Friday, 8 April 2011

7 Ways to Make Your Blog Interactive

How to Increase Reader's Engagement

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Traditional static websites are fast becoming a thing of the past. With the rapid development of technology and increase of competition, it has become a requirement to have a site that is frequently updated with fresh content. And what better way to do this than adding a company blog to your website?

While it's true that a blog is an effective marketing and communication tool, it doesn't work out on its own. You have to ensure that the blog stays relevant and useful to readers, meaning don't just write sales letter articles. Write something that can really add value to the customer's brand experience in particular and life in general. Create a blog that starts conversations and builds community. To do this, it is not enough anymore that readers only discover your blog. They have to stay, explore and experience your brand to truly establish your position.  How do you do that? How do you keep your blog more interactive so readers will participate and will keep on coming back?

Improve Commenting System to Encourage your Readers to Leave Comments
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  • Ask questions by the end of the posts that ask readers their opinions or similar experience.
  • Allow rating comments with a simple thumbs up or thumbs down.
  • Include a poll in your blog post  so that even busy readers can participate and share their thoughts with just a click of their mouse.
  • Allow threaded comments. Readers should be able to comment on other reader's comments. This gives you a more organized commenting system and allows readers to easily follow up on what's going on with their comments. Imagine their frustration if they have to sort through the pile of comments just to check if anyone reacted to it.
  • Apply subscribe to comments feature on your blog. There are readers who are interested with other reader's comments and want to be notified of updates.
  • Push the conversation forward by setting aside time to respond to comments and interact with readers. It's not necessary to reply to every comments especially if you are receiving numbers of them, but dropping a reply every now and then shows your accessibility to readers.

Provide readers other ways to contact you other than the commenting system

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Readers appreciate it if the author is accessible. This means they should have other ways to reach out to you and give feedback or ask questions. You might want to choose the best medium to contact you (e-mail, contact form, instant messaging, phone) so messages are consolidated in one place and you don't hurt your productivity switching from one medium to another.

Be conversational and personal 

Just because it's a company blog doesn't mean the tone should be serious. Write as if you are talking to someone face to face. Ask questions, share experiences, tell stories. This will give more personality to the blog and will likely attract more participation.

Let readers suggest future posts

Make readers feel that they play a special role in shaping the direction of the blog. Ask for their recommendations of possible topics. When readers know they contribute,  they get more involved and may sometimes be willing to evangelize your message. Plus writing what your readers suggest ensures content that they are interested in.

Make it easy for readers to share your posts

Give your readers the ability to easily and conveniently share your messages to their network. Add application to your blog for a one simple click sharing system. Add social 
bookmarking buttons so readers can facebook share, retweet or email the post to a friend. This can potentially increase traffic to your blog.

Allow readers to subscribe  to your feeds

To increase the odds of creating loyal readers, see to it that you provide feed subscription.Provide alternative subscription methods too like opt-in email or newsletters to cater to people with different ways of consuming information.

Take advantage of widgets

Widgets can add functionality to your blog and can enrich reader's experience.  Make sure to choose well what widgets to use because adding to much can result to a cluttered blog and will just confuse your readers. This can potentially backfire your ultimate goal of increasing engagement. Below are some widgets that can attract readers to explore your blog.

Top posts/random posts - This can give more options to your readers or can introduce posts that the reader might have failed to notice.

Category list and archives - This allows readers to select a category they are interested in.

Top commenter/ Recent comment - This provides link to the posts and shows which posts are being commented on. It gives a preview on what other readers are saying on a particular post.

Related posts - This provides readers articles similar or related to the article they just read.

It is important that before you commit to  start your company blog, you  are aware of the time and effort it requires on your part as you have to regularly feed your blog with fresh and relevant articles. Just like with a website,  it is better to not have a blog at all than to have one that is  out-of-date and boring.

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1 comment:

  1. Nice article ! To make your blog interactive, use blog design perfect and make your blog interactive by using any of the videos , comments etc .. If you want to make your blog, use Wordpress Software . You can get it as a freebie from the provider