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14 Ways To Boost Reader Engagement On Your Blog

How To Increase Engagement With Your Blog's Readers

Have you ever wondered how to encourage your readers to engage with you more?

It could be in the form of blog comments, mentions on social networks, mentions on other blogs or something else.

You can make it happen and in this post I’ll show you how.

Let’s dive in…

How To Increase Engagement With Your Blog's Readers: 14 Sure-Fire Tips To Boost EngagementClick To Tweet

#1 – Understand your audience and how you can help them

Your audience is the foundation of your blog, they are the reason it exists.

So it makes sense that you would need to understand exactly who they are, what they need help with and exactly how your blog can help them.

On a basic level, it’s essential to be able to answer this question:

My blog helps ____ who ________.

So an example for a B2B blog might be:

My blog helps small businesses who want to get more clients.

Once you’ve answered this question you can move on to creating personas for your target audience.

A persona is just a profile of your ideal reader where you’ll answer other questions covering demographic information, goals, challenges and more.

What if you don’t have enough information on your target audience?

There a few ways you can get some awesome information to help you.

Analytics tools like Google Analytics and Clicky are a good place to start for quantitative data but you’ll glean the best insights from qualitative sources such as survey’s and polls.

Polldaddy is a great solution for this. Allowing you to create surveys for free which you can send to your email subscribers and/or social media followers.

Another good option is to find a forum or online community where your target audience hang out. You can search through posts to find exactly what people need help with. And there’s a good chance you’ll get a bunch of great content ideas too.

Does your audience know how you can help them?

When someone visits your blog and reads your about or start here page, they need to easily identify how you can help them.

Here’s a great example from Stefan Pylarinos:

Purpose Of Your Blog

Immediately, anyone reading that page knows how Stefan’s blog can help them.

#2 – Create a blog your readers will want to come back to

User experience is everything and if you want people to come back to your blog, improving that experience is extremely important.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Deliver a clear message on why your blog exists and how it can help people
  • Consider removing any badges/widgets that don’t help you or your readers
  • Consider removing any advertisements that aren’t performing (this depends on how you earn money from your blog)
  • Simplify your navigation and move less important links to your footer
  • Fix broken links (avoid using a WordPress plugin, try Xenu’s Link Sleuth or another external tool instead)
  • Update old content (can be time consuming but it’s worthwhile)
  • Improve page load times on your blog (if you use WordPress, this post on easy ways to speed up WordPress will help or you can check out WP Curve’s post)

#3 – Publish content that is so good people want to tell the world

You’re already publishing great content, but how can you improve things further? How can you make content that is so good that people can’t help but tell the word about it?

This does mean investing more time into crafting blog posts but the benefits of doing so are awesome.

And it’s these types of “pillar” posts that form the foundations for a lot of blogs.


Aside from more engagement, they also generate more traffic and earned links providing you put the time into promoting them effectively.

There are plenty of ways you can approach these pillar type posts:

  • Cover a topic in more detail than other posts on the web
  • Use of unique imagery
  • Create a unique design/layout for the post
  • Add a table of contents to improve navigation (this tutorial shows how using a WordPress plugin)
  • Add a level of interactivity such as filtering options like in Brian Dean’s conversion optimization post (you may need a developer to help you with this one)

#4 – Write the right headlines

Headlines can make or break the success of your content so it’s no surprise that the web is full of tips that can help you out here.

But before you consider using any of the advice you’ll find online, it’s important to remember that your headline is a promise and your content must deliver.


If your content doesn’t deliver on the promise your headline makes, sure, you may get plenty of traffic but chances are you’ll have the wrong traffic. And it’ll annoy people – never a good first impression to make!

Your headline is a promise and your content better deliver!Click To Tweet

#5 – Mention other bloggers in your content

I’ve talked a lot about mentioning other bloggers in your content before and it works.

The results can include more traffic, engagement and the foundation of a relationship with other bloggers – it’s those relationships that will pay dividends in the future.

But if you are going to use this tip, it’s worth mentioning a few pointers:

  • Don’t mention other bloggers for the sake of it – If mentioning someone won’t help your audience, then don’t mention them. If mentioning them backs up your point or provides a great example, go for it!
  • Let bloggers know when you’ve mentioned them – The important thing here is to avoid pushing people to leave a comment or share your comment. Just give them a heads up and let them know why you mentioned them.

#6 – Write about newsworthy topics and be the first to jump on trends

Looking out for trends and being the first to write about them is a great way to grow your audience and increase engagement at the same time.

Reading larger publications in your industry can be a great way of spotting these trends; you can then publish a post as a response.

