Tag Archives: Building Community

Five Ways to Encourage Readers to Comment More Often on Your Posts

Get more comments on your blog posts more often

Do you wish more readers would comment on your blog posts?

Some bloggers think commenting is dead. And while that’s not the whole picture, there may be some truth in it.

When I started blogging back in 2008, Twitter and Facebook were only just taking off. And if readers wanted to respond to a post, they’d normally leave a comment on the blog itself, rather than tweet or comment on a Facebook thread.

You might think that if you had more readers then you’d get more comments. But that isn’t necessarily true. Some of the big blogs I read only get one or two comments per post. And smaller ones can often get dozens.

The truth is, readers do still comment on blog posts. And there’s plenty you can do to encourage them to do so more often.

One very simple way is to deliberately invite comments by asking a question at the end of your post. But this isn’t your only option.

I’m going to go through five key ways to encourage more comments, and encourage readers to keep coming back and commenting. As you read through, think about which one you could put into practice this week.

#1: Comment on Other Bloggers’ Posts

How often do you leave comments on other blogs? If it’s rarely or never, it might be part of the reason you don’t get many comments on your own blog. Not because of karma, but because of reciprocity. If you leave someone a comment, they may want to repay the favour.

But for this to work you need to comment on the right sort of blogs. Commenting on big, well-known blogs may get some initial traffic to your new blog. But chances are it won’t bring the busy blog owner over to your blog to comment.

Instead, look for smaller blogs that are at a similar level to yours. Maybe they have few or no comments, or they’ve just been launched.

Where can you find blogs like that? A great place to look is in forums or groups aimed at bloggers, such as the ProBlogger Facebook group. Search for your own blogging topic and see if anyone’s mentioned that they blog about it too. If so, visit their blog and leave a comment on their most recent post. They may well leave a comment on your blog too.

You can also establish a relationship with a group of fellow bloggers, reading one another’s posts and (at least sometimes) commenting. It can be a good way to start discussions in the comment sections of all your blogs.

#2: Open Up Room for Discussion in The Way You Structure and/or Phrase Things

If your blog post comes across as the final word on a particular topic, it may put readers off commenting. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing – sometimes you may want to write a long, definitive post, and you don’t really care how many comments you get. But if you do want to get more comments, it’s worth thinking about how you phrase things and even how you structure your post.

While an explicit “Leave a comment below…” call to action can be a great way to boost comments, you can also create ‘setups’ to get people commenting.

For instance, in your post you might use phrases such as:

  • “I’m sure I don’t have all the answers…”
  • “I’ll list ten of my best ideas. And I hope you’ll share yours in the comments.”

And then at the end of the post you could write something like, “As I said earlier, I’m sure I don’t have all the answers. I’d love to hear your opinions on this in the comments.”

With a list post, you might stop at an odd number (such as 9 or 19) so you can ask readers, “What would you suggest for #10 on this list? Let me know in the comments.”

#3: Respond to the Comments Readers Leave

If you don’t already reply to comments, make it a habit if you want to get more of them. Readers may not bother commenting again if they don’t receive a response. And if other readers think you don’t read the comments, they may not take the time to leave their thoughts either.

You might want to set aside 5–10 minutes each day to check for comments and reply.

While you don’t have to respond to every comment, you may want to do it until you’re getting more than a handful of comments per post. You don’t need to write long replies – sometimes just “Thanks” or “Great point, I hadn’t thought of that” is enough. As well as helping you build a relationship with your readers, replying to their comments instantly boosts your comments count.

#4: Use Readers’ Comments in Your Blog Posts

One brilliant way to encourage readers to comment is to use their comments as part of a future blog post.

There are several ways in which you can do this:

  • Write a blog post inspired by a reader’s question or suggestion. One of my posts, Seven Habits of Serious Writers, was directly suggested by a reader (whose contribution I acknowledged in the post). Not only was he happy I wrote the post he wanted, it also ended up being one of my most popular posts that year.
  • Quote a reader’s comment in a blog post. Maybe a reader has said something really insightful or something that sparked your train of thought. You could write a post that quotes their comment and expands on or responds to it.
  • Ask for comments you’ll use in a blog post. This works well if you’ve written a post that can easily be extended. For instance, if you’ve written, “Ten Lessons Learned from Ten Years of Parenting”, you might ask readers to leave one of the biggest lessons they learned in the comments, explaining that you’ll pick the best of these to quote in a follow-up post.

#5: Let Readers Subscribe to Comments

You might want to install a WordPress plugin (such as Subscribe to Comments Reloaded) or use a commenting system such as Disqus so readers can subscribe to comments.

This means if someone leaves a comment, they’ll be alerted to any further comments on the post. They’ll see you’ve replied to their comment, or that another reader has added to the discussion.

It’s easy for readers to comment and then forget about the discussion entirely. Letting them subscribe to comments means you’re much more likely to get follow-up comments from them.

Getting more comments isn’t just about getting more readers or using calls to action at the end of your posts. There’s plenty you can do – in your posts, in your comments section, and even on other people’s blogs – to encourage your readers to comment more often.

Which technique will you be trying out in your next post? Tell us about it by leaving a comment. And if you have any other great ideas, feel free to share those too.

Image credit: Mārtiņš Zemlickis

The post Five Ways to Encourage Readers to Comment More Often on Your Posts appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

239: 3 Principles of Building an Engaged Blog Audience

How to Develop an Engaged Blog Audience

In today’s episode I want to talk about building engagement on your blog, and building a sense of community around it and your online business.

Building engagement is so important for your blog. It helps word-of-mouth growth, gives you energy, builds social proof on your site, and leads to more effective monetization. When people see engagement, they want to stick around and spend money.

Three ways to build engagement with your audience

  • Show up predictably – You need to show up regularly.
  • Show up mentally – Be prepared and ready to engage.
  • Show up randomly – Adding an element of surprise can make a massive difference to people.

Links and Resources for Principles of Building an Engaged Blog Audience:

Further Listening About Why You Should Build Community on Your Blog

Courses

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hi there and welcome to episode 239 of the ProBlogger podcast. I can’t believe I got to 239, to be honest. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board, series of ebooks, and courses designed to help you as a blogger to grow your blog, to create great content, to build engagement around your blog which is what we’re talking about today, and to build profit around that blog as well. You can learn more about what we do at ProBlogger at problogger.com.

Today’s podcast is brought to you by our brand new course, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog which launches this week to some of you. This is a course that’s built upon our bestselling ebook by the same name. It’s been completely updated for today and contains 31 days of teaching, more importantly, 31 activities that you can do to improve your blog.

You can head over to problogger.com/31days to register your interest in the course. If you’re lucky, you might just see the page is live now. We’re going to open it up to 50 users at a time to beta test it and we’re going to do that with a bit of a discount.

To be involved in that beta test, head over to problogger.com/31days. We will invite 50 at a time and gradually over time we will get more and more people in there as we get people’s feedback. Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks it’ll be live for everyone. 31 Days to Build a Better Blog launching in the next week or so, depending on how early you get on that list.

In today’s episode, I want to talk about building engagement on your blog, building a sense of community around your blog and your online business. If that is something that is a goal for you, tune in for the next 5 or 10 minutes. It’s a relatively short one today. You can also check out the show notes at problogger.com/podcast/239.

Building engagement is such an important part of building a profitable blog. If you’ve been listening to ProBlogger for a while now, you do know that it’s one of the pillars of ProBlogging that I talk about. Those four pillars, creating great content is the first one. Number two is driving traffic to your blog which is something you need to actually participate in. It doesn’t just happen. You need to be proactive about it. Number three is to build engagement, to build community so that the traffic that comes actually feels engaged. Then, the fourth pillar is monetization.

