Hey hey friends! So now that Gabby and I are out of school and back on the blogging grind, we’ve been engaging with our followers like crazy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All of this engagement has done wonders for our page views. So, I thought I’d share the methods that we use to increase blog engagement and interact with our lovely blogging community!
What it all boils down to is this age-old saying : you need to give a little to get a little.
One mistake that I see bloggers make all the time is that they expect interaction on blog posts (comments, shares, etc). But just like (really) anything else, you can’t expect that good things will happen to you – you gotta work, girl!
But TRUST ME, the effort you put in to engaging your followers will not go unnoticed! You’ll see it little by little over time – the people who you engage with and who engage with you will become your little blogging community! And that’s one of the most beautiful parts of blogging.
It’s something that Gabby and I always have trouble explaining to others – BLOGGERS ARE AWESOME.
But I digress. Engagement doesn’t have to be grueling, hours-long work. It can be. If you want it to.
But, like most of y’all, I have other things to do. (Sometimes, other things = binge-watching Netflix). Just a few minutes of engagement a day can yield HUGE results for your blog, so let’s dive right in.
5 Ways to Increase Blog Engagement
1. Comment, Comment, Comment
One of the easiest way to increase blog engagement on your own blog is to simply comment on others’ blogs! Everyone loves a genuine, unexpected comment.
Key word there? GENUINE.
If you find a post that really resonates with you, let the author know! As an author, it feels so good to know that what you’ve written is helping people in some way.
But don’t comment just for the sake of commenting – your comment will come out forced and the author will probably be less inclined to start a conversation with you.
If you say something meaningful, on the other hand, the author will likely want to chat! If the author likes what you have to say, chances are she’ll click on your blog link (always leave your blog link in the comments!) to see what you’re all about. And the next time she sees a blog post of yours, she’ll comment on it because she’ll remember the awesome comment that you left on her blog!
Genuine comments are one of the easiest ways to meet other bloggers and drum up comments on your own blog posts.
Wondering how you find all of these amazing blogs to comment on? Glad you asked.
2. Utilize ALL Social Media Platforms
To make engagement really easy on myself, and to make sure that other bloggers notice my engagement, I’ve created a super easy process for engaging bloggers when I read their posts.
First, find a blogger board on Pinterest.
Oh, but Hannah, I don’t know of any blogger boards on Pinterest. Good thing The Swirl has not one but two (!!) group boards on Pinterest that are geared towards college and 20-something bloggers, both of which are filled with quality, helpful pins!
Board 1: #SwirlSocial
Board 2: The College Blogger Initiative
Okay great so now we’ve gotten that self-promotion out of the way. Find a post that seems interesting to you, and duh, click and read it! If you like the post:
1. Comment! (See above.)
2. Click on their social media links + follow
With the comment + follow, the blogger immediately connects your nice comment to the new follow, and will probably follow you back!
3. Pin their post for later on a relevant board (so you can reference it!)
And if you don’t like their post? Don’t comment just for the sake of commenting! Move on to the next post on the Pinterest board, and repeat from step 1.
Now, you’ve commented on a bunch of posts. You’ve followed some people whose content you know you like, because you just commented. And you’ve allowed the blogger to make the connection that, Hey, this person really likes my content! I should interact with them, too.
Interaction. Community. Friendship.
SO EASY, right?
Oh, Instagram. I love you. I really do. Well, I loved you more when you were in chronological order.
BUT DON’T PANIC.
New Insta algorithm = more opportunities for interaction.
Why? Because Instagram is basically forcing you to get comments and likes on your posts in order to show Instagram that your picture is quality content that should be shown to others early in their feed. Still confused? Sami @ The Classic Brunette can help.
One of the easiest ways to drum up engagement on your posts (and engage on others’ posts!!) is to join a comment pod.
Comment pods are little communities of bloggers who set up an Instagram DM chat. Every time your new picture goes live, you comment in the pod, and everyone in the pod comments on your picture. Vice-versa for all other bloggers in the pod. Easy, right?
Comment pods allow you to 1. Meet some fabulous bloggers with fabulous Instagrams and 2. Gain more comments on your posts, which make you seem #popular to Instagram, who will then show your pictures to your followers earlier in their feed. Because who wants to scroll for hours to find content that they like?
Not me. Nobody got time for that.
Also, shameless plug that you should follow us on Instagram, because our photography game is #strong with two bloggers armed with two DSLR cameras. Like seriously, we’re dangerous.
4. Instagram Stories
Gabby and I are obsessed with Instagram stories. We hardly, if ever, go on Snapchat anymore. Instagram stories is where it’s at.
Now, writing blog posts and being an active commenter / Tweeter (is that a word?) is great, but sometimes it’s nice to put a face to a blog!
Enter: Instagram stories.
I love to think of Instagram stories as a little glimpse into blogger’s everyday lives. What they had for breakfast, what they’re up to, what fun vacation they’re on.
You know, stuff that wouldn’t normally come through in a blog post but is still so much fun to know, because it really adds to that blogger’s personality.
So, make a story! It can honestly be about anything and everything. Boomerang, picture, video – do ’em all. Chat with your followers about what’s going on in your life. Boomerang that fun donut you got because it’s a #rainy Monday morning.
When your followers can put a face + a personality to a blog, they’ll totally want to chat / interact with you and your blog content! So let yourself shine in an Instagram story!
5. Tweet, Retweet, Reply Tweet, Repeat
Wow, that was a tongue twister for real. But similar to Instagram stories, the whole point of tweeting as a blogger is to let your followers see a side of you that they don’t normally experience through blog posts.
Gabby and I use Buffer to schedule our tweets, so that we don’t always have to be on Twitter for our followers to see our (we think it’s funny?) content. Any time a fun little thought pops into my head, I’ll schedule it on Buffer.
Then, get the conversation flowing! Chat with other people, retweet their content, reply to what they have to say! A great rule for Twitter is the 80/20 rule. 80% other people’s content, 20% of your content.
Ugh, but Hannah, how do I find other people’s content to tweet out?
Easy peasy!! Refer to tip #2 : Utilize all social media platforms.
So you’ve found a great article, followed the blog on social media, and pinned the article. Why not tweet the article too? Make sure to @ the author, schedule the tweet for later if you need to (Buffer, HootSuite, and TweetDeck are great for scheduling), and you’re done! How easy was that?
Chances are, the author will see that you’ve tagged them and thank you for sharing their content, aka their followers will see your name pop up on their feed and check you out!
Exposure. Engagement. Friends. Community. Glitter (maybe). Rainbows (iffy).
But you get my point!
These 5 easy tips will seriously increase blog engagement across all of your blogging + social media platforms. And honestly, it’s fun to chat with other people! Like I said, the blogging community is A++, and Gabby and I have seriously met some awesome people who we wouldn’t have otherwise met without this blog.
Okay, enough with the sappy stuff. Go out there and engage engage engage!
Any other tips for engagement that I missed? Chat with me in the comments!