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5 Incredible Ways to Increase your Blog’s Engagement with your Audience

By Nicholas Muema | Blogging 101

Oct 25
5 Incredible Ways to Increase your Blog’s Engagement with your Audience

Some time back, when I was a kid, my mum sent me to the shop. She gave me the money and explained to me the items I needed to buy.

So I made a beeline to the shop, hoping I would buy myself some sweets with the left-over change.

But when I got there, something bizarre happened.

I couldn’t remember the stuff I needed to buy.

Not. Even. One.

I stood there staring blankly at the shopkeeper wondering what to do next.

Going back home was quite a distance. But that wasn’t the problem.

I simply didn’t know what to say to my mum once I got there.

With all the courage my 7-year-old-self could muster, I explained the strange situation to my mum. Luckily, she understood and wrote down the items for me.

I happily handed over the list to the shopkeeper and bought the items with incredible haste.

And yeah, I bought myself some tasty-looking sweets with the left-over change.

So, what does this story have to do with the post?

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To be honest with you, I wrote this story to get you reading. To grab hold of your attention, and importantly, to help you see the importance of story-telling.

And I’ll discuss it as the first point.

1) The timeless art of story-telling.

"Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form."

Jean Luc Godard

It’s important to appreciate the power of a good story. Your grandparents probably used stories to explain life facts in a way your childhood mind could understand.

Stories are also great tools to develop empathy. You see, as a blogger, your posts are meant to help your reader.

However, delivering facts after facts isn’t always the right approach. Yes, you are helping the reader, but you’re not helping him/her engage with your post.

This is what I mean by engaging:

  • You can use a story as an analogy to a fact that you’d like to explain. Stories are easier to relate with, and they easily help in the digestion of difficult facts.
  • A story is by default attention-grabbing. I used a story at the intro part of the post to hold your limited attention, and to set the scene for the entire post.
  • Your reader is more likely to remember the story than the fact you tried explaining.
  • You can also use a relatable story to create your blog’s persona. 

    • Who’s your ideal reader?
    • What is he/she getting from your posts?
    • Are there any benefits when your ideal reader subscribes to your blog?
    • What types of content are suitable for your blog’s persona?
    • Which specific categories in your blog does your persona belong to?

    These are tough questions that are next to impossible to answer without a life-story around your persona.

    You need to understand your ideal reader/client in a more humane way.

    Remember that it’s people who read your posts, hence the reason to understand your ideal reader at the granular level.

    Story-telling can increase your engagement dramatically.

    This blog post, for example, experienced a 300% increase just by incorporating a story at its intro section. 

    2) Clever use of subheadings

    When was the last time you read a long blog post word for word?

    I’m guessing never is the answer, right?

    Don’t feel bad about it. I also do the same.

    Which is why you need to be clever about your sub-heads.

    Most blog readers skim through content. Possible reasons are:

    • They’re pressed on time, and reading a long blog post isn’t doing any justice for them.
    • They’d like to read a section that interests them the most.
    • Or, they’d like to get the gist of the entire post before reading it word for word.

    That’s why you need to UP your blog post’s sub-heads. They’re the backbone of your blog post’s structure and they need to attract the attention of your reader.

    A common mistake is to use vague sub-heads like:

    • Use story-telling
    • Men’s fashion trending now.
    • Cooking chapatti.

    Instead, infuse life to these sub-heads like:

    • Use story-telling to drive home hard-to-ingest facts
    • Men’s fashion currently taking Africa by storm.
    • How to cook tantalizing chapattis even if you’re not a pro.
    • Etc.

    Use H2 heading format for your sub-heads. If you’d like to break down the sub-heads further, use H3 format.

    headers

    This helps boost your SEO scores, and it’s also a good formatting practice to use for your blog posts.

    Main title—H1

    Sub-heading—H2

    Sub sub-heading—H3

    3) Format your content properly

    I know formatting isn’t your cup of tea.

    But if you can’t afford an editor, you need to learn the basics of a properly formatted blog post:

    • Use short sentences: Don’t over-complicate your sentences. Short and clear sentences carry the day.
    • Use short paragraphs: These days, people read a lot via smartphones. Which is why your paragraphs shouldn’t exceed 4 lines in desktop view.
    • Use grammatically correct language: Try to use proper English when writing your blog posts. One or two typos isn’t bad, but make sure you proofread your work. Trust me, it helps a lot.
    • Use different font styles: This helps when you want to stress a point or a question. You can use italics or bold to emphasize your point(s).
    • Ensure that there’s enough white background space: This reduces eye fatigue and helps your reader skim through your content easily.
    • Use bullet points: When explaining a list of facts, bullet points add that captivating appeal that prompt your reader to read them.

    4) Incorporate images to your blog posts

    They say that a picture is worth 1000 words.

    Therefore, a good, eye-catching image can capture and retain your reader’s attention with utmost ease.

    Different kinds of images can be used to add the missing allure to your posts:

    • Stock photos: Excellent sources are Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash.
    pixabay

    Pixabay


    • Blog graphics: Canva and Venngage.
    • Infographics & data charts: Canva, Venngage and Piktochart.
    • Screenshots: These help, in conjunction with text, during the explanation of a tutorial post.

    I recommend using blog headers {or featured images in WordPress}.

    blog header

    A captivating blog header increases the likelihood of your reader clicking through and reading your post.

    I use Canva to design my blog headers, and I still recommend them to anyone who’d like to use awesome graphics, but doesn’t know a smidge about web design.

    canva

    5) Break up the monotony of text

    This last point is a culmination of the 4 points. Nobody likes to read endlessly long paragraphs.

    They’re a serious eye-sore, and can make your reader leave your blog for good.

    But there’s always room for improvement. And the tool that improves my posts is called Thrive Architect.

    thrive-architect

    I use it to:

    • Change fonts using Google Fonts. 
    • Mix font styles (bold & italics) with ease. I can also change the font size in real time. 
    font change
    • Add highlight boxes to my posts. These boxes help when you’re trying to emphasize various points.
    • Change font colours. I mainly use this feature on my sub-heads.
    • Add click-to-tweet boxes.

    5 Incredible Ways to Increase your Blog's Engagement with your Audience

    Click to Tweet
    • Add progress bars & fill counters.
    75%
    Fill Counter
    75% Progress bar
    • Add images to my posts, etc.

    Thrive Architect is jam-packed with features. There are other cool features embedded in the plugin that I won’t delve further.

    It’s the only tool I use to format my blog posts, and it does so effortlessly.

    The best part is that it’s a true What You See Is What You Get editor (WYSIWYG).

    You can see Thrive Architect’s prowess here.

    Conclusion

    As a blogger, finding a way to retain the limited (and usually distracted) attention of your reader is usually difficult.

    I hope one of the 5 methods above will help you create stunning and irresistible posts that leaves your readers with the ‘aha’ effect.

    That's my expectation.

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    About the Author

    Nick started Blogger's Pursuit to help upcoming bloggers and entrepreneurs discover their pursuit of blogging. Other times, you'll find him deeply engrossed in a book or finding new business strategies to experiment with.