Recently I’ve been studying which blog and Facebook posts seem to receive the highest number of comments. I have a few posts that got more than 500 comments, and these are the factors they have in common:
1) The post gave helpful information, but most importantly, it was about the reader — not about me.
2) The post encouraged readers to interact with one another in the comments.
This bears out something I’ve learned from writing over 1700 blog posts, and I think it may be the most important blogging and social media advice ever:
Make it about your reader.
Engagement is an important part of blogging and social media. The more your readers interact with your material — and interact with each other in the comments — the more motivated they will be to keep coming back. Getting your readers highly engaged is an important goal of your online activity.
One of the ways to increase engagement is to allow your readers to contribute by making their comments an integral aspect of your content.
How do you do this?
- Ask questions in a way that communicates that the readers’ answers matter.
- Encourage interaction between your readers.
- Allow them to talk about themselves, their opinions, their thoughts (or in the case of many of my posts, allow them to talk about their writing).
When your readers understand that their contributions are just as important as what you’ve written, they are much more likely to be engaged and to come back.
What are you doing to engage readers on your blog and social media?
Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books & Such Literary, looking for authors with long-term publishing potential. She represents Christian fiction and non-fiction, with a particular fondness for strong spiritual memoirs and books that address contemporary issues in Christianity. www.rachellegardner.com