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How to engage your readers and encourage them to return

Mar9

Written by:
2011/03/09 08:21 AM RssIcon

discussion Whilst reading a good blogging friends blog I came across a very familiar question. One that many bloggers ask. How to engage your blog readers? Also, How to encourage them to return?

I suppose that’s two questions, but they both have the same root. Getting people to comment on your blog and to do so on a regular basis.

Over at Brian’s Blog, SEO Marketing Promotion, he poses this exact same question. How do you engage your blog readers?

Brian is trying to build his blog up to something sustainable, and realises that in order to do so he has to pay some special attention to his readers.

So I started to answer his question in the comments then realised that so many other people actually ask the same thing. Why not put this into a blog post?

Ask yourself some questions

So how do you engage your readers and encourage them to return. Well a few things come to mind. More importantly these points stem from one basic concept. If the roles were reversed, what would encourage you to return to a blog?

Firstly though, you have to answer these questions. Once you know the answer you can then proceed to formulate a plan to engage your readers.

  1. Does any one know about your blog?
  2. Why would they want to read it?
  3. If they do read it, what would they gain from it?
  4. Will it change their mind, their thought patterns, their perceptions?
  5. Does it make them emotional, cause them to laugh, or cry, be happy or angry?
  6. Is it something worth sharing with others?
  7. Does it cause them to use their grey matter?
  8. Is it actually worth reading?

Put yourself in the shoes of your potential readers, ask yourself these questions. Then see if you would visit your own blog.

Make some changes

Now that you know the answers you can make the changes that will eventually bring a positive answer to the questions above.

How then, does one make those changes, or what changes should one make.

Here are a few to consider.

  1. Write awesome articles – Nothing sends away a reader faster than light than a bad, boring, useless article. Never to return again
  2. Use Killer headlines -  You need to encourage people to read first before they can comment. Lure them in with great killer headlines
  3. Meet peoples needs – Why do people read your blog? They need something. Meet that need and they will be back for more
  4. Answer questions – People want to know the answer to their questions. If you can do that, then they will come back for more over and over again
  5. Provide solutions to problems – There are so many problems out there and people are eagerly looking for solutions. If you can provide those solutions, you will be the man or women of the hour, perhaps year.
  6. Become an expert – Build up your knowledge and re-brand yourself. Become a guru in your field.  Be the expert.
  7. Ask questions – Encourage conversation. Easiest way to do so is ask questions and expect an answer.
  8. Reply to comments – Your comment is not a one way monolog. Reply to comments as often as you can.
  9. Be different – Don’t let your blog be lost in the sea of mediocre. A bit of humour, a bit of controversy. Nothing gets people talking more than controversy. But be warned it can also backfire!
  10. Don’t try to answer everything – leave something out in your posts. So that people can form an opinion. So that you have more to say in another post. An article that answers every single question leaves no room for conversation. You’ve said it all, what else is there to talk about?
  11. Encourage your readers – Let your readers know that they matter. Reply to their comments. Say please and thank you. Treat each individual as though they are the foremost important person on your blog. Treat them with respect.
  12. Write from the heart -  If you are not passionate about what you write about or about what you do, how do you expect me your reader to be passionate and excited about your blog.
  13. Write interactively – Speak to your readers personally. Don’t generalise. Write for that one reader. Make it meaningful to them. Interact with them through your words. Get inside their brain.

 

Right, now that you know what to do. Lets engage. What do you think? Have I missed the mark, or has this helped you in any way?

Let me know.

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