No one wants to produce content that makes you feel like you are talking to yourself. The purpose of creating blog content is to draw your ideal audience to your website and get them to connect with you. Many people struggle with getting engagement on their site, but it's all in how you approach it. Today, we going to break down a few quick hacks that will help you boost your blog engagement.
Figure Out What Kind Of Engagement You Want To See From Your Blog
First things first, we need to figure out what kind of engagement makes the most sense for your brand. Engagement takes shape in a variety of ways. You may get so caught up in generating comments, that you forget that you'd rather strive for social shares or email list signups. So, sit down right now and ask yourself what kind of engagement would make sense for your brand. It won't always be the most obvious kinds of engagement, and that's okay!
Each post you produce can and should have a different kind of engagement that you want. Start answering the question of what engagement you'd like before you hit schedule or publish on each blog post. Do you have the proper steps in place to get those engagements?
1. Cut Down On How Much Is Happening On Your Blog
Have you ever gone to a blog that was doing a lot? You know, the blogs with a million pop-ups, slides you have to click through, or every picture known to man on one page? Those blogs don't get engagement. Instead, they get a frustrated audience who wants to click off. Those slideshow blogs may get page views, but they don't get real engagement. Those popups probably annoy your audience. I could go on and on debunking those annoying pages and why they don't get true engagement.
You may have seen a popup on Amanda Cross Co. for my email list. I am very particular about the type of popups I allow. I have one popup that leads you to my mailing list, and it’s an exit intent popup. That means the popup only shows up when people who view my page show signs of leaving.
If you want to use slideshows, popups, or any pictures to illustrate your points, be careful. People want their information, and they don't want to jump through hoops to get it. If you are trying to build an audience who is excited about what you post, keep it simple.
2. Install A Share Bar To Convince People To Share Your Content
Most websites don't make it easy to share your content. You can have all the Pinterest ready pictures, optimized social cards, et cetera. It doesn't matter if your audience doesn't know how to share your content. I like having a share bar on my website that gets people to share my content.
I use a service called AddThis to create my share bar. It's completely free and easy to set up. You can customize it to match the colors of your website so that it blends into your site. Look at an example of this in the picture below or look at the side of my site for an example of how it works. Once your audience is ready to share, it's as simple as clicking one of the buttons.
3. Create A Lead Magnet So People Can Opt-In
If you'd like to see more email signups, you need a fantastic lead magnet that will get people excited to sign up for your email list. For a lead magnet on Amanda Cross Co., I made an eBook called "The Seven Pillars To Content Marketing Success As An HR Technology Company." This eBook is a perfect lead magnet due to my niche.
You need to create a lead magnet that attracts your ideal audience. If you could tempt anyone to your email list, who would it be? Who are your ideal customers?
When creating a lead magnet, you want to do something simple. Don’t pick something that will take your weeks to complete. Your lead magnet should be complete within a week.
You could do something like a(n):
Demo Of Your Product
Whatever you offer as a lead magnet, you want to make sure that it's useful for your readers. There is no reason to subscribe to your list and download your content if it doesn't help your audience.
Related Reading: 69 Highly Effective Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List (Updated) by Optin Monster
4. End All Your Content With A Call To Action
When you end every article, you should end it with a single call-to-action. What is the next step for readers who finish your content? Do you want them to comment on your blog, check out your product, subscribe to your email list, et cetera? End your content with one main takeaway. You don’t want your audience to be confused about their next step.
When your audience is confused about the next step, they will often take a different direction that you would hope. Instead of subscribing to your email list, they may visit Pinterest or go to lunch with a colleague.
Your call-to-action gives your audience the opportunity to get the next step from you. What do you want them to do? It only takes a few minutes to wrap up your content with a call-to-action so take steps to do it.
5. Commenting On Your Blog Shouldn’t Be An Olympic Sport
Have you ever been excited to comment on someone's blog, only to be hit with a Captcha that you can't quite figure out? Are these letters even a human language? What am I supposed to type here? I can't tell if this tile counts as having a vehicle because only half a car is in this tile! Captchas can be nauseating and unhelpful for the true, human commenters on your blog.
In my opinion, you should use behind the scenes methods to cut down on spam instead of making your audience do it. So, here's what I do: let everyone comment whatever they want, and I make blog comments moderated, meaning I have to approve them before they get posted to my website. This puts the onus on me to weed out spam comments. I like this method a lot more because it stops true commenters from having to jump through a million hoops to comment.
The truth is, I don't want to stop genuine comments from being on my site. I also don't want to give spammers a chance to comment on my blog to talk about who knows what. So, I make sure that I moderate my comments myself. I post the good comments that aren't spam and add to the conversation. I trash the bad comments that are spammy or weird. This takes work on my end to moderate my comments, but I'd rather do the work than make my audience do it.
Blog engagement is not a one size fits all type of thing. What you consider engaged, a business in the same industry may not. You have to work with your team to realize what engagement means to you. Once you understand what engagement looks like, give that information to your content team whether you have an in-house team or you hire a freelancer like me.