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Reader Engagement – The most important aspect of your blog

Oct25

Written by:
2010/10/25 08:10 AM RssIcon

Audience

Readers are a very important part of blogging. Getting your readers involved is a goal that every blogger should have. Allow them opportunity to become part of your blog and community.

You want them to comment on what you write and to look forward to reading the new information you post. It does take some time and effort to create engaging content. However, if you put in the work, you will be rewarded with a large, loyal group of readers.

What is engagement

I had the good opportunity to attend an engagement party where I was the guest speaker. Engaging your readers is not unlike an engagement to be married.

If you think of a traditional engagement, you thing of two couples forming a relationship. This is exactly what engagement through your blog is all about. It is about forming relationships with your readers.

Change of mindset

If you truly want to engage your readers, then you have to change your mindset. Your focus is no longer on yourself and your blog, but on your readers. Looking to them for content. Looking to them for your inspiration.

Showing your readers your appreciation is vital. The age old adage comes to mind. “The customer is king”. Your readers might not always be right but they are definitely the most important aspect of your blog.

Without readers your blog is just cyber squatting. So change your attitude and change your mindset towards your reader base.

Gain trust

The most important aspect of engaging your readers is earning their trust and respect. So many bloggers underestimate this.

The thought for many is that if I am an expert then people will have to read, trust and acknowledge me. If this is the way you think then you have missed the bus.

You can gain your readers trust without being an expert. Remember trust is earned not commanded or expected.

Make it personal

Don’t be afraid to get personal. Without delving into too much detail or crossing the line, you can share things on a personal level that does not make anyone uncomfortable.

It just gives your readers something tangible to rebate to. They get to see and experience the real person behind the great blog that you have built up. They get to know who you are.

Through the experiences you share, others will gain valuable insight into your processes, allowing them to incorporate these time saving and painful strategies into their own routines.

Listen

Listen to what your readers want. Then give them what you want. Too many times bloggers write about what they are good at. This is not a bad thing, but often this is not what your readers want.

Find out where the common ground is between your knowledge and the readers needs, then write about that.

You cannot do that without listening. Readers will most likely engage more freely if they understand that they will be heard and taken seriously.

Get readers involved

Engagement is the simple process of getting your readers involved. There are various different methods that you can use in order to achieve that. Here are some ideas for you to consider.

  • Comments – Seems obvious but so many bloggers miss this. Make comments available. Encourage comments. Answer comments.
  • Debates – Encourage discussion through debates. There are some hot topics that readers just can’t help but to share their thoughts and ideas, sparking huge debates and sometimes controversy
  • Contests – Everybody loves contests. It is in our nature to compete. Hosting monthly contests is a good way to encourage your readers to get involved.
  • Interaction – Make sure your blog allows for two way conversation and that it is not just a personal soap box for  bragging.
  • Community – Make people a part of your community. Get them to feel like they are at a place that feels like home.

Conclusion

A high level of reader engagement could mean the difference between a successful blog or a failed blog.

I don’t want to be hypocritical here, so I am going to encourage you to leave some comments.

What techniques have you used to capture the hearts and minds of your readers to get them involved in your blog? Do you value interaction or do you simply blog for the fun of it? Please share your ideas with us. I know for sure that I have not captured this topic in it’s entirety, your involvement will add to it’s value and surely encourage others to do so.

Picture by UK Parliament

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