In the first part of this series, we talked about the components of making a good blog post. Now we’ll talk about what to do before and after publishing it to increase blog views, interaction, and e-mail signups.
We live in a social world where much of our news comes from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To grow your readership and increase blog views, you need to encourage your current readers to share what you’ve written on their favorite social media sites. What those sites are will largely depend on the niche you’re in. Find out where your audience likes to hang out. Then focus on getting them to share on those social media outlets to attract more like-minded readers.
Start with Quality Content
Of course, it all starts with quality content that your readers want to read and share. No one is going to spread a crappy post on social media. Start by writing the best blog posts you can and do some research into what your audience wants and needs.
In other words, serve your market well. They will, in turn, share what you’re writing with their friends and acquaintances.
Make It Pretty
Next, it’s time to pretty up your post. Break up your content into small bite-sized chunks so it’s easy to read. Add some subheadings and formatting to make it easy to scan through the content. And don’t forget to add a pretty image that captures the essence of your post. Easy-to-read posts that are pleasant to look at will almost always increase blog views in the long run.
Step away from your desk and then come back and look at it with fresh eyes. Is the blog post visually appealing? Does it grab your attention? If not, go back to the drawing board and see what you can do to improve it.
Make It Easy to Share
When your goal is to get people to share your blog post on social media, you want to make it as easy as possible. We talked about what social media sites your audience favors earlier. Make sure you have one-click buttons to share the blog post available for all those sites. If you are running your blog using WordPress, you can find a plugin to help you do this.
Ask for The Social Media Share
Buttons are great, but sometimes it takes a little extra push to get your readers to take action. Don’t be afraid to ask for the social media share. Close your articles and blog posts with a little sentence or two asking them to share if they enjoyed the post. And don’t forget to let them know how much you appreciate it when they share the love.
Engage Your Readers and Encourage Interaction to Increase Blog Views
Blogging can feel like a very one-sided conversation sometimes. You’re sitting there, typing away, and sharing content with your readers. But you don’t hear anything back. Your audience reads it and responds with silence. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Blogs were designed to facilitate engagement and communications.
All it takes is a little encouragement to get your own readers to do that on your blog. When combined with social media interaction, there’s no reason it can’t turn into a fully-engaged conversation. This will help you grow a loyal base of fans, which will, of course, increase blog views.
Because, let’s face it, you need to pay your bills at the end of the month. While it’s nice for our egos to get lots of interaction, when you’re blogging for a living what really counts is making enough money. For that to happen, you need a loyal audience that not only knows, likes, and trusts you, but is also comfortable spending money with you or your sponsors.
And for that to happen you need an engaged audience.
Interaction helps, because with each email your readers send you, with each comment they post, and each social media post they write you learn a little more about your target audience and how you can best serve them.
And that right there is the key to becoming a profitable blogger. Know your market, serve your market, and present them with offers to help them reach their goals or fill their need.
We know it’s important, but how do we get the ball rolling and encourage our audience, our readers to interact with us bloggers?
We do it by asking them questions, by asking them for feedback and by encouraging them to share their opinions – right from our blog posts.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re writing a post about getting your baby to sleep through the night. Within the post, ask your readers how old their kids are, or what their own experiences are with their infants. Ask them to share if they are struggling with getting enough sleep right now because baby wakes them up every few hours. Encourage them to share their stories and tell them exactly where and how to do it – by leaving a comment below.
The next step is crucial.
As soon as you see that first comment or two pop up, reply to them and keep the conversation going. This will do two things for you. Not only will you have a great conversation with the reader that commented (and a chance to form a deeper relationship), seeing you reply also shows other readers that you care and really want to hear from them. And that’s what’s going to encourage more and more of your loyal readers to comment.
The same goes for social media engagement. When you post a link to your latest blog post, ask your friends and followers to like, share, and comment. Then let them know how much you appreciate it when they do. Of course, you can get the conversation going there too by asking a question related to your blog post on Facebook for example. It’s a great way to share another link to your blog post and get the conversation going at the same time.
