Attracting Reader Responses on Your Blog by Annmarie Miles

Please welcome new columnist, Irish writer, Annmarie Miles. She’ll be regularly writing about blogging and her writer’s adventures in her monthly column.

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Sometimes it’s hard to gauge whether anyone is really connecting with your blog. If you’re using a platform that shows statistics, then at the very least you know how many people visited your site. As interesting as that is, it doesn’t tell you if your reader has engaged with what you are saying.

How do we know the difference between someone who just clicked the link but then said, “Nah… not for me!”, someone who clicked the link, spent 10 minutes reading and another 10 arguing with you in their head, and someone who clicked the link by mistake while accidentally leaning on the mousepad?!

Well the truth is we don’t; unless they respond to us in some way.

One sure fire way to know that there is engagement with your blog is when you start to get likes and comments on it. So how do we encourage folk to respond to our blog posts?

Ask For a Response

It may sound a bit obvious but, if you are looking for direct feedback on your posts then ask for it. Pose a direct question. Not just ‘Do you agree?’, but more open questions like, “What would you do in that situation?”, “Where do you find your inspiration and encouragement?”, “Have you any experience of this you’d like to share?”

Be careful not to just appear to be interested in the opinion of others! We should actually be interested. So when folk do leave a comment, make sure to read them and reply to them, even if it’s just to acknowledge and thank.

Read to be Read

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that to be a writer is to be a reader. Well the same goes for blogging. To be good bloggers we really should be reading other blogs.

There are blogs I just love to read. Folk that I feel are far more engaging and funny than I am and I can’t help but comment on their posts. Certain bloggers always seem to invite response and welcome my two cents worth of opinion on their musings.

I find then that I’m interested in comments other folk have made. So I go to their blogs and I read something and leave a comment there. If you do this often enough you’ll come across folk who are active commenters. When you start to engage with them it can naturally become reciprocal.

Depending on the blogging platform, you can leave comments, click the ‘like’ button, vote and share blog posts that inspire and encourage you.  

Be a Social (Media) Butterfly

Connecting with fellow bloggers on social media is a great way to share what you want to say and hear what others are saying. It’s a great compliment to a blogger if you share their post. And though we don’t want to fall into ‘you scratch my back…’ mentality, making the effort to promote other people’s work can oftentimes reap benefits.

Twitter seems to be the most popular and active for writers. But Facebook, Google+ and others are all good to join if you have time!

There is no doubt about it, they can take up a huge amount of time. So we need to be careful or we’ll spend too much time Tweeting and not enough time writing!

But investing time into your social media connections is well worth it.

It won’t all happen in a couple of days. I read blogs that have at least 20 or 30 comments on every post but that’s often from 100s of followers. I’m only starting to put this into practise and slowly but surely I’m reaping little rewards. It takes time to build a following and develop connections.

But if that’s what we want… then it starts with us!

Oh and quick question…  have you any advice or tips on this subject? :-)

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About the Author

Annmarie Miles is 40 yrs old, Irish, Christian, married, and proud to be all of those things. She loves words, music & chocolate! She mostly writes about the things that life has thrown at her and how she has tried to learn, love and laugh at it all along the way!

Where to find Annmarie:

Email: auntyamo@gmail.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/amowriting

Google+ auntyamo

Twitter: @auntyamo

Personal Blog: www.auntyamo.wordpress.com

Fiction Blog: www.ficticiousamo.wordpress.com

 

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10 Responses

  1. ‘fraid I’ve no tips as requested……. am only brand new to twitter where I saw that your blog column was starting today so came to have a look enjoyed it and will keep up to date with it. But don’t have any different contacts to RT to maybe in future :-)

  2. Great post. I seem to connect more with my writing pals on Facebook than on Twitter. Every once in awhile, I go “visiting” blogs and commenting, but you are absolutely write. If you aren’t careful, it can take a lot of time out of a day. I’ve resorted to scheduling my day in increments — a couple of hours writing, an hour visiting or researching, another hour or two for writing, etc.

    I’ve posted a lot on blogs and facebook, but the problem is if you’re anything like me, you have a ton of friends and when you do post, it gets lost in the shuffle of dozens of other postings. There are times when I don’t see something someone has posted because of this. Not sure how to get around it, though. :-)

  3. Beth Barany says:

    Patricia, Thanks for stopping by. I’m sure Annmarie appreciates it and will stop by when she soon!

    Hi Shelby, Your scheduling plan sounds great. I think you can check a box to get notified if more people comment on a post in which you commented. Also, you can subscribe via RSS or email to stay abreast of your friends’ blogs. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thanks so much for your comments folks.

    It’s great to be connected with ou on Twitter Patricia. I’m sure like most of us you’ll be a dab hand in no time :) Thanks for stopping by!

    Shelby, I agree with Beth – that sounds like a great system you have worked out there. I have found Facebook easier to control than Twitter but I suppose it’s “horses for courses” as the saying goes :)
    You can amend your settings to get email notifications when someone responds to your posts, or posts on your blog/FB page. At first I found it a bit annoying to get these streams of emails coming in; but it does mean I don’t miss anything.
    If you’d like some help with that feel free to email me… amowriting@gmail.com

  5. helenhamill says:

    love blogging, but am not very good at attracting attention to what i have to say – i think.
    i have kept it off facebook, as is very honest and am promoting only by twitter, is there any advice on do and don’t etiquette?

  6. Hiya Helen
    As you know I love both of your blogs and the fact that you started your comment with ‘love blogging’ says it all.
    Keep going it and keep loving it. You will attract attention but it will take time to build a following.
    Keep doing what you’re doing. Twitter is definitely the best for you.
    The other option is to use Google+. I only use Google+ for advertising my blog posts. Rarely post anything else there. But it helps build google rankings.
    The other thing you can do is ask some key people to Retweet your posts. Not all the time but every so often is now harm :)

  7. Beth Barany says:

    Great advice, Annmarie! Asking for help is always a great idea for us introverted types. LOL

  8. Michelle says:

    I keep trying and slowly I get more feedback. Still slow though. Someone also told me to get better feedback is to make sure you know who you are trying to attract and write posts that appeal to them. I thought, well duh, but when it comes down to it it’s all easier said then done.

  9. Beth…. us introverted types? who would they be? 😀

    Michelle you’re so right, it’s hard work to get feedback. There’s so much to read online. Sometimes you have to shout loud to be heard! But that’s not a bad tip though. If you’re on Twitter or FB it might be worth doing a bit of research to see if there are any interest groups or hashtags on your subject. Can’t hurt to let them know you’re writing about what they are interested in 😉
    I think though it’s important to write what you know and love, do your best to promote and bit by bit you will build up the connections.
    I’ve had a look at your blog – looks interesting! I’ll be sure to follow.

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