These idea of building community or building engagement with your readers is so important. For me, it really brings everything alive. As bloggers, we often focus upon getting more readers to our blog. We want more traffic, we want more eyeballs. That’s important because we do need to build awareness with people but if we want to turn that traffic into customers, the vast majority of them do need to feel some kind of engagement.

Most people don’t just buy when they first land on a blog. It does happen but most people need to be warmed up. They need to feel like they know you, like you, and trust you; that’s the idea that Bob Berg came out with this. People do business with those they know, like, and trust. For me, I think most people are much more likely to know, like, and trust someone if I feel like they actually know, like, and trust me if they are engaging with me.

Engagement is so important. It helps your blog to grow. Engagement helps word of mouth to kick in. It gives you as a blogger energy as well when you’re getting comments, when you’re getting feedback, and when you’re getting that interaction. It helps to build social proof on your site. When people come to your site for the first time and they see engagement happening, they see you actually answering questions, and taking care of your readers, that makes them want to stick around longer. It helps to get more page views on your site which is important for those of you who are monetizing with advertising. It unearths ideas for user generated content. Every time I do any kind of engagement on the site, I get ideas for new blog posts or new podcast that I could do. It also leads to more effective monetization.

No matter what kind of model you’re using with your blog, whether you are monetizing with advertising, whether you’re monetizing in selling your own products, whether you’re monetizing through affiliate promotions, or monetizing through masterminds, events, memberships, or any of these models for monetizing a blog will be monetized much better when you’ve got people actually engaging with you. They trust you, they’re more likely to respond to your calls to action and engage with you by getting their wallets out as well.

Engagement is so important in the scheme of building a profitable blog. There’s any number of ways that you can build that engagement. What I want to do at the end of this podcast and in the show notes is to link to a few other podcast that you can listen to that help on a tactical level for building engagement.

Today, I want to give you three things that I think are really important if you want to build that engagement and that all revolve around the idea that I’ve talked before of being engaging yourself. The thing that I have taught many times over is that if you want engagement, you need to be engaging. You need to show up if you want people to shop. You need to engage if you want people to engage with you.

I was listening to a guy called Tom Shefchunas–I think his name is–today. I’m sorry Tom if I mispronounce that. He was on another podcast and I was listening to it, he was actually teaching about how to work with young people. He was doing some teaching, I think it was for youth work, and he talked about three ways that you need to show up when you’re working with young people.

As I was listening to him, I realized that this is three ways that you need to show up on your blog too. If you want to build this engagement, if you want to build a sense of community with your readers, these are three things that I think equally apply into that situation as well. I want to emphasize these three things, three ways that you should show up if you want to build engagement with your audience.

Let me go through them, this won’t take too long. Firstly, he says to show up predictably. This for me is the foundation of it all. You need to be regularly showing up. It’s about regularity, it’s about consistency.

When you show up regularly to your readers, it builds an expectation with your readers, with your audience that you show up. When they see the accumulation of you showing up every week, or every day, or even every month on a regularly basis; consistently showing up and engaging they begin, to expect that and this builds trust, this builds credibility. This is the foundation for the relationship between you and your audience. It sets the tone for what you’re on about.

Showing up once is powerful but when you show up consistently, predictably, regularly, over time, people begin to see that you have a history of showing up and they begin to think that you will show up into the future as well. This builds anticipation, this builds expectation, this builds momentum for your blog, and this is very, very powerful. When people begin to expect that you will be there every week at the same time, or every day at the same time, or every month at the same time, you become a part of their lives. This is where this relationship forms and this by itself is really powerful if you make that commitment to do that.

The actual distance between the times that you show up is really up to you. On ProBlogger, I show up every Tuesday morning for our Facebook Live and I’m trying to build that into my week. Sometimes, I miss one if I’m travelling. Sometimes, I’m 20 minutes late if I’m a little bit late getting back from the gym but I show up regularly and predictably on those weeks.

What I’ve noticed over the last six or so months of doing that is that now my readers are beginning to show up at those times. I try to get a podcast out every Monday night Australian time. By me showing up at the same time every week, I notice that my readers now begin to show up, my listeners begin to show up as well. We missed one last week because I was travelling and I got emails from people saying, “Where is this week’s podcast?”

Building that expectation is a powerful thing. People begin to know, like, and trust you because you show up predictably. This is why it’s so important to come up with an editorial calendar. I don’t really like the word editorial calendar because it’s not just about the editorial, it’s not just about the content; it’s actually an engagement calendar as well. More broadly, it’s a calendar for all of your activities. By actually thinking and being proactive about setting up those intervals of when you’re going to show up and setting that out, diarizing it, calendarizing it, that’s a very powerful thing. Show up predictably is the first thing.

The second thing is just so important and this is something that I’ve fallen into the trap of not doing at different times over the years. That is to show up mentally. Don’t just appear, care. Show up mentally. You want to not just be seen on a regular basis but you want to actually make a connection. This means showing up prepared. This means showing up present and able to engage.

If you’re doing Facebook Live, it’s so easy to just show up and present what you’ve got to present and then you just go away and not actually engage with anyone. It’s easy to show up on a regular basis but to actually show up present, prepared, and engaging with people takes it to a next level. This means showing up and remembering people who’ve shown up before, actually engaging with people that you’ve engaged with before, acknowledging that you’ve got that previous relationship, ready to invest with those who come and actually caring as well. Don’t just appear, don’t just be seen, actually care for people and this means actually going to the effort of engaging with people.

This is something I’ve noticed, it’s easy to not do. It’s easy to set up your Twitter feed so that you just put out broadcasts. It’s easy to set up your Facebook page so that you just share your content and maybe occasionally schedule in a question but you don’t actually show up yourself to engage in that. It looks like you’re there but you’re not really there. This is something that is so easy to do, it’s so tempting to do. We’ve got all these amazing tools at our fingertips now but to actually show up, to be present, to be mentally there, and to actually be engaging with people takes things to the next level. Go beyond the automations and actually get into relationships. Go into real time interactions.

This is why I love Facebook Live because you can’t fake Facebook Live, particularly, when you’re doing Q&As, when you’re actually responding to people’s questions, that’s a very powerful thing as well. It shows people that you are there, that they have your focus, that you’re calling out their name, that you actually see them, and you’re responding to them.

Show up predictably, show up mentally, and then show up randomly. This one was a bit of a surprise when Tom talked about it but I see the power in this. For me, this is really what takes things to the whole new level. Showing up predictably is great but what takes it to the next level is when you add a little unpredictability to your engagement. When you add in the element of surprise, it can make a massive difference to people. Going beyond what is expected, this makes an impression, this creates memories for your audience and this deepens the relationship incredibly.

There’s so many different ways you can do this. For example, replying to comments with in-depth thoughts. Sending someone a private message instead of just sending them a really quick reply can be something that stands out to people.

I’ll give you a really quick example of this. On Twitter earlier today, I had someone reply to one of my tweets announcing a new post. I had this tweet go out, it was an automated tweet, me announcing this new post. As a reply to that, someone asked a really quick question. I have actually answer that question with another post that I’ve already written and I could quite easily have just replied with a link, read this, but I decided to take a little more time and to reply in a direct message with a slightly more personal response.

Actually using their name, actually showing that I’d heard their question, and adding a little bit of my own thoughts. It took me three minutes to write this DM. It was probably a paragraph and a half long and then I did have the link at the end of it through the further reading. But the read this was in the context of me having heard them. It took me three minutes to do this. The reply that came back for my DM was amazing. The person was wowed. The person wasn’t expecting that level of reply.

