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Everything you need to know about audience engagement

illustration of a magnet

What you’ll learn

  1. What engagement means and why it matters
  2. Niches are important for producing relatable and relevant content
  3. Relationship building with other bloggers can expose you to new audiences
  4. Asking for engagement can encourage readers to interact with or share your content
  5. Responding to comments and feedback can help build your online community

As a content creator, it’s hard not to focus on the numbers. Who doesn’t get a little thrill from a new follower or a spike in pageviews? But the numbers are just a small piece of the metrics puzzle. Even more important than a large audience is an engaged audience, one that’s actually paying attention to what you have to say.

Engagement represents all the ways your audience interacts with your content, whether it’s leaving a comment, sharing a video, or returning to your site to read your latest post. Not only does audience engagement boost your SEO; it gives you the feedback you need from your followers to continuously improve your content. And, for those looking to monetize, high engagement shows brands that you have a loyal following that values your opinion, leading to potential sponsorships.

Let’s take a look at a few ways to boost your audience engagement.

Niche down… but not too far down

There are a whole lot of content creators out there, but making your content relatable delivers value to your audience that sets you apart. When choosing a niche, a topic like fashion may be too broad to feel personal. Petite fashion or vintage fashion, on the other hand, speaks to a passionate audience that’s interested enough to engage. Just be careful not to narrow your focus so much that it limits your reach. Petite vintage steampunk fashion is probably taking it a step too far.

“Finding the sweet spot can position you as an authority in your field, give you more visibility as a big fish in a smaller pond, and provide structure for your content,'' says lifestyle blogger and fashion influencer Keiko Lynn. “Because the focus is a little more specific, audiences of niche blogs tend to be more intentional, engaged, and loyal followers.”

Quick tip

Find a niche that sets you apart without limiting your audience.

Lifestyle blogger and fashion influencer Keiko Lynn suggests finding the niche “sweet spot.”

Build relationships with other content creators

Blogging is all about community, and one of the best ways to build an engaged audience is to become part of that community. Get to know other content creators in your space, and leave comments on their blogs. Link to their work in your posts where it’s relevant, and let them know that you’ve done so.

If you let these relationships evolve naturally (you don’t want to come off as spammy), you’re sure to see other bloggers return the favor. Eventually, blogger friendships can blossom into cross-posting opportunities, exposing you to a whole new audience. The key here is genuine connection that will result in other bloggers and their audiences engaging with your content.

Action items
  • Interact with other content creators on their sites and social channels.

Ask for what you want

A vibrant comments section is an indicator that fans are paying attention to your work, so prompt your audience to leave comments by asking for their opinions. The right commenting platform will be easy to use and to moderate. Use the native commenting systems that come built into blogging platforms, or consider a third-party plugin. Each has its pros and cons, so it's just a matter of choosing what’s best for you.

Shares are equally important for engagement, exposing you to new readers and viewers. Make content easy to share with prominent buttons on every page. You can enable this function through your blogging platform, or embed buttons from each social network.

Quick tip

Don’t be afraid to ask for engagement! Prompt your audience with questions and polls.

Respond to your audience

Engagement is a two-way street, which means you can’t sit in your ivory tower waiting for the comments and shares to roll in. You need to respond! Take the time to reply to comments on your blog and social channels, and listen to what your audience is telling you by how they engage. Are your how-to videos getting a great response? Make more! Barely getting any comments or shares on your product roundups? Scrap that, and try something new.

According to beauty and lifestyle influencer Mata Leiataua of The Mata Mix, “Having a desire to connect with your audience and learn the ways to best serve them will set you apart in a saturated market and can amplify your goals to build an engaged community for the long term.”

Action items
  • Set aside some time each day to respond to comments.

Beauty and lifestyle influencer Mata Leiataua discusses the importance of connecting with your audience.