Engaging, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, means “very attractive or pleasing in a way that holds your attention.” This word is easy to describe but complicated to achieve.
In blogging, holding the attention of the readers can be tricky. Once a blogger or a web administrator attracts people to read, holding them to finish the article will only last nine seconds or less. According to Ted Selker, an expert from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, people who often browse hundreds of web pages grows shallow interest to a lot of things. Their attention span and concentration skills falter because there are many sites they can visit.
Why is it Important to Engage Readers?
Readers are the movers of your web traffic and activity. If they don’t engage in reading your contents, sharing, and commenting on it. The site can loose indicators of a quality website. Remember, Google has high standards in choosing which website they’d like to appear in search engine results page. Your backlink is not enough to tell whether your page is good for Google. It must have steady stream of traffic and activity, which your readers can only do if you keep them engaged. Engaging readers can also lead to:
- Better Traffic
- Improve Sales (e-commerce websites)
- Improve Rankings
- Promote Community of Readers
- Improve Social Media Activities
- Build Stronger Influence
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As mentioned, attracting them is easy but engaging them can be tricky. Many web admins think regular posts are enough to engage them. But they always falls short in soliciting comments and shares.The way writers make their articles has a lot to do with why this happens. To help you improve your site activity and engage readers, here are few tips that you can do:
Make your article short
Short articles are your best weapons against short attention span. Hold readers’ attention in a 500- 600 words content. They can read the article fast, so they have enough time to leave comments. If you have so many things to write, there are other ways to shorten your blogs, here are few:
- Embrace Line Breaks
- Use Subheadings
- Apply Bullets
- Bold/ Italicize Words
- Use Numbers
Start a Blog Series“ThrowBackThursday” , “FlashBackFriday”, why do you think these hashtags became viral? This is because they are done in a series of post every week, until they are picked by other people. Start a series of posts to encourage people to get back and read the next part of the series. You can start with “Confession Series” or “Q&A Series.” It doesn’t have to be episodic. It only needs to have a common theme.
Avoid business tone and use personal tone. This tone appears human and that’s what people like reading. This writing style is also easy to read because it sounds conversational. With this tone, readers can understand and relate to the contents fast. Such articles are shareable, so social media activity increases, as well.
Add Visual Elements
If you are blogging serious topics, graphs and charts add credibility to your content. If you want to keep it less formal, infographics and related pictures is a must. You can also add videos to spice things up. Visual elements around a sea of texts combat people’s short attention span. Too much words bore readers, so breaking the flow with images and videos help with their concentration.
Utilize News and Viral Topics
As the saying goes, “strike while the iron is hot.” Write an article on the latest trends and news to increase readability and shareability. Write a topic that has not been picked by other websites. If you can’t think of anything, you can rehash an old story and make it appear new. Just pick a new angle and you have yourself an engaging article.
Ask People to Engage
Getting direct to the point is not bad. In marketing, a command is better than a suggestive call-to-action. Say “leave a reply” instead of “you can leave a reply” to let people know what you want them to do.
Does it End There?
No! You need to analyze how good your posts are. Which articles get better shares? Which articles get better comments? Why? Is it because of the contents? Did the pictures help? Ask questions and change your plans accordingly.Like any other things in the world, nothing is constant. Even if you get to understand what your audience wants, it doesn’t mean that it won’t change. Their interest will evolve so you have to study what’s “in” to engage them.Whether you are blogging to boost sales, attract advertisements or just get someone to read your write-ups, you have to apply these tips. They are effective and will further improve the quality of your website.Actually, there are other ways to keep reader’s engagement. If you have other ideas, share your thoughts in the comment section below.