8 Ways To Increase Reader Engagement Of A Blog

8 Tips To Increase Reader Engagement Of A Blog

Getting people to find your blog is one side of the story. Keeping them for a while is another side of it.

While making people to find your blog is a tedious and not an easy thing, the saddest part comes when such a hardly earned visitor just chooses to hit the back button.

Apart from clicking the back button (which is not useful to you) what else can a visitor do that could establish engagement on your blog? He/she can

  1. Stay on and explore more blog posts
  2. Choose to leave a comment to your blog post
  3. Find your stuff interesting not only to them but also to their friends or mates and hence consider sharing them on social networks
  4. Want to stay long term and read on your blog’s daily updates and hence subscribe to RSS feeds or email newsletters.
  5. Becomes a great fan of you and your valuable content, hence chooses to buy your stuff (training courses, e-books, subscription to premium content and so on).

Basically, by engaging your reader you are making him/her do an action. But you cannot just simply achieve reader engagement.

Here are some useful tips that help you engage your reader.

Clean layout

This is about the first impression. You either make it or your reader leaves.

I won’t be happy to visit a website that has some content written among flashing banners asking me to click on, animated gadgets and various badges that “show off” authors talents. The layout must be clean.

Your content should rule the page and ads are secondary. The layout should also be in such a way that the content is clearly present, with nice fonts and without colors (text and background) that strains the eyes.

Link to your old posts

Stand alone posts in a blog are normal. But try to include links to your previous posts, if they are relevant and in the context, in any blog post.

Linking to old posts means you are writing relevant and consistent content. Links within a blog post makes it easy for a reader to take action, that is read more of your content.

Two plugins make this easier: Insights and SEO Smart Links

Display popular content

This again is to show more of your old content. In this case, it is not the relevant content, but popular content.

The advantage of showing popular content is that, you get to show off your popular hot posts.

This increases the number of links to blog posts displayed in your home page, hence makes it easier for the reader to click and explore more.

Make search and navigation easy

Your blog’s readers are as busy as you are, even busier than you, searching for content, looking for answers and so on.

If they landed on your home page, they should be able to know where to move. It should be easy to search for a term, which means a search box should be available.

There should be a navigation bar which shows all the pages of your blog, say the archive page, about page and so on. Further, an additional navigation bar showing the categories of the blog posts could be of great use too.

Fast loading time

As I said just now, people are busy. If your site takes more than 5 seconds to load then your potential visitor has already clicked the back button.

So make it lighter to load faster. Do not use too many plugins.

Do not keep the unused plugins deactivated, rather delete them; you can install them later on if you wish to use them.

Use a caching plugin like W3 Total cache or WP Super Cache (my recommendation) will help you to increase your site’s loading speed and increase user experience.

Appropriate keywords

If your blog appears on the search list for “chocolates” and when a reader clicks the link to see that you write about “cycling”, then you suck (according to the reader, not me :))!

Use only the appropriate keywords, write for people and not solely for search engines.

Don’t be crazy about getting Google’s attention and use inappropriate keywords. Use only those keywords that match your content, naturally.

Call out to action

This is one of the tips that most bloggers overlook.

Sometimes you readers are not that smart or they don’t care about what to do next. Why don’t you guide them? Call them out to take an action.

  1. You could request them to subscribe to RSS feed either in a siderbar gadget, or in the header of the blog or at the footer of a post. You can include the benefits of subscription (say that you send out newsletters or free stuff and so on).
  2. You can ask them to leave comments at the end of the post. For this you may also finish the post with a question to the reader.
  3. You can ask the reader to share the post with their friends via social sharing buttons. You could explicitly include a line like “If you like reading this post, please consider sharing it”.

The responses you get when you ask your readers can be amazing.

Unique content

If you are not offering unique content, you should not be blogging, seriously.

If people find out that you are re-writing someone else’s stuff, you are screwed. Your blog is not the only one in the web. In order to show yourself up among millions of other blogs, you have to be unique.

Even if you are writing magazine or news type of blogs where you report flash news, you should toss in your own ideas or perspectives into your post.

Otherwise, why should people find your blog while they can read the news at BBC or CNN website? Unique content is a hook which anchors your visitors with no pain.

What method do you use to achieve reader engagement?

And if you found this post useful, please share it in your social circle. I’d appreciate that; thank you!

Don’t forget to read Part 2 of this post!