Remember, it only took me three minutes but it made an impression upon that person. It showed them that I care enough to take a few minutes out of my day to reply. There’s so many ways that you can do this. Did you know that you can reply to tweets by a video? You can actually reply with a video using the Twitter app on your phone. You can do the same thing on Facebook. If someone on your Facebook page responds to you, why not send them a video? They can actually hear your voice, see your face, and know that you have created a reply specifically for them because you use their name.

This type of little simple things. It takes you almost as long as it does to type a reply but to actually personalize it in some way stands out, it surprises them. It shines in their mind a little bit. It’s these little random surprising interactions that last in people’s memories and it makes a massive difference. This is what builds a brand and this is what has huge impact upon your readers.

It doesn’t just have a big impact upon the reader that you’re responding to. If you reply to a tweet with a video, if you reply on your Facebook page with a video, other people in your community see that as well and they notice that you are being more engaging as well.

I hope this helps you. Show up predictably, actually create an engagement calendar. Show up mentally, don’t just automate engagement, actually do it in real life. It doesn’t need to take your whole week to do it. Showing up for an hour a week and engaging, being present for that hour can have a massive impact.

Then, throw in a few random show ups as well. This might be unscheduled Facebook Lives, this might be replying to people individually, this might be showing off your readers’ stuff, resharing what they’re sharing, retweeting their stuff, actually using their responses in your blog post as quotes, actually giving your readers a chance to shine as well, actually giving them those more specific, surprising engagements can go a long way.

Show up predictably, show up mentally, and show up randomly. I hope that helps. Stay tuned in the next moment or two and I will share a few other podcasts that you can listen to with a few more tactics on building engagement for your blog.

If you’re looking for something else to listen to, I do recommend that you head to episode 60 of the ProBlogger podcast where I talked about why you should build community on your blog and why you should build that engagement. Dig a little bit more into some of those reasons I give you earlier in this podcast.

Follow up to that was episode 61 where I talked about how to build a culture of community, a culture of engagement on your blog, and I give you seven practical things that you can do to really take this to the next level. Seven things that you can do that will build an interaction with your readers that will make them feel like they belong to what you’re doing rather than just passive observers of what you do.

I hope you enjoy those. That’s episode 60 and 61. They’re both on iTunes and also over on our show notes as well. Just go to problogger.com/podcast, and then put in the number 60 or 61. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back next week where I’m going to talk about seven trends in social media that I picked up at a recent conference. Tune in for that one.

Thank you so much for listening and if you got a moment, I would love it if you head over to iTunes or your favourite podcast app to leave us a review.  It’s been a few weeks since I got a review in. I do get an email every time they come in and so I’d love to see some new ones. It helps me to get a feel to how you are receiving the show, what you like about it, what you don’t like about it, and it also helps us to be seen a little bit more in iTunes as well. If you’ve got a moment to do that, even just for a few minutes it would help us a lot. That’s over on iTunes or your favourite podcast listening app. Leave us a star rating and a review. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week.

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The post 239: 3 Principles of Building an Engaged Blog Audience appeared first on ProBlogger.

239: 3 Principles of Building an Engaged Blog Audience

How to Develop an Engaged Blog Audience

In today’s episode I want to talk about building engagement on your blog, and building a sense of community around it and your online business.

Building engagement is so important for your blog. It helps word-of-mouth growth, gives you energy, builds social proof on your site, and leads to more effective monetization. When people see engagement, they want to stick around and spend money.

Three ways to build engagement with your audience

  • Show up predictably – You need to show up regularly.
  • Show up mentally – Be prepared and ready to engage.
  • Show up randomly – Adding an element of surprise can make a massive difference to people.

Links and Resources for Principles of Building an Engaged Blog Audience:

Further Listening About Why You Should Build Community on Your Blog

Courses

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hi there and welcome to episode 239 of the ProBlogger podcast. I can’t believe I got to 239, to be honest. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board, series of ebooks, and courses designed to help you as a blogger to grow your blog, to create great content, to build engagement around your blog which is what we’re talking about today, and to build profit around that blog as well. You can learn more about what we do at ProBlogger at problogger.com.

Today’s podcast is brought to you by our brand new course, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog which launches this week to some of you. This is a course that’s built upon our bestselling ebook by the same name. It’s been completely updated for today and contains 31 days of teaching, more importantly, 31 activities that you can do to improve your blog.

You can head over to problogger.com/31days to register your interest in the course. If you’re lucky, you might just see the page is live now. We’re going to open it up to 50 users at a time to beta test it and we’re going to do that with a bit of a discount.

To be involved in that beta test, head over to problogger.com/31days. We will invite 50 at a time and gradually over time we will get more and more people in there as we get people’s feedback. Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks it’ll be live for everyone. 31 Days to Build a Better Blog launching in the next week or so, depending on how early you get on that list.

In today’s episode, I want to talk about building engagement on your blog, building a sense of community around your blog and your online business. If that is something that is a goal for you, tune in for the next 5 or 10 minutes. It’s a relatively short one today. You can also check out the show notes at problogger.com/podcast/239.

Building engagement is such an important part of building a profitable blog. If you’ve been listening to ProBlogger for a while now, you do know that it’s one of the pillars of ProBlogging that I talk about. Those four pillars, creating great content is the first one. Number two is driving traffic to your blog which is something you need to actually participate in. It doesn’t just happen. You need to be proactive about it. Number three is to build engagement, to build community so that the traffic that comes actually feels engaged. Then, the fourth pillar is monetization.

These idea of building community or building engagement with your readers is so important. For me, it really brings everything alive. As bloggers, we often focus upon getting more readers to our blog. We want more traffic, we want more eyeballs. That’s important because we do need to build awareness with people but if we want to turn that traffic into customers, the vast majority of them do need to feel some kind of engagement.

Most people don’t just buy when they first land on a blog. It does happen but most people need to be warmed up. They need to feel like they know you, like you, and trust you; that’s the idea that Bob Berg came out with this. People do business with those they know, like, and trust. For me, I think most people are much more likely to know, like, and trust someone if I feel like they actually know, like, and trust me if they are engaging with me.

Engagement is so important. It helps your blog to grow. Engagement helps word of mouth to kick in. It gives you as a blogger energy as well when you’re getting comments, when you’re getting feedback, and when you’re getting that interaction. It helps to build social proof on your site. When people come to your site for the first time and they see engagement happening, they see you actually answering questions, and taking care of your readers, that makes them want to stick around longer. It helps to get more page views on your site which is important for those of you who are monetizing with advertising. It unearths ideas for user generated content. Every time I do any kind of engagement on the site, I get ideas for new blog posts or new podcast that I could do. It also leads to more effective monetization.

No matter what kind of model you’re using with your blog, whether you are monetizing with advertising, whether you’re monetizing in selling your own products, whether you’re monetizing through affiliate promotions, or monetizing through masterminds, events, memberships, or any of these models for monetizing a blog will be monetized much better when you’ve got people actually engaging with you. They trust you, they’re more likely to respond to your calls to action and engage with you by getting their wallets out as well.

Engagement is so important in the scheme of building a profitable blog. There’s any number of ways that you can build that engagement. What I want to do at the end of this podcast and in the show notes is to link to a few other podcast that you can listen to that help on a tactical level for building engagement.

Today, I want to give you three things that I think are really important if you want to build that engagement and that all revolve around the idea that I’ve talked before of being engaging yourself. The thing that I have taught many times over is that if you want engagement, you need to be engaging. You need to show up if you want people to shop. You need to engage if you want people to engage with you.

I was listening to a guy called Tom Shefchunas–I think his name is–today. I’m sorry Tom if I mispronounce that. He was on another podcast and I was listening to it, he was actually teaching about how to work with young people. He was doing some teaching, I think it was for youth work, and he talked about three ways that you need to show up when you’re working with young people.

