Engaging Your Blog Readers On their Level
The two biggest problems that I found with my blogs has been learning how to engage readers, and seeing finding how to increase blog readership. As time went on something happened that really made me take a step back, and see how getting down and dirty would really help me to get both. As I read some of the other posts made here, I realize that this is a common problem that a lot of people have with their blogs.
After reading Stephanie’s post on How to Obtain Comments on Your Blog, and reading the discussion we have going there, I decided to make a new post to talk about one of those most critical factors. Engaging your readers.
This is probably the most difficult part of blogging that you will ever face. Especially if you come from a background of technical writing, or like me, listening to self proclaimed experts teaching the biggest marketing blunders, while scalping you for every dime that they can.
Gaining the Trust!
You see, unlike many marketing experts, I don’t believe you have to proclaim yourself to be an expert in order to get your readers to trust you. The problem with the expert position is that you tend to focus on proclaiming and proving your expertise, and less time on getting down and dirty. Rather, what you need to do is create authority, and respect.
Contrary to what many people say, you don’t have to ” be an expert” to get either one online. In fact, this myth is so common, that it almost made the list of the top marketing blunders. It was number six on the list. What you need to do is engage your readers by being open and honest. They will begin to trust you and you will increase your blog readership, as they begin sharing what you say with their friends, family, and even on their own blogs.
Open your eyes to your own foolishness
When I started out, I fell right into the same trap, until an incident in a forum opened my eyes to my own foolishness. I had spent months positioning myself as an expert, helping others, and built up a good reputation. When people really needed help, they knew that they could count on me. However, I started getting comments about how everything I touched turned to gold, and how I was so good, I didn’t need anything. I had one person even call me a Guru. Now, to me, that is a dirty word, and what was meant as a compliment, I took as an insult.
I was floored when I saw that. after all, I had been struggling for months. I simply tend to focus on sharing the good points instead of the bad. By this time, I had been using my blog within the forum, and gotten 2-3 comments on posts that I made, and some good traffic to my site through the posts.
Share your Success
I decided to open up my mouth, and my heart. I laid it all out on the table. I shared my successes, as I had been doing. But, I also shared my failures, and the things that I was struggling with. That was my first tripple didget post, and I have seen only a few since then.
When you write on the level with your readers, and share your own experiences, trials and troubles, rather than trying to be an expert, and thus always sharing only what goes right, you engage readers on a personal level, and makes you more human in their eyes. Now, you are just one of us, rather than way up on some pedastal that nobody can touch. I have even seen people since then promoting my products, and forgetting to use their affiliate link. That’s what you can do when you really engage people.
This has been one of the biggest lessons in building up comments more comments, as well as learning to increase blog readership on all of my blogs.
By sharing your failures, and showing that you do make mistakes, it helps people to open up, and share their own. I also think it helps build more trust, and respect, both of which are critical to your long term success.
You don’t have to be an expert to make your blog work. You just have to create authority, and the best way to do that is to engage your readers and really help them.
So, I want to hear your story
What have you done that helped you engage your readers?
What have you done that fell flat?
share your experiences in engaging your blog readers.
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