How to get your audience engaged & raving over your blog
I have good news. You as one single blogger have an amazing potential to impact your followers. Let me explain.
Why do people not trust infomercials on a product but trust a mommy bloggers experience with it? Why when there's travel guide books do people still look for bloggers posts on a location to plan their trip?
As bloggers we have an advantage over large businesses and even celebrities because we're relatable, we're real people, we're not faceless corporations and we form personal connections with our readers. People enjoy reading blogs to learn in which order make up goes on (#realstruggles) and inspire their outfit choices from someone 'just like them'.
Okay, so now that we know there's great potential in blogging to make a valuable impact on others, now on to the question of the hour.
How exactly do you get your audience engaged?
No amount of page views matter if your bounce rate is 99% and people spend an average of 0.02 seconds on your blog. An engaged audience is without a doubt the most valuable aspect of your blog.
Not only will an engaged audience encourage you through those tough days when you just don't feel the motivation to blog, but you will also feel the purpose of why you're doing what you're doing. Feeling like you have a purpose and are helping others is important both with your blog and you know... in life.
I have 4 specific strategies you can use today to up that engagement, and if you're hungry for more I also have a FREE mini course with a whopping 20 strategies. (Yep this post is just the tip of the iceberg!)
Let's start with the easiest strategy first. This one will get your followers in the habit of interacting with you. The more they're in the habit of commenting and engaging, the more likely they will again in the future.
Strategy 1: A or B?
When you give people a simple thing to respond with, only 2 options that will take all of a smidgen of a second to respond with, they'll give you their opinion. Fashion blogger eg.:
"Thinking of what to wear on NYE. Which do you prefer? A or B?"
*Insert a photo with both A & B dress options*
Be sure to do this on a platform with a low barrier to entry. (A barrier to entry is the level of annoyance it takes to interact. On a blog where you have to login or input your name, email, tick a few boxes and then comment, that's a high barrier which is time intensive and annoying. Social platforms have low barriers to entry. A person is already logged in, they're used to commenting on the platform and it only takes a smidgen of a second to interact, no hassle included). Instagram and Facebook would both be perfect for this.
Action step: Give two simple options and ask which your followers prefer
Strategy 2: Invite questions to you directly
Story time: A massive, massive, gazillions of followers blogger held a webinar that I attended. In it he mentioned how surprised he was that newer bloggers in the industry didn't reach out and introduce themselves to him. Of course I hadn't ever thought to do this, the guy was huge in his industry, I didn't know I COULD email him. I would assume some random newer bloggers email wouldn't be important to him.
The same goes for your readers. If you don't tell them you welcome their emails, they don't know they CAN email you. They don't know its encouraged and that you'll respond.
Once a month finish off your blog post with a quick bolded line indicating you're happy to receive reader mail and you reply back to them all.
Beauty Blogger eg.: "I LOVE receiving reader emails and I reply back to each personally. If you'd like a suggestion or help picking the perfect haircare regime, spas in LA or just feel like chatting, send me a message friend! firstname.lastname@example.org."
This is so simple to do, and what do you know just a couple days after I started this so many more reader emails were making their way into my inbox!
Action step: Invite readers to reach you directly at your email to ask a question.
Strategy 3: Ask your 'tribe'
I believe that people inherently like to be helpful towards others. So in this strategy we're going to (ever so nicely) put people's good nature to use by asking for genuine help.
First, turn your followers into a tribe by giving them a name.
The travel blogging Vegabrothers call their Snapchat followers their 'SnapSquad'. Whenever they post a new travel video they hop on Snapchat, give a behind the scenes look at them uploading the video, explain what the video is about and give a strong call to action to their 'Snapsquad'. They say
"Hey SnapSquad, we want to see what you can do! Get over to YouTube and I want you to blow up the comments with fellow SnapSquaders."
Notice they give a subtle challenge, tell their followers exactly what to do and address them 'by name'.
When someone asks you by name to do something as opposed to some large, undefined group of people, you're more likely to do it. While it's not possible to address each follower by name, you can give them a tribe name, make them feel part of the tribe and give engagement calls to action from there.
Action step: Give your tribe a catchy name & ask them to help with something specific
Strategy 4: Be specific & helpful
Jenna created LifeInDusseldorf.com. She writes for foreigners who are new to the city of Dusseldorf, Germany. When people show up to Dusseldorf and don't speak German, they want to be able to find information in English on where to find an apartment, what the best bars to meet other foreigners are and good trips to sight see outside the city. That's exactly what Jenna provides.
LifeInDusseldorf was, in Jenna's own words "more successful in 4 days than my personal travel blog was in 4 years."
Why was this? Because Jenna was providing for a specific need and was helpful. If you can solve readers problems and provide for a real need, the engagement and success will come naturally.
How can you do this? Frame your blog posts so they're helpful to others.
Travel Blogger eg.: 'My Trip To Oktoberfest' vs '5 Essential Oktoberfest Prep Tips'
Which is more helpful to a reader? #2 of course! You took the same trip, experienced the same things but framed the post in a way that it was helpful to others.
Action step: Frame posts (or your entire blog) to be specific + helpful to your reader.
(If you can really nail this one the engagement will flood in).
Now, these are just 4 of 20 in depth strategies I have to help get your audience raving over your blog and interacting with your every update.
I created the free mini course, Mastering Blog Engagement to help you get inside your readers head (in the psychic way, not the surgeon way) for better blog engagement! Join me for the course and register for FREE by clicking below.