When you sit down and write a blog, you should be considering who the target readers are, and how it is going to be of benefit to them. The trick is not to try to create something with the intention of forcing it to go ‘viral’. The ideal scenario is to produce well written content that passes valuable information – this is more likely to naturally go ‘viral’. You can apply the same logic when attempting to add reader interaction – greater interaction increases continued engagement.
Targeting the correct audience
It is important to understand that as a blogger, you need to be targeting the correct audience. It may sound slightly obvious, but if your blog is targeted towards people looking for World War 2 fighter planes, you shouldn’t be writing posts that focus on World War 2 tanks. It might be more relevant if the post compares the roles of the two aforementioned, but it is important to ensure that the post appeals to the interests of your readers.
One popular approach to writing a post is to put yourself in the position of the reader, and ask yourself some questions that you would be interested in knowing the answers if you were new to the niche. You could then use these questions to formulate your ‘answer ‘within the post. If you can create enough imaginary ‘questions’, it should be possible to originate several posts, possibly a follow-up post expanding on initial ideas. It is good practice to ensure that you keep to the point within the post and don’t wander from the chosen subject. The more accurately on the target subject you posts are, the more likely your readers will return to read future posts and also spread the word amongst friends.
I have always found that is wise to re-read you blog post as if from the perspective of the reader whilst you are in the editing process. Not only will this capture any onsite mistakes, it will also tell you whether is engaging enough to capture the attention of your readers. Give your readers something to think about to stimulate their own thought processes, encouraging them to enter into dialogue, join the online community and leave a comment.
Supplying the best information
It is your job as the blogger to motivate your readers to engage with your blog. Having read your post, visitors should feel compelled to comment. Why should this be the case? This is because hopefully, it supplied useful and interesting information to your readers. You are not on a sales pitch, so don’t try to sell. It is never a bad thing to give away content for nothing, and once impressed, readers are much more likely to share the content.
Have there been any exiting developments in your niche recently? Use this information to your advantage and inform your readers. If you are supplying good and informative information, your readers are guaranteed to seek more. This, in a sense, is a sign of approval and validation by your audience.
I read a blog recently entitled ’21 rules of engagement’, which was publicizing the release of a new book called ‘Engage’ by Brian Solis. When reading this post, I felt as if I was getting great information including and accurate review of the book, which inspired me to go to Amazon and order the book. This was a great example of how effective it can be to give away content in order to inspire further exploration and reader loyalty.
Call to action
At the end of each post think about how to include a ‘call to action’. This is specific content that encourages readers or users to follow a path set by you the blogger. For example, you may wish readers to click on a button to download a document or register to receive an RSS feed. Alternatively, the call to action may simply be an encouragement for your readers to leave their opinions about what they have read in the comment section below the article.
The comment section is one of the most important and valuable areas of a blog. Generally if one person has a question, you will find that many do. It is the standard area where people can ask and answer questions and provide tip and tricks for the benefit of fellow-readers. In your call to action, you should be asking your reader to leave more insightful comments than just ‘nice post – thanks’.
One of the most important things to remember is to interact with reader’s comments. When building ‘virtual’ relationships, it not to dissimilar to building a real relationships – it takes time and dialogue.
So answer readers when they ask questions through the comment section. It is important for readers to know that there will be at least a dialogue, and possibly a wider discussion, all of which measure the success of the blog. Anyone presenting a Webinar will tell you that one of the most important sections of the presentation is the Q&A’s at the end. Don’t ignore this, and you are likely to experience some success as a blogger.