The dirtiest words in my vocabulary when placed in a certain order are as follows: Search Engine Optimization. It’s not that I find SEO to be dirty in principle, but rather the fact that jumping to the top of search pages in a day and age where there are literally millions of blogs isn’t as simple as it use to be. For that reason alone I attempt to write most of my content these days with an emphasis on creating social media appeal.
To accomplish my goal there are several important aspects of my content that I try to focus on.
1. Ask Questions At The End Of Posts
This might seem like a no brainer but a lot of people fail to ask questions when finishing a post. As a blogger I always remind myself that my thoughts are mine alone and they may not reflect the views of my readership. By asking a question I form a relationship with each reader which means they are more likely to share their thoughts via Twitter, Facebook and other social media sights in order to discover what their friends think about the same topic.
2. Leave Something To Be Determined
I don’t answer every question on the face of the planet in each of my posts, in fact I often attempt to leave my posts open with unanswered questions. While I will typically address major themes in my articles I realize that my readers typically understand the same space I occupy or at least they understand some of it. For example in this article I could spend 24 hours coming up with 100 ways to increase social media interaction but I can just as easily provide my top ideas and then allow my readers to generate further conversation. While some conversation comes in the form of on-site comments I typically use Facebook Commenting on my personal websites to increase off-site reach. I also like to Tweet about posts I’ve written with descriptive titles that can open up off-site conversations even before my article is read. By placing some “responsibility” on my readers to generate conversation I am once again able to reach out to them on social platforms and generate more discussion which in turn can be used to lure readers back to my websites.
3. Integrate Social Media Mentions In Your Article and Link To Them
Have you noticed the number of news articles and blog posts that now say something along the lines of “so and so tweeted” at which point a tweet is quoted. In my posts when I make that leap I like to link into the authors twitter page. I provide a link for two reasons, first the original author may see the link and reach out through Twitter or Facebook since they obviously use those tools and second because through my own researcher I have discovered that my readers are more likely to engage with me on social media outlets when I show them that I rely on those platforms on a regular basis. While this method isn’t a surefire way to grow an audience it offers the opportunity to once again engage with the most active part of your readership.
There are many ways for which a writer can engage with their readers, while I would never tell someone to abandon SEO I will say that developing a loyal readership who will engage with your site even after they leave your web property is the best way to show future readers that you are serious about supporting your loyal followers. By supporting your followers you should in turn end up with more pageviews and better on and off-site engagement.