Ann Smarty wrote a great guide on how to monitor and write newsworthy content, well worth reading.

#7 – Publish content as often as your audience can consume it

When you are looking to encourage engagement and get more comments from your readers, post frequency is an important factor.

If you publish too frequently, some of your readers won’t be able to keep up so the average number of comments you receive may drop.

Content length comes into effect here too, because when you publish longer content, it takes more time for people to read.

It comes down to finding a balance between content length and content frequency. And it will likely vary from niche to niche so it’s worth experimenting with this to find the perfect balance – there is no perfect answer here.

#8 – Publish different types of content

There is a lot more that you can publish other than straight up blog posts.

This includes:

  • Video
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Interview
  • Group interviews

When publishing different content types you can expand the reach of your blog and tap into an audience that you wouldn’t have had access to previously. For example, some people prefer podcasts to written content.

I’ve had a lot of success with group interviews in the past, they’re time consuming to put together but the fact that a lot of other people are involved in the content creation process is a great catalyst for engagement.

My last group interview on how to build an online presence had over 5,000 visitors in a few days and ended up receiving 2,100 social shares. There were a good amount of comments and some great mentions on other sites.

Group Interviews

The post was turned into an infographic and published on where it received another 2,000+ shares and over 32,000 visits.


Just by varying the content you publish, you can get some great results but when you repurpose that content into other types, you can take engagement and visibility to new heights.

#9 – Offer your readers something helpful for free

For a lot of blogs, around 75% of visitors will never return.

So what can we do about this?

The most effective solution is to offer a free download in exchange for joining your email list.

By doing this you’ll be able to send updates on your new content to people who may not have subscribed otherwise.

The free download you offer could be an ebook, template, checklist, discount code or something else. Exactly what you choose will entirely depend on your blog, your offering and your niche.

For more information on building an email list, check out my ultimate guide.

#10 – Ask questions

Sometimes all it takes to boost engagement is to ask a question.

You could ask questions in the emails you send to your subscribers or you could ask questions at the end of blog posts.

Where and when you choose to ask questions depends entirely on what your goal is with your content.

For example, on some posts you may prefer to not ask a question and encourage your readers to take action on a particular piece of advice instead.

#11 – Respond to comments

If you’re serious about engagement, responding to comments is essential.

It can help you get to know your readers better and start building a more meaningful connection with them. You’ll likely get some helpful feedback too.

How manageable this is will depend on the number of comments you receive. Sure, you may not be able to respond to them all but it’s worth trying to respond to as many as possible.

#12 – Comment on other blogs in your niche

A big part of engagement is networking and building relationships with other bloggers.

And one of the best ways to do this is to leave helpful comments on other blogs in your niche, particularly those where the author responds to comments.

#13 – Build a presence on forums and communities where your audience hangs out

If you want to build an online presence, you need to be present, particularly in the communities, forums and social networks where your target audience hangs out.

This may include the likes of:

  • Niche forums
  • Facebook groups
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Google+ communities
  • Sub-Reddits

The key here is to keep the focus on building relationships and helping others, rather than dropping links to your content.

The more helpful you are the more goodwill you’ll create and the more influence you’ll have.

#14 – Contribute to other blogs with an engaged audience

In order to get more engagement, you need to grow your audience.

One of the best ways to do this is to start contributing to other blogs in your niche, particularly those with an extremely engaged audience.

When you first start out, you may want to contribute to smaller blogs and work your way up to the larger blogs.

All it takes is a quick Google search to get started – there are plenty of lists of the top blogs in various niches which you can use and there are communities/social networks you can use to find too.

It’s unlikely that you’ll get floods of traffic when you start guest posting but that should never stop you because the traffic you do get is targeted and more likely to engage with you.

Some people may read a few of your guest posts before taking the next step of visiting your blog to learn more about you, so the more visibility you have, the better.

For every guest post you publish, you’re creating another way that people can get to your blog and follow along.

How you pitch other bloggers matters

Some bloggers get a lot of guest post pitches.

Most of them get deleted instantly because they’re so badly written. And most of them are just templates with no personalization.

This gives you an opportunity to make your pitches stand out by writing personalized emails which aren’t based on generic templates. I’m talking about REAL emails.

So where should you start?

In my effective blogger outreach post I detailed out some important steps. It’s well worth reading but here are the cliff notes:

Outreach Email

Over to you

We’ve talked through a bunch of tips you can put into action quickly.

Pick one from the list, try it and see how things go – you may not see an increase in engagement immediately but like blogging in general, it’s about having a long term strategy in place.

