”. ”. ”. ”. ”. ”. ”. ”.

Dramatically Boost Your Blog's Engagement

Having an engaged audience is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a blogger. I want my readers to feel compelled to leave comments, share my posts and even email me about my articles.

Even if they are disagreeing with what I have to say, I want them to know that it is okay to voice their opinion and they will be heard.

One of my goals is to keep the conversation going. I do not want my readers to come to my blog and only read what I have written within the post.

I want them to continue the discussion by sharing their own opinions or comments on the topic. When I first started blogging I struggled with this a lot. Not only was I making a lot of mistakes, but I was not paying enough attention to my audience.

My blog was not a welcoming place that was building a community.

It was all about me.

Once I realized the effect this was having on my readers and my blog I made some small changes that had a huge impact. Today, I wanted to share with all of you some of the ways that you can dramatically increase your blog’s engagement.

Want to build an engaged community? Not sure how to get your readers to comment and share your content. Click now to find out how these small changes can make a huge impact --- free checklist!

This post may contain affiliate links.

A key to any successful blog is engagement. By creating an engaged community you will keep readers wanting more. Plus, having a responsive audience will lead to more traffic and higher conversions.

Dramatically Boost Your Blog's Engagement with this FREE Checklist

Before I go into detail about how you can boost your blog’s engagement I wanted to focus on defining engagement and what it means to you.

When you think of engagement what comes to mind?

Do you think of comments?

Subscribers?

Likes?

Shares?

Reader feedback?

In order to increase your engagement you first need to figure out what it means to you, so that you can learn what you need to do to boost it. Setting specific goals will help you figure out the tasks you need to complete in order to achieve those goals.

If you want to increase the amount of comments you get on your blog than you would focus on what you can do to boost the comments. I recommend that you start with one and then move onto the next.

You do not want to overwhelm yourself with trying to get your audience to engage with every single social media platform.

One of the worst parts of blogging is feeling like you are just talking to yourself. Every writer wants his or her voice to be heard.

As a blogger, your goal is to create a community and provide awesome content that your readers choose to leave comments on or want to share the article with their friends and family.

One of the best ways to build your audience to create an engaged community is by offering your readers valuable content. You will see that listed as the first one of my list below. Your readers will keep coming back to your blog when you are giving them a reason to come back.

Personally, I try to be as open as possible.

I genuinely want to help people to reach their dreams so I provide as much valuable content as I can in every single post and that happens by being transparent.

 

Boosting engagement is not about growing your audience it is about taking care of the one you already have.

 

Many times people feel like they need to have a huge audience for their readers to be engaged. This is actually wrong.

Your blog may already have a large following, or even a decent amount of traffic per month, but no engagement.

You have to take the time to build a community and interact with your audience so that the relationship is not one-sided.

Obviously, if there is no one there to read your blog then there will not be any comments. In that case, I would take the time to build your traffic first then, take the next steps below to help boost your engagement. You can get a copy of my cheatsheet to help you double your blog traffic in 30 days.

Below I am going to give you 15 different ways that you can optimize your blog posts to help increase your audience’s engagement.

15 Ways to Dramatically Boost Your Engagement

Valuable Content 

I am sure you have heard this time and time again, but your content needs to be valuable. You need to provide useful information that your readers will be compelled to share.

They need to be able to relate to the content and want to leave a comment. Give them a peek into your life and make it personal. Do not just post an article for the sake of posting. This is definitely a mistake I made when I started my first blog, Frugal Fanatic.

I would get so stressed about not having new content for my readers that I would often post articles that were not up to par. It is painful to go back and see some of those posts from my first year of blogging.

Take the time to write good, high- quality content for your readers. Focus on quality over quantity.

Make your posts specific and offer advice or information that your readers cannot find elsewhere. Do not just regurgitate information that can be found anywhere on the Internet. Your voice is what will make your content unique. I am sure you know how much information is easily accessible on the Internet. Think of all the ways that you can take a distinct point of view or a compelling story that is not just regurgitating what is already available online.

Layout of Post

The layout of your post can really affect your audience’s level of engagement. You want to make it as easy to read as possible. Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Shorter paragraphs
  • Use lists
  • Bold headings
  • Use sub-heading
  • Shorter sentences
  • Images

Many people will quickly scan through your posts, so make it easy to follow.

Internal Links  

Offer your readers links that are relevant within your content. Link to other articles on similar topics that you have on your blog.

Keep them engaged by displaying related content so that they will stay on your blog for a longer amount of time. If someone new is coming in from Pinterest because you have this totally amazing recipe than link to some of your other recipes so that they can check those out too.

I also like to use the ‘related links’ plugin so that there are a few options at the end of my post with more relevant content.

This is especially good to have if you write about a few different topics on your blog. Many lifestyle blogs will include recipes, parenting and DIY. A reader may only be interested in one of those topics so you want to help make it easier for them to find what they are looking for.

Writing Style

If you want your readers to relate to your content it needs to be conversational. Write how you would talk to someone in person. Keep your target audience in mind when you are writing and imagine how they would be reading it. You do not want to be using concepts or words that they will not be able to understand.

