How to Increase Blog Visitor Engagement [3 Harsh Truths About Your Readers]

By: | August 29, 2017 | Tags: , , , |

How to Increase Blog Visitor Engagement

Image by Brigitte Werner (via Pixabay)

Increase blog visitor engagement.

Not as simple as it sounds.

Guest author Ahmad Imran is here to tell you how to do just that.

Before Ahmad takes it away, an important note: These tips are based on the presumption that you have a website. 

After all, you can’t increase blog visitor engagement without a blog.

If you need a website, check out these website builder suggestions.

3 Harsh Truths About Your Blog Visitors [and How to Increase Their Engagement]

by Ahmad Imran


Depending on how long you have been blogging or writing online, you will have a range of readers and visitors who like to explore and engage with your content.

Some might be loyal and regular visitors because they have known you for a long time and they have built a trust factor with you and your blog.

Some might not be so loyal. Perhaps you are in a process of building that trust.

But then there is a third type as well. A huge number in many cases.

The first-timers.

Or even if they are repeat visitors, they have not built any trust or relationship with your blog yet. They need more convincing. They need more time.  You need to earn their engagement.

An asset which you need to pay more attention to.

I have been blogging for 3 years now and over 85% of my traffic still comes from Google as new visitors. They are fresh to my blog and generally, the visit starts by clicking on my blog post through Google search result.

My article must have ranked well for their search query and the headline was catchy enough for them to click.

But what next?

How can you make sure that your blog visitor engagement is good?

How can you keep them on your blog longer and gain their trust?

This article is going to answer these questions precisely.

There are 3 typical characteristics of these visitors which will help you to understand them better. Once you know their psychology and appreciate their needs, only then can you do something about it.

Let us dive in.

1 – Your Blog Visitor is in a Hurry

Face and accept the fact that attention spans are decreasing.

Life is generally fast paced and your blog visitor is no different.

He is in a hurry.

He has not got enough time to give your article the level of detail and attention with which you perhaps wrote it for him. There is a disproportionate ratio between hours of your work and minutes (or seconds) of his skimming.

Now let me get this right and repeat again. I am talking about the majority here, not individual cases. I am referring to the most of your blog traffic which comes from Google and are in search of their required information in a quick manner.

So you as a blogger have a difficult task managing this short attention span of your reader and decreasing engagement.

It is not enough to write a bland and texty 3000-word article on its own. You need to have enough attraction in it for people to appreciate, use, and engage with your content.

So what can you do about it?

Help your reader.

Tell him clearly and upfront that there is an (authentic) answer to this question in your blog post.

Give him every opportunity and reason to spend time on your blog post and get the most out of it. It is your job as a blogger to keep his attention focused on your blog post (and brand in general).

Create a feeling in his mind that every time he visits your blog, your articles have something waiting for him. In other words, hook him (in a positive way) to gain his genuine trust.

Think long-term and plan your blog post accordingly.

Here are a few specific steps you can do to achieve better blog visitor engagement.

1 – Make your introduction to-the-point, focused and engaging

Tell him precisely what is the issue you are going to cover and how at the end of this article he will benefit from it. Don’t delay this part and be as generous as possible while being truthful and genuine.

2 – Use an index or table of contents

Straight after the introduction, give him a chance to scan the sub-headings or key parts/sections of your blog post. “Table of Contents” (TOC) is a great way to achieve this. I have been an advocate of this strategy for a long time now and many other successful bloggers do the same.

A good TOC is a list of all headings and sub-headings (and sub-sub-headings) in one place so it is an open and honest invitation to the reader to choose and pick what he wants to know about. You respect your reader’s time, it will pay you back.

3 – Sub-headings and their content are crucial

Make each section in your sub-headings (and sub-sub-headings) clear, focused and having its own purpose and message. Don’t let your blog reader read your waffle and time-wasting filler kind of material.

Gary Korisko wrote this ultimate guide to writing irresistible sub-heads for SmartBlogger. A highly recommended read to improve the body and its content of your blog post.

