Whether you are a writer who uses your own blog to promote your work, or a business owner who uses content on your own and other blogs as part of your marketing strategy, you may believe that it is the number of views you get that indicates how successful your content is at engaging people. While a high hit count is always desirable, it is important to remember that what really matters is that the people who come to your content read it and get something out of it. That is how you win a lasting audience, and, if you are using your content for promotional purposes, that is how you do more business.
Not All Traffic is Meaningful
One blogger I know saw a couple of huge spikes in the traffic of a blog she has had performing steadily, but not to a stellar level, for a few years. The first was where she had discussed something that was, at the time, a highly trending topic, to which her article was only tangentially related. The other was when she had caused some controversy with one of her articles, and a lot of people were reading it because they basically hated her and her site for producing it. On traffic, you could say that these were her most successful posts, however the people who found the first article were probably largely uninterested in her other content, and many of those who found the second article actively disliked her blog. The traffic stats were, therefore, misleading. The pages that were viewed the most did not cause her general readership to go up in the long run.
Why Participation is a Better Indicator of Success
It is important to ensure your blog allows people different ways to ‘participate’. This includes commenting on your posts, and liking or sharing them, but is not limited to those things alone. It is said that only about one in a thousand readers will leave a comment, so having a lot of comments really demonstrates that your post is performing well. Likes, +1 clicks and shares are also great indicators that people who are visiting are reading the content and finding it valuable (as well as helping you by spreading the content further).
When you begin to see people participating with your blog, especially commenting, go out of your way to make them feel appreciated. If you use a platform like Disqus on your blog for comments or the built in commenting system in Blogger, you can (if the commenter hasn’t chosen to be anonymous) visit their profile and find out more about them. This can not only help you understand the kind of audience you are reaching and learn about them, but can also give you means to build up a dialogue with the people who like your site. Glean what information you can about your readers by seeing what else they have commented on and which other sites interest them, and then open a dialogue by tweeting, replying to their comment, emailing them, or doing whatever feels most appropriate to you. A valued reader will always want to come back.
If you are looking for great content for your blog that will help you engage more readers and see greater participation, get in touch with us today!