As I was listening to him, I realized that this is three ways that you need to show up on your blog too. If you want to build this engagement, if you want to build a sense of community with your readers, these are three things that I think equally apply into that situation as well. I want to emphasize these three things, three ways that you should show up if you want to build engagement with your audience.

Let me go through them, this won’t take too long. Firstly, he says to show up predictably. This for me is the foundation of it all. You need to be regularly showing up. It’s about regularity, it’s about consistency.

When you show up regularly to your readers, it builds an expectation with your readers, with your audience that you show up. When they see the accumulation of you showing up every week, or every day, or even every month on a regularly basis; consistently showing up and engaging they begin, to expect that and this builds trust, this builds credibility. This is the foundation for the relationship between you and your audience. It sets the tone for what you’re on about.

Showing up once is powerful but when you show up consistently, predictably, regularly, over time, people begin to see that you have a history of showing up and they begin to think that you will show up into the future as well. This builds anticipation, this builds expectation, this builds momentum for your blog, and this is very, very powerful. When people begin to expect that you will be there every week at the same time, or every day at the same time, or every month at the same time, you become a part of their lives. This is where this relationship forms and this by itself is really powerful if you make that commitment to do that.

The actual distance between the times that you show up is really up to you. On ProBlogger, I show up every Tuesday morning for our Facebook Live and I’m trying to build that into my week. Sometimes, I miss one if I’m travelling. Sometimes, I’m 20 minutes late if I’m a little bit late getting back from the gym but I show up regularly and predictably on those weeks.

What I’ve noticed over the last six or so months of doing that is that now my readers are beginning to show up at those times. I try to get a podcast out every Monday night Australian time. By me showing up at the same time every week, I notice that my readers now begin to show up, my listeners begin to show up as well. We missed one last week because I was travelling and I got emails from people saying, “Where is this week’s podcast?”

Building that expectation is a powerful thing. People begin to know, like, and trust you because you show up predictably. This is why it’s so important to come up with an editorial calendar. I don’t really like the word editorial calendar because it’s not just about the editorial, it’s not just about the content; it’s actually an engagement calendar as well. More broadly, it’s a calendar for all of your activities. By actually thinking and being proactive about setting up those intervals of when you’re going to show up and setting that out, diarizing it, calendarizing it, that’s a very powerful thing. Show up predictably is the first thing.

The second thing is just so important and this is something that I’ve fallen into the trap of not doing at different times over the years. That is to show up mentally. Don’t just appear, care. Show up mentally. You want to not just be seen on a regular basis but you want to actually make a connection. This means showing up prepared. This means showing up present and able to engage.

If you’re doing Facebook Live, it’s so easy to just show up and present what you’ve got to present and then you just go away and not actually engage with anyone. It’s easy to show up on a regular basis but to actually show up present, prepared, and engaging with people takes it to a next level. This means showing up and remembering people who’ve shown up before, actually engaging with people that you’ve engaged with before, acknowledging that you’ve got that previous relationship, ready to invest with those who come and actually caring as well. Don’t just appear, don’t just be seen, actually care for people and this means actually going to the effort of engaging with people.

This is something I’ve noticed, it’s easy to not do. It’s easy to set up your Twitter feed so that you just put out broadcasts. It’s easy to set up your Facebook page so that you just share your content and maybe occasionally schedule in a question but you don’t actually show up yourself to engage in that. It looks like you’re there but you’re not really there. This is something that is so easy to do, it’s so tempting to do. We’ve got all these amazing tools at our fingertips now but to actually show up, to be present, to be mentally there, and to actually be engaging with people takes things to the next level. Go beyond the automations and actually get into relationships. Go into real time interactions.

This is why I love Facebook Live because you can’t fake Facebook Live, particularly, when you’re doing Q&As, when you’re actually responding to people’s questions, that’s a very powerful thing as well. It shows people that you are there, that they have your focus, that you’re calling out their name, that you actually see them, and you’re responding to them.

Show up predictably, show up mentally, and then show up randomly. This one was a bit of a surprise when Tom talked about it but I see the power in this. For me, this is really what takes things to the whole new level. Showing up predictably is great but what takes it to the next level is when you add a little unpredictability to your engagement. When you add in the element of surprise, it can make a massive difference to people. Going beyond what is expected, this makes an impression, this creates memories for your audience and this deepens the relationship incredibly.

There’s so many different ways you can do this. For example, replying to comments with in-depth thoughts. Sending someone a private message instead of just sending them a really quick reply can be something that stands out to people.

I’ll give you a really quick example of this. On Twitter earlier today, I had someone reply to one of my tweets announcing a new post. I had this tweet go out, it was an automated tweet, me announcing this new post. As a reply to that, someone asked a really quick question. I have actually answer that question with another post that I’ve already written and I could quite easily have just replied with a link, read this, but I decided to take a little more time and to reply in a direct message with a slightly more personal response.

Actually using their name, actually showing that I’d heard their question, and adding a little bit of my own thoughts. It took me three minutes to write this DM. It was probably a paragraph and a half long and then I did have the link at the end of it through the further reading. But the read this was in the context of me having heard them. It took me three minutes to do this. The reply that came back for my DM was amazing. The person was wowed. The person wasn’t expecting that level of reply.

Remember, it only took me three minutes but it made an impression upon that person. It showed them that I care enough to take a few minutes out of my day to reply. There’s so many ways that you can do this. Did you know that you can reply to tweets by a video? You can actually reply with a video using the Twitter app on your phone. You can do the same thing on Facebook. If someone on your Facebook page responds to you, why not send them a video? They can actually hear your voice, see your face, and know that you have created a reply specifically for them because you use their name.

This type of little simple things. It takes you almost as long as it does to type a reply but to actually personalize it in some way stands out, it surprises them. It shines in their mind a little bit. It’s these little random surprising interactions that last in people’s memories and it makes a massive difference. This is what builds a brand and this is what has huge impact upon your readers.

It doesn’t just have a big impact upon the reader that you’re responding to. If you reply to a tweet with a video, if you reply on your Facebook page with a video, other people in your community see that as well and they notice that you are being more engaging as well.

I hope this helps you. Show up predictably, actually create an engagement calendar. Show up mentally, don’t just automate engagement, actually do it in real life. It doesn’t need to take your whole week to do it. Showing up for an hour a week and engaging, being present for that hour can have a massive impact.

Then, throw in a few random show ups as well. This might be unscheduled Facebook Lives, this might be replying to people individually, this might be showing off your readers’ stuff, resharing what they’re sharing, retweeting their stuff, actually using their responses in your blog post as quotes, actually giving your readers a chance to shine as well, actually giving them those more specific, surprising engagements can go a long way.

Show up predictably, show up mentally, and show up randomly. I hope that helps. Stay tuned in the next moment or two and I will share a few other podcasts that you can listen to with a few more tactics on building engagement for your blog.

If you’re looking for something else to listen to, I do recommend that you head to episode 60 of the ProBlogger podcast where I talked about why you should build community on your blog and why you should build that engagement. Dig a little bit more into some of those reasons I give you earlier in this podcast.

Follow up to that was episode 61 where I talked about how to build a culture of community, a culture of engagement on your blog, and I give you seven practical things that you can do to really take this to the next level. Seven things that you can do that will build an interaction with your readers that will make them feel like they belong to what you’re doing rather than just passive observers of what you do.

I hope you enjoy those. That’s episode 60 and 61. They’re both on iTunes and also over on our show notes as well. Just go to problogger.com/podcast, and then put in the number 60 or 61. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back next week where I’m going to talk about seven trends in social media that I picked up at a recent conference. Tune in for that one.

