Tips for Getting (Readers) Engaged with Your Content

 

It's Valentine's Day, and love is in the air! But how do you get readers to share the love for your content?

What exactly is “engaging” content anyway? Many use vanity metrics such as likes or favorites as a baseline metric. Some dive deeper to quantify by shares or comments. Others actually look at conversions that resulted from a piece of content. (Follows, signups, sales, etc.)

The definition of engaging can encompass many factors. One of our favorite takes on the meaning comes from Marketing Guru Neil Patel: “In order to qualify, the content has to trigger a measurable response in people as it relates to your content. In other words, your content needs to be impactful in some meaningful way to be considered truly engaging.”

Regardless of how you define it, here are some tips from the field for creating engaging content:

Have passion for your subject

“As an artist I've found that audiences respond most to the ideas that I myself have found most engrossing. I believe that my fascination with the study of antiquity unites me among others with this similar interest and my commentary on this shared cultural material is informed by real passion and curiosity which others find refreshing and relevant. My suggestion is to always be clear in your mind about what excites you about your work because that playful, inquisitive energy finds its way into the content that you're producing.” - Anton Bashkin, Artist, www.antonbashkin.com

“Think of what people just like you might like to read rather than what's popular right now. A lot of content falls flat on its face because its creators weren't enthusiastic about the topic.”- Heidi Hecht, Blogger and Content Creator, Narrative member

Be sure you’re offering value

“Don't create content for content's sake, offer something of real value in your posts or don't post at all. Taking time to craft a response or opinion on something can sometimes be a good thing as well. Don’t wait too long or the topic will become stale. Make sure what you are contributing is something people want to hear.” - Lisa Fox, Digital Marketing and Blogging Expert, Lead Gen Hype

Must be visual

A picture is worth a thousand words. I always use pictures to drive engagement with my content. I can write just one sentence but if the picture that comes with it is good, people will comment. A video is worth ten thousand words. Someone who has never heard of me gets familiar with my way of teaching in a few seconds. They get to feel my energy and experience my personality and authenticity. I use videos on my blog pages to get people interested in my products and learn more about me.” - Milana Perepyolkina, International Bestselling Author, www.gypsyenergysecrets.com

Answer burning questions

“To drive targeted engagement, look out for popular threads in forums based on your niche and plan your article content around the questions people are asking. These questions were asked in the first place because people are unable to find good information online, hence turning to forums for answers. As a result, fishing in forums for topics to talk about has been really effective for us in terms of driving engagement. The topics chosen were mostly controversial topics because the audience will have differing views and more questions to ask later.”-- Charlotte Ang, Founder, Rentalorry

Write for your audience

“Regardless of the type of content you're writing, always answer the reader's question - ‘What's in it for me?’ The number one mistake I see aspiring bloggers and content creators make is writing self-centered content that reads like a journal entry. No one cares about "your journey." They care about how your journey intersects with their lives. Use the word "you" more than "I" and you're on the right track.” - Ayodeji Awosika, Author & Writing Coach, www.ayothewriter.com

Honesty rules

"The two things that really seem to engage my audience are self disclosure and total honesty. For example, on my blogs I openly discuss things like struggles with my mental health, and when business plans I've made have fallen completely flat. This kind of honesty is surprisingly rare, with many writers keen to only discuss the "good bits." - Ben Taylor, HomeWorkingClub.com Founder

Write with empathy and be thorough

“Meaningful interaction comes from articles that really solve a problem for people, or instances where they think that they can help to solve someone else's problem. We're all wired to experience the process of finding solutions as one of the most valuable things that gives meaning to our lives. To achieve this, writing needs to be empathic, so that the reader can feel that we too understand what they're going through.” - Jason Lavis, Partner & Webmaster at drillers.com

Start with a personal anecdote

“When it comes to creating content that pulls your readers in and makes them want to read your whole article, you have to start it off interesting. Intros that bore your audience to death, sound like a million other article intros out there, or sound like they were written by an article spinner are huge turn-offs. One of the ways I like to address this issue is to start articles off with a story relating to the topic.” - Brandon Ballweg, Founder/Editor, ComposeClick

Touch the emotions

“Engagement is all about emotion. Getting someone’s attention is easy. Shiny things work well. But engagement requires participation. Nothing inspires that more than emotion. It doesn’t have to be sad, either. Funny will do just fine, and if you’re good at it, even better. Or even informative to the point of reassuring and calming. Touch the emotions. You are the writer, engage with them. That will get your audience to engage you right back.” - Jason Boyd Founder/Editor, Fictionphile.com

Create a profile story

“A profile is an amazing format that lets you do both, create engaging content and engage with your content. Readers love inspiring stories and attaching a face to that story helps them identify with it, and, as a writer, you are dealing with another human, which means that all you have to do to get your story is talk. The golden rule for every profile is: everyone has a story to tell, and your job as a writer is to extract that story and tell it to the world.” - Tom Weber, PR Editor, Kolibri Games

Involve readers in the discussion

“My motto is always, ‘When someone invests in you, be sure to invest back.’ If someone takes the time out of their day to enjoy my content and leave a comment, I make sure to take the few seconds of my own time to return that investment with a reply or message back. This has helped me build a large community around my content and encourages others to share more and invite their friends into our community.” - Brad Driscoll, Co-founder, Think Big Marketing

Share an interesting fact, tip, quote, or story

“I like to start my content, even the boring pieces with an interesting fact, tip, quote or story so the reader gets sucked into the piece right away. I've found when you're able to weave that story or interesting tidbit throughout the entire piece or turn your whole article into a story that shares what you are looking to share, your engagement goes up, including time on page and pages viewed per visitor.” - Stacy Caprio, Founder, Her.CEO

Establish a voice on a specific topic

“We stay on top of trending news and try to answer questions that our readers might have. We go into great detail to provide as much information as possible. Collaborating with other thought leaders in the industry is extremely beneficial. Establishing a voice in your industry is important for anyone who wants to continue to grow and expand. We try to become an authority that others trust and look up to.” - Brian Gill, CEO, Gillware Data Recovery

What tips do you have to share?

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