4 – Finish with a punchy ending

Keep your conclusion clear, punchy and focused. End your blog post with a powerful message that leaves him thinking and feeling good about you and your blog.

I am not going to tell you exactly what you need to include but I can tell you that many of your blog visitors are keen to know exactly your viewpoint in a concise manner in your concluding remarks. So give them that.

5 – Keep your blog design simple and attractive

It is a big topic and I am not going to cover it all today. The key is to make sure that your overall blog layout, font, styling, and structure is such that it does not hinder or make the reading difficult for your blog visitor.

The harsh fact is that many of your new readers and visitors will judge you on your appearance – I mean, your blog appearance.

6 – Keep your site loading speed in check

Your blog should load fast. You must have read frequently that people tend to create a negative impression of blogs which are slow to load. Here are a few tricks to implement today on your blog and see if it gives you an extra couple of seconds of site speed improvement.

[Read: How to Engage Blog Readers Who Are in a Rush]

2 – Your Blog Visitor Does Not Care for You

Remember, we are talking about that specific group of your blog visitors who have not built the trust and loyalty yet with you and your blog.

So I am not saying that none of your blog visitors care for you.

Of course, some do, but many don’t.

You have heard it frequently: think about your reader. Help them out. Your blog is not about you, it is about your reader.

This is strictly true – but we tend to forget it as bloggers.

The law of reciprocity kicks in our minds and we as bloggers think that if we have spent hours and hours to create a useful article for the readers, they will think the same, appreciate our efforts and reciprocate.

This is easier said than done.

In real life, there is plenty of information so easily available (even the good ones) that your reader has a mentality of being selfish and taking your efforts for granted. He only expects good quality information for free (generally) when it comes to blogs.

Remember, most of your visitors only care for themselves. Not you.

What can you do about it?

There are two key strategies you need to consider to counter this situation.

1 – Be massively interesting and useful and tell people about it

This is content marketing.

This is good and smart blogging.

You need to devote time, learn, execute, refine and re-execute. It is not something you will master in days, it takes months and years.

There is a plenty of advice available on the internet and other sources to create content which is super-useful and engaging.

All I would say is that pick your aspirations and sources of your learning and information-gathering carefully. You want to learn from those who have already been there and have a proven success record.

Here are the three good blogs on content marketing which I follow (and have subscribed to) and have learnt from them tremendously. Get yourself on their email list today.

Neil Patel (Neil Patel)

Copyblogger (Brian Clarke)

Smartblogger (Jon Morrow)

2 – Do it again – and again – and be persistent

Then comes the second part, grit.

Stubbornness and resolve.

It doesn’t matter if your blog visitor does not care much for you today. If you are persistent in your vision, one day he will.

You need to have a greater vision of yourself as a blogger. There should be something bigger than your day-to-day creation of content and writing blog posts. You need to dream and visualize yourself as a great blogger. Only then it will keep you fuelled up (motivated) to be persistent.

You need to create this habit of persistence.

Create a tagline for yourself. To keep you going.

Mine is “there is no exit door for me in this game of blogging. I am in until I win it”.

No other way.

3 – Your Blog Visitor Has Many Options

And I am not talking about the cheap and inferior (than yours) options.

I am referring to good and better options.

You are not the only source of information for him. Clicking on the back button will take him back to the search engine and perhaps there is a list of another 5 articles waiting for him on a similar topic.

Some of the brands and writers are bigger and better than you.

And he knows that.

We as human beings like “authority”. We tend to go to someone who we think and feel has the right thing to say that we can trust. There can be brands and blogs out there who are having years of additional experience and authority compared to yours.

You are in a difficult situation.

How can you overcome this situation?

Well, 2 things again.

1 – Be unique with your own voice and generous in your help.

Uniqueness and personality are important in blogging.

Your blogging is actually a representation of your own character, personality, and enterprise. The better you are as a person, the better you will write and blog. And your reader will pick it up.

