There are three things you need to build a wildly popular website or blog: traffic, engagement and conversions.
Today I’m going to show you how to dramatically increase engagement in 15 minutes or less.
Traffic is simply how many visitors arrive at your site for a given timeframe. Engagement is how connected those visitors become with you, your site and your mission. Conversions are how many of those engaged visitors take the actions you would like them to take.
The first part and the last part are obvious. You need visitors and you want them to do something, like buy something you’re selling.
The middle part (engagement) isn’t so obvious, and it’s the part you might be skipping over. Don’t skip over the engagement part, that’s like asking for sex at the beginning of a first date, or asking a first time reader to buy your high-priced coaching package.
To get your visitors to stick around, leave comments, share your content with friends, become true fans and eventually take the action you want, you need to engage your readers. You need to be helpful, solve a problem, change people’s lives and deliver incredible value.
You might be daunted by the thought of having to deliver so much value, but there’s a simple place to start engaging your readers today: ask questions.
Think about when you’re getting to know someone for the first time and you want to engage your new friend and create a real connection. What’s the strategy you use for connecting with new people?
I’ll bet you ask questions.
Asking questions elicits a response and shows you care. It opens the door to dialogue. Questions are the essential building blocks of conversations.
And conversations are what you want for your business or blog. Starting conversations with your readers/visitors is a sure way to engage them and start a deeper relationship. It’s also a great way to look for ways you can be helpful.
Instead of a long explanation of engagement with metrics and examples, I’m going to keep this short today because I want you to take action.
Here’s a quick example of an action I took recently to engage readers at my lifestyle design blog. Instead of sending a typical “thanks for subscribing” email when someone signs up for my email updates list, I recently created a new message that starts a conversation with each subscriber.
In that message (sign up to see it yourself, you can unsubscribe right after if you don’t want to stick around), I specifically ask the reader questions AND ask for a response.
The result? I now get email replies every day from new readers telling me about the most encouraging thing they’ve ever heard. It’s a great conversation starter and no doubt those new readers are more likely to be engaged readers simply because I asked questions and requested a reply.
Total time to implement this engagement starter: 15 minutes or less.
Try this yourself at your own website or blog: ask your readers questions and tell them you want a response. You can do this in your email auto-responder, in a blog post, in your forums, your Twitter stream, Facebook page or anywhere you can post a question and field the replies.
Then, get in the habit of asking questions every day. Experiment and try different types of questions, different topics and different ways of asking. It’s a skill worth refining and will pay off with deeper connections which will lead to more conversions and even more traffic.
What questions have you asked your readers lately? Did they respond? I’d love to hear in the comments.