While you may know everything there is to know about driving traffic to your blog, what do you do if none of your readers are actively participating? All the page views mean nothing if your blog remains inactive from a community perspective.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take to begin engaging your blog readers and not only get more comments from them, but build a dedicated community of like-minded people who enjoy reading what you have to say.
1. Content Really Is King
We hear this constantly – “content is king.” There’s a reason this oft-used saying still persists today, folks – because it’s true! If you want to engage your readers, the first thing you need to do is make sure you’re populating your blog with content that’s not only well-written, but on topic and relevant to your readers as well.
By striving to write high-quality posts, you are taking the first critical step towards engaging your readers and making them want to comment on what you have to say.
2. Ask your Readers to Respond
In order to get what we want, oftentimes we just need to ask. If you want your readers to respond to your posts, ask them! You don’t have to come right out and say “Please respond to everything I write,” however.
Instead, make it easy for readers to comment on what you’ve written by including a discussion question at the end. For example, let’s say you’ve just written a post about the “5 Best Digital Cameras Under $150.”
At the end of your post, you can ask your readers to respond with their thoughts on your list, and whether they’d add one you didn’t cover. Sometimes, it’s really that simple to engage readers and get them to begin a discussion!
3. Respond to All Comments
When you do receive a comment, take the time to respond to them in a timely manner. The only way to continue to actively engage your readers and ensure they’ll become repeat commenters is to respond to each and every comment they make.
Ignoring your readers is a serious faux pas, and that’s certainly a quick way to keep them from coming back.
While you can reply with a simple “thank you,” it’s nice to add a personal touch to every reply. This lets the reader know that not only do you appreciate them taking the time to comment, but that you read their thoughts and responded in kind.
You can also ask follow-up questions of your readers who comment, thereby driving even more engagement and reader discussion.
4. Network with Other Bloggers
If you strive to follow other bloggers in your niche and become an active participant in their blog discussions, you are much more likely to gain a few new readers who will respond in kind and leave comments on your blog, too.
Not only will networking with other bloggers drive targeted traffic to your blog, but if you make it a point to leave comments on posts that interest you, the chances are good that those bloggers will return the favor and comment on one of your posts.
Building relationships with other bloggers is one of the best ways to increase reader engagement, and should definitely not be overlooked.
These relationships will increase your social proof, which will be especially helpful as you build your brand.
5. Make it Easy for Readers to Comment
If you want to encourage engagement on your blog, you need to make it easy for readers to leave comments! Too many bloggers have annoying set-ups for commenting, such as log-in and captcha forms.
While this might help eliminate spam, it’s annoying for a reader to have to go through this process each and every time they comment.
Instead, make it as easy as possible for your readers to leave comments. A reader-friendly setup will ensure you get more comments than not, and will increase the chances of reader engagement – especially if you follow all of the previous tips, as well.
Creating a Successful Blog
Engaging your blog readers doesn’t have to be a difficult process. These five simple steps are really all it takes to drive reader comments and create a sense of community among your readership.
If you haven’t employed any of these tactics before, it may take some time to notice a difference, but with dedication and effort you can engage your blog readers.
So how are things going with your blog? Are you struggling to engage readers, or are you successfully building your blog?