Increase Blog Engagement in 6 Easy Steps
Updated: Jan 19
We've said it before and we'll say it again. We LOVE writing. Whether it comes in the form of copywriting, content creation or good old-fashioned blogging, it's always a good day in the office when we're writing something original and engaging.
Blogging, compared to the other forms of the written word, gives you an extra dimension because it allows readers to engage with you. Either through the comments section or social shares, knowing you're engaging with people through what you're creating is a great feeling. A great feeling sure, but also easier said than done.
If you have your own blog, be it a personal one or one you write on behalf of your business or clients, then how can you increase blog engagement to make sure, not only people read and enjoy your content, but keep coming back for more?
To help you, we've put together 6 simple steps we believe will increase your blog's engagement, whether that's increasing traffic, getting more comments or having more of your great content shared across social media.
Some of them are just good practices, but others will also help your site's SEO. A win-win if ever there was one!
Before we get to those wonderful tips, let's take a moment to set the scene so we're all on the same (web) page by defining what we mean by blog engagement and why it's important.
Simply put, engagement is all the ways in which readers can interact with your blog posts.
Reading is just the first step, but interaction could be leaving a comment or sharing the post on their social media timeline. It could even go as far as your blog being included in someone's newsletter, or email campaign or might even generate an extra sign-up to your newsletter.
To get to that point you don't just need readers, you need active readers because active readers are more likely to read your posts, buy your product (or service) and ultimately become your very own brand ambassadors.
As we mentioned, increasing your blog's engagement isn't just good for your readers, it's good for your search engine optimisation too.
Every time your posts get shared or have comments placed upon them (if you respond, even better) our search engine overlords like Google will notice. It shows your blog is very much alive and kicking. In addition, any social media mentions it gets also help drive traffic.
So that's the 'why', let's take a look at the 'how'.....
1. HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT IS KEY
We have to start with the most obvious one. Whilst it should go without saying, creating fantastic content is crucial to a successful blog.
The content you create should be something your readers are going to want; relevant to them, informative, unique and engaging.
It needs to be something they WANT to share with their friends and colleagues. Again, easier said than done, but far from impossible, no matter what your subject matter.
Before you start writing, spend a few minutes planning it out, structuring it so it reads well and has a narrative path, linking to other posts where relevant, using relevant keywords and do it regularly. Regular blogging is key to building a community that engages.
We're not saying you have to blog every single day, but your readers should know what to expect, whether that's one post a week, every other Thursday or whatever schedule suits your workflow. When people know there's a new blog, they'll make it part of their routine to check in.
Once you're writing high-quality, regular content, make sure it's original.
If it's something people can only get from you, whether that's because of your writing style, the topics you blog about or your perspective, they are more likely to engage and share it
2. MAKE IT RELATABLE
One mistake many people make when writing a blog post is that they only think of it from their perspective and make it about their experiences.
Ideally, you should turn that around and put yourself in the reader's shoes. What is THEIR experience? What help are THEY looking for? What problems do THEY need solving?
Making the blog post relatable to the reader is a great way to increase engagement as they'll recognise themselves and relate to the hurdles they're trying to overcome.
Basically, we're saying to focus on their needs, not yours so your readers can relate to the topic you're writing about.
3. DON'T BE AFRAID OF CONTROVERSY
Remember we're trying to increase engagement here, so courting a little controversy in your posts shouldn't be completely discounted. People are more likely to engage with something they disagree with.
Now we're not saying just be controversial for the sake of it, or just start trolling, but if you have a genuine viewpoint that maybe goes against the grain, don't be afraid to write about it.
Be bold about what you believe and lose the nuance. At the very least it will start an interesting discussion in the comments section.
Whilst you can hint, infer or politely nudge people into commenting or sharing, there's nothing wrong with straight-up asking for it!
If you want people to comment, ask them to! If you want them to share it on their social media, ask them to! Need newsletter sign-ups? Be forthright and say it outright.
Of course, there's no guarantee they will, but if it's something they hadn't previously thought of doing, a nice not-so-gentle reminder might just do the trick.
5. RESPOND TO COMMENTS (POLITELY)
Once you've invited people to comment on your posts, and they have, then it's a good idea to respond to them. Even if it's just a 'thanks for your comment', but always be polite.
Knowing that their comments are read and valued shows that you're engaged with them as much as they are with you.
This applies even if the comment is negative or goes against your position. Whilst it can be hard to read, it's absolutely OK for people to disagree with you or not like what you write.
Respect their position as they should respect yours. It might also give you a fresh perspective for another blog. Getting personal or attacking them will not only lose their readership, but others will see how you've reacted and move away also.
It's important though that, if the comment is rude, offensive, hurtful or inappropriate (or spam), then it's best to just delete it, rather than respond just don't feed the trolls!
6 . ENGAGE WITH OTHER BLOGGERS
You probably won't be the only blogger writing about those topics within your particular area of expertise. No matter how niche a topic is online, there will be a community of bloggers dedicated to it.
It's a good idea to visit similar blogs and engage with them, as you would like people to do with you.
Comment on their posts and share them on your socials. If you can offer new perspectives, people will see that and, whilst maybe not being aware of you beforehand, will now come and check out your content.
It's important though not to use them as a cynical sales pitch or only be interested in promoting your own blog/opinion. People will see through that in a second and it could hurt you more than it helps.
SQUARING THE CIRCLE
No matter what you blog about, be bold about your writing and be bold in asking for what you want when it comes to engagement.
People will always respond to new, interesting, engaging and thought-provoking content and you want that to be you.
Don't shy away from being a little bit edgy, funny, or irreverent. Anything that can separate your content from the myriad of other generic, cookie-cutter content out there will only be a positive.
If you want them to engage, give them something worth engaging with.
If you've got any tips of your own, we'd love you to share them below in the comments.
If there's anything we've missed or something that's worked for you in the past, please share it (that's us asking for engagement by the way ;-)
We'd appreciate you connecting with us on social media too; all the links are in the footer below.