5 Simple Ways to Engage Your Readers

5 simple ways to engage readers

#1 Replace “I” with “you”
It’s important to remember that blogging is like talking to a friend. Yes, we share our own stories, experiences, and opinions, but nobody likes the friend that is all *I* did this, and *I* think that, and *me*, *me*, *me*…

Try to avoid writing in first person all the time.  Before you hit publish proofread your post to see if you could switch the point of view to engage your reader more.  You would be surprised how much this changes the feel of your post. It takes a personal journal entry type post and turns the same topic into an open conversation with a friend.

#2 Ask a question
This is a great way to begin or end your posts. Asking a question at the beginning of a post immediately engages your readers and encourages them to think about your topic. Once your readers have thought about the answer to your question, they will naturally want to keep reading.

Raising a question for debate at the end of your post is an excellent way to invite comments. It’s also a great way to initiate a conversation between your blog community. Ask readers to read and reply to other comments.

#3 Add images
Everyone likes to look at pretty stuff. You don’t have to be a photographer to add images to your posts. Simply adding a quick Instagram photo or relevant stock image will give your post a little eye candy. Be careful not to overdo the cheesy stock images. Free stock images are a great tool, but too much of a good thing is always bad.

If you don’t have a picture of something you want. Take one! For example, I wanted to add a photo to this post, but I didn’t have one that worked. So, I wrote something relevant to the post on a whiteboard and snapped a quick pic with my phone. Done.

Easy, Peasy!

Snapping your own pic is a simple solution that gives you an original image that you own. Doing this also helps avoid pesky image crediting.

#4 Watch your word count. 
Keep it simple, and stick to the point. Maybe a long post can be shortened into two or three separate posts? Perhaps you could make a certain topic into a series of posts? It’s always best to leave your readers wanting more, rather than have them wishing it would end. It’s hard to get around and visit blogs. Making sure your posts are easy to read will invite return visitors.

#5 Easy on the Eyes. 

For the love of God, hit ENTER.

If I see a post that has no breaks in the writing, I immediately feel overwhelmed.

Even if the post isn’t long, I think it will be.

Take a breathe when you’re writing and give your readers one, too!

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Wife. Mother. Dreamer. Writer. Blogger. Florida homeschooling mom. Imperfect parent surviving on God's grace and mercy. My writing is always honest, sometimes sarcastic, and never perfect. Find me as @TheMommyMess on Twitter and connect with me on Facebook.

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Comments

  1. says

    Love the tips. I think I suffer from #1 and #5 but am working on it. I talk super fast (in a house with 5 girls growing up, you had to and in the chaos I live in now, it’s a must) and I think I might write like I talk. Saying a lot before taking a breath. I do agree that it has an easier look with breaks in it so I think you are 100% right. Great idea about the pics! Glad you came up for a breather from lesson planning. I’ve missed you. :)
    AnnMarie recently posted..Flashback to the 80′sMy Profile

    • says

      Oh, I miss you too! I haven’t been getting around much to others and I hate that! Blog guilt for sure, but it happens. I try to not let it get me down. Plus I’m over lesson plans already! LOL

  2. says

    Excellent tips! I have a little piece of paper next to my laptop that says “connect” on it to remind myself that it is my job to connect with my readers. I have been playing with “you” more and need to stay on that mission. Next is to work on my word count…

    thank you for the great suggestions!
    ilene recently posted..Got Time?My Profile

    • says

      It’s hard to remember that we are actually trying to connect. Sometimes I get on here and just vent, and while that’s great (this is my space), I want to grow the community as well. Glad you liked the tips.

  3. says

    I’ve been at this blogging thing for almost a year (about a week away from my anniversary) and I still need all of the tips I can get. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • says

      Ya know what though, I like reading your first person posts, so I guess it just depends on the tone. Your voice never seems whiny or me, me, me. Just so know. :)

    • says

      Yes, I agree. A Happy medium is always nice, but if I had to pick from the two. I would take the one sentence paragraphs. Hee Hee Thanks for stopping by!!

  4. says

    Love these tips and I agree with each one of them! Nothing keeps me from reading a blog post more than one that goes on and on without the enter key! :) (Stopping by from SITS and can’t wait to explore more)

    • says

      Are you kidding me? I love your stories! Your posts are always great! Some people pull of the first person posts. You are definitely one of them! :)

    • says

      That’s the thing! I often find myself skimming long posts too! Even if I love it. I just don’t have a huge amount of time to read so I skim. I know that sounds bad, but I often think a great blog post can be one or two great posts. And it’s surprising to see how much I can shave off of a draft after a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, the same message is shared in half the original length.

  5. says

    Theses are some really great tips, love them! One thing I found interesting on my blog is when I did switch to strictly using third person, my readers got really upset with me! It came as quite the shock in all honesty because I thought they would want me to direct more toward them by using “you” more often. Apparently I was wrong, haha. Now I switch back and forth in my posts between talking about my experience and talking directly to my audience (if that makes sense), which seems to work out nicely at least for me. Thank you for sharing these tips, they are really helpful!
    Felicia recently posted..Surviving Finals WeekMy Profile

    • says

      They get upset? That’s kind of crazy. Are your posts heavy rants with sharp opinions? DO they feel you’re singling them out of the crowd perhaps?

      • says

        No, not at all to either question, haha. I think they got upset because I wasn’t sharing my own experiences anymore and apparently that’s one thing my readers really like about my blog. Or so I was told at the time. So now I switch back and forth, mixing my experiences in with tips and other things. :)
        Felicia recently posted..The Benefits of Being FriendlyMy Profile

  6. says

    Excellent tips, thanks! I love the idea of taking a picture of sayings or words if you don’t have a picture available in your files. I’ve even taken pictures of pictures to get them on a link to a post. And the break thing – I agree! I don’t want to read a novel within a blog post. (Although I know my own sometimes go on and on.)
    Cottage By The Sea recently posted..Be All You Can BeMy Profile

    • says

      I use my phone to snap pics all day. Sometimes it’s sort of like a post it in my phone that reminds me of a blog post idea. ;)

  7. says

    Great tips! Thank you! I especially like the “hit enter” one, too. If I see a post that is a page long with no breaks, I move on. I could be missing something great, but it just looks too overwhelming. I wish more people would pay attention to that.
    Kelly Stilwell recently posted..Iron Man 3 Merchandise at Cafe PressMy Profile

    • says

      Yes, it is overwhelming. Sometimes I click to a blog and see the post is super long and think “woah”! I feel defeated before I even get started.

  8. says

    All really great points; couldn’t agree more about hitting enter. Really long paragraphs without a break make my eyes hurt :)

    I’ll keep these in mind for sure… and will definitely continue to add bright colorful pictures (great suggestion on taking more pics with Instagram, too!).

    • says

      Thank you SO much! I had it done a year (or so) ago and have been thinking about sprucing it up, but you’re the second person recently to compliment the design. Maybe I’ll just leave it alone. ;) I do love it too!

  9. says

    Loving the advice on using the word “you” instead of “I.” Oh Lordy am I so guilty of that one in nearly *every* post. Huh. No wonder I don’t get much traffic. LOL. Alright, enough of this me, me, me crap. Time to make sure the word “you” is used. Thanks for the great tips!
    Kim recently posted..What I KnowMy Profile

    • says

      You are welcome! I think it’s ok to go back and forth with the “I” and “you” thing. Just not too much “I”. ;)

    • says

      Thanks, Tanya! I ramble too. When I go back and look at older blog posts I’m scared by the length! Yikes!! Sometimes, I wonder how anyone ever read those old posts.