What I Do to Try to Get Readers to Stick Around & Engage With My Blog

Last week, I talked about how I find new readers for my blog. This week, I'll be looking at the next step in that process, which is:


This is a tricky one.

Think about, for instance, how many blogs you read. How many do you come back to you or just visit once? And of the ones you come back to, how often do you comment on them?

For me, I read a couple dozen (and there are TONS of blogs out there) and comment maybe on one or two a day—max. And usually the ones I comment on are the ones of my real-life friends. I hardly ever comment on strangers’ blogs.

I heard once that with direct mail (ie, junk mail), if two percent of people who get the mail act on it, that is considered a successful campaign. Two percent! That’s next to nothing and yet that’s considered successful.

I try to keep that in mind when I am blogging, that it’s only natural that you are only going to hear from a very small fraction of people who read your blog. It’s not something to get discouraged over, because that’s just kinda the way it is in blogging!

The only thing I think you can do, then, is try to make it easy for people to engage with your blog, to click around and find other posts, to dig deeper into your archives. Hopefully once they drill down into your content, they’ll realize that your blog is super special enough to subscribe to and stick around.

So, that's why I have a related posts widget below every entry (available from LinkWithin) and why I always hyperlink similar posts when possible in my blog. I also have a navigational menu at the top which can help point people to subject-specific posts. Plus, on the few posts I have that get lots and lots of visitors (usually via Pinterest), I make sure to include a little blurb that points readers to other posts on the blog (such as “read more of my crafts here”) and to the archives. (You can see an example of that here.)

I also make it a point to try to respond to most of the comments I get, because I feel like if people know that I care enough to reply, they’ll be more encouraged to comment in the first place.

Sometimes, if the post merits it, I’ll ask a question at the end of the post for readers to chime in on—like when I posted my review of the study Bible I use and asked what kind of study Bibles you like to use. That got a good bit of conversation going!

Do what you can to help people drill in to your content, and I think that you’ll find that they’ll be more likely to stick around once they have had a taste of your blog. And don’t forget that even a small amount of interaction is worth celebrating!

This post is part of my Better Blogging series, where I respond to some of the most common questions that I receive about blogging. Feel free to read all of the posts in this series here.

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  1. I really love your Better Blogging series. I've been trying to make little improvements to my blog lately (always a work in progress) and have already seen improvements! I actually just added LinkWithin yesterday and am kicking myself for not doing that sooner.

    I hope you keep the series up!

  2. I find that when I respond to comments and also comment on the blogs of people that have commented for me, it brings me more traffic and a closer relationship with those folks. Something I would encourage ALL to do.

  3. Oh, and responding to emails people send me always helps, too.

  4. I'm so glad you're enjoying this series, Emily! I think having the LinkWithin widget is so helpful to my blog. Glad you made the update and have already seen traffic increase!

    Annie, I totally agree! I think cultivating online community is one thing that makes people feel a part of your blog, rather than simply a bystander.

  5. Hello Carmen! I can't remember how I got here really, and I've only read a handful of your posts so far, but I'm blessed by the stuff I read. Specially your thoughts about God and marriage. :) I'm a newlywed too! SO keep it up, and keep glorifying God with your blog, because I'm sure a lot of your readers are blessed too. As I am. :)

  6. Aw, thanks, Riz! I appreciate that you took the time to leave such kind, encouraging words for me. I'm so glad to know you're enjoying my posts!

  7. I really love and appreciate your blog entirely, but I really like this series. You write so well! I also just added LinkWithin today...brilliant! You're awesome!

  8. Aw thanks so much for the super kind words, Katie! I think you'll be really happy with LinkWithin. It's a great resource.

    I am so glad to hear this series is resonating with so many folks!!

  9. I would like to hear a perspective from "the other side" as it were. I don't have a blog, but I enjoy reading them. I started with a few, then would look at comments on them, and think, oh, that person sounds nice, I will look at their blog. I think I would comment more, but I don't want to be perceived as some weird stalker person, especially if the person has little kids. As I type this, I realize that I have no idea how I found your blog - which is OK, but I wonder how people that don't know me from diddley-do react when I comment?
    I may not remember how I found you, but I have you bookmarked! ha. Have a good day.

  10. Ha! I understand your fear, Lynne, but, from my opinion, I love getting to hear from blog readers. I guess it depends on the kinds of comments that would make me feel that way, but I imagine that you don't have a thing to worry about :)

    The thing is, I can see in my statistics how many people read this blog every day (more than a thousand!); yet I only hear from less than a dozen. So I don't think it's "stalker-ish" or weird at all; as long as folks are being respectful, then I find that comments--whether I know you or not--are actually refreshing and really encouraging!

    Feel free to keep the comments coming :)


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