Thank you so much for listening and if you got a moment, I would love it if you head over to iTunes or your favourite podcast app to leave us a review.  It’s been a few weeks since I got a review in. I do get an email every time they come in and so I’d love to see some new ones. It helps me to get a feel to how you are receiving the show, what you like about it, what you don’t like about it, and it also helps us to be seen a little bit more in iTunes as well. If you’ve got a moment to do that, even just for a few minutes it would help us a lot. That’s over on iTunes or your favourite podcast listening app. Leave us a star rating and a review. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 239: 3 Principles of Building an Engaged Blog Audience appeared first on ProBlogger.

6 Reasons Why Your Blog Needs an Email Newsletter

6 reasons why your blog needs an email newsletter

Do you email your blog readers regularly?

Maybe you put ‘set up email newsletter’ on your ‘someday’ list ages ago, but still haven’t done it.

Or maybe you have a newsletter list, but you haven’t sent one in months.

You might think it’s optional – something you can do once you finish everything else on your to-do list.

You even think email is dead (or at least old-fashioned), and that you’re better off building connections through social media. (Which is nothing new, by the way. I was talking about bloggers having similar concerns nine years ago.)

The truth is, email is still one of the best ways (if not the best way) way to connect with your blog’s readers. And if you’re not using it, you really are missing out.

But before I start talking about the benefits of using an email list to connect with your readers, let’s get one misconception out of the way.

Does it Have to be a ‘Newsletter’?

In the blogging world, you’ll hear people talking about “email lists” and “email newsletters” as if they’re synonymous.

You might think of an email newsletter as a weekly content-rich email complete with feature article, links to your recent blog posts, and maybe a round-up of what’s been going on in your niche.

But that’s just one example, and there are plenty of other ways you can run an email list.

Some bloggers send out their newsletter once a month. Others may email irregularly – an  email every few days in the run-up to a launch, but otherwise only every month or two.

You might decide to send out your blog posts by email, maybe as a weekly digest like we do on ProBlogger. (I’ll be talking about that, plus other options for your newsletter, in next week’s post.)

Whatever you decide, here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Email at a frequency that suits you and your readers.
    If they want a weekly newsletter, and you can comfortably manage that, then go ahead. But if you can only manage one a month, then make it a monthly newsletter. There’s no point sending one a weekly newsletter that’s full of careless mistakes because you had to rush to get it finished on time.
  • Whatever sort of email list you run, make sure your emails aren’t too infrequent.
    If you don’t send an email for six months, many readers (especially ones who’ve just joined) will forget who you are. They may even mark your emails as spam, which can have a serious impact on them being delivered.

Why Emailing Your Readers is So Important

Some bloggers – especially newer bloggers – find it hard to see why emailing readers is so important. To them, bringing in traffic through good SEO or building their social media following makes more sense.

But here are six crucial reasons why email is still important.

#1: Emails Give You Control Over Your Own Traffic

With a big email list, you can easily drive lots of traffic to your posts simply by sending out an email. If you’re relying on Google, you’re competing against lots of other blogs. And if Google decides to change its search algorithm you could lose a lot of traffic very quickly. (This happened to me way back in 2004, which I wrote about a couple of years later.)

Social media isn’t much better. You probably already know that only a fraction of your Facebook page’s followers will actually see any given post. To reach lots of people you need to either “boost” your post (which costs money) or run a paid ad.

But with email you have full control. Even though they can get caught in people’s spam filters, most of them will get through. And even if only 25% of your subscribers open their emails (which isn’t a terrible open rate), they can still drive a lot of traffic to your blog.

#2: Emails are a Great Way to Build Relationships and Engage with Your Readers

Emails feel personal in a way that blog posts rarely achieve. They’re also private. Your readers can reply to you, and you alone – a far cry from a comment that everyone can see.

So when you write your newsletters, try adding a bit of personal information that you wouldn’t share on your blog. Emails are more ephemeral, so they’re a great place to drop in a few words about your life and what’s happening around you. (You can talk about those things on your blog, but the post could be found and read years later.)

For instance, here’s how I started our weekly post round-up back in July:

It’s a hive of activity at ProBlogger HQ today because we’re less than 48 hours from this year’s first ProBlogger event in Brisbane!

I’m excited to meet those of you who are coming along for the day of learning and our first ever mastermind! For the rest of you – here’s our latest blog posts and podcast episode.

Of course, engagement goes both ways, and you can encourage readers to email back. You may find some readers who’ve never commented on your blog, but are very happy to engage with you by email.

#3: Email Drives Sales of Your Products and Services

While social media can be a great place for conversations, it’s typically not a good place for sales. It may help people find out about your blog and connect with you, but email is a great place to ask for the sale. Brad Smith’s post on why social media sales suck (and what to do instead) on AdEspresso explains how you can use social media to get people to subscribe to your email list.

The cost of an email list can be a bit off-putting when you’re starting out. (We’ll be taking a look at the costs involved in a couple of weeks’ time.) But the power of email to drive sales should make it far more worthwhile.

#4: Emails Let You Point Readers to Where You Want Them to Go

Email is a brilliant way to direct readers to where you want them to go. For instance, you can:

  • Link to your blog posts. Not just the recent ones, but also posts in your archive readers may have missed or forgotten about.
  • Link to your Facebook group, Twitter account, etc. If you’ve set up a new Facebook group your readers might be interested in, you can promote it in your newsletter.
  • Link to a survey or poll. This can be a great opportunity to find out more about your readers, and ask them what sort of content they’d like to see more of. I’ve been doing this since 2010, and it’s been an invaluable way to find out what readers want.

#5: Email Lists Let You Target Different Groups of Readers

When you publish a post on your blog, it goes out to everyone who’s subscribed for updates, via RSS or email.

But with an email list you can ‘segment’ the list into smaller groups.

For instance, you might create segments for:

  • People who aren’t subscribed to another list you have. This can help you avoid sending too many promotional messages to the same people (e.g. those who have signed up for both your “newsletter” list and your ‘waiting list’ for an ecourse.)
  • People who joined your list at a specific point in time – within the past month, more than a year ago, and so on.
  • People who joined from a specific page on your website. If you’re using social media ads or guest posting to drive sign-ups, you can target your messages or promotions to each segment’s interests.
  • People who haven’t opened your emails recently (or at all).
  • People who’ve looked at specific pages on your site, or who’ve bought a particular product.

#6: Email Can Lead Readers on a Journey

You can design a series of emails to take readers on a journey, whether it’s teaching them something new or helping them come to a better place in their life.

It could be something quite straightforward and practical, such as teaching them how to play basic chords on the guitar. Or it could be something more personal and in-depth, such as  teaching mindfulness and meditation.

You can use autoresponders to send a sequence of emails – say, one every few days for two weeks. (If you’re not sure what an autoresponder is, I explain what they are and the benefits of using one in this episode of the ProBlogger podcast.)

Most bloggers use an autoresponder at the start of their relationship with a new reader (i.e. when the reader first signs up). But you can also create different lists that readers can opt into separately.

It can be a great way to get readers used to opening your emails (they won’t want to miss a step on the journey), and to link to your blog posts or even paid products and services where appropriate. For example, you could “upsell” the reader on a related ecourse or product at the end of the series.

In Summary

If you haven’t set up a newsletter yet, or you never saw the value of having one, I hope this post has been helpful. And if you already have a newsletter list, but haven’t sent anything in a while, I hope you now understand how worthwhile emailing your readers can be.

