We live in a social world where much of our news comes from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To grow your readership and make sure your blog posts get the attention they deserve, you need to encourage your current readers to share what you’ve written on their favorite social media sites. What those sites are will largely depend on the niche you’re in. Find out where your audience likes to hang out and then focus on getting them to share on those social media outlets to attract more like minded readers.
Of course it all starts with quality content that your readers want to read and share. No one is going to spread a crappy post on social media. Start by writing the best blog posts you can and do some research into what your audience wants and needs.
Quality content demonstrates your knowledge of your audience. Each piece of content you publish is a part of building a relationship with your reader. The value and quality your content offers generates loyalty. (Learn More)
Quality content is compelling. Create the kind of content that your readers are waiting for, and that they’ll tell their friends about. If your content is consistently good, your reader will see you as a “go to” source of the information they like or need. They’ll come to you when they need help or entertainment.(Learn More)
You should diversify your content. Produce content in as many different formats as possible. Keep topics fresh and varied. As part of your content strategy, regularly try adding something new to the mix. For example, if you usually write text-based blogs but decide to branch out into video, you’ll reach a new segment of your market that prefers watching videos to reading. (Learn More)
Present value – not a sales pitch. Do you hate it when you are shopping and the sales person follows you around wanting to “help you”? My family and I were recently shopping for furniture and we soon discovered the sales people in furniture stores were as bad as the proverbial “used car salesman”! My teenage son said it was creepy and that the sales people were stalking us. (LOL) Don’t stalk your blog readers!
Chireg Kulkarni, Cofounder of Insightfully, explains it this way:
“The focus with your marketing should always be focused on delivering as much up front value as possible, because that means that you are winning over the customer, their trust, and not just the sale.”
It’s simple really. Serve your market well and they will in turn share what you’re writing with their friends and acquaintances.
Make your blog post visually appealing. Next it’s time to pretty up your post. Break up your content into small bite-sized chunks so it’s easy to read. Add some subheadings and formatting to make it easy to scan through the content. And don’t forget to add a pretty image that captures the essence of your post. (Learn More)
Step away from your desk and then come back and look at it with fresh eyes. Is the blog post visually appealing? Does it grab your attention? If not, go back to the drawing board and see what you can do to improve it.
Make your posts easy for readers to share. When your goal is to get people to share your blog post on social media, you want to make it as easy as possible to share. We talked about what social media sites your audience favors earlier. Make sure you have one click buttons to share the blog post available for all those sites. If you are running your blog using WordPress you should be able to find a plugin to help you do this. The one I use on my own site is Share This.
Ask for the social media share. Buttons are great, but sometimes it takes a little extra push to get your readers to take action. Don’t be afraid to ask for the social media share. Close your articles and blog posts with a little sentence or two that asks them to share on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest etc. if they enjoyed the post. And don’t forget to let them know how much you appreciate it when they share the love.
Engage your readers to comment and interact. Blogging can feel like a very one-sided conversation sometimes. You’re sitting there, typing away, and sharing content with your readers. But you don’t hear anything back. They read and respond with silence. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Blogs were designed to facilitate engagement and communications. There’s a reason you can leave comments and all it takes is a little encouragement to get your own readers to do that on your blog. Combine that with a little social media interaction and there’s no reason you can’t turn this into a fully engaged conversation that will help you grow a loyal base of fans.
Because let’s face it, while it’s nice for our ego to get lots of comments and interactions, when you’re blogging for a living what really counts is making enough money to pay your bills at the end of the month. And for that to happen you need a loyal audience that not only knows, likes, and trusts you but is also comfortable spending money with you or your sponsors. And for that to happen you need an engaged audience.
Interaction helps too because with each email your readers send you, with each comment they post, and each social media post they write you learn a little more about your target audience and how you can best serve them. And that right there is the key to becoming a profitable blogger. Know your market, serve your market, and present them with offers to help them reach their goals or fulfill their needs.
You know it’s important, but how do you get the ball rolling and encourage your audience, your readers to interact with your blog? You do it by asking them questions, by asking them for feedback and by encouraging them to share their options – right from your blog posts. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re writing a post about the importance of work/life balance. Within the post, ask your readers how they incorporate work/life balance into their routine. Ask them to share if they are struggling with it because they are too busy running their business. Encourage them to share their stories and tell them exactly where and how to do it – by leaving a comment below.
Now the next step is crucial. As soon as you see that first comment or two pop up, reply to them and keep the conversation going. This will do two things for you. Not only will you have a great conversation with the reader that commented (and a chance to form a deeper relationship), seeing you reply also shows other readers that you care and really want to hear from them. And that’s what’s going to encourage more and more of your loyal readers to comment.
The same goes for social media engagement. When you post a link to your latest blog post, ask your friends and followers to like, share, and comment. Then let them know how much you appreciate it when they do. Of course you can get the conversation going there too by asking a question related to your blog post on Facebook for example. It’s a great way to share another link to your blog post and get the conversation going at the same time.
Give these tips a try and see if you can’t get your readers to engage and interact with you. It’s well worth the effort. If you found this post helpful, please share on your favorite social media site.