Yo. It's me.
You know what I think is really important for your blog? (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 blogs 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 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 recipes, DIYs, tutorials and outfit posts that you do, but if you don't learn how to really engage your audience then it will be harder to grow your blog and keep your readers 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 readers to make them feel included? Here are 10 ways to engage your blog's audience!
1. Offer free stuff!
You know what people really love? FREE STUFF. Technically, you already ARE offering free stuff (i.e. content) on your blog. But going that extra mile to create a fabulous free resource for your readers? 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 being a blog reader 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 your current favorite blogger ... what call to action could they offer that would get YOU really excited?
3. Share personal tidbits of your life.
This is a great way to be relatable to your readers and form a closer connection! Maybe you just landed a sweet new gig that you're super excited about- let them celebrate with you! Perhaps you are feeling stuck in your business and feel alone in your rut- let your readers 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 posts and around my site! (And on social media.)
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 readers 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) readers. (Because let's face it- even though I'm sure you'd love to give away hundreds or thousands of items that's probably not feasible!) But selling something allows you to give every single one of your interested readers a chance to get something neat from you. Think about it ... what could you create that your readers would love?
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 readers! (If you're a lady boss feel free to join me over in my Creative Superheroes Facebook 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.
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 ideal reader and what your blog 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.
8. Have them 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 readers 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.)
9. Teach something.
Learning is fun!!!!! Teach your readers about your niche, your industry, a product that you sell, etc. Get people to share their stories and encourage them to ask questions! Think of your blog post as a big colorful class room of awesomeness ... I LOVE doing live free training for my readers!
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 readers 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 readers are interested in!
What about you, what's your favorite way to engage your readers? Have you tried anything on this list? Is there something that I should ADD to this list?