We live in the day and age where blogs are the new platform for speaking. No longer do people turn to radio and television interviews, or public speaking for opportunities to make their voice known. This is both exciting and frustrating, simply because creating a blog is so easy (and free), and everyone has something to say. This leaves us swimming in millions of blogs on the World Wide Web, unsure of who to listen to and how to make our own voice stand out. Rest assured – you can make your blog a successful platform, it just takes a little proactive and thoughtful effort: you must learn how to engage with your blog audience. But, how?
Work Hard to Create a Following
You simply cannot engage an audience of people who happen upon your blog and never come back. What are the things that will make people want to stick around and revisit? For starters, maintain your voice. This is you talking, sharing, and to some extent… entertaining. Do it consistently so that people learn about you and know what they can expect. Also, be efficient; do not ramble. People will be more interested in thoughtfully crafted and edited ideas than your rambling thoughts. Lastly, post regularly with high quality articles, but don’t over-post. Most of all, make it consistent – for example, 3-5 posts a week.
Interact with the Audience in Comments and on Social Media
If you’re sharing Grandma’s Favorite Recipes on your blog, and someone comments with a compliment or a question regarding a recipe, make sure to acknowledge it. Answer the question, thank them for the kudos. People want to feel heard online, and the quickest way to drive your followers away or to cause them to disengage is to ignore them when they reach out.
Host a Few Competitions
So you’ve landed quite a following, and you’re feeling a little like your recipe posts are getting a little redundant. What to do? Mix it up and involve your audience! Competitions get people excited because they get a chance to interact with their blog host and possibly win something special. Usually these competitions will involve sharing on social media, which inevitably will result in more of an audience and more followers for you. It may look something like this: “Post a picture on Instagram of your favorite homemade dessert, and mention me in the comment. Tag two friends to invite them to do the same. Each person who tags me in a dessert that they made counts as one submission; at the end of 3 days, I’ll have first, second and third place prizes for the winner, and will feature their desserts on my blog – so make them good!” Always make prizes relevant – like a $50 gift card to Williams Sonoma for a cooking blog, for example.
The problem with blogs is that they’re a controlled way to put your best foot forward in what you want to say. People don’t have to see you or hear you speak, and you have the opportunity to edit what you want to say until it sounds just perfect. Nobody wants perfection, though. One of the quickest ways to disengage your audience is to promote all of your perfections and conceal your flaws and struggles. You know very well that your audience isn’t perfect, so they won’t want to relate to a blogger who seems to be. Along those same lines, life isn’t all about business promotion or theories; share a little about your personal life from time to time. People enjoy relating to each other on more than one level in real life, and it’s no different online.
If you work hard to gain a following, be real with them and engage in fun competitions, you’ll eventually keep them coming back for more, making your blog platform a complete success!