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Reader Engagement: 3 Highly Effective Tactics

Steven 5 responses Blogging

We talk about it all the time: You MUST engage your reader. But what does that really mean? How do you know if you’ve “engaged” your reader? Here’s a quick tip – Before you publish your next post, read it out loud, and pretend you’re one of your readers. After you’ve read it from start to finish, if you can sit back and say, “So what?” then I hate to tell you this, but you’re not engaging your reader.

Here are three high-powered reader engagement tactics to help you out.

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Write a Prescriptive Post

A prescriptive post is the type of post that makes your reader want to immediately get up off the couch and do something. There could be six months until Spring and two feet of snow outside but your article about growing award winning tomatoes has him digging out his seed catalogs and searching the web for a local organic fertilizer supplier.

Generally, prescriptive posts fall under either How-To posts or actionable list posts, but they all have four things in common:

  • The are highly relevant to your audience: It’s a hot topic – for your readers – right now.
  • They make a strong emotional impact: Look for the need, want or frustration and fix it.
  • They’re detailed and packed with information: Everything the reader needs to know is right there in one post.
  • They’re actionable: The reader can implement your tips or steps and see immediate results or progress.

Write a Feedback Post

We sometimes get so caught up in “talking” to our readers that we forget they might sometimes like to talk back. A feedback post engages your readers by asking them to participate in the conversation.

For example, after you’ve listed 10 Tips, ask your readers for number 11. If you’ve written an opinion post, ask your readers for their opinion. Instead of trying to solve a problem for your readers, ask them to solve one for you.

Write an Immersive Post

Immersive posts engage your readers by wrapping them in an emotional experience. They’re often personal stories that make your reader feel like he’s right there by your side. They can be very powerful, but they can also be the most difficult to write because they require a certain level of writing and storytelling ability.

What’s In A Name?

Giving these three post types a specific name makes them seem all professional and intimidating but this is the type of content you’ve probably been writing all along, so don’t be afraid. Now that you realize that How-To post or list post can be so powerful, deliberate choose it the next time and write it with the intention of engaging your readers.

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  1. Kathy Meis

    Excellent article. I’m the founder of the socidal book discovery and commerce platform Bublish, and I’m going to share it with our community. For fiction or nonfiction authors who blog, we think the type of immersive posts you describe are key to standing out in a crowded book marketplace. Immersive posts can be very powerful. We’ve seen high conversion rates to book sales on our platform from those authors who have shared the story behind their story. That is the the reason they write, how they created their characters and settings, why the write in a certain genre, etc. There’s an incredible amount of content out there for readers to sort through. Engagement comes when you share a piece of your own story. Thanks for the article!

    1. It totally makes sense! People are interesting to learn about other people… Especially successful ones.

      Explaining the back story behind a book or any kind of business is a perfect way of creating a relationship with the readers.

  2. I’m definitely bookmarking your post, Ste’. As I discover my voice, trying out different blog styles and techniques to find out what appeals to my audience is helpful. I’m adding your suggestions to my list.

    1. Thanks for your nice words Cat. When you’re stating to blog, finding your own voice and writing style might sound challenging… but it makes the process very exciting :)

      Good luck with your blog! (And keep me posted on your successes)

  3. I’ve hesitated to get too personal in my blog (which offers editing and writing advice), but I’ve noticed that the few times I’ve opened up, I’ve had great response. Knowing how much personal stuff is too much or too little is difficult, but I’m trying to find the balance for maximum engagement. Thanks for these great tips!