 

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  • Tisha

    Good info. here, very helpful for new bloggers. I’ve used W3 Total cache but haven’t seen much of a difference in loading time, but maybe that’s just my internet connection. As for other ways to engage readers, I think it’s really even one step beyond unique content. It’s writing content that you are passionate about and ready to really dig into conversation with others on. It also helps to find other blogs in your topic so that you can keep the conversation going beyond just your own blog. This will eventually trickle back to you and bring in new people to your community.

    • Jane Sheeba

      W3 Cache gives you an option to clear cache each time you do something with a plugin. When prompted, I click “clear cache”. This really makes a difference and improves the speed of the page.

      Yes, I totally agree with you “passion” concept. If there is no passion there will be no life in the blog, people won’t hang around dead stuff.

  • bet365 italia

    hello!This was a really excellent blog!
    I come from roma, I was fortunate to find your theme in digg
    Also I get much in your website really thanks very much i will come again

    • Jane Sheeba

      Thanks so much bet365, I am glad you liked my writing :)

  • http://sandcurves.com/ Vernon

    Jane,

    While I agree with all 8 methods you have mentioned, I feel that the cornerstone of reader engagement is compelling content. You need to promote yourself to get people to your blog – you need to link internally to keep people moving around your blog – but first and foremost is having stuff worth reading in the first place.

    “Sometimes you readers are not that smart…” – mine are all geniuses ;~)

    • Jane Sheeba

      Agree with you completely, cheers for the addition :)

  • Mukund

    This is an excellent post Jane! I missed this one!! Seriously, much better when compared to others. If you are interested, you may write a guest post on my blog as well! Expect more posts of this sort – related to my niche:)

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Thanks for the invite Mukund. I’ll keep you in my list :)

  • Brad

    I always try to write creatively and I’m very grateful that my followers love it. Responding to their comments is really essential and it’s the ultimate weapon in reader engagement. It builds relationship with your followers and builds your online reputation as well. Connecting to your followers via social media sites is also a great way to make your relationship solid with them and it’s a great way to inform them whenever you have a new post.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Hey Brad, I find responding to comments very effective :)

  • http://careerist.in/ sarika deshmukh

    Hello Dear

    really i am totally agree with your 8 method this is great excellent post for all blogger and i will try your method really thanks for the sharing me

    Thanks & Regards
    Sarika

  • soniya

    Dear Admin,
    I am new in this field of blog via internet…was searching in Google about it and i landed on your blog,Learnt a lot of tips on it ….i am doing lots of directory submissions to rank my keywords high…Please guide me if i am doing the right way!!!

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Glad to be of help Soniya.

  • sonam jatoliya

    Hello Dear

    great post totally agree your concept according to me unique content and fast loading both very useful point thanks for the sharing me

    Thanks & Regards
    Sonam

  • Steve

    I would suggest two other additions, Patience and Consistency. I have done all the above and I want it to happen now! I don’t want to wait over time for traffic to build up. So having patience to give it time to build is vital. Being consistent with your posting is second. Consistently posting quality content over time will bring in new traffic and readers. Plus it gives the new readers something to consume once they do find your site.

    Great post, great suggestions!

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Oh that’s so right Steve. With blogging, nothing can be expected quickly and we must be prepared for the same.

  • http://www.blogisblogging.com/ Sarvesh

    HI Jane,

    wonderful post, i believe readers will arrive at our blog to get something special at our blog. And creating an awesome layout with attractive design with remain readers for sometime. However i agree with your all awesome tips and making a good part for leaving comments would be a great idea.

    thanks

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Glad that you liked the tips Sarvesh.

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore Nwangene

    Interesting post Jane,
    Another way you can actually increase readers engagement is by replying their comment. Not everyone likes commenting but ones anyone choose to comment, you should try and reply it to show him that you appreciate him.

    You seldomely reply my comments here you know, both on the posts you wrote and your guest posts. Sometimes, you will just reply some commenters while leaving others. Its not good Jane.

    Thanks for sharing and do have a great week.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Hi Theodore, I usually reply to comments in my blog as well as guest posts. But I don’t reply each and every comment that’s true. Sorry that I missed you all the time!

