Are engaging readers and getting people to follow your blog the same thing?
I read my guest author’s article a month ago when he first sent it to me.
My memory told me it was about how to get blog followers. After rereading his post, I see it is about engaging your readers.
I asked myself, and now I am asking you, “Aren’t they the same?”
Only visitors who find your writing engaging will want to become permanent readers and subscribe to your blog.
Richard Schulte, in his guest post, explains how you can do just that, engage your readers so thoroughly that they will quickly want to become subscribers of your blog.
Richard, take it away.
Passion, Personality, and Blogging Success
Warning! What you’re about to read was not written by an expert! Just little old me, a part-time blogger whose chief aim is to write a little and enjoy life.
I spend perhaps three or four hours every week preparing posts for my photo blog. Taking photographs is almost effortless–I just carry a camera while sauntering about my neighborhood.
My efforts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media are lazy or nonexistent. I don’t promote my blog in any way, or roll in bed at night fretting and strategizing. It’s all for fun.
So how on earth has my blog achieved relative success?
I’ve absorbed lots of useful information about blogging best practices over the years. It’s a complex, evolving subject that’s extremely fascinating. I’ve read about SEO… the intelligent use of keywords and tags…how to encourage eyeballs, acquire shares and backlinks…technical this and practical that. While all of this stuff is important, some of it can be so complicated I just end up confused!
But there’s one thing I’ve learned for certain. If you blog with passion and personality, you’ll eventually be found by many others. And you’ll connect with those people in a meaningful, enduring way.
To connect. To awaken feeling and thought. To tickle. To motivate. To enrich one’s own life and the lives of others. A blog can achieve these things like no other medium can. A friendly blog is your extended hand.
A blog made personal is like a casual chat with a friend or family member. Short and sincere. When the words are just right, a blog can transmit a strange something between writer and reader that is like sunlight breaking through clouds. That’s a place where people want to be.
Now I admit, the vast majority of my own blog posts aren’t as brilliant as the sun. From day to day, we all feel varying levels of inspiration and motivation. We often don’t have the time to produce a masterpiece. And your subject matter on any given day might not be terribly gripping. But one can always blog with passion.
And that, I believe, is the element readers are drawn to most. It’s the shining light. So why not infuse your blog with that shining light?
How to Engage Your Readers
- Always write your blog with passion. When possible, blog about what you love. If, unfortunately, you’re in a position that precludes that, then add splashes to your blog with colors that you love.
Paint your creation in a way that makes it feel alive, special, purposeful. Burnish your words and make them shine. That passion, combined with your own unique personality, will produce a stream of heartfelt words, which leap straight out of your brain and into the life of your readers.Whatever the subject might happen to be, never be afraid to reveal the depth of your passion. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t hold those feelings back. Speak from the heart.
Readers want to be excited and provoked by your own special energy. Nobody wants to read something that is robotic, even if the subject matter seems dry. Readers really want to sense your heart. They want to tap into that energy and be inspired.
Passion is shining light.
But passion requires an effective voice. It’s your relatable, appealing voice that must do the speaking.
So how do you express thoughts with personality?
- Be personable. Simply write the way you ordinarily talk. Be yourself. Don’t fake anything or put on superior airs. Stay human. Be vulnerable.
- Write what you know, admit what you don’t know. Be as direct and as clear as you can be–even if it seems impossibly difficult.
- Be careful about the words you use, but don’t paralyze yourself by being overly critical. Lay the cards you have down.
- Follow the Golden Rule. Treat your readers as you would like to be treated.
- Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Yes, employ humor. We all have a sense of humor, right? While nobody in their right mind would be a silly as me, everybody appreciates a little gentle humor. It breaks down barriers. It demonstrates that you and the reader are essentially alike. (But no off-color or deliciously mean-spirited humor. Not on a public blog, if you’re aiming for broad readership. Reserve that for your closest friends!)
- Above all, be compassionate. Passion without compassion is a dazzling bright light without warmth. There are plenty of competing things that dazzle out there on the internet. Connecting with people in a meaningful, enduring way requires compassion. Speak directly from a generous heart and your readership will grow. People will find you. Simple as that.
Well, I suppose this blog was actually about how to be a writer. But that’s what blogging is, right?
My silly little blog is called Cool San Diego Sights. You might enjoy a visit!
Me again: I have been to Richard’s blog, Cool San Diego Sights. The readers are engaged. Yet, Richard, as he explains, is not an expert in SEO, social media, or blogging. Therefore his methods for how to engage readers, which he described in this post, must work.
Bloggers, please share, so others know Richard’s tips for engaging readers which can definitely turn blog visitors into subscribers.
Let’s go offer Richard some blog love for coming here today and go visit his site, Cool San Diego Sights.
Before you go, which of Richard’s tips did you feel had the most merit? Can you suggest any other ways to engage readers or suggest ways for writers to find their voice? I look forward to your views.
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