So now I have a question for you:

How are you engaging the readers of your blog? Do you have any tips to share?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

About Adam Connell

Adam used to run a team of marketers. Now he shares what he’s learned about growing blogs and businesses here on Blogging Wizard. He’s a fan of Firefly and Chinese takeaways. Click here to join the Blogging Wizard newsletter; you’ll get our best content & 15+ guides to grow your online presence faster.

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  • Hey Adam,

    We both have been thinking alike this week – I’ve also published on the same topic this week on Problogging Success!

    Of course, engagement happens only when we put our readers in front of us. The more we focus on them, the magic starts to happen over time.

    It is also highly important that we clearly know our goals – define our version of “engagement”.

    Publishing useful content entices people to comment on it, share it and spread the word. Also useful content is the content that will convert your casual readers to serious customers.

    Thanks for putting this together Adam 🙂 Have a great week!

    PS: Here’s the link to my post on the topic; hope you don’t mind >



    • Hey Jane,

      Awesome to hear you’ve had this topic on your mind too 🙂

      Definitely! Being crystal clear on our views is so important.

      It’s good to revisit your goals every so often too. I build this into part of a 6 monthly audit where I take a look at not just content/technical stuff but my goals too.

      So true, useful content is the foundation which makes this work.

      My pleasure, Jane – thanks for the great comment 🙂 Have a great week too!

      Thanks for the link, will check out your post shortly!

      – Adam

  • Hey Adam,

    it’s really important to have an engaged audience on your blog and I think even experienced bloggers can learn from your tips here.

    In the end it’s all about providing value, helping others and interacting with people.

    Don’t treat readers as numbers in your analytics account but talk to them like real people – because they are.

    • Hey Philip,

      Thanks for your comment!

      Definitely. What I love about blogging is that the learning never stops, no matter how much we learn, there’s always something else we can learn or another way to do something we’ve been doing for a while.

      I agree, value, helping and interaction – they are key.

      That’s a great point, it’s easy to forget that it’s another person sitting at the computer. Reminds me of a comment Ross Quintana made on my stand out online post (

      His recommendation was to make one meaningful connection at a time.


  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    I love this post, Adam! Great content and excellent ideas – I teach my clients this method, so I totally agree with you.

    I just started using Polldaddy for my evaluation surveys after paid courses and webinars and it is terrific (and free!).


    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Sue! And even better to hear you’re teaching this type of thing to your clients.

      Polldaddy is great, I tried using SurveyMonkey before but it was a bit limited with certain features.


      • Sue Anne Dunlevie

        I’m enjoying the functionality of Polldaddy. I also used to use Survey Monkey, and it’s fine, but Polldaddy has some great features – like letting you embed a poll right into a forum post or on your blog!

        Thanks again, Adam, for the great info.

        • The embed a poll feature is great! I’ve seen them do something similar on

          Just adding a poll within a post is a great way to encourage engagement.

          My pleasure, Sue!

          Have a great week ahead.

          – Adam

          • Sue Anne Dunlevie

            Thanks so much, Adam! You too,

            Let’s catch up with each other soon.

          • Thanks Sue!

            Sure thing, sounds good 🙂

            Talk soon,

  • I completely agree with the points adam.

    Sometimes it happens, we write good guest posts, we receive traffic but then it all cools down after some time.

    That means something is missing in blog. You have exactly listed those missing factors. I love what you said – Create such content that users want to come back.

    • That’s it exactly, Kaushik!

      Creating content that makes people want to come back works so well 🙂

  • Hi, Adam,

    Wow, you’re spot on, and I couldn’t agree more with all of the tips and advice you shared.

    My favorite takeaway was your advice to make a presence on communities and forums. . . I think knowing where our audience hangs out is critical, and then the power of forum marketing is under-rated, so glad you’ve mentioned it here. Forum traffic is some of the best-targeted traffic I get.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great day. 🙂

    ˜Carol Amato

    • Thanks Carol, great to see you here 🙂

      Love your takeaway from the post. Going where your audience hangs out is huge and like you say, forum marketing is definitely under-rated.

      Which forums are you most active in?

      Have a great day too 🙂

      – Adam

      • WAHM and Work Place Like Home are my faves, but I sneak into WF once in a while. 🙂

        • Awesome! Must check out WAHM and Work Place Like Home.

          Haven’t visited WF for quite a while!

          I’m quite fond 🙂

  • Hi Adam,

    Thanks for sharing some proven and valuable content with once again.

    I’m using a lot of these suggestions, but I haven’t tried Polldaddy yet, and that’s an interesting idea to send to your social media followers as well…always assumed it would be email only…you live and learn 🙂

    Also, in the process of addressing site speed as I know this is an area for improvement!

