HOW TO BOOST USER ENGAGEMENT ON YOUR BLOG FOR FREE
Is your user engagement on your blog pretty lowsy? Do you feel like you’re writing to no-one?
You put so much time and passion into blogging and create so many amazing posts to increase your audience and what happens?
Enter the tumbleweeds…
This can be a real blow. It makes you feel like you’re trying to stand out amongst all the noise but you can’t. You feel like nobody is listening, like nobody cares.
Listen up - boosting user engagement on your blog CAN happen for you. There’s just a few strategies you need to put in place first.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been blogging for, a month or a year. It happened to me, I used these tactics and they made a difference. Plus everything I mention in this list is free and super easy to do.
Let’s get into them!
#1 | KNOW WHO YOU WANT TO WRITE TO
There’s no way you’re going to boost user engagement if you don’t understand what it is your audience actually wants. This is where you need to ask the WIIFM question.
WIIFM AKA WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
When I visit a new blog for the first time, it’s usually through a blog post. I’ll read that and then head to their About page to see what their message is. This is why it’s so important to create your About page about your reader. Someone reading it will be able to tell whether it’s going to be worth following you or not.
Will it help me with my struggles? Does their content relate to me and what I’m going through right now?
If not, then that blogger isn’t worth following.
So when you’re writing your content, you need to know your ideal reader. I go through a full exercise with you as a coaching client on how do this properly, but for now, here are a few starting points.
FIND YOUR NICHE
You might not be getting any attention on your blog because you’re not creating the right content.
If you’re being too general, it won’t work. You can’t appeal to everyone and attract every reader. Users may dismiss your blog as one that doesn’t have specific enough information to educate or entertain them.
Don’t worry though, because this can easily be turned around. All you need to do is find your niche and know who your ideal reader is.
Let’s say you’re a full-time worker that likes to blog about everything to do with lifestyle. You love the way you live your life and you want to help influence others to feel that way about their lives too.
And your blog shows that. You write posts about the books you’re loving, the cookies you baked, the way you got a promotion at work. You feel these are all great for anyone who wants to improve their life. But that’s your main problem - anyone.
Think about why you engage and follow certain bloggers. It’s because you have some kind of connection with them. This could be through their story, the way they write their posts or the type of content they share.
If your content is all over the place, try and define your ideal reader by niching down. So for example, you can still be a lifestyle blogger and niche down - do this through your categories or be very specific about the type of people you’re targeting. For instance, if you’re a business blogger, don’t just target new business owners. How about targeting craft business owners instead?
That way, your content can help craft business owners in particular learn how to build a business. Those are the people who will be attracted to your blog.
LISTEN TO DICUSSIONS ONLINE
In my Blogging Breakthrough Facebook group, we have so many discussions about mindset shifts, building a brand, doing the work and so much more.
If you are part of this group, you not only get to take part in these discussions. You can also read them and learn from the real problems that other passionate bloggers are having at any stage of their journey.
As the group owner, these discussions are so valuable for me, because I can help other bloggers get a breakthrough with their online presence. That is my sole aim. I can totally tailor my Facebook Lives and create content within my group.
As a new blogger, you can search for your target audience online and see what conversations they’re having. What are they struggling with? What do they need help with? This will allow you to learn how you can better serve them.
WRITE ABOUT LOTS OF THINGS
Believe it or not, this isn’t a contradiction. The balance of niching down and writing about lots of things is where the real magic happens.
Let’s say you’re just starting out as a blogger and you have no idea who will be reading your blog. You may not even know what you want to write about. That’s fine. So instead of allowing this to stop you from writing at all, go ahead and write about multiple topics.
Take my blog for instance - I can’t target one set of bloggers. So I target beginner bloggers, intermediate bloggers and bloggers who want to step up to the next level.
But this is done strategically. I write content and then I analyse that content to see what resonates with my audience the most.
For instance, these are the three most popular posts on my blog right now:
My most popular post is about Instagram and so is the second one. Then it’s a productivity post.
This tells me I need to create more content around Instagram or social media as well as write about productivity topics.
This is why in the beginning, it’s useful to write about a variety of topics. Then in a month or two, check your most popular posts in Google Analytics. From there, you can then start tailoring your content to attract your ideal reader.
For more help on growing your blog traffic, don’t forget to check out the Build It Blog It Boss It free 6-day email challenge below.
