Among the many goals you may have as a blogger, reader interaction and engagement should be among your main targets since these are required for the growth, sustainability and success of any online presence. For you to make money, readers will need to take the time to read, click and purchase stuff from you; and to get them to that stage, your blog needs to meet or exceed their expectations of you and consistently offer unique and interesting experiences for them.
Achieving all of this is not a walk in the park and you can’t just launch a blog on any old topic with poorly thought out design and writing and expect the entire internet to flock to your work. A successful online presence requires lots of attention, dedication and innovation to make that success a reality. A high level of user interaction and engagement will help to secure your blogging future, so here are some proven techniques that are guaranteed to help make you a success on your blogging journey.
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. Think about these types of topics, look at what gets people going and write posts based on these. All of your posts don’t need to be debates but include these once per week. Make the post all about the readers’ views and encourage them to share. So don’t be afraid to ask your readers for their input, sometimes this is the nudge they need to get them commenting and they will feel more appreciated since its all about their thoughts and ideas.
Do Serious Research On Topic Ideas
Make the effort to do some extensive research to find out what’s hot and what’s missing from your niche. The opportunity lies in filling the gaps and providing content and experiences that can only be found on your blog and nowhere else. Explore within to discover unique writing styles that may deviate from the norm but leaves lasting impressions in the minds of your readers. There is a gold mine of information on the web, it simply depends on how you use it.
Spend Some Time on Your Blog Design
You don’t have to be a web or graphic designer to have a great blog design. Just think about your ideal design from a logical standpoint. Your readers need to be able to find all relevant information quickly, should not get lost in a crowded design, should never need to sift through unnecessary elements and colors should be easy on the eyes and soothing to the soul. The design should be inviting and sometimes simple is just 10 times better than the hype. There are thousands of excellent themes to purchase and also download for free, so spend the time to find the right fit; even if it takes a week to do so.
Also, don’t flood your blog with ads to the extent that visitors are swimming through them before they get to your content. I’ve seen sites where 90% of the content above the page’s fold is advertisements and this is a deadly practice that will push dedicated readers away. Don’t do it!
Make It Easy To Comment
Try to reduce the barriers that may discourage readers from leaving comments such as captcha forms, turning comments off, comments that require readers to login and allowing spammy comments to take over. Visitors want to read, get their fill, leave their comment quickly and move on. Leaving a comment should not be like signing up for a bank account. Making simple changes like avoiding the barriers above and even moving your comment form up to the end of your post rather than at the bottom can help to encourage readers to comment.
Reply To Your Comments
Ensure that you’re replying to the comments your readers leave on your site. Read them carefully to determine if there is some way that you can add value through your reply to what they’re saying or trying achieve by providing useful information. Especially if they ask questions, ensure that they are answered effectively. This is a unique opportunity to build relationships, authority and trust; and for the future, they will feel better about commenting.
Use the Subscribe to comments plugin so that users can get comment replies through e-mail and followup.
Focus On Building Trust
If your readers trust your views and advise, they will be more likely to try out products and services that you recommend, spend more time on your site and provide valuable feedback on your work. Focus on building a solid relationship with your audience and don’t be just a distant blogger.
Connect With Your Social Circle
Connect with your audience by searching for and adding them to your social profiles when they leave valuable comments. Take the time to get to know them, become friends and steadily build on your contacts and relationships. While you are building these online friendships, your trust and authority will rise and so too will interaction on your blog. So break down the barriers and your readers will feel compelled to read, comment, offer assistance, present valuable opportunities and advice.
Host A Monthly Contest
Hosting a monthly contest that your readers can look forward to each month is definitely a surefire way to attract readers to your blog and get them active. Try to find businesses and other bloggers who are willing to sponsor these competitions and in return offer them some exposure. Build your contest around readers getting involved like guest posting, voting, commenting or any other action. This can do wonders for getting your blog out there.
Discussion & Conclusion
A high level of user interaction can mean the difference between a successful and failing blog. It means that readers like what you’re doing and will most likely spread the word about your great blog to their circles which will attract even more traffic to your site.
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 and experiences in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.