As part of the preparation for this session, I thought it was worth looking back at some of the things I’ve done, and considered doing, with my blog in the last nine months from an engagement perspective.
I’ll mainly look at ‘ON my blog’ via this post and save the other bits for Monday’s chat.
ON my blog
The ‘staple’ activity that builds engagement on a blog is generating content that encourages comment / discussion, and then responding to those comments.
The other things that have worked for me have included:
Specific participatory content
In February I asked 140 communications ‘characters’ to define social media in 140 characters each.
The response was phenomenal, with people from every corner of the globe submitting a definition.
By opening my blog to the ‘world’, 140 ‘stakeholders’ in it were created, taking a vested interest in it’s content (for that post and hopefully subsequent ones).
I’ve found that ‘series’ posts encourage engagement as those who are interested will pro-actively make contact to find out when the next instalment is being published.
Unique content falls under this category.
Giving up newspapers for 12 months and blogging about it has given this blog something unusual, and people a reason to ask questions / stay connected.
There’s not much point attempting to build engagement if you don’t make it as easy as possible for people to contact you.
I’ve listed all the channels people can connect with me on a single page on my blog, ensuring no hurdles are in the way.
Interviews / guests
Interview posts and appearances by guest bloggers tend to encourage from people beyond the normal readership as those people bring their engaged connections with them.
(I’ll get into a specific activity re: guest blogging in the next section)
Provide useful information
This might seem like a ‘no-brainer’ but I learnt early on that more useful my posts were, the more interaction I’d have with people, as opposed to only serving up ‘opinions’.
Create content that can be picked up by a 3rd party
Before you can build engagement you need to attract ‘eyeballs’.
One of the best ways to increase readership is to create content that bigger sites can syndicate.
No matter what you blog about, think about which would be ideal 3rd party location for your content and keep that audience / format in mind.
Give…when you can
Back in March I profiled mflow – a cross between Twitter and iTunes – and was able to give my readers a special code to trial the service while it was still in beta testing.
In March I decided to make my blogroll open only to students, as opposed to the normal practice (generally higher profile blogs).
I found that this was a nice way to engage with a group of people I my not have if I stuck with the traditional approach.
That gives you a flavour for activity conducted ON my blog…now let’s take a look at what I’ve done OFF my blog to build engagement.
OFF my blog
Again, there are some obvious things you can do OFF your blog to build engagement, with the most obvious one being consistently ‘active’ on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook etc
Other techniques / activities I’ve adopted include:
- Commenting on other blogs
- Taking part in live Twitter chats i.e. #JournChat
- Creating initiatives that encourage engagement i.e. #BeMyGuest month
- Writing / producing content for other people and interacting directly with their communities
- Speaking at events / meeting people ‘in real life’
I’m looking forward to trading these ideas and many more on Monday night with Mack Collier and the #CommsChat community.
Keep up to date with all the #CommsChat action via Twitter @CommsChat