Good content is not easy to write. It takes time to research, outline, write, rewrite, and publish that content. So when it fails to generate the kind of shares and conversation we expect, it can be frustrating.
Fortunately, there are small tricks you can use to boost the engagement of your content – both on and off site – and they don’t take a lot of time to complete. Here are five of my favorites, each of them something you can complete in just a few minutes.
1. Create a Unique Image for the Top of the Post
Ditch the stock images and find a way to create your own, unique images for your next post. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create something from scratch or go out and take photos. You can use one of my favorite tools, Canva, to make it easier, or you can drop some text in existing images with Paintdotnet – a free tool that has most of the tools in Photoshop. The entire process takes only 3-4 minutes and the impact is immediate.
2. Split Test 2-3 Headlines with WordPress Plugins
WordPress is a powerful platform because you can expand and use plugins for just about anything. One of the things I like most about it is the split testing capability. The easiest tool on the market by far is Google’s Analytics-based Content Experiments feature. Simple Page Tester is a free WordPress plugin, or you can get something even more powerful with Optimizely – which, while pricey, is incredibly powerful for split testing.
3. Use Disqus and In-Content Commenting to Encourage Engagement
Built-in comments are unwieldy. They have no added functionality, they don’t link to other sites, and they are subject to a whole lot of spam. Disqus solves all of those problems and then some with a centralized system used on tens of thousands of websites. You can also utilize in-content commenting tools like Tweet This to connect people with your content in new and exciting ways, never forcing them to take extra actions.
4. Reuse and Repurpose Content in Other Formats
When you reuse your content, you give people another way to share it or talk about it. I’ve written about this at length in the past, but there are dozens of ways to take what you’ve already created and build a new magnet to drive people to your site. Here are some of the most effective of these opportunities:
- Facebook Posts
- LinkedIn Groups or Pulse
- Kindle eBook
- PDF Download
With minimal extra effort, you can turn just about anything into a new piece of content that links back to your blog or engages people to interact with your content in new ways.
5. Remove Distractions from the Page
A cluttered page is a distracting page. All those ads, social media buttons, category links, and sample comments in the sidebar are links that keep people from taking the actions you actually want them – commenting and sharing your content. Experiment with removing different blocks of content to see what impact each of them has.
Combined with these tips for making your content more sharable, you can boost the effectiveness of the content you produce and ensure more people find it, share it, and comment on it with each and every post.
Have your own quick tips and tricks to boost engagement? Share below or tweet me @chatfielda to share what you think works best for your audience.