#2 | CRAFT AN AMAZING HEADLINE
Your headline is the most important part of your blog post. Why? It’s the first thing people will read and from that, they’ll decide whether to read the rest of your post.
Pretty important, right?
To boost user engagement on your blog, you need click-worthy, engaging headlines.
One great way to do this is to use one of the four most popular and high-converting headlines for your content:
You can also add power words in your headline that provoke an emotion in your reader. CoSchedule has a full list right here, but here are some examples:
I’ve created a full tutorial on how you can use CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyser to create the best headlines ever. I’ve been using this tool for as long as I can remember and it’s a key part of why I get so much traffic to my site.
#3 | INCLUDE THE DATE YOU PUBLISHED (OR UPDATED) THE POST
I saw some bloggers having a conversation about this on Twitter. They were saying how annoying it is when a blogger doesn’t feature the post date on their content. Nobody wants to read old or outdated content. So make sure you include your post date on all your content.
You can also revive old content and include a last modified post date instead of the published date.
Another way of doing this to make more of an impact is to change your headline to include the current year. This way when users come to your post, they know it’s relevant and current, meaning they’re more likely to comment and share it.
#4 | ADD SOCIAL SHARING BUTTONS TO YOUR WEBSITE
The amount of times your post has been shared is highly important. It not only proves that your content is valuable, but that others find it valuable too and they want to tell their friends about it.
This is known as social proof and it can be really powerful for boosting user engagement. I use Sumo to install my social sharing buttons.
It’s up to you to then do the social promo you need to do to get eyes on your content.
Where you place your social sharing buttons is also important. I always advise my coaching clients to place them on the side of your blog post. The ones with Sumo are sticky, so they move with your content as a user scrolls down your page.
#5 | USE “CLICK TO TWEET” FEATURES IN YOUR POST
If you want an easy way to start driving more traffic to your blog posts, be sure to use “click to tweets” in your posts. This is a phrase from the blog post that you want to be tweeted.
Users read the post, see the click to tweet phrase and will most likely tweet it straight away. If you know your core audience is on Twitter this could really help with getting more engagement.
No harm in trying it out, right?
To add a click to tweet to your post, you can either create a graphic in Canva and use the click to tweet website, or use the click to tweet plugin for WordPress sites.
#6 | INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION
Your content exists to help people with their problems, motivate them to take action or help them learn something new.
While social shares are great, it also helps to have comments on your posts to build a successful blog.
What’s important here is to entice readers with an effective call to action (CTA). This is a little conclusion at the end of your post that tells you readers what to do. And the great thing is, you can have more than one CTA at the end of your blog post, including:
The one thing you need to do to get the comments started is ask a question. Or you can invite readers to share their challenges or wins. These are great ways to get the conversation going.
To keep the engagement up, also make sure you answer each comment you recieve and engage with your readers.
#7 | CREATE A QUIZ
Content now is all about being interactive. This means having someone interact with your content. That’s why quizzes are so great. You can get started for free using the Interact quiz builder if you want or use a WordPress quiz plugin like Quiz Cat.
Creating a quiz is also a really effective way to grow your email list. Users take your quiz and then they have to sign up to your lists to get their results. If your quiz is engaging and it sparks people’s curiosity, it’ll be a no brainer for people to sign up to your list.
#8 | MENTION OTHER BLOGGERS
Mentioning other bloggers is one of the best free ways to boost user engagement on your blog. There are a couple of different ways you can do this. You could ask them to contribute to your post or you can feature their blog.
The best way to go about this is to contact the blogger if you want their contribution or any images you took. For instance, I did a round-up of the 100 best marketing websites and got touch with each one to ask them if they wanted to contribute a quote.
You can also take a screenshot of their blog if you don’t want to ask their permission. Just make sure you link to their blog in your post and mention them when it goes live.
This is a great way to boost user engagement - by including other bloggers they’ll be more than willing to share your content.
#9 | REPLY TO ALL YOUR COMMENTS AND MENTIONS
What you’ll find about all these tips on increasing user engagement is that they all go back to connecting with your audience. And as we’ve seen, you have to KNOW them to connect with them.
Now, as a new blogger that engagement won’t be there yet. Your first few posts will have no engagement. And then all of a sudden you’ll get a few hundred shares and then a few thousand.
