The King gets all the glory. All the credit.
But the Queen has the King’s ear. She moves strings from behind the scenes. You might not notice her, but she’s integral to the whole operation.
Without her, everything falls apart.
She’s just like your design.
Your design is critical to your engagement. And while your content is the main attraction, without good design it’s wasted.
Good design makes it easy to engage with your content. While some people will subscribe to your mailing list, share your content, and follow you on social media, most are lazy.
They’re only going to engage with you if you make it easy to. They’re busy. They have ton to do. While your blog is great, they aren’t going to go out of their way.
But if you make your blog’s experience seamless. If you remove the friction and barriers to your engagement. And send your audience call-to-actions at the right time, they’ll do just about anything you want.
Which means you can drastically increase your engagement, just by changing the way you present your content.
And the best thing about these tactics is that they require little time, effort, and knowledge to make a huge impact.
How to Make Your Content Easy to Engage With
1. Want More Shares?
Getting people to share your content isn’t as hard as you’d think. It just takes a strong call-to-action at the right time.
First of all, make sure you install Flare, Digg Digg, or another sharing plugin so a share button is never far away. These bars will float next to your content, so your audience always has the option for an easy share.
Next, use Clicktotweet and pre-make tweets for your audience to share. With Clicktotweet your audience is just two clicks away from sharing. They don’t even need to think.
Lastly, at the end of your posts, tell your audience to share your content. And be specific; if you want a tweet, ask for a tweet.
2. Want More Comments?
There’s no better indicator of a blog’s engagement than comments.
An easy way to make commenting a little bit easier is to install a social comment system. These allow your audience to comment with their social profiles.
They also include the interactions on these social media sites, giving you free promotion. Here’s a post that reviews 5 popular comment systems for WordPress.
Another effective way to get more comments is to ask questions at the end of your posts.
It’s hard to come up with a comment other than, “Great post, I really enjoyed it”, unless you frame a question for your audience to answer.
Along with a question, ask your audience to comment with a call-to-action. This simple framing can make a huge difference.
3. Want More Views?
Ah, page views. The lifeblood of your blog. You might not realize it, but you can engineer more views too.
While everyone wants more views, most people assume they have to go out and get them.
What they don’t realize, is that the easiest way to get more views is to get the people already coming to your blog, to visit more. You can do this by interlinking your posts. By making your blog look like a spider web.
If you’re doing it right, at every turn you’ll have another post for your audience to read.
You can put links in the beginning of your posts as a preface. In the middle to add to your points. And at the end of your posts with another related post to check out.
You should also think about installing a related post plugin. Here’s a post breaking down 5 of the best if you’re interested.
By interlinking your posts you’ll get your readers to jump all over your site; increasing page views, time spent on site, and giving them more chances to share and subscribe.
Engagement is just as much about your design as your content. With great design, you remove all friction to your audience’s experience.
It’s easier to travel between posts. It’s easier to share. It’s even easier to comment on your posts.
Great content, without great design is a waste. But if in addition to creating awesome content, you also have great design; it’s like adding gasoline to the fire.
What does great design mean to you? What plugins and tools do you use to get more engagement?
Let me know in the comments and take a second to share this post if you enjoyed it.