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Kick-Start Your Blog With These Engaging Content Suggestions

This is a guest contribution from Jonathan Long of Market Domination Media.

Image via Flickr user mkhmarketing

Image via Flickr user mkhmarketing

There is not a specific content strategy that is set in stone for bloggers to follow. Every single blog has a specific target audience, requiring content that engages that blog’s particular audience. What works well for “Blog A” might not work as effectively for “Blog B,” requiring each blog owner to test different content approaches to determine what performs the best for his or her particular blog.

Here are some content suggestions that can be used to help spark some interest in your blog:

1. Free Giveaway

Want to build a loyal blog following quickly? Give something away for free! People love free giveaways, but don’t think that you will need to break the bank to attract attention to your giveaway.

Think of something that your target blog reader will see a value in, and this doesn’t mean monetary value. Sure, it could be a physical product such as a t-shirt or prize, but it can also be an eBook packed full of information that they will want to get their hands on.

Use your giveaway to gain an action such as an opt-in to your email list, a Facebook like, a follow on Twitter, or any other action that you deem to be beneficial for your blog’s growth (ensure it is done legally, however – you will find different states and countries require different specifications). You can create one-time giveaways or even weekly giveaways in order to gain traction.

When done successfully, it will snowball the blog’s growth. The first giveaway can be used to increase the blog’s social media following and subscriber list, making the audience for the second giveaway much larger. Now repeat this over and over and watch the growth occur.

Share Knowledge

Blogs are a great way to develop a special connection with your readers, and you will build up a loyal following if the audience feels that the information being shared with them is genuine. Use your knowledge and share it with your audience.

This applies to business blogs run by large corporations all the way to personal blogs started about a topic of interest. For example, if a super fan of the New York Yankees starts a baseball blog about the team then they should share as much knowledge about the team as possible. The readership and engagement will increase as the blogger presents knowledgeable information to the readers.

Avoid sounding like you are trying to sell them something. Your blog isn’t the place to pitch products or services. If the blog is an extension of a big brand, then post useful information. If the reader finds it valuable, they will naturally want to do business with the brand after making that connection.

Answer Common Questions Publicly

While this applies many to blogs run by a brand, this same approach can be used by virtually any blog out there. Keep track of customer service inquiries and develop a list of commonly-asked questions. Once it is determined that a particular question is asked frequently (like this one Darren spoke about recently), then address it via your blog.

There is a good chance that a large percentage of the audience has the very same questions but hasn’t taken the time to contact the blog with their question. You can even group these into your FAQ section and continue to add to it over time.

If you see an increase in a specific question due to a current event or something that is time-sensitive, then take a moment to address it on the blog. If you answer your readers’ questions before they have to ask, it makes your blog appear to be a great source of information in the eyes of the reader.

Data & Case Studies (Visual)

Many of us are visual learners by nature, hence why infographics have become such a popular and successful form of content marketing. If you have data that you feel your blog audience will enjoy and find useful, present in a visual manner and make sure you encourage them to share it.

The same applies to case studies; if you have interesting information, then share it. Virtually every blog out there, regardless of the topic, can gather some interesting data for their readers. Taking the same baseball blog we used as an example above, that blog could post interesting statistics about upcoming opponents, previous games, or stats in specific categories. Presenting them visually will attract more interest and result in more social sharing love.

“How-To” Posts

You will find “How-To” posts on almost every blog out there, and for a good reason: they are very well received. These types of informative posts are a great way to spark conversation and they do not necessarily have to be straight-up text posts. You can create “How To” posts using infographics, video, images, or even slide shows (or even a combination of these).

It all comes down to providing useful content that creates an action from the reader, whether that is a comment, a social share, a follow or like, or even an email list opt-in. Over time you will understand what types of content your audience responds to the best and can create informative “How-To” posts based around your most popular blog topics.

Are you currently utilizing a content engagement strategy that is producing amazing results for your blog? Feel free to share what is working for you in the comments below.

Jonathan Long is the President/CEO of Market Domination Media, a web design and online marketing firm that specializes in creative outside the box marketing with a focus on ROI.

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Comments

  1. Uday Ghulaxe says:

    I appreciate all the points you have mentioned here Jonathan.
    Asking public questions helps greatly in improving blog engagment.
    And we all knnow how to post are the best way to write posts as its helps others solve their problems.

  2. KewlBlogger says:

    sharing knowledge and how-tos are my favs. I do that all the time !

  3. Jayashree says:

    How to Guides and Tips and Tricks are my favorites. They are really loved by my readers and I make sure I post such content frequently to keep my readers engaged.