Then you need to be smart as well with your blogging in terms of focus.

Know your target reader really well. This is not a quick exercise. Plan the activities to know your audience and only write for them. Make it as specific as you can and you will see that over the period of time, it will attract the kind of readers you want to write for and engage with.

Research, authenticity, data, science, and numbers all help. Most of the information on the internet does not stretch to this extra mile. You can bring yourself to near the top of the game if you put this extra work and effort into your blogging.

Finally, be generous and do the extra work. The road for this extra mile is generally not too crowded. You can give yourself an advantage over the thin and superficial content straight away.

Your reader knows how to filter through the pile and pick up the right and good quality information. Don’t underestimate his abilities and never try to cut corners and be just another blogger.

Be different. Be more authentic. Be extra.

2 – Be patient and gritty.

Keep doing this repetitively.

You need to have an obsession with quality and usefulness but at the same time have the patience and perverseness to go through the mill to achieve this excellence.

Good quality, excellence, and authority do not come overnight or by accident. It comes with vision, execution, improvement, and repetition.

And again. And again.

Leave Your Blog Visitor Touched and Influenced Before He Leaves Your Blog

We mostly do things based on our feelings and emotions.

Strange, but the heart does frequently rule the brain.

It is how your site visitor feels after reading your blog post that matters massively. You should have touched his heart through your words, influenced his thought process and educated him to make a better decision for himself.

It is this philosophy which will help you to gain his trust and loyalty in the long run.

I hope that I have outlined a few harsh but true facts about the majority of your readers on your blog. By thinking about these points more strategically will help you to cater for those readers and earn their engagement.

A better audience and a better brand building.

This is what we bloggers crave.

Time now to seek your views about how you think and feel about your blog visitors. Do you think they are hard-work?

Perhaps, completely different?

Share your views and tell us any other interesting aspect of your blog visitors that you have gathered through your blogging experience.

Author Bio:

Blogger, writer, and founder of the REASONTOUSE platform. Passionate about providing quality information to help you make better decisions around your personal technology.
Host Blogger’s Comments:
Readers, we want to build relationships with our audience. Please share so other bloggers know how to increase blog visitor engagement.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Do you know any ways to increase blog visitor engagement?
This post was made possible by the support of our readers.

  1. Ahmad Imran

    Janice, thanks for providing an opportunity to contribute on your blog. I enjoyed collaborating with you and I hope that the readers will find some useful insights from it. Cheers

    • Bree

      I thought your guest post was so helpful, so thank you Ahmad and Janice for this very informative guest post. I liked in closing:
      ” leave your visitors “touched and influenced”. A truly enlightening read.

  2. Camila Robert

    Hi Ahmad,

    You have written a nice post for the bloggers. Engaging our audience is most important as it is related to organic results improvements.

    We should not write the blog posts like legal documents as it would bore them and they may skip our site permanently.

    Writing with own, unique voice through our experiences would treat them well and make them come again for sure.

    I agree with all the points that you have listed in this post, and yes, tables, media files, and images are the best elements for high interaction.

    Thanks for the great post, keep writing!

    • Ahmad Imran

      Cheers Camila, thanks for liking the article.

      I think with decreasing attention spans (literally seconds), it is more important than ever to pay attention to this skill – to engage better with our audience.

      • Anil Agarwal

        Hi Ahmad,

        Great topic. I think creating a great content oriented blog itself is enough for most people to stick around a blog.

        If I find a blog’s information useful, I really don’t worry much about the design or speed of it.

        Because I want great information not just any other random stuff.

        Also make sure to turn as many people as possible into email subscribers. That’s how you build engagement with your audience.

        Thanks for the great share!

        • Ahmad Imran

          Anil, interesting point. Your emphasis is on great content. No doubt it plays a central role but for first timers, I believe that we need a bit more than that.