I know it can be easy to focus on a blog at the expense of your newsletter. A blog is more visible and public, which can make posting there more motivating. But your newsletter may be the key to driving greater engagement and, ultimately, more sales.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering what your newsletter should include, how you can set it up, and some fixes to common problems. I know the process of creating a newsletter can be a little daunting when you’re starting out, but don’t worry – I’ll be walking you through it all.

And just a reminder: to make sure you don’t miss the rest of this newsletter series, or any other ProBlogger posts, make sure you’re on our email list, “ProBloggerPLUS”. You can subscribe for free here.

The post 6 Reasons Why Your Blog Needs an Email Newsletter appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

183: 9 Types of Questions to Ask On Your FaceBook Page to Get More Comments

The 9 Questions You Can Ask to Increase FaceBook Engagement

In today’s lesson, I want to give you some really practical things that you can do to increase engagement – particularly to get people to comment – on your Facebook page and if you have them – groups.

Most bloggers spend a lot of time on Facebook and it’s for good reason. The amount of potential readers for our blogs who are on Facebook on a daily basis is staggering. It’s where people are online and so it makes sense to have a presence there.

However using Facebook to grow your audience is getting increasingly tough – particularly if you want to do it organically and don’t have a budget to advertise. I won’t go into the reasons for this in this podcast but will say that one way to increase the effectiveness of what you do on Facebook is to put concerted effort into increasing engagement with those who already follow you there.

Facebook has an algorithm with many factors that determine how widely they’ll show your updates – and one of them is how many people are engaging with your posts.

If FB sees you’re getting lots of likes, shares and comments on your posts – they’re seeing what you’re doing as worth showing to others.

So if you want to increase the effectiveness of your FB strategy – this show is for you.

Further Resources on 9 Types of Questions to Ask On Your FaceBook Page to Get More Comments

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hello there and welcome to Episode 183 of the ProBlogger podcast.

My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com; a blog, podcast, event, job board, and a series of ebooks all designed to help you start the most amazing blog, to grow your audience, to create content that changes that audience’s life in some way, and hopefully to make a little bit of money from your blog along the way or a lot, hopefully. You can learn more about ProBlogger over at problogger.com.

In today’s lesson, I want to give you some really practical things that you can do to increase the engagement, particularly to get more people to comment upon your Facebook page. If you have them, your Facebook groups, and other types of social media as well.

Most bloggers do spend a lot of time on Facebook and that’s for a good reason, it’s not because we’re all distracted and sit there looking at cat memes all day, some of us probably do that too. The main reason I think bloggers tend to be attracted to Facebook, particularly with their blogging, is the amount of potential readers for our blog who are there at any one time on a daily basis. If you look at the stats of how many people are using Facebook, it is quite staggering. It’s where a lot of people are spending a lot of time. It makes sense for us who want to reach those types of people to have a presence in this platform.

The problem is using Facebook to grow your audience is getting increasingly tough. If you’ve been blogging for two, or three, or four years, you probably have seen the changes that have happened over that time, particularly if you want to grow your audience on Facebook organically and you don’t have the budget to advertise. You can certainly reach a lot of people if you’ve got money to spend, but if you want to do it organically, it can be tough. It’s not impossible though.

One of the reasons that it’s not impossible is that there are still things that you can do to increase your effectiveness on Facebook. One of those things is to build engagement with those who already follow you on Facebook. Facebook has this algorithm with many factors that determine how widely they will show your updates. One of the signals to Facebook that you are doing something worth showing to more people is to build engagement with your posts. If Facebook sees your posts getting some engagement, they will show your post to more people.

If you are like me and you want to get more engagement on Facebook, you are going to want to really work on engagement. That’s what this podcast is all about today. I particularly want to focus upon how to get more comments for your Facebook page. If that’s something that is of interest to you, this show is for you.

Getting people to comment on your Facebook updates is very important. I’ve already told you the main reason for that, it’s a signal to Facebook that what you’re doing is good and it helps you get seen more. But, there’s some other reasons why I think engagement is well worth trying to get on your page. It’s also a signal to your readers that you’re interested in them and you’re not just interested in them following you and clicking on your links, but you are actually interested in engaging with them. It’s like going to a party and meeting someone for the first time and they ask you a lot of questions, you get the sense that they’re interested in you. That’s a good thing because you have a good feeling and you want to spend more time with that person. It’s a great way to build that relationship, to warm up that relationship with a potential reader.

The other reason, it’s really great for social proof as well. If someone else stumbles upon your Facebook page and sees that you’re engaging with your audience and that they are engaging with you, that’s going to make you much more attractive to them and they’re much more likely to join in.

There’s a variety of different reasons why engagement and particularly getting comments on Facebook is a useful thing. There’s also a variety of ways to get that engagement. Obviously, the number one thing that you want to do is to get people to like your Facebook page, that’s one type of engagement. Then, there’s getting people to react to your updates on Facebook. Traditionally, this was about getting a like on your post but today there’s all these other emoji reactions, people can love, laugh, they can do the wow emoji, they can be sad, they can be angry. Those type of reactions are one type of engagement that Facebook lets you get.

And then, there’s getting the share which is really great. It’s where someone shares the update that you’ve done to their followers or on a page or a group that they’re involved in. All of these things are signals to Facebook, they’re really positive. The one that I like the best is the comment. Getting someone to leave a comment on your Facebook update is great. Again, it’s a signal to Facebook, the reason I like it though is that it tells you something about your audience and it’s them stepping out of lurking mode and putting themselves out there.

If you can get a comment on your Facebook page or even your blogpost or anywhere on social media, that’s someone pausing and not just going for the easy option of the like button but they’re actually putting themselves out there to react. That very often is a really important part in the building of that relationship.

If you think about real life and when relationships take off, think back to when you first met a friend. It’s the first words that come out of your mouth and the first words that come out of their mouth that often create that impression and take that relationship to the next level. It’s the conversation where you go deeper.

This is why I want to focus today’s episode on how to get more comments on your Facebook page. We may go into how to get more shares and likes and those types of things in another episode but today I want to focus on the number one way to get more comments on your Facebook page. It’s not really rocket science, but there’s a variety of techniques in doing this. The number way that I found to get more comments on your Facebook page, on your blog post, on social media of any kind, is simply to ask questions.

That seems pretty obvious but I’m amazed how many Facebook pages never, ever ask questions. I followed lots of Facebook pages, I’ve lost count of how many I follow. Most of them never actually ask questions, they never do the most obvious thing to get me to comment and to engage with them, they never ask me a question. They make it so easy for me to look and to stay passive in that relationship.

If you think about the real world interactions that we have, a very large percentage of conversations start with a question. Think about it, you might even want to track it over the next 24 hours. Over the next day, track how many times a conversation that you have starts with either you or the other person asking a question. Usually, they’re kind of almost greeting like questions, like how are you, what are you up to, how is your day, how are you feeling? These things are almost substitutes for saying hi. Here in Australia, we go hey, how is it going, mate? We’re not always expecting an answer to that question, it’s more of a greeting than anything, but it’s still a question that opens the conversation.

There’s questions opening conversations but that’s also how conversations go deeper. Think about the last deep and meaningful conversation that you had, it almost always gets deep and meaningful because at least one person in that conversation starts asking some deeper questions. They start scratching and going below the surface with a question.

Questions lead to meaningful conversations, questions lead to learning, to deeper relationships in real life. If the goal of our blog is to grow an audience with people who feel like they know, like, and trust us, then I think we need to ask questions online too, and particularly in the Facebook space. Questions are great but what type of questions should we be asking?

This is what I want to do for the rest of this particular episode. I want to actually outline for you some of my favorite types of questions to ask on Facebook. I’ve actually got nine types of questions that you can ask. You may even, an idea to do this, ask one of these types of questions on your Facebook page as this episode is going on. I dare you to do it and then to leave a comment at the end and let us know what question you asked.

