3 Powerful Content Changes to Grow Your Audience Online

January 31, 2013


To create our recent infographic on audience building, I had to hack and slash my way through beaucoup ineffective and boring content to find the gems. Along the way, I fled posts that were obviously written specifically for search engines only and encountered content that left me grabbing for those few minutes of my life back. And some people say finding and sharing great content is easy!

Though I escaped relatively unharmed from this content jungle, I wanted to share some ideas that will prevent you from making the mistakes of the many blog posts I researched. Implement these changes, and your content will have more life and “stickiness” that keeps people coming back to hear what you have to say.

Change #1: Start Telling Wicked Good Stories

Blog posts that had a story thread from beginning to end caught my attention much more than academic or “I’m just here to attract search engine traffic” type of posts. These stories don’t have to be The Odyssey or Downton Abbey-worthy – they just need to add life to the point you’re trying to get across.

An easy story format to follow is the struggle-to-victory format. If this format works for the entertainment industry and draws in billions of dollars per year through franchises such as “The Avengers” or “James Bond”, your content could benefit from the same style of storytelling.

Action Step: Take a situation in which a change happened for a client or customer as a result of your expertise. Write out the story and format it in the form of a blog post.

Change #2: Insert Yourself into Your Content

During my search for relevant content, I was immediately more drawn to posts in which the author injected their personality and – just as importantly – included a photo and bio of themselves. You will have a greater impact when you’re a relatable person compared to just words on a screen.

Growing your audience isn’t just about your content. Your blog should also be a way to invite people to connect with you on social media. Your readers will be much more likely to follow you and connect with you if they know the person behind the content.

Action Step: Take your blog post and find ways to insert yourself into the story. Let the reader know how you responded to the struggle and what it felt like to help the customer or client experience victory. Also, put together a short bio of yourself and a photo to put at the end of the post.

Change #3: Start Asking Questions

Audience almost seems like the wrong word for the readers of your online content. Even hearing the word brings up images of plays and movies in which the audience’s role is to sit and be entertained. Not so with building an online audience. I enjoyed the blogs that gave me opportunities to comment and share my experiences. One way these blogs did this was by asking questions.

While I did come across many blog posts that tried this strategy, it will only be as effective as your ability to tell good stories and insert yourself into your blog posts.

Action Step: At the end of your blog post, add a question related to the story that asks the reader to share their personal experience. When your blog post is published, respond to comments to engage your audience further.

Bonus Tip: Change the story format, the ways you insert yourself into your content and the questions you ask to test which style gets the most comments to your blog or increases your blog subscribers.

Have you completed the action steps above? Link to your blog posts in the comment section and I’ll be glad to read them.

Jeff Machado is a content marketing strategist at Fiore Communications. You can follow him on Twitter to learn more about content marketing.


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