7 Ways to Increase Participation on Your Small Business Blog

So you’ve launched a blog for your small business, but comments are low or non-existent, and you’re mostly embarrassed by your site’s daily traffic stats. What can you do?

First of all, don’t be discouraged. All small business blogs start somewhere, and there are plenty of things you can do to encourage participation on your blog while building website traffic and adding subscribers. Follow these seven tips, and you’ll start to notice a difference right away.

Write About Current Topics

Evergreen content does have its place. It’s great for building long-term traffic and bringing new visitors in through organic searches. However, it isn’t exactly controversial, and because of that, it doesn’t lead to many comments or encourage extended conversations. Balance your blog content with a mix of timeless and trendy posts.

Reply to Individual Comments

When someone comments, engage them and nurture real conversations on your posts. Replying to every single comment isn’t necessary either, particularly when visitors simply type, “I totally agree!” However, thoughtful commenting on posts can be encouraged when you acknowledge your readers’ contributions.

Invite Guest Authors

You don’t have to be a celebrity blogger to attract guest authors. In fact, most of the time all you have to do is ask. Plenty of people out there would be glad to write for your site in exchange for a brief blurb or bio and a link back to their site. This practice introduces your blog to the guest author’s audience and builds readership.

Take a Stand

When you write about current issues in your field or niche, you don’t have to be fair and balanced. Share your opinions, make recommendations, and be open to letting others disagree with you. A passionate discussion in your blog comments can be exactly what you need to add some fire to your blog.

Ask Questions

You may have noticed that a lot of your fellow bloggers are ending their blog posts with questions. It’s a great idea, and you should do it, too! The mind starts automatically answering the question as soon as it is asked, increasing the likelihood that your readers will get typing.

Switch Up Your Style

Don’t be afraid to try new things. See what happens when you post a photo without any text, publish a fun poll, share a personal story, or post a video interview. Switching up your content will keep people wondering what you’re going to do next.

Link to Other Blogs

When you link to other blogs, those authors will often stop by to see what you’re saying about them. Sometimes, they leave comments. And sometimes, they are inspired to write a blog post about your blog post. How do they know you’ve blogged about them? Well you could tell them, but they will likely receive a notice of your trackback through their blog platform. Plus, lots of people monitor mentions online using Google Alerts.

In the end, you should remember that there are lots of different ways to measure the success of your blog, and that obsessing over daily hits and unique visitors is pretty futile. Resist the temptation to compare your blog with others. If you only have five readers, but all of them are actively engaged, you should pat yourself on the back for a job well done and keep the content coming.

Image credit: pagadesign

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Emily Suess
Emily Suess is a full-time technical marketing writer in the software industry and a part-time freelance copywriter. To learn more about marketing your small business online, check out her copywriting blog, Say It With Me.

12 comments

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  1. First of all, bravo Emily, a great list.

    “If you only have five readers, but all of them are actively engaged, you should pat yourself on the back for a job well done and keep the content coming.”
    I like that approach. As I write technical info, but my aim is writing for a business audience, I find it hard to get that right balance of just technical enough. I am happy when I get even a few responses to my business posts. I treasure each reader.

  2. Thanks, Leora. I think it’s really important for small business owners to realize that what they are doing on their blog matters, even in the earliest stages.

    You’re on the right path for sure if you value your readers and their responses. It’s like the old saying goes, “quality not quantity.” With time you’ll pick up on what is working for your readers through their comments and other interactions.

    Most importantly, keep blogging!

  3. These are such great tips! I’m so there right now! I’ve posted three blog posts on my wordpress and haven’t had any replies or subscribers. :(. I’m going to try these suggestions and see what happens! Tx again for this post! :)

    • I’m so glad you found them helpful. Don’t forget that commenting on other blogs (like you did here!) and sharing your blog URL will help new people find you. Good luck with growing your blog!

  4. Thank you Emily – I am with Yasmin – haven’t had much action on my blog but I have already tried one of the suggestions and have invited some guests bloggers. I will try some of the other techniques and see what happens.

    Lisa

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  6. Emily, I really enjoyed the content and context of your post. Especially the part about engaging with your readers: posting a picture and asking for comments or a fun poll both tickled me. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Deborah

  7. Great advice! I think timely content isn’t being used as much as evergreen, and it’s a shame. Sure, it’s more work and is only relevant for a week or two but it can be much more engaging and evoke stronger responses from your readers…That being said, I’m commenting on a month-old post ;)

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