If you read Lisa’s post on the Grace of Communication yesterday, I hope you felt as inspired as many of the commenters who added their thoughts to it.
Her heartfelt post really spoke volumes, and not just about social media. As I read it, it reminded me of a question that I see asked often in the blogosphere:
How can I make my blog more engaging?
If you’ve ever thought “I want my blog to be more engaging,” you probably had some idea in mind of what that means. It might be that you want to lower bounce rates, increase repeat visits, or encourage more comments on posts.
All of these are measures of “engagement,” but I find that the most engaging blogs I read offer something that’s intangible: a sense of rapport or personality. These blogs say something that interests me in a way I can relate to.
I think that’s something that’s close to the “grace of communication” that Lisa explored yesterday.
While the metrics are all valid, I don’t know if we can really measure this intangible value, which characterizes the most engaging blogs. While the stats do go some way to reflect engagement—and are very helpful to us as we try to grow our blogs—I don’t believe they’re the whole story.
The thing that’s got the greatest potential to engage your readers is you.
A more engaging blog
Yesterday, Lisa described the natural flow she sometimes achieves with her class. Interestingly, the way she explained it made is seem miraculous—something organic, which can’t be forced, but arises spontaneously when the conditions are right.
We can certainly work toward building engaging blogs, just as Lisa works toward building her fitness practice. But there’s an element of the spontaneous in establishing an engaging blog, too.
The key ingredient is you. I think the more of yourself you can put into your blog and your online presence, the better your chances of reaching that spontaneous communications flow, where readers read, share, and respond naturally, and almost effortlessly.
I’ve found Google Plus to be an ideal forum for creating the right conditions for a communicative flow. It allows for a rich exchange in real time, it makes it easy to follow that exchange and, perhaps most importantly, that kind of deep exposure encourages us as bloggers to be open and really “ourselves.”
And that, I think, is the pathway to greater engagement. By being yourself, you encourage others to be themselves: you create the sense of rapport that sets the scene for that spontaneous flow of communication.
Have you experienced that sense on your blog, or when you’ve been communicating with your tribe? Tell us about it in the comments.