Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ways To Embrace Your Audience

Blogging is about interaction.  While it’s great to deliver fantastic content, or have a brilliant style of writing, it’s seemingly useless if you don’t have strong followers to communicate with.  The purpose of blogging is to convey information to your readers and encourage conversation.  It is imperative, then, as a blogger, to make those who interact with you a part of your community.

Getting readers to engage with your blog seems easy, right?  Well, it can be.  There are several tips suggested toward effectively embracing your audience.  I thought it would be fun to explore a few. 

1. Encourage Comments and Forums
While it may seem “Blogging 101”, comments and forums are the simplest means of obtaining audience participation.  You have to get your audience talking, and encouraging comments is the easiest way to do so.  For example, your entire post can be based on a question (i.e. “Why Do We Blog?”).  Questions lead readers to interpret their own opinions on what you have just written and will encourage them to form their own opinions.   Comments and forum space are a rudimentary principle that should be engraved in the minds of all bloggers.  

2.  An “Ask The Author” Box
Utilizing an ask box unites your audience with yourself as the writer.  If audience members need clarification on misleading information or want a comment answered, an ask box is the best go about doing this.  Readers can get their questions directly answered from you, which translates to more audience interaction as a communal effort. 

3.  Utilize Social Media
    Ah yes, but where would audience interaction be without good ole’ social media?  While it’s easy to get confused by all the various social media platforms available, as long as you focus on the “social” part of it all, you’ll do just fine.  If you receive emails, tweets, or comments from readers, ensure a response is granted.  Include a personal touch by utilizing RTs and replies , keyword being personal.  You want your readers to WANT to come back to your site.  As social media relationships grow stronger, your audience gets wider!

While you’re working on actively engaging your audience it’s also important not to lose sight of yourself and your vision as a blogger.  Don’t get too wrapped up in whoever you think your audience wants you to be.  Make sure you maintain true to your values.  That’s why they came to you in the first place. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Emily O'Connell.

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