October 14, 2014
Welcome to our series on promoting and marketing your own content. Every other week, we’ll debut a new post designed to help you push your blog content to a wider audience like a marketing rock star, and show you how to build a larger and more engaged community of readers along the way.
Running out of ideas what to write about on your blog? There's a source of content you may not have thought about: your own readers. Engaging your readers in the content creation process not only helps you develop fresh new posts for your blog, but they'll likely help you by promoting the posts through their own networks. Not only that, but when your audience is more invested in your blog, they're more likely to remain loyal readers.
We've already talked about guest authors and inviting your readers to submit guest posts is always a great idea. Perhaps they have an experience they'd like to share related to the topics you post about. They may have cooked a recipe you posted or followed your craft tips to create something for their home. Or perhaps they've visited the place you're writing about or used a product or service that you've reviewed (or even that you provide). If you see someone in your comments with a great story to share, why not invite them to write a post for your blog?
Maybe a full guest post requires more time from your readers than they're able to offer. You could instead invite them to submit photos or videos and combine these into one or more posts. Whether they're showing off something they created inspired by your blog or sharing the views at their favorite place to read it, audience-generated photos or videos can make a big impact.
Another option is to run a survey (don't forget to share the poll with your followers on social media). This gives you two posts - one announcing the survey and one talking about the results. Ask their opinions about a hot topic that's come up recently on the blog or invite their views on what you should write about next. If you're ambitious, you could even do a question of the month or the week and make it a regular feature. Be sure to check out our tips on how to add a survey or poll in a post.
Even if you don't directly solicit content from your readers, you may find that your interactions with them, through the comments or on social media, inspire new topics for you to write about. Perhaps a question comes up a lot and you'd like to put your answer where more people can see it. Maybe somebody presented a controversial opinion that you think deserves a full response. Whatever the inspiration, don't be afraid to pull a conversation up out of your comments and feature it in a blog post.
These are just a few suggestions for engaging your audience in the content creation process. Have you created posts through interaction with your readers? Share your experiences or tips in the comments!