social media how toIs your blog feeling a bit flat? Are you looking to attract more of the right kinds of people to your content?

If you struggle to attract a steady stream of quality readers to your blog, you’re not alone. The good news is that your blog isn’t a lost cause.

There are many smart strategies you can use to create compelling, bite-sized content your readers will devour—and share like crazy.

The secret is to tap into the power, speed and instant accessibility of social media. Here are 5 simple, foolproof ideas you can put into action TODAY:

#1: Build instant rapport

Rapport happens when there’s a relationship of mutual trust between you and your audience.

Social media conditions lead us to expect meaningful relationships to grow quickly, based on interests, likes and other searchable snippets that instantly highlight what we have in common.

But we do the exact same thing in real life. We connect to people at networking events based on first impressions—age, appearance, business niche, and so forth.

We talk to people in restaurants who are rooting for the same football teams. In other words, it’s human nature. The question for you is how do you achieve this same instant rapport on a BLOG—especially in a virtual world that’s full of distractions?

Quick Tip: Be personal, friendly and inviting by writing to ONE person at a time.

You can’t be everything to everyone. But you should write like you’re talking to someone—preferably, to just a single reader. Who is that person? What does he or she want to know?

In the image below, Derek Halpern of Social Triggers shows how he addresses his blog readers.

derek halpern

Derek makes it a point to always use a personal, friendly and conversational tone when writing blog posts to his ideal audience.

Be friendly and direct, and never forget that your readers are individuals with interests, families, jobs, etc.

For example, to promote a recent blog post to my email list, I might start by saying something like, “Halloween’s almost here. We just got back from picking pumpkins. I can’t wait to carve mine. I hope you’re enjoying the cooler weather too!”

The first time I did that, emails came back to me—with colorful personal stories, anecdotes and even photos. Those relationships are priceless.

#2: Create relevance

After you succeed in building rapport with your readers, you’ve hooked them—at least temporarily. But how can you be sure they’ll come back?

The key is to consistently provide engaging, actionable and relevant content.

Focus on delivering added value to your core market at every opportunity. Deliver actionable takeaways. Cater to their interests. Remember to educate, entertain AND empower—no matter what topic you’re covering.

learn more

I know my blog readers value additional resources when I blog about a new topic. That's why in this blog post, "5 Reasons Google+ Will Change Your Content Marketing Strategy for the Better," I added links to relevant articles as a way to further their education on Google+.

Quick Tip: Make your posts meaty.

If you want to educate AND empower your readers, you’re going to need to give them evidence that what you’re saying or doing really works—and that’s where you can go above and beyond your competitors.

Statistics, infographics, research and quotes from experts (especially from a new interview YOU conduct) are great ways to add value and create truly unique content.

In the image below, Vistage International (a training agency for CEOs) created an in-depth infographic.


Vistage International used this graphic to share their recent findings about CEOs' confidence in the economy.

For another eye-catching example of a “meaty” post, check out crowdSPRING’s recent post on how small businesses are using social media. It’s jam-packed with data that really delivers a punch both statistically and visually.

#3: Provide instant gratification

If you’re really passionate about what you do, then chances are you’ve got a ton of ideas you’re itching to share.

But you might want to put the brakes on that instinct. One of the cardinal rules of social media is speedy delivery of good ideas. Remember: quality, not quantity.

Providing instant gratification is all about effectively delivering high-quality content in bite-sized pieces. It’s about making your blog readers’ lives easier.

Take a look at Seth Godin’s blog. He’s the undisputed master of instantly gratifying, bite-sized blog content. Even his post on Steve Jobs’ passing, “A Eulogy of Action,” boiled all of our complex feelings down into one simple, compelling, actionable idea—would we live up to Jobs’ example?

seth godin

Seth Godin's blog posts are a perfect example of delivering instant gratification. With each post, Godin only touches on one idea, keeps it simple, short and extremely valuable.

Quick tip: Stay off the “tangent train.”

