I’ve been blogging for years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve experimented with different methods to create a conversation around a new article, and I do it to not only create more value but also show other new readers there’s a thriving community on the blog. I also try and create a conversation around a new article for my purpose - I want to find new friends to talk to about what I’m interested in and at the very basic level network. When I’m doing this, I’m creating value for a blog post, but also a safe place where anyone feels they could ask questions or voice their concerns.
There’s a lot that goes into understanding what readers will engage with, but there are a few things that will get the reader to share, comment, or otherwise interact with your content. The list I’ve put together are the top three reasons readers aren’t engaging with you or your content.
1. You’re not asking for feedback/questions
The biggest thing for a reader is to find a reason to comment. They’re not going to leave a comment if they’re reading something and don’t have something prompting them to either answer a question or weigh in on an opinion you’ve made.
I regularly ask questions on my technology blog, Digital Bounds. At the end of a post I ask for the reader to leave their thoughts, if they’re going to buy the device, or if they have other stories they’d like use to read. When I ask the questions, it won’t always spur someone to comment, but if 1 out of 30 people comment based on the question they’ll start a conversation which you can further by commenting back.
2. You’re not including video, tweets, and other embeds
Are readers coming to your site and leaving after a few seconds? We’ll not everyone wants to read a thousand word article on the newest version of Android. If you drop a video in they might watch the 5-minute video on your site, and then be more inclined to read your thoughts and opinions after they understand what you're writing about.
In my case, I often write about new gadgets or product launches. I can only explain a new phone or service in so many words before the topic of the article shifts towards something differently. If I include the product announcement video, they’ll understand first hand what the product or service is, with my spin on it too. I also include Tweets, SoundCloud embeds, and other Internet content to provide context and show everyone reading I not only keep my ear the ground but I’m also an expert on what I’m talking about.
3. You’re not referencing other others work or including links to buy or find out more information
Talking about others on your blog no matter how small you are will provide at least one share or one thank you comment. They’ll also have a smile on their face because someone recognized their work and praised them for working hard on something. I always reference someone else’s work in an article if they discovered or reported on something first. I often report on tech rumors and have to cite the original author to give credit but also let the readers go and confirm the news themselves. In other articles, I often recommend a product or podcast to buy or listen to. In those cases, I always link to the sites, SoundCloud, or iTunes to let readers listen or do their research on the product.
All-in-all, I’m giving the readers one piece of the story and giving them the resources to go out and buy the thing or find out more on an article. They may leave the site, but they’ve found trust and may thank you for sharing your story or even leaving a comment that they loved what you recommended.
If you're not doing those few tasks on each post, you’re losing out on readers who want to read or comment. You’re not promoting them or providing them with the right resources for them to make their decisions based on your opinions or feedback. If you start to do these simple things you’ll find more readers are sharing your content, commenting and engaging with your articles.
Along the way, you might find a friend or new coworking. I’ve started countless conversations on Twitter or comment sections which have turned into jobs or long time friends. Either way, you’re comments section, and social profiles will look more lively which could encourage more readers to engage with your content.
Now tell us in the comments below what you think about this simple tips that will increase user engagement!