          Your point about email subscription is great too but to reach to that level, we have to go through hundreds and thousands of first-time visitors first. The tips were to keep those visitors for a bit longer…. Perhaps with a view to convert to email subscribers as you mentioned.

          Thanks for views, appreciated.

  3. John Doe

    I especially like the one “the blog visitor does not care about you”. It’s not personal they are at your blog for a reason

    • Ahmad Imran

      Very true John, when I visit blogs myself, most of the time I am selfish as well :)) looking for my required information and move on…

  4. devry

    This is the very informative post and interesting one, I love to read more about this.
    I appreciate your effort.

    • Ahmad Imran

      I am glad that you liked it. If there are thoughts or questions in your mind, I would love to contribute with my views. Thanks again.

  5. Moss

    Hi Ahmad,

    I’m so happy to meet here. You’ve written an amazing article with remarkable points to consider especially “Leave Your Blog Visitor Touched and Influenced Before He Leaves Your Blog.”

    That’s a beautiful point. As a blogger, you certainly want to help your readers by influencing them in one way or the other, and the only way you can do that is by reaching their hearts.

    This calls for you to write in a unique tone that will resonate with your audience. When your readers find value in your content, they certainly will keep coming back.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this insightful post.

    • Ahmad Imran

      Moss, great to see your comment and kind words. Thanks.

      As much as it sounds emotional and abstract, it is paramount to touch your readers heart. Because as humans, we mostly do things based on emotions.

      Have a great day, speak soon. Cheers

  6. Shantanu Sinha

    Hello Ahmad,

    Nice to see you here on Janice’s space 🙂

    Great stuff over here 🙂

    Engaging our audiences is one of the most difficult task one can face in this blogging phase.

    Its always good to provide them with some fun facts, knowledge and how to do things which are always in demand by our

    Its good to add images videos in our blogs, only writing up text will bore our readers out. So its better to add some
    sparkle things in our post so that the readers are stuck in our blogs.

    Thanks for the share.


  7. Ahmad Imran

    You are right Shantanu, online and on-screen writing is different from conventional and book writing.

    In todays busy life, readers will hit back button in no time if not kept engaged and interested in your words. I agree that visuals, videos, breaks and stories all help.

    The key is to find the right mix without diluting your message.

    Thanks and cheers for stopping by and your comments.

  8. Susan Velez

    Hi Ahmad,

    I enjoyed reading your blog post on Janice’s blog. You’re definitely right about having a tag line that keeps you motived to keep blogging.

    Blogging is hard work and takes a lot of time to grow. I have a tagline or my why hanging on the wall on my iMac.

    I look at it every day because this is what keeps me motivated to keep blogging. It’s hard to keep the motivation when you’re brand new and still trying to grow.

    These tips will definitely help anyone keep persisting towards their blogging goals.

    Have a great day 🙂


    • Ahmad Imran

      Agreed Susan, no matter how small it feels, a good and motivating tagline does wonders. In my case it has kept me going through some rough patches of blogging.

      I liked your point, hanging it or making it visible frequently. I will try it actually thanks.

      Cheers for stopping by sharing your thoughts. Take Care

  9. Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski

    Great blogging tips. I like the one about keeping the blog design simple and attractive. The trend right now is to have gigantic images and things that get in the way as you’re reading. It’s not only annoying but is a waste of blog real estate. If a blog is easy to navigate it’s so much more enjoyable to read.

    • Ahmad Imran

      True Rebecca, user experience is important for me as a blogger and I am big on minimalism and simple design in blogs. My blog has a lot of white space in it and it is sidebar-free too. But having said that, sometimes we need to keep a balance as well as an empty-looking blog might give a different impression to readers as well – not enough information.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Read your article about the human spirit, great message. Cheers

  10. Marilyn K Foster

    LOTS of information in this post! Very timely for myself personally. I am trying so hard to be different in the area I write about. I haven’t found the phrase that will click with others but I know there are many out there that I could reach and help. Being a novice blogger doesn’t help but reading post like this gives me hope I will find the correct marketing tool to use to reach who I am wanting to reach.