Instant gratification is also about restraint. Our fidgety readers are scoping out a ton of blogs, posts and feeds every day—you need to catch their eye and keep it in a short enough time to give them one main idea or action item that they’ll remember—and come back for more. Don’t indulge the urge to go on the “tangent train.” Stick to one idea, develop it, give it some meat and watch your blog engagement rise.

#4: Ignite shareability

Serious bloggers know how valuable their blogs really are. But most of us won’t see real business results from blog content until we take the next step and give our content wings.

Content with wings takes off—people send it to everyone they know, because they love it so much. To make sharing easy, provide the right mix of sharing buttons with each post. Put prominent share buttons where they’re easy to see, reach and click.

In the image below, Free Blog Factory uses the DiggDigg share buttons to encourage sharing on their site.

free blog factory

Adding share buttons increases your viral reach and introduces your content to a new audience.

Another important component of shareability is harder to pin down—it’s about providing value in unexpected ways. And sometimes, that means thinking outside the box. A great example of this is a post Chris Brogan wrote, “The Practice Is the Reward,” where he manages to connect his workouts to social media, business, happiness and beyond.

Quick Tip: Put down the vacuum.

Don’t be afraid to branch out and introduce a new concept or idea into your posts. Face it: we get so hung up on our business or niche that we all forget to put down the vacuum and look outside ourselves for a pick-me-up.

Talk about a book you think your audience will like, even if it’s not directly related to your service or product. Interview someone new whom readers will benefit from learning more about. Select ideas that matter to you and your audience—but in a new or challenging way. This will inspire YOU—and in turn, your readers.

#5: Make your closing count

Great content isn’t enough.

The final challenge? Getting your readers emotionally invested in you, your brand and your business. Invested readers comment, share and engage in higher numbers—and they’re also more likely to become future customers.

Don’t let readers just walk out on you. Instead, make every closing count. Ending a post with “Make sure to post a comment” is accurate, but it’s not a very effective way to close a blog post. (Full disclosure: we’ve all made this mistake, including me.)

Stop telling your readers WHAT to do. Instead, spark conversation—ask them to think, participate and invest in your content.

your turn

I often use the "Now it's your turn" approach to encourage blog comments.

Quick Tip: Close with one of my Top 3 No-Fail Social Media–Influenced Questions.

  1. Encourage self-promotion:
    “Do you have a Facebook page? Post your link here.”

    Let your readers promote themselves. They love it—and you can get great insight about who your readers really are.
  2. Ask for advice:
    “What’s one tip for ____?”

    Make it about THEM, not you.
  3. Request feedback:
    “What’s your biggest challenge with ____?”

    Ask for feedback on a topic you cover, and follow up with a link. For example, “What’s your biggest challenge with creating killer blog content? Check out my own tips in my post, How to Create Killer Blog Content Without Spending Hours Staring at Your Computer.

Better Content Leads to Better Results

Improving engagement on your blog is just one part of your content strategy, but I’d say it’s the MOST crucial—because you can then use your blog as a hub, driving traffic to and from your social media streams, email list and even YouTube channel.

Remember, the best blogs aren’t necessarily the best written, or the ones with the newest ideas. They’re not necessarily the shortest. (We can’t all be Seth Godin!) But they DO share one thing in common: meeting, and often exceeding, the expectations of content-hungry readers—who are happy to devour, share and come back for more.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think? What ONE piece of advice would you give a friend to help take his/her blog to the next level? Share your thoughts and comments in the box below!

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  • Helpful information.. thanks Ami

  • predsicker

    Great article Amy – thanks for the very relevant ideas 🙂

  • Nice Amy, Great article thanks 

  • weddingacademy

    Great information, with concise help and advice. I finally have a better idea of what I need to do to start writing a blog. – Thanks Amy  

  • Well said Amy. Great tips.

    Appreciate you putting in the time to write it.

    I would add persist. Don’t give up too soon because it takes time.


  • Great ideas, Amy. Thanks! I will definitely be using these suggestions in future posts.
    I also agree with Frank’s comment on persistence. To expand on that, I think it’s important to create a blogging calendar and set a schedule. Otherwise, it’s easy to push it to the back burner. Now if I could just take my own advice…!

