Writing educational blog posts can bring you a lot of audience attention. As a blog owner, you want the readers to not only comprehend the information but also to form a connection with your brand and then make them come back for more. When you consistently publish great content, people see you as an industry expert and start trusting your experience. However, many businesses get into content marketing without realizing how complex the field is and how connected it is to user experience and psychology fields. In particular, it’s a proven fact that people grasp information better if they can fully engage with it. That’s why Facebook live videos and Snapchat shots are so wildly popular – not only they invite you to the world of a particular user but also give you the opportunity to respond.
As a WordPress blog owner, you publish content on a regular basis. Here is how you can make content more engaging and get people to comment on your posts:
Enable WordPress comments
This step seems like a minor thing but many new bloggers forget that comments can be manually activated and deactivated. In order to activate the comment section on your blog, go to Settings >> Discussions, then check “allow people to post comments on new articles” box. Then click “Save changes” at the bottom of the page.
When you go to a specific blog post after activating the option, you’ll see that comments section is available for your readers. You can also allow or disable comments on individual posts by checking the “allow comments” box at the very bottom of the post in WordPress dashboard.
Create interesting headlines
A captivating headline is the first thing people see when they search for information online. Google will capture headlines that are clear, concise, and have appropriate keywords in them. When you create headlines, think about your audience. Try putting yourself in their shoes and come up with words that connect, inspire and push towards action. Also remember, that for the most part, people search either entertainment or knowledge online, so do whatever you can to capture their attention while they’re taking a break from work or show your helpful side when they want their problems solved.
Ask questions at the end of the article
This is a no-brainer way to get the audience engaged, but many blog owners create posts with the intention to give information, completely forgetting that online world is the world of conversations and discussions. If you want to engage your readers, the simplest thing you can do is ask questions at the end of the article. Questions serve two goals: they make people ponder over what they have just read, ultimately, ingraining information into their brains. Secondly, questions show that you care about your audience, value feedback, and want to engage in a meaningful conversation.
You can ask questions about the content of the article, for example, ask about the most valuable information the readers were able to acquire. You can also get the readers to share their experience with the same problem you outlined in the article. By asking for feedback, you position yourself as a true expert in the field who is hungry for new knowledge.
Place important information in the introduction
Whether you have a product or service to sell, or you want to remind your readers about your brand, the best place to put most important information is at the beginning of the article. When people read articles, they start slowly from the beginning, but then, unable to keep focus, they quickly scroll down. Your goal is to capture that precious moment of heightened attention focus and place promotional information where it will get noticed.
Don’t go overboard with promotions, as they might prompt people to leave the page. Rather seamlessly incorporate sales messages into the context. If your product helps people solve problems discussed in the article, this should be an easy thing to do.
Add images and videos
People are visual creatures. In the digital world, users are regularly bombarded by thousands of messages and bits of information. In order to navigate in the information overload era, one has to use visual clues. Pictures and videos help people distill the information into consumable, easily digestible pieces, which promotes overall general comprehension.
If you’re writing about something that is supported by data, don’t just describe things in writing, but show a visual representation of data. Include graphics, screenshots, tables and other visual information. It’s incredibly hard to decipher complex data-based information in a written format, as opposed to its visual representation.
Structure your content
Take the time to create a logical structure for your content. Ideally, a blog post should have an introduction, body, and conclusion. You can also use bullet points and headlines to structure the content within the body. Bullet points simplify scanning for the readers, and while you do want your users to pay attention to the content, you also want them to see your content as valuable. If you keep writing long paragraphs of texts in hopes for someone to have enough patience to read them, you might jeopardize all your content marketing efforts.
Find the right balance of structure and flow. You can also explore some ways to find the balance in how your entire blog is organized. Post listicles but also, once in a while, create thought-provoking research-based content that requires deliberate reading effort.
Distribute your content
Finally, for your content to be seen you have to distribute it. With the amount of content produced these days, the chances that people just go to your website to read blog posts are very low. In fact, there is even a term that defines the overwhelming amount of content – it’s called content shock. The term was defined by Mark Schaefer, who proclaimed that the amount of content produced these days exceeds human capacity to consume it. In simple terms, the supply is higher than demand.
So while your content might be valuable and entertaining, it will most likely get lost in the sheer number of blog posts already produced by other similar businesses. The only way to battle content overload is to spend as much time distributing the content as you spend producing it. Post links on social media, incorporate SEO keywords, encourage sharing by using WordPress social media share plugin, and send announcements via email.
Getting people engaged in the discussion is the pillar of successful content marketing strategy. The engaged audience is proven to be more loyal and open to making purchases compared to the audience that just consumes. Of course, you must also remember that engagement is a two-way street. You must respond to comments in a timely manner and become an equal member of the community by sharing other people’s posts and commenting on their feeds. Through engagement, you’ll be able to give your audience more value and keep them following your blog for many years to come.
So now it’s your turn. What other tactics do you use to keep your WordPress blog audience engaged?