So many blogs out there are writers talking at their audience. One of the most innovative aspects of the Internet that separates it from old media (think newspapers or magazines) is its ability to be interactive and generally conversational. A successful blog not only teaches and entertains, but also allows the reader to gain an emotional stake in the blog. This is the difference between having a blog with loyal readers and having a blog only read through search engines. Here are some ways to make your blog more interactive.
1. Run Opinion Polls
A quick and easy solution to making your blog more interactive is to ask your readers’ opinion. This can be as simple as discussing a prominent issue of the day in a blog post and at the end, asking readers to submit their thoughts. Another example is to ask your reader to pick the next topic you cover. If they feel like you are covering topics they are truly interested in, they will keep coming back for more. You can use your facebook fan page to run opinion polls.
2. Read And Respond to Comments
Another simple solution is reading and responding to the comments. So many bloggers ignore what the readers have to say about them (either because they want to ignore criticism or they don’t have time). Sometimes the criticism is constructive and can make the reader’s experience more pleasant if you listen to suggestions. If they have questions, make a concerted effort to answer them as best as you can. Readers love to be able to feel like they have a real relationship with the blogger because communication should be a two-way street.
3. Invite Popular Contributors to Write Guest Posts
The more you read and respond to the comments on your blog, the more you will be able to pull out insightful readers. Increase the interactivity of your blog by approaching those regular contributors and asking for a guest post. This doesn’t have to be much, but the chance for a regular reader to write something for your blog makes them feel part of it. You can also have a series of guest posts from popular readers, which will give incentive for others to participate as well.
4. Hold Competitions That Promote Reader Interaction
- Giveaway Google+ Invitation at RealTimeTricks
- Giveaway Contest: 100 Personal VPN Accounts Valid for 3 Months
Giving things almost always gives a huge boost to your blog, but holding a competition that promotes reader interaction is the most effective way. For example, if you run a kite blog, hold a contest where readers submit a picture of their favorite kite. Another option is to have them submit stories about their favorite (insert something related to your blog). Either way, doing this and then giving something away afterward will significantly boost the overall sense of interaction.
Author – Timothy Martinez Jr. is a freelance writer and blogs about a number of subjects, including bird feeders for Backyard Chirper.