Yo. It's me.
You know what I think is really important for your blog and/or online business? (Other than creating awesome, original and relevant content of course!)
Learning how to engage your audience.
Well ... quite frankly ... because there's a bazillion and five trillion websites out there! (Those are real numbers that, when put together, don't make sense right? I mean ... the number that I just blurted out isn't technically a real number, right? Or is it? I'm getting way too confused and putting way to much thought into this. My suddenly head hurts. Is that sad?)
GETTING SIDETRACKED SORRY!!!
Ehem. As I was saying. There's a bazillion and five trillion blogs out there, and a lot of them are going to be better than yours.
(Yes I know I'm a hard ass, but that's tough love baby!) It's simply the truth. People might enjoy the content you create, but if you don't learn how to really engage your people then it will be harder to grow your audience and keep your followers coming back.
People want to feel like they're a part of something, ya know?
So what are some ways that you can engage your audience to make them feel included? Here are 10 ways to engage your audience!
1. Offer super awesome free stuff.
You know what people really love? FREE STUFF. Technically, you already ARE offering free stuff (i.e. content) if you have a blog. But going that extra mile to create a fabulous free resource for your followers? It makes them feel appreciated. You can offer free templates, checklists, recipe cards, workbooks ... the sky is the limit really!
Like this goal setting workbook that I created for you to help you not only set kick ass goals, but to help you create actionable steps to actually achieve them!
2. Give them a call to action.
While one of the luxuries about doing something like reading a blog is that you can just browse blogs at your leisure and don't have to worry about the consequences of not checking in or doing anything in particular, some people really like to be called to do something more. Yeah, sure they love hopping over to your blog when they have time, but offering a call to action gives readers an opportunity to form even more of a connection with you!
Perhaps you could invite them to start sharing particular types of photos on Instagram with a certain hashtag, or maybe you could create a fun challenge for your blog readers to participate in. Think about one of your favorite people to follow online ... what call to action could they offer that would get YOU really excited?
Speaking of call to actions ... I've got a call to action for YOU below if your goal is to create a profitable blog or online business! :-)
3. Share personal tidbits of your life.
This is a great way to be relatable to your audience and to form a closer connection! (Which is absolutely essential if you ever want to sell anything online.)
Maybe you just landed a sweet new gig that you're super excited about? Well let people celebrate with you! Perhaps you are feeling stuck in your business and feel alone in your rut- let your followers encourage you! (And you'll probably find that other people feel that way, too.)
I love to share personal tidbits of my life throughout my blog posts, around my site and inside of my free Facebook group for lady bosses!
4. Sell something or host a giveaway!
Giveaways are a great way to get people excited. After all, who DOESN'T love free stuff?! Plus, giveaways are a good way of coaxing shy followers out to comment who might not normally leave comments for you otherwise.
I recently did a giveaway and it was a lot of fun!
As far as selling things goes, you don't have to come across as a sleazy, greasy car salesmen who wears a tweed suit and a gold chain! While giveaways are great, these usually benefit just one (or very few) of your followers. I mean, in most cases you simply can't afford to give things away in large quantities!
But selling something allows you to give every single one of your interested followers a chance to get something neat from you (like these courses that I created right here.) Think about it ... what could YOU create that your audience would love? Would would be SUPER helpful for them? Would do they want?
5. Be cool and start a club.
As a kid, one of my favorite things EVER was starting clubs with my friends! I was the proud creator of the holiday club (where we prepared decorations for various holidays), the seasons club (where we prepared decorations and activities for the 4 seasons), and a gymnastics club (where we did ... what else? Gymnastics.)
But yeah, starting an online club is a great way to involve your followers! If you're a lady boss feel free to join me over in my Creative Superheroes Facebook group! (YES I mentioned it already, but whatever it's a great group. We're super cool I promise.) :-)
6. Host a fabulous Q&A session.
Admit it, there's probably some one that you can think of right now whose life you're just a tad curious about. Maybe it's a friend, a blogger, a mentor, a celebrity ... whoever! Wouldn't it be really fun to give your readers an opportunity to ask you anything? Time to get candid, baby.
(I regularly host fun live chats in above mentioned Facebook group for lady bosses. Just say'in. Have I mentioned that we're tons of fun yet? Hahaha.)
7. Have a contest!
Who doesn't love a little friendly competition? (Bonus points of there's a sweet prize involved!!!) I remember loving the pumpkin carving contest that A Beautiful Mess had awhile back. What types of contests could you offer that would fit with your audience and what your blog or business is all about?
(Don't forget to clearly state all the rules and regulations if you go this route!) Keep it fair and fun, yo. Fun is a really important part of having a contest! :-)
8. Have your followers vote on a decision that you need to make.
Are you trying to decide on a paint color for your living room? What outfit you should wear to an upcoming event? What your next e-course should be? Let your followers help you decide! (Just make sure that you actually love all the options that you offer otherwise you could get stuck doing something that you're not too keen on. Just say'in.)
Like ... my dear readers ... should I eat this colorful, tasty, psychedelic slice of cake? Well ... should I?! WHY YES I BELIEVE I SHOULD. :P
9. Teach something.
Learning is fun!!!!! Teach your followers about your niche, your industry, a product that you sell, etc. Get people to share their stories and encourage them to ask questions!
For example, I'm continually teaching creative entrepreneurs how to start and grow profitable blogs and online businesses, like with these free courses!
Think of your website and all of your content as a big colorful class room of awesomeness ...
10. Stir the pot.
Depending on your audience and what your blog is about, some times giving the 'ol pot a stir can be a great way to break free from monotony and get your followers involved!
Just keep in mind that if you're running a business that you should also keep it friendly and professional. Perhaps you could share an article about a controversial subject and ask for opinions without necessarily sharing your own? It's a great way to get people talking. Just make sure that it relates to what you're about and what your ideal audience is interested in!
What about you, what's your favorite way to engage your audience? Have you tried anything on this list? Is there something that I should ADD to this list?