How To Engage Your Blog Readers: #Blog4Biz Day 30:

This is the penultimate post in the #blog4biz challenge. Tomorrow's post will wrap up this great learning experience. But it isn't over until the end. So that means I have to write today's challenge.

Image Courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art
Today's challenge is about reader engagement. I need to come up with 5 ways to engage and involve you my readers. To answer this post and meet the 975 word count minimum, I'll tell you about my blogging experience.

1. Write honest content

I will be the first to admit I am new to real blogging. The whole reason I am relaunching the Living BRAVE Blog is because when I first started it over a year ago, I had no clue what I was doing. I muddled through for a while and life circumstances led me to eventually just leave it alone. I had maybe 3 people who regularly engaged with me on my blog back then. I emailed them all thanking for their support and let them know what was happening.

I took some time off. Feeling like a failure. I didn't think I was making a difference. My mommy blogger friend write a post about encouragment that I thought was outstanding. She wrote:
"After years and years, from childhood to adulthood, of work gone unloved, drawings unnoticed, and stories unappreciated, creativity was abandoned. There were no comments, no likes, no buzz – then the lights went out."

That is exactly what happened to me. The lights went out...but only temporarily. As God would have it, that same friend, along with others, started doing a video blog for friends and family about blogging. It was called #askablogger. I secretly tuned in to listen to hear the questions people submitted about blogging.What was it? Why do it? Stuff like that. They answered the questions. Soon I submitted a few questions and they answered those. Their candor, their advice, and their experience gave me the courage to be BRAVE enough to start back at it again. I decided way back in early June to relaunch the blog but I wanted to give myself plenty of time to educate myself on how I could do it better this time. 

That is partly why I took this daily #blog4biz challenge. I was discouraged and ignorant. That is a poor combination. I had to educate myself and I had to find motivation through engagement with people. Through these posts I have been completely honest about what works and what doesn't. Going forward you can expect more of the same.

2. Teach you how to leave comments

I began reading other people's blog. At first I was resistant to this. I mean, really? I am a wife and mother of small kids. My oldest is five. So when I was suppose to find time to read other people's stuff let alone comment? To make it doable, I set parameters to keep myself sane. I value quality over quantity. So I did a few Google searches to find people blogging about topics that interested me...leadership, communication, coaching. I picked 4 to put in my RSS feeder so I could I read them on my time. I didn't want 50 thousand emails telling me that new content was posted. Some of those bloggers posted everyday and that was just too much email. 

I started consistently following Adam Smith's blog. I liked what he had to say. I posted meaningful comments. Posting comments that have substance is the communication skill of feedback. And leaving blog post comments is a fast and easy way to practice.  Good feedback is crafted. After you know how to craft it, it gets easier to do. I would tell him why what he said resonated with me. I would say what it reminded me of. He would respond back. I asked him questions about how he built his social following and he answered. 

That was engagement. 

I know some of you have regularly following me as I did this #blog4biz challenge. So let me ask you, why don't you leave comments? Is my content not compelling enough to garner a response? Are you like me, and don't have much time? Or is it that you don't know what to say? Or are you having technical issues? Let me know.

When the blog relaunches, I will be writing about giving feedback and one way you can engage with me is to practice your feedback skills by leaving me comments.

3. Link to other resources!

Here are some resources I found with GREAT content about increasing your blog readership.

When I relaunch the blog, I will link to articles and content about communication related topics.

4. Ask for your opinion

I ask questions because I want to know what you think. Polls and asking for feedback allow me to gauge what you find most important. For example, when I relaunch August 1, 2013 I will be doing video posts and interviews. I will be asking your opinion on what type of videos you like or want to see. I will ask you about what type of people do you want to hear from. Tell me. 

5. Giveaways! 

Who doesn't like free stuff? I am doing my first giveaway. Capitalizing on back to school season and celebrating my getting back to blogging regularly, I am giveaway $50 gift card to Target in the "BRAVE-ly Back At It...Giveaway".

The goal of the giveaway is to increase awareness of my blog. I think I write some pretty good stuff, but what good is it if you don't know its here. This giveaway is one way I am going to engage you. I will be asking you questions...and answering them will increase your odds of winning. The giveaway begins August 1, 2013. You can click here for all you need to know about it.

None of these techniques are new. They have been proven to work by people who have way more blog readers than I do. So why reinvent the wheel? All I need to do is tweak and experiment to find the best ways to engage you. But, these are my ideas. But let me ask YOU...

What is the best way to keep you coming back?

 word count 1085

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