Hey New Bloggers, Do You Engage Your Audience?

Starting a new blog is a bit like going through puberty. It’s awkward.

With few exceptions, starting a new blog is an awkward and arduous process.

After you’ve designed a great website, linked everything with social media, and written great content… well the result can be a little less than climactic.

The hard truth is that your “baby” blog will not wake up one day and suddenly be an “adult” blog. There are many stages in between.

The stage of increasing traffic and building a loyal audience is what I consider the “puberty” phase. You’re published and are definitely not in the concept stage anymore, but you’re still in the growing stage and not quite able to garner the results you’re aiming for. You’re producing great content, but your readers are slim…

It reminds me of the lyrics from that OneRepublic song that filled my 2013 summer:

Old, but I’m not that old.
Young, but I’m not that bold.

Like I said, it’s an awkward place to be.

Fortunately, there are many tools for both pubescent people and blogs. Thirteen year-olds need acne cream and new blogs need methods to engage an audience.

Understand there’s a difference between traffic and a loyal audience.

Active loyal readers are the bread and butter for long-term blog success.

Traffic is, of course, a huge part of the equation but your loyal readers will be the ones that root for you all the way to the finish line.

I’ve written extensively on research regarding online brand communities. For new bloggers it can be boiled down to this: engage your readers and your reader base will grow. Or don’t, and your readers will spend their time on your competitor’s site just a few clicks away.

There are lots of great resources out there devoted to helping you increase traffic to your site but once the traffic is coming in, what are you doing to keep them there?

And further, what are you going to do to keep them returning?

RumbleTalk is a great option for new bloggers

The simple answer is to engage your audience. But how?

Jon Morrow from the Boost Blog Traffic blog wrote on this topic saying “Email readers who comment on your blog and ask them what they would like to hear more about. Call them on the phone. Schedule a Q&A call, and stay on the line with them for an hour, answering questions.”

Are you thinking this is quite intense? Sure, you are likely to get detailed and helpful responses from the readers that you are able to engage in this manner, but I’m here to tell you there’s a different way.

RumbleTalk group chat allows you to engage your customers while they are on your site and interested in the topic. Not later in an email if you’re lucky enough to actually get their email address.

Seize this moment when both you and your reader are online to ask them if they have any questions, what they like about your content, or what kind of content they are looking for. Discuss the nuances of the subject matter and enjoy the community you are forming.

What research shows is that this kind of personal interaction with a brand causes the consumer to feel invested in the brand community. They become a supporter and promoter just based on the human connection they have with the brand.

This doesn’t mean you have to be online 24/7. There are ways to turn your group chat offline or you could even leave it open for your community to chat among each other.

There are many creative ways new bloggers can use RumbleTalk group chat to engage readers. I’ve wrote about three tactics here.

But, what does that look like?

What better way to show you than with pictures, right? Well actually you can also interact with these on our homepage and sometimes I’ll be there to personally chat too. Go try it!

RumbleTalk group chat can be embedded as a floating icon or directly in a page. What’s cool is that in either case, no matter how many instances you use the chat, the conversation stays the same.

group chat floating icon example

embedded group chat example

In practice this means your readers can talk to you while browsing your content. You can recommend that they read this post or that, and they will remain engaged.

And don’t forget, engaged readers turn into the loyal following you’re after. Think of these readers as the good people who loved you through all the awkwardness of puberty and always knew you’d grow up to be a mature and dignified blog.

3 Blogging Tactics to Build Loyal Audiences Using Group Chat

The Pareto principle, commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule, tells us that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers, and we sure do love those customers in that 20% tier.

These are the customers that get it. They understand your purpose, they use all the features you and your team worked endlessly on, they read every new post and newsletter, and their referrals are worth gold because those in the 20% club are the best examples of how your work can benefit them.

You could be blogging to generate traffic for your business (like we do) or simply to share your hobby but regardless of the subject the blog needs loyal followers to grow.

In a previous post I posed the question: Does your business have multiple audiences? In this post we’ll talk about three ways to use RumbleTalk group chat engage your upper tier of customers, the customers that get it.

The “Open for Conversation” page

I really like this one.

For bloggers trying to reach their first 100 or 1000 loyal readers, creating an “Open for Conversation” page is a great way to directly interact with readers and humanize your new brand.

By giving your readers a chance to have a human connection to your blog, you can pique a deeper level of interest that keeps them returning, invested, and rooting for you.

Here’s how the “Open for Conversation” page works:

In the back end of your blog, create an entire page dedicated to hosting an embedded group chat. Then, only when you are online, turn the page on so that your “Open” sign appears in your main menu. Readers can then click in to speak directly with you. When you are ready to end the conversation and flip the sign to closed, you simply turn the page off.

Of course, you can title this page whatever you like. Here’s a few examples our team came up with:

• The Doctor Is In
• Chat With The Author Now
• Ask Questions, Get Answers
• I’m Online Now!
• Come Say Hello

You can use this as a way to recommend specific articles, ask trivia questions, brainstorm new content, ask who your readers are, and so much more.

The AMA off Reddit

Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) events are quite popular. But what if you could reap all the benefits of opening up to your readers without ever asking your them to leave your website? That’d be great, right?

The AMA off Reddit is great for blogs that have medium to high readership volume. This can be a one-time event or regularly scheduled. The choice is yours.

There are many advantages to keeping your readers on your site. They’re close to your content, your call to action, and they don’t have to create an account on another site to participate.

The local AMA can be accomplished by creating a page with the embedded group chat. You can send a link to this page in an email, publish the link in a blog post, or place the page in your menu. Really, you can send this out to your followers in lots of creative ways.

The Community Forum

The community forum is different in that it stays open. This is a place for your community to chat whether or not you are participating yourself.

Once you have a loyal base of readers, offer them the chance to be included in an inner-circle. Some sites do this by asking for a simple email address, other offer paid memberships. Depending on what you can feasibly ask of your readers, create an upper tier of customers and offer them perks for being part of that club.

Opening a community forum to this group is a great perk that allows participants to exchange ideas in a space that is focused on the subject.

In most cases, you won’t want to have this option available to just anyone. This will attract trolls, scammers, and spammers. But by establishing a threshold for participation, members can go to this source for roundtable discussions in niche communities.

Blogging tactics for any stage

RumbleTalk group chat is a great tool for engaging with your online community and for having your community engage with each other. This engagement leads to active participation and can increase your overall page views, shares, and more.

If you are interested in starting a RumbleTalk group chat for your blog, visit our homepage for more information. Then, let us know how these blogging tactics worked for you!