Blogging is all about communication, and since this new platform has emerged, writers have been fighting to connect with audiences. Although trends come and go, there are a few core principles that attract readers to thriving blogs. It shouldn’t surprise you that most of these points involve content management.
Voice isn’t quite everything a good blogger needs, but it’s still vital. There is plenty of reading material in the world, but blogs offer a uniquely informal way for readers to learn new things. They value this tone almost as much as they value your content. When you’re blogging, you need to use a consistent voice. Think of it as your blog’s personality. Put readers at ease, speak to them as equals, and keep the conversation friendly. Blogs are still considered an informal medium for writers. Therefore, it’s important to keep your content and voice on the same level.
Stimulate the Senses
Blogging for readers means going the extra mile for great content. Written content expresses thoughts, but there are other essential ways to hook and engage readers. These include photos, video, audio, and more. A basic blog post requires at least two forms of media. Writing with an accompanying photo is the most popular combination.
Make sure your content attracts a user’s senses. Photos should evoke a mood or sensation. Videos should capture some degree of action. Although many bloggers use bland footage of someone in business clothes standing in front of a blank background to augment their content, these kinds of videos rarely attract viewers. It pays to get creative with your content. If you can do something different and creative, it’s better to take a risk than provide bland material.
Offer Opportunities to Engage
Your customers want to interact with you. Using a variety of media, such as polls, contests, and even open comment sections can do a lot to boost readership and attract long-term devotees. Naturally, many of these tools come with drawbacks. The biggest drawback comes from open comment sections. These are prime targets for spam bots. Bots will out-comment actual readers ten to one, and that’s an optimistic estimate. If you’re serious about encouraging a discussion, you’ll need to upgrade your comments sections to help automatically weed out some of the bots. Also, you should get used to spending hours in your blog’s dashboard, manually weeding out junk comments. Still, many of the most successful blogs find that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and encourage reader participation.
To engage with readers, give them content that stimulates various senses through a consistent voice and give those readers an opportunity to communicate. Keep in mind that these individual principles overlap. Your individual voice should carry into your visual media. Can you take photos yourself? Can you stick to a certain art style? Do videos have the same editor, narrator, and fonts? Opportunities to engage may appear in unexpected places, too. It’s important to be proactive and aware as you work with your readers.