  • gwenm4

    Great article! I especially like the first tip – and it’s one that businesses have a hard time wrapping their brain around: being personal. Somehow I think they feel their blog is lacking if it’s not an “in-your-face” (dry) promotion of their product or service. Too often I see blogs that are so self-promotional and buttoned up –without an ounce of personality. But again, I think it’s a tough one to get businesses to believe, sometimes. 

    I think they forget that they are talking to “real” people. 

  • Excellent post.  Even for a seasoned blogger.  Some great takeaways here on how to communicate with your audience better.  Most definitely will put this into practice.  Thank You!

  • Zoomerang

    Really great, useful tips. I had a similar aha moment when I realized that the key is to engage, just as you would in person. It’s amazing how quickly we lose our social graces once we’re online. Thanks for sharing and contributing to a strong, collaborative social media community! ~Hanna

  • The DiggDigg plugin rocks and looks great (it follows you as you scroll down the page).

  • Thanks Amy; you offer very practical advice – it follows my HOPE “KISS” acronym: Keep It Simple & Specific’s important to direct comments to one person – like an actor speaking into the camera lens.  Being persistent and “actively patient” is also important …anything worthwhile takes time to establish, especially when the blogger is new and unknown!  

  • Tomatoma

    I want to read that post about site loading please

  • Thanks for the info. I like number 4. Instant gratification. That is probably my biggest weakness. I will start a post on a topic and my urge is to want to explain all the side details that make it work. But I know as a reader I only have time and patience for 1 well laid out idea.

  • What a great post and so true!  Many of our Compendium clients’ find that capturing their customers’ stories fit your tips the BEST.  User generated content (especially stories) build amazing rapport, are hyper relevant to others thinking about the product or service, provide instant gratification through a human element, are sharable in the ways you suggest (but also through email integrations), AND stories have a natural closing; what’s your story? 

    All of your tips hold true and Story Capturing is one great way to generate this type of content.

  • Fabulous tips. Thanks for another great post!

    An additional suggestion is to occasionally write about controversial topics. Of course, that’s probably much easier to do in the dog world (where everyone has an opinion they feel very passionate about) than in the social media world. I do this more on than on my own website blog though. It took me awhile to feel comfortable really expressing my opinion on highly debatable topics, but those posts get the most comments and shares. 

  • THANK YOU for the great tips!!  Blogging is the one thing I have real trouble with…keeping it casual and conversational, and trying to incorporate a bit of my business, also.  I’ll keep trying!!

  • Thanks you for sharing Amy.  Blogging is still new for so many small business owners so this topic is relevant.

  • Thanks, good stuff.  I often wish I was a better writer and that thought throws up road blocks.  It’s nice to hear it’s not all about perfect witty writing.

  • MaRgc

    Everything’s great I guess choosing what to write about would be another tip:
    Write about what you like and what you are passionate about, not olny about what ‘people are searching for in Google’. The community you build will be more trasparent and more genuine.

  • Chris Picanzo

    Thanks for the info Amy! It’s always a struggle to find good content to share especially when u are trying to handle more than your own topics and pages on social media. I use a blog for my business on two niche’s and I wonder about the static page. Should that be my blog roll or my business info? My Marketing business is the one I wonder about most. I have a coupon site as well and that works well using static page so I can add coupons as I get them. I love posting and constantly need new ideas. Thanks again. Chris

  • You are welcome!

  • Hi, Patricia.  So glad you founds some value in there 🙂

  • That’s music to my ears 🙂  Thanks for sharing!

  • Amen!  So true, Frank.  You can’t give up – it takes times and hustle!

  • Yes!  I learned about a blogging calendar from my good friend, Denise Wakeman and I have used one ever since!

  • Another valuable article I will incorporate into my social media approach. Keep up the great work and amazing content! 

  • Thanks Amy! I’m just starting to write articles on my new website and it coming slowly. Great tips thank you, especially “making the close count” I have been using the usual close and had never thought about it before. Can’t wait for some more great tips.

  • Dawn novotny

    Wow Amy.

