Grow Your Blog: How to Engage Your Audience
Are you trying to grow your blog? Engagement is the key to growing your blog whether you are hoping to increase page views, unique readers or subscribers. So what is engagement exactly and how do you know you are doing it right?
Engagement – Build Those Relationships – Get Social
I like to think of writing a blog post as the start of a good conversation. You, the audience, are looking for an answer to something that I am hoping to provide. It doesn’t end there though. It’s an ongoing conversation that extends well past the post. The trick is knowing how to evolve and engage.
80/20 Rule for Social Media
In the blogging world, there’s a lot of talk about the 80/20 rule for posting on social media. What exactly does this mean and how do you apply it to your blog?
Well, I like to think of the 80/20 rule as the general measure for balancing pushing your business/blog and being engaging and attracting your audience to you. As a reader, I have a lot of frustration with blogs that make me feel like they are always selling something. That’s where 80/20 comes into play. 80% of the time, a blogger should be focused on providing engaging content that provides value or interaction with their audience and 20% of the time they should be focused on selling their business or promoting something (affiliates/sponsors/their own published media etc). The goal is to not get too spammy right!?
When it comes down to it, your audience is on social media to be social. They are looking to connect and engage and be heard. So Get Social. Talk with your audience. Follow influencers in your niche and see what things they are sharing and get in on the conversation.
How the 80/20 Rule Applies to OurFamilyCode Social Media
I love Pinterest and I’ve been on Pinterest since it first began and you had to be invited. Cool right!? It also means I generated a large following by just being an early user. I was engaging and providing value to my followers for many many years without even considering trying to monetize or drive a blog.
Evolving to Blogger
I try to remember that my audience chose to follow me because of our shared interests. I’m not just going to stop sharing other pins because they don’t involve my website or my business. The value is in the connection and the relationship between myself and the audience and the information that I provide to them in awesome pins that I’ve found and tried or just found and shared. For every 10 Pins, I pin 2 of my own and I use both manual pinning (because I could literally spend all day on Pinterest just for kicks) and Tailwind to make sure that I’m balancing what I’m putting on our boards.
We started a brand new Twitter account with this adventure. On Twitter, 80% of our posts are other posts that we retweet or comment on and 20% of our posts relate to our blog. Going even further, we even balance 1 blog share post from our blog to nearly 3 general/funny/engaging tweets to drive personality and further our connection with our followers. Right now, we aren’t doing enough on Twitter from either a blog or engagement standpoint. Travis is hilarious and will probably be the most engaging on Twitter versus me. Our balance going forward will be to overall meet the 80/20 rule but also focus primarily on Travis’ knack for telling a funny story in 140 characters or less.
On Stumbleupon, it’s important to not get too spammy and submit from the same website. The more you stumble, the more your posts are seen by users. I look at Stumbleupon from a daily perspective. I stumble 16-20 articles/blog posts on average from a blogging Facebook group that I am a part of. This means that I am stumbling at least 4 blog posts of my own each day. I typically write one post/day Mon-Fri, so I rotate stumbling from the week prior plus my most recent post. This is our schedule for submitting my blog posts to StumbleUpon:
On Facebook, we do things a little differently. It’s probably because we are underutilizing Facebook from a business perspective and utilizing it more social interaction for our blog instead. I think of 80/20 in terms of productivity on Facebook. 80% of my time on Facebook is literally spent engaging with people through commenting, likes and sharing posts. 20% of my time is actually spent driving my business. This 20% is really only time spent on the blogging group that I am a part of. I consider that my promotion time on Facebook.
80% Seems Like a Lot
You might be thinking that dedicating 80% of your social media strategy to sharing content that isn’t necessarily yours seems like a lot. Think about the Influencers in your niche that you follow. Your audience probably follows them too or would find their content interesting and of value to them. You become the bridge to that content when you share/retweet/comment on this content. You can also just look for content online through various social media that appeals to yourself and your audience.
Make It Shareable, Relatable, Conversational, Personal
- Would You Rather content drives conversations and is content that is shareable on social media. Great for new bloggers to start reaching out to grow an audience. Also great for established bloggers to tailor the A/B/C/D to something that relates to their niche. For example,
- GIFs or Memes – super easy to find since most major social media platforms allow you to search right from their site!
— Our Family Code (@OurFamilyCode) December 29, 2017
- Sharing great content posted by Influencers and bloggers that you follow
- Inspirational Quotes
- Polls, Questions, other content that generates responses
- Share pictures of your kiddos, daily life, etc.
What do you think? What are some ways you meet that 80% and engage with your audience?