    – David

    • Hi David,

      My pleasure – thanks for your comment!

      Email is definitely going to yield the best results, but it’s always worth giving social media a shot. Or publishing directly on to your blog 🙂

      Site speed is a big one, let me know how you get on with it!


  • Excellent post Adam, i am really into science and tech stuff and i have written articles on them. In your opinion are their opportunities in this niche since most of it is dominated by biggies like TechCrunch and theverge. Also what services can i offer in order to start building an email list?

    • Thanks Faisal!

      Good question, and it’s not one I’m really qualified to answer since I don’t have much experience in the science/tech niche.

      I have ran a video game site which is similarly competitive as sites like IGN, GameSpot etc dominate, similar to how TechCrunch does.

      There are always opportunities, when the niche is too competitive though, either niche down or reconsider the niche entirely. When you niche down, you can unearth some great opportunities.

      Any services you offer should be guided by how you can best serve your audience and largely depend on your own knowledge/skills – the easiest way to make money with a blog is to write for larger blogs (if you enjoy the writing side of things that is).

      How you approach building your email list will largely depend on how you niche down and where you focus your efforts.

      In general, tactics like the “content upgrade” can work very well. This post is worth reading for more on list building:


  • Hey Adam, awesome post here.

    Engagement with blog readers is always important. And I like the tips that you provided here.

    I think number one is very important. You do have to understand your audience and know how you can help them. Because the faster you understand your audience the faster you can write topics that they will enjoy and they are looking for answers for.

    Tip number seven is something that a lot of people need to truly understand. The thing is not to write content every day but write content, as you said, as often as your audience can consume and you never want to overwhelm them with too much content.

    Great post once again.

    – Andrew

    • Thanks Andrew, glad you liked the tips!

      Definitely. Not just for reader engagement but it forms the foundation of all of your blogging efforts.

      Then there are other benefits, like you say, knowing your audience better speeds up writing and makes content planning easier.

      Writing content every day is difficult to keep up with. It’s good for us as well as our readers too. I’ve seen people try to do more posts than they can manage and it can take the enjoyment out of blogging. Taking it easy and publishing the right amount of content for our audience and ourselves is the way to go.

      Thanks buddy, really appreciate the comment!

      – Adam

  • sureksha

    good post Adam i was looking like this i shall read this in the enough time and fresh mind
    so that i can do my all thoese things which and pending.thanks for sending this post to me

  • Adam, you have clearly indicated that publishing a post is only the beginning, and it’s so TRUE! There is MUCH more to blogging than at first meets the eye. Promotion, blogger outreach, connecting with others, etc. It can be overwhelming for many people, especially one-woman shows such as myself. Do you have any tips on how to handle everything when doing it all alone?

    • Hi Lorraine!

      You’re right, there is a lot more to blogging than first meets the eye.

      In a way, it’s also part of blogging’s charm – there’s always a new perspective, a new tactic or tool or way of doing things to try.

      This is a big area, but start off with making as many elements of what you do process driven and use tools to automate any tedious tasks. Streamlining your workflow is always the way to go.

      At some point you could consider hiring a VA to help with certain aspects of what you do so you can focus your time on the important tasks.

      It’s not always straight forward getting to that point and it may mean working long hours initially.

      But, once you get to that point, things get a lot easier.

      Feel free to drop me an email if you have any other questions on this 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!
      – Adam

  • Hey Adam,

    I love the example of how you turned your group interview into an infographics. Repurposing content is always a good way to get more exposure.
    I really need to get back to creating infographics and Slideshares. I had some great success with Infographics, especially on Pinterest. I just feel like it gets a lot of exposure but not always a lot of engagement and conversions.

    Still, my next experiment to try and engage users will be to post few infographics in a short amount of time and have them embeded on popular websites. Will see how that goes :D.


    • Glad you liked the example, Aurelie!

      I know what you mean about the exposure and lack of engagement/conversions – sometimes it just a matter of finding the right topic that really resonates enough to get someone to comment for the first time.

      There usually has to be several touch points before someone engages.

      I love the idea of your next experiment, posting a few in a short amount of time + being embedded on popular websites should work well.

      Let me know how it goes 🙂

      – Adam

      • I will :D. I can’t wait to get a little more visual with our content and see how it goes. I know a lot of websites are reposting infographics so with the right outreach it should bring some nice results.

        Fingers crossed 😉

        • Definitely!

          Looking forward to seeing how these work out for you 🙂

          – Adam

  • Truly epic,
    You spoke of content that people would love to share with others andyou yourself have created one.
    Pillar posts are like spine for any blog.