    Excellent post with so many great tips. I am new to blogging (5 months) and have much to learn yet I recognize generosity when I see it.  Thanks, dawn

  • Hi Chris. It’s such a hard call – I use my static page (I am guessing you are talking about your Home Page, right?) as my blog roll, but I know others who use it as a lead gen opportunity first and foremost – and to give a snapshot of who they are and what they can do for the visitor.  However, leading with great content (your blog roll) – you can instantly show people what you know and how you can help – so tough to make a call either way!

  • Don’t give up, Faye!  Blogging takes times and if you stay with it, you’ll get in a groove where it does not seem like work as much, but something you are just a pro at doing well 🙂

  • Hi Chris. It’s such a hard call – I use my static page (I am guessing
    you are talking about your Home Page, right?) as my blog roll, but I
    know others who use it as a lead gen opportunity first and foremost –
    and to give a snapshot of who they are and what they can do for the
    visitor.  However, leading with great content (your blog roll) – you can
    instantly show people what you know and how you can help – so tough to
    make a call either way!

  • Renee

    Really great points Amy!  Thanks

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  • Cindy

    working on a blog post today…will incorporate this advice for sure!

  • Great advice. Writing your blog like you are having a conversation is not only a way to engage readers, it’s also just more fun!

  • Great post. Thanks for the advice as well as the useful tips. I’ll try this.

  • Excellent Post, Amy – Thanks!


    Chris Murvine
    CloudTactix – Strategic Inbound Marketing Solutions

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  • Thanks for this Amy. Very useful. I will particularly be using the advice on how to invite comments, such as inviting links to Facebook pages. It’s also a good way of getting to know your audience if you can then follow-up and see who they are and what they are working on.

  • I love articles posted by social media examiner. they are so great for social media marketing.

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  • genialjoe

    Thanks Amy, shareability is something which really interests me. Personal branding is an important factor.

  • Hi Amy.

    Some really cool and valuable tips here. In my articles I primarily focus on if they serve my niche. Which is good starting point for me and my niche. 

    Great to get some shareability tips to add into my mix.


    Are Morch
    Hotel Blogger

  • These are all great pointers Amy, thanks for taking the time to put it together and include examples.  

  • nice

  • Hi Amy,
    I think this is on a par with Seth Godin. Very excellent, positive, and gritty tips – just what I crave when my blog is just sitting there not getting read. Thank you so much for your insight and suggestions. 
    My challenge has always been the last point – asking for comments. Mine followed the “please leave a comment” action rather than asking for specific answers and making it more personal. –Sally

  • This is really good stuff. I just recently started blogging and I know I haven’t using any of these techniques. i will work to implement all 5 on my next post! 

  • Jennifer Nice

    Thanks, Amy. Number 1 & 5 really resonated with me. It’s easier to do these with my travel blog which feels more like a “hobby” and challenging with my business blog. I’m new to the web writing career and thus worry about doing that blog “right.” You’ve given me some ideas to put into action!

  • Ashley

    Great blogging tips!

  • Good Post! Interesting tips to pin down information that people is happy to devour. And, of course, the way of writing is always important. A beautiful text with relevant content drives people to look into it.   

  • Sking

    Really nice post.  I

  • Great tips Amy, especially #5! Have started adding a better closure to our blog posts 🙂

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  • Love the tip about talking to one person, great advice!

  • Great information to apply to my blog. Thank you

  • Social media is one of the great place to spread out information on here 🙂 Its really great place on here 🙂

  • Respond to comments goes along with your first point about building rapport.  Bloggers who don’t respond, or who don’t respond thoughtfully, come across as impersonal and uncaring.  I know not everyone can respond to every single comment.  But, at least respond to the ones that took time to add something to the interactions.

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  • Michelle M. Moody

    Hi Amy,

    Great points, I’m mos def going to be implementing them into my blog strategy …I especially like Seth Godin’s “instant gratification” approach; sweet, informational and to-the-point!

  • Nice work Amy!

    Blogging needs a little courage and much confidence. The courage to post and share and the confidence to speak out whats on your mind.

  • great tips, worth my time !