    I have a very simple home keeping system that produces results. Many of the systems are very detailed and therefore many get overwhelmed and feel less than. I am wanting to change this! How we took care of our homes even 5 years ago is different than today. Shorter attention spans are on the rise. I am ADHD and use tools to help make it easier. Home Keeping For The Real World. Maybe that is a better tagline. Currently it is Born Sidetracked In An Organized World. In any event, this blog post has opened my eyes and is exactly what I have needed. Great guest post and where do I sign up for your email? I am already signed up with Janice.

    Marilyn K Foster

    • Ahmad Imran

      Marilyn, your kind words and appreciation made my day. I am glad that you enjoyed reading it and liked it as well.

      For a blogger, a genuine trust and feedback like yours are critical. I would love to have you on my email list which you can join at – thanks for that. I am sure we can be mutually beneficial for each other in terms of learning and refining our blogging skills from experience of each other.

      I am big on de-clutter and minimalism as well Marilyn. We all have short attention spans and sometimes I feel that many (including me) are having signs of ADHD as well. It is great to hear that you know about it and make every effort to deal with it. Keep up the good work and I am sure you can do it.

      Thanks again, have a nice day and if there is any question or further help you need from my side, feel free to drop me or Janice a line. Best Regards

  11. Andrew Steave

    Hey Ahmad and Janice,

    Indeed, bloggers won’t follow you and visit your blog on regular basis if you are not providing something unique that is of help to them. Furthermore, you need to help them by all means, responding to their questions on the blog comments, and on your email do work too.

    Thanks for sharing the great post!


    • Ahmad Imran

      Andrew, very true. And to create that valuable and interesting content on a consistent basis is the real test. It does take a test of your grit and persistence. I have seen many bloggers quitting and giving up due to this dip in motivation and delay in reward.

      Glad that you liked the post, cheers.

  12. Deep

    Great blogging tips. LOTS of information in this post! Very timely for myself personally.My blog has a lot of white space in it and it is sidebar-free too.

    • Ahmad Imran

      Glad that you liked it and it was useful. I will have a look at your blog as well Deep, cheers.

  13. Cherie

    This was an interesting read. It really did bring some home truths. I think I need Togo back to basics and really define who my target audience are.

    I will be referring back to this post, for sure.

    Cherie || My Mama Musings

    • Ahmad Imran

      Cherie, great to hear that you found it useful. Defining and continuously refining your target audience are super-important. Thanks for your honest thoughts. Cheers

  14. Ramit


    It certainly takes a lot of effort to gain blog visitor engagement.

    When you learn to respect the time of your visitors, it pays you back with increased engagement.

    You have to be quick in understanding, admitting, and appreciating the fact that most of your readers would be skimming your offering. So, if it is hard for them to find information for which they visited your blog post, they will simply push off. It means a lost opportunity.

    Making your posts lengthy alone will not solve the issue. You have to make it easy and interesting for your readers so that they can quickly get what they came for.

    I do like the idea of including the TOC at the initial stages of your blog posts. Plus, you have introduced a lot of other techniques that can prove instrumental in building the engagement that we always look up to. I do believe that all these techniques can be very helpful in enhancing the blog visitor engagement.

    Its a valuable contribution.
    A much needed post.
    Great Stuff!

    Best Regards to You.

  15. Ahmad Imran

    Ramit, true that TOC is an important element in blog design.

    I have gone a step further on my blog and provide my readers an expandable TOC which is sticky and always available to them.

    I am seeing this trend increasing on other blogs as well.

    Thanks for thoughts and liking the article. Cheers

  16. Sharon T McLaughlin MD FACS

    A lot of great ideas in this post. I like the idea of an index, that makes semse.

    • Ahmad Imran

      Sharon, thanks for your comment. Index idea is liked by many. Worth considering further. Cheers

  17. Saurabh Tiwari

    Hey, Fantastic article Ahmad.

