So you’re getting a bunch of hits on your blog and building
up a nice cache of readers. Now what? Taking that next step and beating the
traffic plateau can often be as challenging as getting your blog off the ground
in the first place.
As your site continues to gain followers, it’s important to
keep things fresh in the every-changing landscape of the blogging world. There
are many ways to do just that and there’s no distinct formula for how to keep
readers engaged. But there are a few mainstays that will help increase audience
participation, endear you to your peers and keep content fresh while not
burdening you with too much more work.
Aside from reading, commenting and keeping up with
like-minded and divergent blogs, hosting a guest post from a “colleague” now
and then can not only show you’re a team player, but help give a fresh take
from a voice other than your own.
In the blogging world, mutual sharing and respect is vital
in order to gain followers and trading guest posts is a great way to do so.
More opinions on one page means more thoughtful content. It’s a nice way to
switch things up without having to go too far outside the box and alienate
readers. If they like it, awesome, another solid post. If they don’t, it
reminds them why they like your blog and personality so much.
Naturally, it’s usually a quid pro quo arrangement, so
testing the waters with someone else’s audience is a no-lose situation. They
either love you and will check you out or they won’t – and in that case, it
doesn’t cost you anything.
Everyone loves a good list. It’s easy to digest, easy to
debate and most importantly for you, east to formulate. A “Top 10” list is
something even the shortest of attention spanned can commit to reading and will
likely have something to say. Now that doesn’t mean you should post something controversial
for the sake of it. A top superhero movies of all time list with “Daredevil”
above “The Dark Knight” is just going to destroy your credibility.
But the inverse is also true. Something so tame and obvious
that it leaves your readers saying “duh, of course” won’t do you any favors
Mix it up and justify your position while still leaving room
for your audience to weigh in. Remember, it’s your blog and your opinions but
your readers still want to feel included.
Polls and contests
With that said, the best way to engage your readers is to
have contests and polls that make them want to interact with you. Sure, they
love reading your blog because of your take on things, but they all have
opinions themselves. Polls are an interesting way to see what kind of people
are reading you in addition to being great traffic drivers. Simple market
research and a good way to get people involved.
Contests are a cheap but effective way to show your readers
you appreciate them while making sure they get your blog out on their social
media networks. Having them use Facebook to share or comment on things extends
your reach and widens your audience pool.