  4. Thanks for these suggestions. It is always good to have a set of “tools” to help you come up with post ideas. I like using “Answering Common Questions” and “How-To’s” on a regular basis.

  5. Thad James says:

    These are great points. With these simple tips, writers can have a virtually limitless supply of blog topics. Thank you for the great list.

  6. srikar says:

    How to guides really help, I personallly wrote about 20 how to guide until now, on other blogs. Interestingly other blog owners show interest in how to guides rather than list compilation.

  7. Great post as usual,
    Offering free giveaways and engaging with readers gives a kick-start for blogging career. But giveaways have to be limited, and engaging content like case studies, guides are important.

  8. Michelle says:

    How-to posts and free giveaways are the best two options I think.

  9. Great list of engaging topics for almost any website out there. Topic choice is often the best way to drive traffic and grow your site.

  10. A useful article for newbies. It very well explained the types of contents that one can use on blogs. It sure will give an idea to newbies about what type of content they can publish on their blogs.

    My personal favorites are- sharing knowledge and publishing how tos. Based on my own experiences and the things I learnt, I share the knowledge, which many people find handy. Well, they say so in the comment section! :)

    A free give away is a good way to get a reader base quickly and grow it. But personally, all this while, i haven’t undertook one such campaign even for once!

    I found the link to this post on Kingged.

    Arun

  11. CBSE Result says:

    I agree on all the points except “Giveaway”. They are something that do not always bring in loyal readers. They are greedy people who visit your blog only with a thought of winning something.

    Writing useful and genuine content is one of the key things to increase engagement.

  12. Rob Kilgore says:

    Thats a great post I found it very useful I am a new blogger in the marketing world .I do give away a free gift on my site I know that is a great thing to do .But I found the how to part of the post more relevant to what i want to do with most of my posting .
    thank you for the great info

  13. MrCloud says:

    I do all of these except the free giveaways. I’m too broke for that xD.

    Sharing knowledge is fun. Answering questions is fun. I’m an artist so I like adding drawings with my posts and how-tos are basically like Twinkies.

    Great Article!

  14. metz says:

    Share Knowledge
    Answer Common Questions Publicly
    Data & Case Studies (Visual)
    “How-To” Posts

    I love these four, personally. I always love to share my thoughts by leaving comments if the topic and the content are informative and relevant. People usually dig into the internet about How-to posts and to find answers.

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social bookmarking and networking site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

  15. Chris says:

    Answering questions publicy that people are searching for an answer for, but no one else in your niche has answered, has worked well for me. (even if the question seems really dumb). Its all about serving your niche audience.

    Thanks foe the good advice Jonathan

  16. Rachit Gupta says:

    Thanks a lot. i will keep these things in mind the next time i write a blog post

  17. Pete Boyle says:

    Great post.

    Unfortunately i’m going to be that guy who asks a question though ;)
    I completely agree with writing posts that are able to answer a question or solve a problem for your audience. However, with smaller blogs like my own, I often feel that i’m simply regurgitating information that is available on more reputable sites like Problogger.
    I regularly ask my handful of subscribers if there is anything in particular they wish for me to write about but rarely hear anything back.

    What advice do you have for those of us who are trying to grow our audience by finding a problem/issue that’s not already covered (usually numerous times!) by authority sites?
    Would focusing on new developments be the best course of action?

    Thanks!

    Pete

  18. Writer Town says:

    All of these suggestions are tried and true, and still work flawlessly to this day. While the ‘How-to’ format is somewhat being replaced by list-based articles when it comes to popularity, they both serve very different purposes and are both a very nice way to kickstart your blog.

    I also found that offering more than one free giveaway has (not surprisingly) driven more people to my pages and to subsequently subscribe.

    Thanks for the great post!

  19. psprint says:

    Very nice article! Thanks

  20. Hi i’m a newbie, thank you for the share this knowledge, it give me an ideas for what contents i should publish in my blogs. very Useful for me.. :)

  21. Jayashree says:

    How to posts are surely main ones which pulls lot of traffic and engages your readers with the blog. I focus on doing Hos to and in my experience I can vouch that it easily differentiates from the rest of other posts to attract readers and engage them

  22. ADT says:

    This is a very well written blog post. I never thought of publicly answering questions when I write my articles. Will def take that tip. Thanks

  23. Some great information in this post. A blog without a free giveaway / opt in form us leaving a heck of a lot of loyal readers / money on the table!

    Providing value and knowledge is a huge part of having a blog, it’s what keeps readers coming back for more!

  24. Danny says:

    Thank you for a very simple and nice post. On the giveaway, i think it is a one time effect and if there is no continuous effort to create good content such as “How To..”, then the effect will be diminishing.