Nine types of questions that you can go away right now and ask on your Facebook page. Number one, and this I think is the easiest one to do and it is possibly the most effective one as well. In fact, I just did it a few minutes ago on my own Facebook page on Digital Photography School and immediately started to get comments.

Number one, ask a fill in the blank type question. This is where you might say, this is the exact question that I asked on my Photography School Facebook page—I had: Fill in the blank, “The lens attached to my main camera right now is ______.” I’m basically asking what lens is attached to your question right now. I used the fill in the blank type format to do that.

If you’ve got a blog about blogging, you might ask, “My first blogging platform was ________.” You might say, “My first camera was ________.” “The words that describe my approach to diet is _______,” if you’re a food blogger. “My favorite comfort food is _________.” Really, any question can be turned into a fill in the blank type post. The beauty of this type of question is that it is incredibly simple for someone to answer. All they have to do to leave a comment is to write one word. This is the lowest barrier of entry that you can possibly give to anyone leaving a comment.

Often, this is a good way to get that person who might have been following your page for a while now to leave their first comment. They don’t really have to reveal anything too deep and personal, they just need to put in a word. You want to make sure that the question is related to your overall topic, you don’t just want to be asking random questions that have nothing to do with your topic. Too often, I do see some Facebook pages doing that. I’m a big believer in trying to keep it relevant. Fill in the blank type posts are the first type of questions you might ask.

Another one which is similar in some ways because it sometimes can mean a one word response or one word comment is when you ask a question that is this or that type of question. It’s where you give your followers the choice between two options and in doing so, you say here’s the two responses I’m looking for, which one are you? You might say are you a cat or dog person?

On Digital Photography School, we occasionally have a question which is about Nikon versus Canon. That always starts a bit of a fight. Or, do you post process your photos or do you not post process your photos? We know that within our audience, there’s these two camps. We start a discussion on that.

Yes or no questions might be another option. If you’re a fitness blogger, you might say do you exercise daily, yes or no? There’s only two answers really there. Some people will come in with a sometimes, but that’s totally fine as well.

A true or false question might be another one, it’s a this or that.

I guess the last one I’ll say there is you might actually want to choose a question that is some sort of a controversy or some sort of a debate. You want to be a little bit careful with this because these types of questions can be a bit edgier, so during the election you might have said Trump or Hillary. On the photography space, the Nikon Canon one, that’s a bit of a debate. The reason we don’t ask it too often is we do see other camera manufacturers, people who have those cameras chime in but it also can get a bit negative. You do want to be a bit careful about this or that questions, particularly if it’s a debate or a controversial type thing. They can be a really good discussion starter as well and are worthy experimenting with.

Number one was fill in the blank type questions, number two were this or that questions, number three is another one. I’ve got a few types but I’ve seen other bloggers use this incredibly well, it’s actually a technique that one of my online friends Samantha Jockel from School Mum regularly uses. She actually takes questions that readers have emailed her and she puts it up on Facebook as a discussion starter. The questions, because her blog is School Mum, her questions generally relate to parenting or family life or school life.

I was just looking at her page a few minutes ago and the last one of these that she posted, she starts it with this little phrase, “A school mom asked…” That’s the signal to the audience that it’s this type of question. Everyday, she does a School Mum ask type post. After it, she says, “Can I please ask how much do you give your kids for school lunch, as my kids are always hungry. P.S. Any food ideas, please.” This is a question that someone sent Samantha. She has put it up on the page.

If you go and look at her Facebook page, every single day, there is a post that is a reader question. Sometimes, the questions are heartfelt, sometimes it’s a real problem that a person is having, they’re always anonymous so people do tend to ask those personal questions. Sometimes, they’re funny, sometimes they start debates, sometimes they’re on those controversial type issues. Perhaps, they’re an easier way to get into those controversial questions because it’s a reader asking the question rather than you.

These posts, many of them do really well. Again, I encourage you to go and look at Samantha’s Facebook page and you’ll see some examples of the different types of questions that she’s asked. Ask a reader question. If you’re getting questions from readers, you probably just need to dig into your blog posts, comments, or comments that have been left on your Facebook page, or emails that you’ve been receiving, or you might actually want to do an update saying do you have any questions, and actually gather the questions that way. If you get questions, turn them into Facebook updates. Let your readers, let your community find the answers to those questions as well. They can do really well.

The fourth one is questions where you ask your readers to talk about their biggest problems, challenges, or obstacles, or even fears. This might seem like a negative thing to do, you might want to keep a positive vibe on your Facebook page, but it’s amazing what comes out when you actually nominate a topic and say what’s your biggest problem in this area?

To take Samantha’s example again on School Mum, she might ask a question like what’s your biggest fear as a parent? What’s your biggest challenge at the moment in raising boys? What’s the biggest problem that you have in the area of discipline? You can actually target the types of questions that you want to explore. To actually get your readers to come out and share some of the problems and challenges and pain that they have, the fears that they have, it might feel like a negative thing but it actually does lead to high engagement, people are willing to share this type of stuff.

The best thing about these types of questions is they’ll help you to understand who is following your page. You’ll begin to see things about your audience that you never knew before. These things will inform future pieces of content for your site as well. This is something if you follow me on the Facebook page, at the ProBlogger Facebook page, you’ll see that almost every week we ask a question that is really about trying to work out what the biggest obstacle is for our readers at the moment. Those answers often turn into blog posts.

The other great thing about this type of question is that you’ll find that in the responses, people will nominate problems that they’ve got that you’ve already written about. You can reply to that and say hey, here’s a tutorial I wrote on that topic, or here’s an article with some tips on how to overcome that challenge. You can actually drive people back to your archives by sharing links in response to the problems that people have.

The ultimate thing here, being willing to talk about people’s problems is that you show your readers that you’re interested in helping them, you’re interested in hearing about their problems, and you also give them a chance to solve one another’s problems as well. This is something I did in our Facebook group, the ProBlogger podcast listeners group that we’ve got on Facebook the other day.

Actually, on a Friday afternoon I think that was, I said what’s your biggest problem now? I’m going away for the weekend but I know you can answer each other’s problems. It was amazing to see people chime in and respond to each other’s problems in that way. That may not work quite so well on an open page, but in a Facebook page it might work as well. It gives your followers a sense that they’re not alone.

Even though I just said I went away for a weekend when I asked that question, I did qualify that by saying you need to look after each other here. When you do ask these types of questions, it’s really ideal if you hang around immediately after you ask that question. You want to be there to respond to the problems that people have, to be present, interact with them, help them where you can, and to show empathy. It’s really important not just to ask those questions to trigger the pain in people’s lives but to be there to walk with them in that as well.

The fifth one is the flip side of this and that is to ask people about their dreams, to ask them about their aspirations. It’s really important to not just understand who your readers and their problems but to also understand who they want to become. Again, this shows them that you’re interested in them making some changes in their life and you also will get a lot of ideas for the types of things that they want to learn how to do. Then, you can create content that helps to move them along towards those dreams that they have as well. People do love to talk about their dreams, they love to talk about their hopes for their future. That’s the fifth type of question that you can ask on your Facebook page.

The sixth type is what I would call a tips question. This is where you ask your followers for their tips. They’re probably coming to your Facebook page because they want to learn from you, but the reality is that in any community, more than two or three people, there’s a lot of wisdom in the crowd.

In fact, many years ago now, I read a book called Wisdom Of The Crowd that really highlighted this. Any group of people has the ability to solve most problems that we face. This is where you actually say to your audience, “I want to hear from you today with your tips,” about a particular area. You may not get as many responses from this type of question as you would from a fill in the blank type question. The responses that you will get will be deeper, they’ll also be longer and they’ll be more useful, they’ll be the types of comments that other readers will gain a lot of value from as well.

