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I am traveling this week to meet with new web design clients and to conduct interviews for magazine articles I've been assigned to write.  I’m really excited to soon be sharing with you some of the new projects and articles I will be working on.  

There is nothing better than meeting with someone face to face to build a working relationship.  Unfortunately especially with cattle and horses at home, traveling isn’t always an option for me which is why it’s important for me to also build relationships through my blog and social media.

After last week’s blog post on the importance of blogging a reader asked me if I thought blogging was still relevant because she felt like nobody was reading her blog anymore.  With many hours to drive and think I’ve given this question much thought.  While this blog on my website has not received many comments, it has received several comments in the social media sites I have posted it in.  Which leads me to believe blogging is changing.

With smartphones, iPads and other devices becoming the preferred platform for most web users shorter, punchier messages that are tailored to readers now seem to be the trend.  But as a blogger this doesn’t scare me because almost all people are seeking information on specific subjects.  And as long as I keep writing engaging blog posts, I will find an audience even if how they find my blog changes.

Just because your blog has fewer subscribers doesn’t mean that people aren’t reading it.  Today’s readers are more likely to follow your blog on social media, and will scroll through to read the information relevant to them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.  Which is why it’s important to have a presence on social media sites.  

One thing you can do to increase views of your blog link is, post it a couple times throughout the week to increase the chances of people seeing it.  You can also post older articles from your archives.  I have also rebranded my blog calling it the “Thoughts” page on my website instead of a blog.  

Readers are going to interact on social media and not on your blog.  They are more likely to share your post on Facebook and leave a comment there than they are on your blog itself.  I believe we should embrace this and allow readers to take the lead as to how and where they want to discuss your blog.  We as bloggers should focus on building and engaging with our audiences on our favorite social media sites by discussing topics, asking questions, posting interesting links and not just when you post a blog post.

Let’s face it, we aren’t really motivated to write another blog post when it’s not getting reader engagement.  Beside the fact that your reader may never return to your blog getting reader engagement is important for another very important reason.  Bounce rate, which is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after looking at only a single page.  If you have a high bounce rate, which you can find out by logging into Google Analytics, your site will be ranked lower in Google search results.

What does successful engagement look like? It is comments, likes and shares of your posts, taking quizzes, entering contests, redeeming offers and writing reviews.  

We as bloggers must first remember that our blog is not about us, but our reader, they are the reason it exists.  Whether they are your readers, your customers or both, you want to create content that caters to your target audience's interests. Post content that is relevant, timely, interesting and of value to your readers.  Infodocket states that the average time spent on Facebook is 20 minutes.  Which leaves you a short period of time to make an impression.  

Educate your audience on something they may value. Include something in your blog posts that others don’t.  You must know something about a specific topic that others have not already shared. It’s also okay to share or repost content, but users will have more trust and engagement with original content posts. People are also more likely to share content from sources they trust.  Putting some data behind your claims to help build trust, showing that your advice is sound. 

Posting photos and video also increases engagement.  You can also publish different types of content including videos, podcasts, infographics, interviews and group interviews.  This can expand the reach of your blog and access new audiences.

User experience is everything and if you want people to come back to your blog, improving that experience is extremely important. 

Here are a few tips:
  • Deliver a clear message on why your blog exists and how it can help people.  
  • Always use the appropriate writing style for your audience, which is generally either down to earth, warm and friendly or a more formal professional tone.
  • Your paragraphs should be short and spacing out your paragraphs into smaller chunks makes it much easier on readers’ eyes. Long chunks of text often overwhelm readers on mobile devices.
  • If you do use images, use GIFs. Although the image won’t be highest quality possible, it will load extremely fast and look reasonably good. 
  • Display related blog posts in your blog and always at the end of every post.  You may also like to read:

Once your getting engagement try to respond quickly to posts or reviews on your page. Facebook monitors this and highlights how responsive you are on your fan page.  A big part of engagement is networking so comment and leave helpful comments on other blogs in your niche.

Last but not least - don’t simply hope that people will know what to do after they have read a great blog post. Ask for the engagement you want, preferably at the end of each post. One great way to encourage engagement is to ask your readers about their thoughts and experiences with regard to the topic at hand. Ask them what their burning questions are. Ask them to engage.

Over to you - 
We’ve talked through a bunch of tips you can put into action. We would love to hear what has worked well for you and if you have any tips to add. I would also love to hear what other topics would you like to read about next week?




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    Author Jennifer Archibald

    Reflections of life and lessons learned in the fields of marketing and agriculture.  A place to shout from the roof tops our clients success and keep you up to date on industry trends.

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