  • http://fanfbmltemplates.com/ Julia Spencer

    Except all the tips you mentioned, we should also keep in mind the fact about blog’s appearance, it should be also very attractive for readers

    Julia Spencer’s recent post.. Catchy Facebook Pages of Top World-Known Brands

  • http://mssprojectsanalytics.com/primavera-p6-release-8/ Alan

    Tis is definitelt a timely post for me. I have been trying to get my reader to comment more on my blog posts and also to share my blo on social media. Inclduing CTAs in the last paragraph of my blog post has been helping. I have seen a spike in social media likes, comments and readers. I feel like if I keep doing it, I will see results in the long term. Thanks for sharing that list!

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Alan: yup, if something works for you, do more of it :)

  • http://internetdreams.com/ Samuel

    Call to action is one of those best options to use for engagement.

    Also asking many questions throughout the post will spark some sort of answer from your readers.

    Just make sure to make them more visible from the rest of the text. :)

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Call to action always has worked for me Sam.

  • http://tiroberts.com Ti Roberts

    Hi Jane,

    This is a great post. I especially agree with displaying popular blog posts in your side bar. I’ve just recently updated and the design and layout of my blog and included “popular posts” in my side bar and it has done wonders for decreasing my bounce rate and getting additional traffic to my older posts.

    I really like your layout and navigation tips as well. It’s important that you not confuse your visitors and make it easy for them to see where to go to read more of your content.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us over in the BizSugar community. I appreciate it!

    Ti

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Hey Ti welcome to my blog from Bizsugar. Displaying popular posts in the sidebar surely does the magic in reducing the bounce rate.

  • http://www.indian-seo-company.com/ Aditi

    Hi,
    Well I believe that the tips that you have shared are truly very helpful. Engaging more and more readers to your blog definitely depends on your blog. Unique content, clean layout, getting to the point is all what visitors like the most. So, it must be keep in mind while updating your blog. Interaction is also very necessary because the more you interact with your visitors, the more your blog will be popular. Thanks for the share!!

  • Aasma

    I personally feel page loading speed is really essential, as a reader if I find a blog is loading slow then I generally leave it. Reason is simple we don’t have enough time, we’re busy with too many things that we don’t want to miss any time.

  • http://www.ask-oracle.com/sign-compatibility/ richa

    Great info, Jane. I feel fast loading time is very important as I get really irritated when a site takes too much time to open. Reader engagement is all what a blogger looks for. Thanks for this useful info.

  • http://beautytips-home.blogspot.com Nirmala

    Wonderful, essential and important ways were consolidated by Jane to increase the blog readers. Great job, am having blogs, gonna try all your valid and well explained ideas. Thanks for sharing and keep writing for newbie bloggers.

  • aaslin

    hi,
    This would boost enthusiasm for most young new bloggers. everything seems to be useful and thanks for providing such information. in most blogs navigation is the problem and you have delivered the right ideas to overcome such defects. this will favor many visitors. you have exposed everything a blogger would lack. your clarity is acceptable. thanks

  • http://digiupdates.com/2012/download-angry-birds-star-wars-free-for-pc-and-android/ Kashish Jain

    Nice Tips Jane, Call to Action also helps us in making more sales and increasing revenue. I would like one more to the list, we must embed some eye catching & entertaining videos in the post or in the sidebar related to the niche. This increase user engagement and user time.

  • http://www.tagmotion.com/blog Andrew Simms

    Linking to old posts: I wish I’d thought of that earlier. Likewise including a call to action. Great ideas & terrific post all-up, Jane.

  • http://www.travelbuzzpro.com/ Santosh

    Hi Jane
    You are write always excellent Article. When using wordpress i think it is very easy to grow your community. Just instal Buddypress or Bbpress forum. Not much effort and can increase community engadgment a lot. Thanks for share it.

  • Clarkmartin

    Hi Jane
    Great post. I agree with you. The main part of the blog is the content. It should be unique, quality, readable and easily understandable. Thanks Jane for share it.

  • Vivek

    Hi Jane
    wonderful explanation to Increase Reader Engagement Of A Blog, “Link to your old posts” is really important to drive traffic on another old post’s. I’m totally agree with “Unique content” Quality content always increase traffic & readers. Great advice

  • http://www.globalcraze.com/ Chetan Gupta

    Hey jane
    I am totally appreciate with you that showing popular hot posts are beneficial for our blog. Most of the times many visitors try to find hot posts, top posts, viral posts etc etc.
    and thanks for your nice explanation. :)
    Regards
    Chetan Gupta