyal following? The answer is simply audience engagement.
Producing engaging, quality content should be priority, but what exactly is considered engaging? Bloggers often make the mistake of concentrating on keywords for Search Engine Optimization rather than quality content. The fact is that search engines look for indicators of engagement rather than merely keyword match ups. Engagement can be anything from number of page visits to how well you interact with your audience. When it comes to managing your blog, audience engagement should be at the forefront of your mind.
Creating Quality, Engaging Content
Quality over quantity should be your new motto. Two of the biggest mistakes bloggers make are either publishing too infrequently, or publishing mediocre content too often. There’s an ongoing debate about how many times a week is appropriate to publish a blog, however the average consensus seems to be about twice a week. In order to keep on track, it’s a good idea to create an editorial schedule and stick to it.
Also be sure to post content in a variety of formats, including text, infographics and videos in order to keep things fresh. Keeping your audience engaged also means writing about relevant topics that will get people talking. Check out Google Trends to get an idea of what is being most often searched on search engines (great for SEO purposes). Also take a glance at Twitter’s recent trending topics to brainstorm ideas for your upcoming posts.
Interact with Readers and Bloggers
Interacting with your readers will help you build a personal relationship with them and let them know you on a more personal level. Interacting with your readers should include a variety of tactics:
- Ask questions. Proposing a question that relates to your blog post is a great way to generate comments and get readers talking. Questions encourage responses and reactions to your writing and are a great way to gain feedback. Comments will also help you better understand who your audience is and what their preferences are.
- Respond to comments in a timely manner. Even if someone leaves a short compliment such as “great post", responding with a simple “thanks” will let them know you’re attentive and present. Also, if you let your readers know that you respond to comments, they may be more likely to leave a comment.
- Run contests or surveys. Most blogging platforms allow you to easily run surveys and polls on your blog. This encourages readers to actively participate instead of passively reading/watching your content. Contests are also a great way to get people talking and returning to your blog frequently.
Design and Layout
This may not be a direct form of engagement, but design determines how long visitors stay on your blog. If it’s pleasing to the eye, visitors will be more inclined to spend more time on your blog and explore its content. Ad Push Up suggests having no more than two primary colours throughout your blog, as a wide range of colours can clash and look cluttered. And remember to use an easy to read font and leave white space to avoid clutter.
Some shameless self promotion also never hurt anyone, or your blog. Promote your blog via social media and create independent social media accounts that are directly associated with your blog. Social media sharing buttons on your blog are also a must in order for visitors to easily share your posts. Leave a comment below and let us know: What are some ways you have increased engagement on your blog?