When I started my first blog, I didn’t promote it anywhere; I was too introverted to ask people to look at it, and too proud of it to really ask what people thought. I was passionate as all get out about it, but I was terrified of being seen as a page view whore by actually posting pieces with a request to view. And heaven forbid I actually tag someone who had an interest in a particular post or add meaningful hashtags!! I would engage for very short bursts of time, usually to tweet with a fan base about a particular show or movie (it is a pop culture/entertainment blog), but for personal reasons I stopped keeping the content current and let the social media engagement slide.
Social media statistics on that blog, as they stood at the time of current content:
Twitter: followers – 313, following: 203
Facebook page: likes – 112, post reach (this week) – 1
Monthly views: 400-500, on average (with outdated content…I can’t believe it either!
After giving birth in 2013, and subsequently forgetting what the world looked like outside of my house while on maternity leave, I started my second blog about parenting, life, etc.; mostly it’s purpose was to keep me sane while cooped up with a newborn. I spent a lot of time on “mommy blogs”, sucking whatever information I could about how to raise a reasonably adjusted human, and I learned more about blogging than I ever thought was possible. I watched other “mom” bloggers engage with their audience, on social media and on their own blogs, slowly realizing that it is indeed possible to promote your blog without being annoying about it or being seen as a braggart.
With that knowledge, I engaged:
Social media statistics on my second blog, as they stand now:
Twitter: followers – 1623, following – 1642
Facebook page: likes – 698, post reach (this week) – 2,172
Monthly views: 700-800, on average (with moderately current content)
These may not be Huffington Post numbers, but these numbers show how critical it is to engage with your audience and keep content (relatively) current.
Top four ways to engage your audience:
1. Comment, and be genuine about it!! I can’t stress this enough. I have gained more blog supporters by BEING a blog supporter than I can count. It doesn’t mean long-winded, heartfelt novellas on every post you read, because even an “LOL” does not go unappreciated. If you want people to comment on your posts, go comment on others. The blogging community can be a tight-knit one, but people will let you in when they see you are genuine.
2. Share, share, share! Posts, and not yours. Find a post that made you snort chai vanilla latte out your nose? Share it. See an informative infographic on a Facebook page you like? Share it. Read some awesome tips on engaging your blog audience? SHARE IT! 😉
3. Be present. Seriously, if you avoid the aforementioned novellas as comments, it takes a few seconds to comment back to a post, comment, or tweet on your social media accounts. If you have a Facebook page, and someone comments or shares a post with you, it takes less than a second to like it. Did someone retweet your last post? Favourite their retweet, it shows your appreciation.
4. Reply to comments, even the mean ones. This one comes with a caveat. Sometimes, people (read: trolls) are not worth engaging, and you will know who they are when you see them. There are people who are just out to be mean or offensive, and no amount of being the bigger person will change that, so move on from them. The rest, however, will keep coming back to your blog and offering comments if they know you are actually reading them, and a simple “Thank you for reading! XO” is enough to make someone a loyal reader. In fact, that’s also an excellent response to your mean comments!!
These are not the only ways to be seen and get your blog out there, but they are the easiest and most audience-friendly ways to get people interested. The bottom line is if you want to be seen, see; if you want to be noticed, notice; and if your blog to be loved on, love on other blogs.