This also goes hand and hand with using your unique voice. You want to be transparent so do not use jargon that you wouldn’t normally use when talking to your friends.

Blog Design

Make sure your blog is easy to follow and your navigation is cohesive to your topics. Most people will not even take the time to read the first sentence of an article let alone comment on it if the site is poorly designed.

You do not have to have a professional designer, but take the time to make sure your text is easy to read, you have a good image to text ratio, you use white space, and your reader can easily navigate your blog.

Your design is your first impression when someone new lands on your blog so you want to create a place that people want to come back to.

Page Load

Have you ever checked to see how fast your site loads? You may not know this but your page load time can be deterring people from staying to read your posts and engaging with your content.

You can try a site called Pingdom to analyze your blog. It will show you how long it takes your homepage to load and then break it down so you can see what it causing your blog to be slow.

When I first used Pingdom I saw that the Facebook Conversion Box was really slowing down my site and decided to remove it. Doing this resulted in my blog loading seconds faster than it had been before.

There is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a post and having to wait a really long time for it to load. I am definitely guilty of being extremely impatient and just clicking the back button because I did not want to wait.

Email List

Can your readers easily sign-up for your email list? Try to have your form clearly marked. This may be the once chance you get so the best thing you can do is to grab their email address.

Also consider placing links within your post for them to use to subscribe, in your header or sidebar. Building your list will help you to create a relationship with your readers.

You want to stay in contact with them often, so they do not forget about your blog. This will give you the opportunity to write personal emails to help your readers get to know you and vice versa.

Whenever someone signs-up for my email list they receive an automated indoctrination series. Not only does it welcome them to my community, but it helps me to build a relationship with the subscriber.

I always ask a question at the end of the email to start the conversation. Ilove seeing how many of my readers actually respond to me. It will take extra time replying to those emails, but it is a great way to be available to your readers.

{Related: Why I Switched to Convertkit}

Social Sharing Buttons

Do you have social sharing buttons within your post? Make it easier for your readers to share your content. I like to have them at the top and bottom of my posts. 

Both of my blogs have a pin-it hover plugin to help encourage my readers to pin the content. You can even just come right out and say “Hey, if you thought this post was valuable, share it with your friends here,” and then link it to a pre-made tweet or a FB sharing link.

Visuals

We live in a visual world. Make your content more appealing by using visuals that support your articles. Whether you prefer to use images, videos, text overlays, infographics or any other form of media, include them to make your posts more attractive.

Include several different sizes of images within your post so that they work for different social media platforms. I always like to have a pin-worthy image to help increase the chance of my readers pinning my content which is 700x100 and then I also create a 1200x657 that works well on Twitter and Facebook.

Your images are a huge factor when it comes to whether your audience will share your content on their social media accounts.

Ask for feedback

This may seem very simple, but have you ever asked for feedback? Try asking a meaningful question at the bottom of your posts to help get your readers talking.

You can even conduct a survey to get your audience to respond to particular questions. If your readers genuinely feel appreciated they will be more likely to leave their opinion.

This same concept goes for social media. Instead of using it for self-promotion, use it as a way to connect with your audience. Create Twitter chats or ask them questions and make sure you respond back. Just ask!

 

Evoke emotion

If you hit a nerve or evoke an emotional response from your readers I can almost guarantee they will engage with your post.

This does not necessarily mean they will agree with your article, but they will be compelled to leave their opinion or share the post on social media.

This is another reason why you want to use your unique voice and not copy everything else on the Internet. Have your own thoughts and opinions so that your readers can build a connection with you, not with the person you are trying to be.

Comment back

You do not have to respond to every comment, but you do want to comment back as often as possible. When you are writing a post you are essentially starting a conversation. Even if you receive negative comments you are still getting engagement.

I recommend embracing negative comments and respectfully commenting back to disagree. Your readers are much more likely to come back and leave comments again if you take the time to reply back.

They like to know that they have been heard and you genuinely cared about their comment. The same goes for social media. Do not post a question and then leave. Make the time to respond back and interact with them.

Call to Action 

When a reader gets to the end of your article what do you want them to do next? You need to direct them to the next step on your blog.

Whether it is to sign-up for your email list, read another post, leave a comment, share the post on social media, etc. You want to give them direction on what you want them to do once they are finished reading.

Make a clear call to action. You cannot expect your audience to do everything so focus on one tasking each post and make it visible and easy to complete.

Check for Errors

Again, this is very simple, but very common. You may be doing everything right but still not receiving any comments or engagement on your posts. Check the process and make sure your comment box is working correctly. Be sure your readers are not receiving a 404 message.

Make Commenting it Easy

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to leave a comment on a blog that makes you jump through hoops. I hate when I read an article that I absolutely want to leave a comment on just to find out that I have to ‘log-in’ to some kind of account to be able to leave a response.

Make it easy on your readers otherwise they will not take the time to comment.

Invest in your audience and they will invest in you. Even though it is your blog it is all about your readers. The main focus is to build an engaged audience organically. Engagement is not just limited to your blog. Take the conversation to social media and even email. Use these 15 tips to dramatically boost your blog’s engagement and you will be on your way to building a loyal blog community.

 

Make sure you download a copy of the checklist to help increase your engagement.