To increase user engagement on your blog isn’t rocket science. But it is a science nevertheless – the science and art of converting your guests into tenants. You may be getting a lot of visitors on your blog but are they spending enough time on it??
Why would they if there is nothing in it that keeps them engaged!
So what are some simple ways to increase user engagement on your blog?
1) LOOKS MAY BE EVERYTHING
As far as blogs are concerned, first impression sadly is the first, last and only impression you get to make. The default templates used by every Tom, Dick and Harry on the web is a big no no.
Most users find it to be a huge turn off and might not give your blog a chance no matter how good you think it is. The design, the layout and the ease of navigation is what decides if a user stays or leaves.
So how do you design your blog without sacrificing the readability?
- Are you equipped with the skill sets and talent to do it all by yourself? Awesome.
- Or do you have a friend who could help you with it over a beer/movie? Perfect (This is what I did for my blog.)
- Neither? Relax. You can always hire freelance designers from sites like Dribble and Freelancer.
2) THE CONTENT RULES
Content is the king, queen and the entire royal family. If they go down, the whole kingdom goes down with it.
In my opinion, the contents that engage users the most are the ones with a funny extra bone and those which the users can easily relate to.
Uniqueness isn’t an added advantage anymore, it is a requisite minimum to increase user engagement on your blog.
3) ATTENTION FOLKS!
Attention isn’t politely asked for, it should be grabbed. Text based blogs in particular don’t find it easy to keep their users engaged.
I suggest you try the following to keep them hooked –
- Catchy sub-headings
- Shorter sentences – I am sure you don’t want your readers gasping for breath after a seemingly never ending sentence. Don’t make them run marathons. Keep it short.
- Shorter Paragraphs – More the white spaces the better it is.
- Humor and Suspense never goes out of style – Use analogies, be witty, ask questions and don’t give away the answers easily. Make the readers curious enough to stay on the page.
4) THE ART OF INTERNAL LINKING
While you write posts, try and give links to related posts on your blog. Chances are high that the user will continue on your blog and read more of such posts.
But, links that stick out as a sore thumb affects readability. It is important that internal-linking is done naturally and that it doesn’t become spamming.
Remember how guys who go to gym always manage to repeatedly tell you that they are into gyming.
It is that very brilliance that we need here with which they gradually slip it into every other conversation. Internal Linking is important from an SEO perspective too.
5) OPERATION INTERACTION
Let your viewers contribute by encouraging an effective commenting system linked to popular social networking sites. Make them feel heard and valued by responding to their opinions and interacting with them.
Crowd sourcing the answers and conducting polls and surveys keeps the users busy on your blog. Try and end every post with a question to the users or by requiring their suggestions and experiences.
And let’s pray for a debate or war to break out in your comments tab. I have come across blogs with a more engaging comments section than the content itself.
6) BE THE JUDGE
Another simple way to increase user engagement on your blog is to organize contests. It’s your chance to reward your loyal users and create some buzz.
Contestants would check back frequently and stay on the blog longer for viewing the competing submissions.
7) TIT FOR TAT WITH CO-BLOGGERS
Maintain a good relationship with the other bloggers in your niche. Give them an eye for an eye and a comment for a comment.
The time you spent in their blogs is surely a great investment as most of them are more than likely to return the favor. And if all goes well, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of their fans engaged in your content.
8) ABUSE ALL FORMS OF CONTENT
Videos, images and memes come with the promise of speaking louder than words.
And lazy readers might be great listeners. Converting your blog text into podcasts is yet another simple way to increase user engagement on your blog.
Check out tools like Text2Speech, NaturalReaders and WordTalk to assist you with this.
9) THE SIDEBARS
I have noticed that sidebars on a blog are eye catchy and are sure shot way to increase user engagement on your blog . Use that your advantage by providing links to random posts and recent comments by other users.
If some post appearing on the sidebar manages to catch someone’s interest, he might decide to hang around on the blog and read the same. It also instills the belief in the user that the blog is very much alive and active.
Creating sidebars requires a bit of coding and might need some outside help.
10) BREAKING THOSE BARRIERS
I hate the complicated sign up procedures some blogs makes me go through just to drop a comment. You might more often than not end up losing an engaged user.
Unnecessary ads and pop-ups resulting in a low loading speed do the exact same damage. Ask yourself.
- Do you want the ad income?
- Or do you want better user engagement?
You have to get your priorities right about what your intentions are.
WITH ALL THAT EFFORT, GIVE IT SOME TIME TOO
As for anything else, great user engagement takes its own time. Don’t give up too fast.
In a comedy of errors, I have seen guys who write motivational blogs getting demotivated after two unresponsive posts.
I am pretty positive that a few unseen posts don’t make you the worst blogger ever. Be patient and keep blogging!
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