    Building a relationship through comments is also a must do for bloggers who want to ave engagement. And guest posting is definitely a great strategy to bring home new floods of convertible traffic.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Swadhin – I really appreciate it.

      So true about building relationships through comments – it goes together well with guest posting.

  • Adam,
    Excellent post. I’ve found downloads in exchange for sign ups work, too. To make them much more effective, tailor the offer to fit the specific post or category. Yes, it’s more work, but your (now better segmented) list will thank you with by growing much faster.

    Since you have better segmentation opportunities, your content can also be better tailored to your audience. To get segmentation benefits but conserve resources, if you’re delivering an email newsletter, make half the posts the same across segments, but more narrowly target the rest. This works well if the segments are closely related.


    • Thanks Steve!

      Great point about tailoring offers for specific posts/categories.

      Definitely worth the extra time to invest in this.

      I like the idea of having half of the posts the same across segments and more narrowly targeting the rest.


  • Very nice points Adam. I have to implement almost all of those ASAP.

    I’m really missing out! The promotion part is also something I need to improve on for my own blog, especially since I just published my first infographic.

    The main hurdle now is to allot time to execute them while balancing creating content and the other aspects of our business and life. Ughh!!! 😀

    Thank you for this list! You rocked it as usual

    • Thanks Dennis!

      I remember seeing your infographic, looks like it’s getting some good traction on social media already 🙂

      Let me know how you get on with the promotion work, you’re already doing a great job as it is!

      True, that’s a big hurdle – time is always a big factor. It takes a while to find the right balance of outsourcing, automation and productivity 🙂

      I always find myself wanting to spend longer and longer on content creation, Could spend all of my time on the promotion side though!

      My pleasure, thanks for checking out my post 🙂

  • Hey Adam,

    You made some great points and I can honestly say that i practice half of them. I particularly noticed a jump in engagement when I started to carefully craft my headlines as well as mentioned the authors of the blog posts I share. Just from doing these two actions made a big difference in rapport building.

    I didnt’ make a big difference in traffic. At least at first, but once bloggers, especially well known bloggers, get to know you and want to collaborate with you, then that’s when the magic happens.

    I’ve noticed that I get more shares on average, especially on twitter. Just before this new year I wasn’t getting as many tweets as i wanted, but just that slight change of mentions and headlines, i started to get more tweets.

    What I like to do now is do more guest post. I have 2 lined up now and working on number 3. Thanks for sharing Adam and I hope you have a great rest of the week!

    • Hey Sherman,


      Great to see you’re using a lot of these already and that they’re working well for you.

      That’s it exactly!

      Good news that you’re getting more traction on Twitter now.

      Let us know how the guest posting goes!

      My pleasure, thanks for the comment.

      Enjoy your week too!

      – Adam

  • KeithBresee

    Hey Adam!

    This is really great!

    I really like #7! Its a great way to figure out the frequency of content!

    Thanks! 🙂

    Be awesome!
    Keith Breseé

    • Hey Keith,

      Thanks for the great feedback!

      Have an awesome weekend.

      – Adam

  • Awesome tips!

    We really forget and don’t consider these tiny details and things which can have an impact on our blog and audience engagement.

    Thanks for sharing Adam.

    • My pleasure, Yogesh!

      • Hey Adam, How are you doing?

        What do you think about Video marketing to engage our blog readers?

        • Hey Yogesh, good thanks hope you are too.

          Video is a great way usually but it really depends on your audience.

          For example, I prefer to read blog posts than watch videos in most cases.

          Whatever the case, video can be a great way to tap into another group of your ideal readers and expand your existing audience.

          • Hey Adam,

            Nice to know that you like reading article more than watching videos but I think many people would prefer videos over articles. We bloggers needs to make it easy to consume our content and video is one of the way to make it light and easy to digest.

            What do you think Adam?

          • Hey Yogesh,

            Yep, I agree.

            Although personally video & other formats like audio aren’t for me.

            Best practice says do videos & start a podcast because it works and has the potential to grow an audience far faster (and like you mention, it makes our content easier to consume – for some). In a way we always have to consider our strengths and what we’d truly enjoy doing.

            But then again, it depends on your goals. For me, it’s to create a lifestyle I’ll enjoy. If I started doing videos & podcasts the introverted side of me would freak out to the point where I wouldn’t enjoy it.

            So the tactics & strategies I use are in part decided by the life I want to create for me and my family. Which is why I do more work with things like infographics.

            While this does go against best practice, I wanted to share another side of what can motivate people to work on different content formats.

            Going back to best practice, if you really want to find out what people prefer – email a survey to your subscribers and you’ll find out what formats they prefer.

            – Adam