I get a lot of comments, DM’s, emails etc. asking me about how one can increase their following and traffic. I admit that having a larger following and audience can be quite beneficial depending on what you want from blogging, however, I’ve noticed that most people don’t understand how important engagement is compared to your following and traffic.
Back in the day, if you were trying to make money online through sponsored posts potential sponsors tended to focus on following and traffic, however, this is generally not the case anymore. I’m not going to pretend like following doesn’t matter at all because it does and it’s great if you can grow your blog. But, at the same time having a smaller blog has a lot of benefits too.
A lot of sponsors who are currently attempting to work with bloggers/influencers are realising that it’s incredibly easy and in some cases, depending on the platform, inexpensive to buy followers and views. For this reason, potential sponsors have begun to not only look at following and traffic but also at engagement rates.
Someone who has a smaller following is much more likely to have a very high engagement rate simply due to statistics. For smaller bloggers out there (5k and less followers) it’s important to maintain high engagement rates and when conversing with potential sponsors instead of mentioning your followers or views make sure you mention your impressive engagement rate.
At the end of the day, the only thing a sponsor would want is to get traffic to their page or to sell their product or services. If your engagement rate is incredibly low there is no point of them wasting money on working with you because they will likely not get much or perhaps even any new customers. If your engagement is high even if your following is lower they are likely still going to get some customers which would obviously be beneficial for them.
When I used to search on search engines about growing your following/traffic or about making money online I didn’t see much information come up about engagement. There was mention of it but it was rarely specifically talked about. However, I think more recently people are realising just how important engagement is and I do see more people talk about it. I thought I would talk about it too and hopefully you guys find this information helpful for you and are able to benefit from it.
For those of you who may not have the engagement that you are hoping for here are four ways through which you can organically increase your engagement:
Stop Posting And Ghosting
The first 24 hours after you post something on your blog are extremely vital. This is when it will get the most traction and you need to actively engage during this time to make sure that your followers/audience feels heard. Furthermore, this tells the algorithm that your post is very active which will consequently help your post get pushed out to tags/the top of the reader by the algorithm because it will assume it’s something people are interested in.
We don’t have the best attention spans especially these days and when it comes to the internet. People generally post a comment and then forget about it after a while. If you reply instantly or as soon as possible your post will still be fresh in their mind and you can have a nice conversation with the person through comments. Also, the person will feel like you care enough to engage with them and will come back every time you post to chat with you about the post.
This is something I’m still working on so I feel like a bit of a hypocrite telling people to engage when I occasionally reply to comments after like a week. But it’s all good- don’t pressure yourself too much and do the best you can. If you can engage in 24 hrs that’s great and if not engage whenever you can.
As I ALWAYS say and I am sure you are sick of hearing me say this- WordPress is a two way street. If you want people to engage in your posts, if you want to gain new followers and if you want to increase your traffic you need to engage with other blogs. If you don’t engage with others it’s quite likely that they won’t be interested in engaging with you and your blog.
Plus, there are thousands of blogs out there that probably don’t even know you exist. Try to engage on newer blogs or blogs with a smaller following because they are much more likely to engage back. Make sure these are blogs you actually enjoy though because no wants a super vague comment on their post which just shows you didn’t bother to read the post. Even if it isn’t a super long and specific comment make sure to leave something that shows you read the post and enjoyed it.
Lastly, try to engage with blogs that have similar posts as your blog because they will be more likely to follow your blog and engage with your posts as they are already interested in those topics. You will also enjoy their blog more because you are interested in similar things and therefore you can genuinely engage and leave comments.
If you are looking to grow your blog and especially if at some point you are looking to make money online via blogging you need to do A LOT of research. You need to figure out keywords, SEO etc. so that your posts get more traffic which will lead to more engagement.
If, like me, your blog does not have a particular niche and you tend to write about a number of topics and are open to write about most things I would highly recommend looking into what is popular at the time and writing a post about it. It’s very likely that your followers have that topic in mind too and will probably have an opinion about it that they want to share. This will get you a lot more comments than posting about random things that has a very specific audience.
Using the correct keywords and making your posts more SEO friendly and will help you get more traffic from search engines. As your audience increases, so will your engagement because let’s be honest- this is the internet and literally everyone has an opinion about everything even if it’s none of their business.
Finally, you want to research your blog. I know it sounds a little odd but don’t knock it down till you try it (that’s what he said?). Google your own blog and see what posts come up first. Those are probably your most popular posts for visits from search engines. Next, try searching your blog in the search section of the Reader on WordPress and see what posts come up. The ones on top are probably your most popular ones on WordPress. Re-visit those blog posts and see what you did right, why people seem to visit them more often and try to model your future posts after them.
This one sounds a little extreme and most people are unwilling to do this but trust me when I say that it’s a game changer. Unfortunately, WordPress is filled with spam account and they tend to randomly follow your blog and then ghost you. This decreases your overall engagement because it will look like you have a lot of followers but a number of them are not engaging with your posts. Or worse, it will look like you bought bot followers when in reality you have not.
Spam or bot followers are a serious issue especially for bigger blogs because we get followed by random bots like this all the time and it can be quite time consuming to go through your list of followers removing them one by one every day. However, doing this will make sure that your followers are real and that you have a high engagement rate because unlike bot followers real followers will engage with your posts.
It make feel like you are losing followers and it sounds crazy to remove followers but it will be super beneficial in the long run. Having a blog with a smaller following of organic and engaging followers is better than having a large blog with mostly bot followers. Real followers will actually engage, buy products/services if you ever start selling something or work with sponsors, support you both online and in real life and more.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a blogging advice post but they take a while to write so I’ve been doing them less frequently especially since I’m working on a PDF with all my advice information on it so you guys can download that and have all the information in one place instead of searching through like a thousand posts.
I noticed that when it comes to engagement on blogs people don’t talk about it much. I found that odd since engagement is a big deal. When I first started making money on this blog I had significantly less followers but people still wanted to work with me because of my engagement rate. I think engagement can be super beneficial especially for smaller bloggers which is why I wanted to share this with you guys.
I have a lot more information about engagement so if you guys are interested in a part two of this post let me know in the comments below. What other areas of blogging would you like me to write advice posts about? What advice do you think would be beneficial to read about? Did you know how important engagement is before reading this post? How do you boost engagement on your posts? Let me know in the comments below because I love hearing your thoughts or simply stop by and say hi- I promise I don’t bite!
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