    I think that user engagement is important since building a community around your blog is a great way to measure success.

    • Ahmad Imran

      Surabh, exactly, it is an easy measure. The more the readers share, comment and like the blog, more engaged we can call them. Janice’s blog is a good example, I am impressed by the comments and readers love for her blog.

      Thanks for your views, have a nice Sunday and rest of the weekend.

  18. Ige Ebima

    And there are those whom the quality of INTERNET service wont allow do more on your site

  19. Edward Thorpe

    Hi Janice & Ahmad,

    Ah, reality, what a concept!

    That random blog visitors don’t care beans about the blogger should be a call to action for us bloggers. And, you’ve made some excellent suggestions that could slow down some of the fast-clickers to get to know us better. Give me enough time & I’ll make you hate me or love me. Good job, thanks,

  20. Ahmad Imran

    You are right Edward, fast clickers are everywhere 🙂 – and sometimes even we are fast clickers as well when we are on other blogs. I believe it is just the nature of the blogging and online reading nowadays.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. Cheers.

  21. Elise Cohen Ho

    Great post full of reminders that are important for all bloggers, and writers, to keep in mind.

    • Ahmad Imran


      This was the whole point to publish this post. The important reminders that we tend to underestimate and put them on the back burner. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Cheers.

  22. Tuula

    So true! This post is a great reminder to all bloggers. Pinning.
    #overthemoon link party

    • Ahmad Imran

      Thank you so much for your words of appreciation and sharing as well. Cheers

  23. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle

    Hi Ahmad,
    A very impressive post, I like the idea of a TOC at the top of posts.

    The Blogger’s Pit Stop would like to feature your post on Friday so that more bloggers will see it and learn from it. Well done.

    Blogger’s Pit Stop

    • Ahmad Imran

      Kathleen, glad that you liked the article and found it useful. Thank you so much for featuring the article on Bloggers Pit Stop. I will have a look at your blog and your pit stop series, cheers.

  24. Christie Hawkes

    What’s that they say–the truth hurts? But also knowledge is power. Thanks for sharing these blogging truths and tips for addressing them on #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty.

    • Ahmad Imran

      Christie, thank you such much for stopping by. I am glad that you found it useful and worth sharing with your blog audience. Cheers.

  25. Jean

    Ahmad and Janice, thank you for this informative post. I’m always interested in increasing engagement with my readers. I always reply to commenters and reciprocate if they are bloggers too. But I want to inspire those who haven’t commented yet to get involved. As you said, I want them to be touched by my post. I guess you could say I am an “authority” on my subject (food), but I hope readers will also come to Delightful Repast for my kindness, positive attitude and a dash of humor now and then. Today I asked for readers’ help with a cookie problem. I hope that won’t detract from my “authority” but rather show my humility! Your tips about keeping the blog simple with lots of white space are good advice, too.

    • Ahmad Imran

      Jean thanks for stopping by. I had a look at your blog and first of all congratulations on managing a great blog with decent audience engagement as well. Lots of comments on your posts and to be fair, great writeups as well.

      The only thing I could pickup was perhaps as you said, a bit more white space and possibly a slightly bigger font for ease of reading.

      Your idea about asking questions from your readers and let them feel more valued and welcomed is very good. It helps to gain their trust and friendship which is extremely useful. Keep up your this attitude and I am sure you will see more rewards.

      People generally don’t comment until they emotionally feel about you or your brand. The best advice is to keep them engaged and try to touch on their emotional side of the brain. So rather than facts and numbers, a bit more of feelings, thoughts, tastes and decisions etc. I hope you got the gist. Thanks again for your valuable comments. Cheers.

  26. dgkaye

    Fantastic post with such relevant points. Congrats Janice and Ahmed for being featured winning post this week at Blogger’s Pit Stop. I was in good company! 🙂

    • Ahmad Imran

      Thanks for letting know, Kathleen kindly included this post in the PS 90. Noticed your post there as well. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind comment.

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