A fantastic blog I’ve been reading and enjoying is Rashmi Menon’s Mind And Life Matters and her Beyond Coffee And Words , (coffee is written with Piyusha Vir). Both sites are brilliant and uplifting places to go and spend time.
I recently asked Rashmi to pen a guest blog post (do we “pen” things anymore? “Clicked and clacked the keyboard” has much less of an artistic ring to it) and she graciously obliged. Since her blog is so engaging and personal, I asked her to train her keen eyes on that aspect of her work, and here it is.
All authors are told to have a platform, and a blog can be an important part of that. If you’re gonna do it, do it right. Rashmi shows you how.
You have read the manuals and by now you already know that as a serious writer/author, it is imperative that you create a blog and start building a relationship with your readers to increase your followers and to maintain readership.
“OK, I get it! All I need to do is create a blog, do my favorite activity of writing and get people to read it, right? Wait, did you also say interacting with the readers and creating a fan base?”
So you publish blog posts on your website, your followers read them and comment on them and you respond to those comments. There, that’s interaction, isn’t it?
But, is that enough? Would merely responding to comments on your blog posts be enough interaction to maintain a readership for your blogs and create a fan base for your books?
The simple answer here is –
No, that is not enough!
Then, what is it that you can do improve the interaction and maintain the readership? Well, that is the question this post is going to answer.
- Care for your Readers
When you receive a comment on your blog, don’t just leave a casual thank you. Instead, respond to the comment with something of more value, then check out the commenter’s blog. Give some advice, compliment the commenter, or ask a question. Make sure they know you value them.
And if you receive an email from a reader, don’t be in a hurry to respond to the question in their email or plainly acknowledge the email. See it as an opportunity to start a conversation. See it as your chance to turn a reader into a raving fan.
This way your readers know that you truly care for their comments/inputs and will return the attention by coming back to your blog.
- It’s a Two-way Relationship
It’s very easy to think of blogging as a one-way traffic. You write a post, publish it on your blog and you expect people to read them and be interested in it! Well, here’s the thing, your blog should not be a place for you to brag about your successes and your credentials. Readers, most probably, already know that about you, which is why they decided to follow your blog. So, obviously, they don’t want to read the same thing again and again.
Readers, most likely want to know about the inner details of that journey while you were en route to the success you achieved. They want to know what they can take away and inject into their own lives by reading that post you wrote and apply the mantra into their own journey. In short, give them something to read where they feel it is going to be of interest and importance to them!
- Inspire and Be Inspired
Be as honest as you can be when writing a post for your blog, if possible make it personal.
Readers tend to trust you and be inspired by you when they see that you are being more personal. It makes them want to open up and reach out to you.
Empathize with your readers, try to understand their views if they disagree with you. Maybe you can even find inspiration from their comments.
- Write Conversationally
Blogging is almost as if you are having a conversation with your friends
so in order to engage your readers you need to write your posts as though you are talking to an imaginary person sitting in front of you.
Most often than not, writers tend to focus on the nuances of writing thereby stripping off the personal feel from their posts and end up sounding robotic. It is absolutely fine to use everyday words, writing short sentences or even starting your sentences with ‘And, But, Because’ once in a while.
Blogging isn’t like essay writing.
Let your personality shine through.
Add distinctive phrases. Include a few quirky words. Use phrases that only you would use.
Yes, you may argue that you are a Writer and your followers expect good writing from you. No, I am not asking you to compromise on the quality of your writing. I am simply saying that it is OK to use simple words and sentences in your blog posts. That helps your readers feel connected to you as a person, which in turn turns them into a dedicated follower/reader.
- Create Engaging Content
Last but definitely not the least, none of the above methods will work for you if you do not take the time and effort to create engaging content. Create the kind of content that your readers want to read about. If you have an author blog, most likely, your readers want to know about your writing techniques, your books, updates on your current WIP so on and so forth.
You can always make your content more interesting by including videos, images, audio and social media into your blog posts. The more creativity you bring into your posts, the more readers want to come back to your blog!
In retrospect, your blog is the backbone to your online presence, but your readers are the ones who ensures the need for your presence. That is why continuous interaction with your readers is important to maintaining your readership and creating that fan base.
Do you know of more ways you can increase user interaction on your website? Include them in the comments below.
Awesome tips, right? Isn’t she the best?
Thanks to Rashmi for taking the time to do this for us. Be sure to check out her blog. You’ll be glad you did.
And check out my latest novel, The Navigators. Click HERE to get your copy; FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great sci fi action thriller “The Navigators.” Click HERE to get your copy of The Navigators – FREE on Kindle Unlimited!