But your readers will only share your content if you’re sharing a solution to solve one of their problems. If your content strategy revolves around HELPING your readers, your shares and comments will boom.
You’re a NEW blogger connecting with a NEW audience. So you need to start with replying to all your comments and mentions.
The conversations you have will grow to be the loyal following you develop online. It’s also a great way to understand your audience on a more relatable level.
Plus, by engaging with comments on your blog, you create an even longer blog post. This makes it a big attraction for Google (especially if you use keywords when you answer your comments).
Here are a few other ways to start connecting with your audience.
I don’t have to tell you again how important it is to have an email list. It was such an important decision that I made. But for new bloggers, I’d recommend you wait around two to three months before you start an email list. This gives you time to get to grips with blogging and grow your audience.
Your email list is a goldmine for finding out more information about what your readers want from you. I create surveys all the time and ask my readers what they’re struggling the most with right now when it comes to building an online presence.
This gives me so many great ideas to add to my content strategy to continue attracting the right audience.
When you get comments on your blog posts, read them and reply to them. Readers will divulge a lot of information to you, tell part of their story and may even link to their blog.
If they do, visit their site and see who they really are! You can figure out a lot about your audience from their comments.
I know you might not want a Facebook page and you think the Instagram algorithm is out to get you. And the truth is, engagement is becoming a lot harder lately.
But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to grow your social media platforms and connecting with your audience. The best way to do this is by going live.
You can email your list and let them know you’ll do a live video. Plus, Facebook LOVES native video content. This is even better if you’ve got a Facebook group. The more videos you do, the more they’ll be seen by your followers.
You can also take some time to promote your latest blog posts within Facebook groups too. But don’t spend too much time doing this. Pick a few Facebook groups that have promo days and use those. Then you can devote the rest of your time to writing content and promoting yourself.
#10 | HAVE A FREQUENT AND CONSISTENT POSTING SCHEDULE
Having a frequent and consistent posting schedule is one of the main strategies that helps me reach 100,000 pageviews on my blog month after month.
Search engines love content. They want to crawl your content. So the more posts you have, the more pages you have and that means more pageviews.
I do understand though that when you’re starting out this can be tricky. Maybe you work full-time, you have a dog, you want to exercise and you just don’t get the time.
Your best bet is to plan a posting schedule that suits you. I wouldn’t recommend posting once a week for a month and then upping it to five. Consistency is best. And once a week is all you need. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
#11 | REPURPOSE YOUR CONTENT
You might think you have to create original content every time and write different things for each of your social media platforms. But you don’t.
Make an email out of a blog post. Take 30 seconds of your YouTube video and put it on Facebook. Take a tip from your blog post and share it on Instagram.
You can also rewrite your old blog posts and republish them. Maybe you did a post about a round-up of tips that you can update. Use content from your older post and refresh it a little bit.
#12 | USE EMOJIS
I don’t really use emojis in my blog posts. But I do on every single other platform.
Take Facebook for instance - using emojis can increase comments by 33% and means your post will get shared 33% more times!
#13 | SHARE YOUR CONTENT TO PINTEREST
Why have I only mentioned this at the end?
Because it’s the more important 😉
Pinterest is the number one way to drive traffic to your blog and is a key reason why I now get over 100,000 monthly pageviews. It’s also helped me grow my email list to nearly 4,000.
You might think Pinterest is just a way to plan your autumn/winter wardrobe. But Pinterest is also a search platform. You can optimise your profile and attract people over to your blog.
But while this is a good strategy, don’t get stuck pinning on Pinterest for hours a day (because this can happen). I use an automation tool called Tailwind that automatically sends out pins for me each day.
Here are a couple of posts to help you with getting started on Pinterest:
- How to drive traffic to your website from Pinterest
- Top 10 must-have Pinterest boards for gaining new followers
- How to track and grow your blog traffic with a Pinterest schedule
I get how you’re feeling.
You read all these blog posts with all these tips - it’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed.
Invest in yourself. Invest in learning. Carve out time to learn from others that have done it before you. Take in the information and try out the strategies one at a time.
But most of all, enjoy it. I absolutely LOVE blogging - it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Now it’s your turn - how did you start your blog? How do you plan to build your engagement? And don't forget to enter your details to sign up for the free 6-day challenge!