Give these tips a try and see if you can’t get your readers to engage and interact with you. It’s well worth the effort.
What tips do you have for keeping your audience engaged?
Different Ways to Monetize Your Blog Posts
Let’s start with a big assumption. You’re writing your blog to make money, to earn a living, not to share fun stories about what’s going on with your family or what you’re up to with your favorite hobby or activity. If you’re putting in the work, doing the research, and growing the audience, chances are you’d like to get paid for your hard work. And for that to happen, you have to monetize your blog posts. Let’s look at three different ways to do just that.
Make Product Recommendations Directly On Your Blog
One of the easiest things to get started with is to make recommendations directly in your blog posts. These can be your own products or something you’re an affiliate for. If you want something really simple, sign up for the Amazon affiliate program. As you blog about things, work in a product here or there.
For example, say you’re in the parenting niche and you’re working on a blog post about a fun park in your area. You could mention the stroller you used and how well it did (or didn’t) perform in the park. Or if you’re a photographer who also blogs, share your latest pictures and mention what camera, filter, flash etc. you used for each picture along with links to those products.
Work with Brands
Working with brands is another great option. Make connections via social media or use one of the large networks that connect bloggers and brands. They will often pay you to write a blog post that mentions one of their products. Don’t be surprised to work for free products or low pay in the beginning. That’s ok. The important thing is to get the relationship started. However, it should be clear that this is for the short term (low pay, not the relationship).
It takes time to build a relationship and show the marketing person you’re working with that you have the reach and the chops to influence a large group of people. And of course, as your audience grows, you can expect to get paid better to be a brand ambassador.
Grow Your List and Make Offers Via Email
The most effective way to make money from your blog is to focus on getting your blog readers on your email list first. This gives you a chance to build a stronger relationship with your audience, get them back to your blog and of course make offers to them directly in your emails.
Keep your email messages entertaining and helpful with some recommendations thrown in, and you’ll do well. Keep growing your list as your blog grows and your income will follow right along.
Of course, this is by no means an all-inclusive list. The options for monetizing your blog seem to be unlimited, but these are three relatively simple concepts you can start with.
Increase Blog Views by Growing Your E-mail List
How many times do you find yourself browsing the web, hopping from one site to the next and actually finding some pretty cool blogs? It happens to me all the time and I have every intention of going back to some of those blogs to read more. Sometimes I even remember to bookmark them. But the chances of me ever finding my way back there or digging through my list of hundreds of browser bookmarks are slim to none. And the vast majority of people that stumble across your blog are the same way. That’s not a very effective way to grow a loyal readership.
That’s why it is crucial to get those readers on your email list.
Once you do that you can bring them back over and over again. You can send out a quick little email inviting them to read your latest blog post. But it doesn’t stop there.
You can also share your social media posts and profiles with your list and grow your reach with nothing more than an email that invites them to interact with you on your Facebook Page for examples.
And with each email you sent, your readers get to know you a little better. Ideally that means they’ll also like and most importantly trust you more. Once your readers know, like, and trust you, they’ll gladly take you up on product recommendations you make to them.
A lot of bloggers ask about monetizing their posts. Frankly the best answer is to get your readers on your list, build that relationship and then make offers via email. You don’t have to be spammy about it or sound like a used car salesman. Instead, share some helpful information, give them some tips and then invite them to learn more or implement it with the product you’re recommending.
Let’s recap why it’s so crucial to your blogging success that you should focus on building an email list first.
- It allows you to bring readers back to your blog whenever you’re publishing a new post.
- Having a list allows you to grow your social media reach by inviting readers to connect with you on social media sites.
- You own your email list. Facebook or Pinterest could decide to shut down your account one day, but as long as you have your email list, you can always reach your audience.
- Last but not least, staying in touch regularly via email gives you a chance to build a relationship with your audience. It’s at that point that it makes sense to make offers for products and services and make some money from your blog posts and emails.
That continues to be my goal as I work to grow my online business. How about you?