  • Hi Amy! I am very thankful to you for posting this information. Because my blog is also feeling a bit flat. I am looking to attract different people towards my blog. I hope the above mentioned tips are very helpful to me. Nice informative post.

  • Great information. Freshness of content is really important. Also it is important to consistently provide engaging, actionable and relevant content.

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  • Dear Amy,
    This is a great post and emulates your points with every section.
    What helps me is building relationships with my fellow bloggers.
    I just had an amazing life experience of a long lost friend finding me, completely serendipitously, through a guest post I had made for a friend’s site. The strength of sharing my readers with this other site has only tossed back more readers to mine, and with this latest development, the return of a sweet friend I thought I had lost back in 4th grade.
    Life is funny like that. 
    Blogging once felt overwhelming to me.
    By being myself, telling my story, I have developed important connections to people who have become friends.
    Looking forward to more of your posts.
    Sincerely, Suzi Banks Baum

  • I started reading this not hopping much but i found more than i expected. Simple and powerfull ideas here. Thanks Amy. I hope i manage to follow some of these 🙂

  • This was an insightful post, as someone who has started to put in quality content on our website. The results speak for them self.

  • Thanks Amy! Wonderful post that my colleague passed along to me. Running a blog is almost an art form and clearly you are very good at making a readable and usable post. We are working hard to learn and keep posting on our site, which I will share with yah, because after all “Let your readers promote themselves. They love it—and you can get great
    insight about who your readers really are.”



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  • Wow.  I just realized I have not been doing number five at all!!  Forgot my ABC’s I guess.  Always be closing.  Good post.

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  • Keril

    I agree that it’s critical to connect with one person at a time. Building relationships is incredibly important. A lot of businesses sign up for Twitter or Facebook, tweet and post promotions, and then wonder why no one is listening. Thanks for the great article!

  • Thanks for sharing such great tips. I really need it. This is kind of awesome!!!

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  • Lots of good take aways here. Great advice on blogging

  • Excellent post, Amy! I absolutely love this site, because I always find important “takeaways” as the last comment mentioned– and, at the end of the day, that really is what matters. I think if you can write a post that grabs attention, gets them to read through it, and gives them even one point they feel is important to remember, you have done your day’s work! This post would definitely fit that bill.  Thanks! 

    Denise Gabbard writes for Printer Ink Cartridges .

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    Great posts here, great information, it was like you was reading my mind, my thoughts. I am inspired now.

  • The last tips you shared caught my attention because this is what most bloggers miss when creating a blog. A blogger must share in-depth content in the blog, not only because he wants to draw more internet traffic, but also because he wants his blog to be appealing to readers.

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  • Amy! Regardless of the age of this post, it is still so very relevant. I’ve been scouring the web looking for ideas to put into our marketing plan and came across this article. One thing I’d like to add is that it is so very important to include a plan of action for how you will go about implementing the ideas presented here. It may seem like it’s a bit overboard at first, but on the down days – the days where you’re just getting beat up, having  an action plan to fall back on is always nice.

    Very good info all around (and keep up those webinars…love em!)

  • Hi Amy ! Thanks for these great tips. I’m french and it’s great for me to find tips as good as yours even if it’s a bit hard to understand for me sometimes… 😉 It’s worth the effort !! I’m gonna try to do this in my blog.Thanks again !

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  • Really useful tips for the new bloggers. Keep the good work going Amy. Thank you so much!

  • Tim T.

    These are all great tips that any social media optimization company or anyone in digital marketing should read and take into account for their next strategy session.  Great stuff, thanks.

  • timesate

    this is really great articel.

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  • I have been trying hard to improve my content quality and I think your tips will certainly help. Thanks a ton Amy 🙂

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  • Thank you for these great tips I hope I’ll be able to use them right !! 

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  • Lisa

    Great tips. For me it was a helpful information.

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  • Luke Kimmel

    Thank you for adding this Frank. Very important.

  • Luke Kimmel

    Great write up Amy!

  • Gerhard Homveld

    Hi Amy. Thanks for this very helpful article. You’ve listed valuable pointers that I’m definitely going to start using right away!