If you peel back the layers of 100 successful blogs and study the factors that make them tick, you’ll find more similarities than differences. And one of the most obvious points of commonality is the incredibly high engagement these blogs are able to procure from readers.
If you want to grow your blog and turn it into a resounding success, you need to prioritize engagement at every step along the way. And in this article, we’re going to show you some specific, creative ways to accomplish this.
What is Blog Engagement?
First off, what do we mean when we use the term engagement?
In essence, engagement refers to all of the individual ways visitors can interact with your blog. This could look like leaving a comment, sharing your post on social media, subscribing to your email list, downloading a lead magnet, or even returning to your website again in the future.
“Engaged readers are those readers who are active on your blog,” explains Marieke van de Rakt, CEO of Yoast. “And you want your visitors to be active. These active users are the people that buy your stuff, read your newsletter and become regular visitors of your website. These people are your most loyal customers, and can also be your brand ambassadors who will help you reach other people.”
Blog engagement is important for several reasons. First off, it turns casual readers into raving fans. And raving fans will proactively advocate for your blog/brand on your behalf. (This is known as word of mouth marketing – and it’s free!) Secondly, blog engagement is an indication that people like what you’re laying down. In other words, you’ve stumbled into the right niche, topic, and voice. Keep it up! Thirdly, engagement makes it easier to monetize your blog. With high-level engagement, you’ll find it possible to sell ancillary products and services without having to pay for all of your traffic and/or spend a great deal of effort inoculating people to who you are.
3 Ways to Engage Readers at Scale
Want to increase engagement with your blog readership? The key is to be as efficient as possible with your time and resources. Here are a few creative ways you can accomplish this at scale:
Create Interactive Content
It’s no longer enough to produce 100% written text. You need to do something to stimulate your blog readers’ senses. One of the best ways to do this is with interactive content, including options like:
- Cost calculators (good for topics like qualifying for a home mortgage or buying a car)
- Surveys and polls
Adding a few of these to your blog will give you very sticky and high-level engagement for both new and existing readers alike.
Engagement goes beyond your blog. While your blog might be your central gathering point, your business shouldn’t stop here. You need to add as many additional touchpoints as possible to create an immersive and “three-dimensional” experience where you’re engaging with readers online and offline.
SMS is a great example, specifically for those working for a business client. Not only is it highly visible (nearly 100 percent open rate), but it’s scalable. In particular, SMS autoresponders are a great way to create innovative marketing campaigns that allow readers to interact with you at scale. This lets you interact with hundreds or thousands of readers without having to manually lift a finger.
Tap Into Video
People want to see and hear you! Take your blog’s overall engagement level up a few notches by incorporating video into your strategy. A simple 60-second welcome video on your homepage is excellent for personifying your brand and engaging people on a more personal level.
Iterate to Great
If you’ve been in the blogging game for any period of time, you know that trial and error is the name of the game. For every one tactic that works, you’re going to try eight or nine that will fail. The key is to fail fast and continue iterating until you stumble upon the right approach – one that lights up your audience and gets them to respond with high levels of engagement. If you do this, good things will happen for your blog!