You might ask a question that really taps into a typical question that a beginner in your topic has, and then you put that question to your audience and say what would you answer to this type of question? What tips do you have, what stories, what tools would you use? You really are looking for those tips there.

The other thing that I love about this type of question is that you can turn the answers into content if you get permission. This is something that again you will probably have seen me do on my Facebook page, the ProBlogger Facebook page. If I’m writing a blog post or if I’m preparing for a podcast, very often in the week before the podcast comes out in our Facebook group for instance, I will ask a question that relates to the podcast. Really, what I’m trying to do there is to get the audience’s ideas that I can then incorporate into the podcast. Of course, you want to give credit to the people who leave those responses.

You might say if you’re writing a post about exercise on your fitness blog, try to work out the top ten exercises that your readers love to do. You can ask what’s your favorite exercise and why do you like it? Underneath that, you might say I’m going to use some of your responses in a future blog post. Anyone who does leave a comment is kind of agreeing that they want their comment to be on the blog post. Then, you can take their responses and you can either embed them into your post or you might just copy and paste them into your blog post. Of course, giving credit to the person who left their response.

And then, you are basically creating reader generated content for your site. It’s not just your voice, it’s theirs as well. Of course, you probably want to add a few of your own comments to that to build upon the ideas that your readers share, but these types of questions work really well.

Typically, these types of questions would usually start with how do you do type questions. How do you do this, how do you do that? How would you approach this situation? Asking for tips, that’s question number six.

Number seven is another one. This one probably won’t work for everyone but I think it can probably be stretched to a lot of Facebook pages. It’s something we do very regularly on our site. We actually ask our readers to share a photo. You could ask them to share a photo or a video. If you go on our Facebook page, you will see that when people are given the opportunity to leave a comment, there’s a little icon in that comments window where they can upload a photo or a video as well. I’m amazed how many pages don’t utilize this feature.

Obviously, it works really well on my Digital Photography School site. We have a site about photography so every week, at least once, we ask our readers, upload your best portrait from the last month, or upload your best landscape in the last month, upload a picture that you think will be improved in post production. We have some discussions around that.

We actually ask our readers to upload a photo or a video. It works really well. We end up with a long list of photos instead of comments. Many people don’t even leave an actual comment, they’ll just share the photo.

You might think this doesn’t really to my blog, I don’t have a photography blog, but I have seen this work on plenty of blogs. I saw a parenting blogger ask recently, show us a favorite piece of art from one of your kids. I saw a food blogger ask, show us the last picture in your camera phone that you took of food. That was pretty funny actually because there were really nice pictures and really ugly ones as well. I saw a fashion blogger ask, show your your favorite pair of shoes. A technology blogger asked, show us a picture of everything that you have in your laptop bag.

You can, at a stretch, find at least one question that you could ask that you want people to respond to with that picture or a video. It’s just an alternative way.

Again, you might not get quite as many comments but you’ll get some really interesting ones as well. I guess again you could probably takes some of those pictures if you made it clear in your question and put it into a blog post. Maybe you can create a little SlideShare of all the different photos that were submitted, or maybe you can pick your best three or four and write about why you like them in a blog post. Again, you want to get a bit of permission on that because you don’t want to use other people’s photos without their permission. I think most people would be pretty cool with that, that’s question number seven.

Number eight is accountability questions. This, again, may not work for all pages but I think a lot of them might work. This is where you ask your followers, the people who like your page, a question to get them to nominate something that they’re going to do in order for you to keep them accountable.

You may have been a part of Facebook groups that do this and this happens in a lot of Facebook groups. What’s your biggest goal of the week? You can ask that on your Facebook page. I think you can take it a step further if at the end of the week you went back to that post and asked anyone who responded with a goal how they went with that goal.

I actually saw this happen on a Facebook page recently where the person on Monday morning just had a very simple question, what do you want to achieve this week? What’s your biggest goal this week? And then on Friday, he came back and he left a reply on every single person’s comment who mentioned a goal and all he had was a few words, how did you go with…?

I was actually someone who left a comment at the start of a week and I hadn’t done my goal by the end of the week. You know what? I went away and got it done about ten minutes after he left that comment. I’m really grateful for him because he took the time to come back to me and keep me accountable to that.

I think this could be done on all kinds of Facebook pages, not every time. If you have any kind of page where people are trying to build a habit, where they’re trying to learn something, where they’re trying to become something, you could certainly ask this type of question and then come back to them. Not to whip them, not to make them feel bad if they haven’t met their goal, but simply to encourage them and to build some accountability into that. I think that makes a massive impression upon people. I know I’ll be going back to that page, I’ll be making it a big part of what I do because I know that guy is taking the time to notice my goal.

The last type of question that I want to briefly talk about is where you use questions in other types of blog posts. Most of what I talked about in the previous eight types of questions that you can ask is really when you ask a question as your status update. The fill in the blank question, that’s your update, that’s all you have in it. You might include a picture or something like that but really the update is the question.

You can also ask questions in other types of updates too. I think that can actually make them more effective. I want to give you an example, and to see the example, you’re going to have to go over the show notes. A few days ago on my Digital Photography School Facebook page, I shared a link to an older post that I’ve written, about three or four months ago now. It was a link to a post which listed popular cameras in our readers. Again, you can check this out on the show notes.

The title of the post was very simply The 19 Most Popular Compact System And Mirrorless Cameras With Our Readers. I could quite easily have just put the link in the Facebook but in addition to that, I also added a question. When I put the link in the Facebook, Facebook automatically pulled in the title. It automatically pulled in the picture from the post. There’s also an opportunity to add a little bit extra into your Facebook update. Before I schedule it, I added the question, “Do you use one of these popular compact system cameras?” Just a little question.

My goal for that post was to get people over to my blog post. By adding that question, I also got people answering the question which I think in the end helped me to get even more people to the blogpost because at this moment, as I just went and looked at it now, 23 people have answered that question which is good for us. When we share a link, we don’t tend to get a lot of comments because people either ignore it or they go and read the blog post and then they don’t leave a comment.

In this case, 23 people answered the question. That’s higher than normal for us. The post also had a higher than average reach, and I suspect because people were leaving comments, Facebook thought something is good with this, we’re going to show it more. It got a higher reach than normal, and it also got a lot of really good click through traffic to our blogpost as well. I think that’s because the question I asked, people needed to go and read the post before they could answer it. Those 23 people who left a comment, they at least went away and had a look at the cameras listed on the page so that they could answer the question.

Asking questions in link posts can work. Sometimes, I will make the title that I use on Facebook to a link post a question rather than the actual title of the blog post, you can change it. Asking questions can actually just give your normal post on Facebook a bit of a boost as well.

There are the types of questions that I think you could be asking on your Facebook page. Hopefully by now, you’ve already asked one of them. You could’ve done the fill in the blank post question. You could’ve done a this or that type question. You could’ve done a reader question, you might’ve done a question to unearth the problems, challenges, obstacles and fears of your readers. You could ask a question to unearth their dreams, their aspirations, you could ask your readers for a tip. You could ask your readers a question that is about making them accountable. You could ask them a question as a part of a link post that you’re doing as well. The key is to get in the habit of asking questions and to mix it up.

I’ve got a few other really quick tips when it comes to asking questions.

Number one, I think it’s really important as I said earlier to make your questions relate to your topic. You may be able to get some engagement by doing off topic questions from time to time and that might be okay from time to time, but if you do that regularly, your readers are going to feel that your page topic has begun to dilute. Be a little bit weary of going too off topic.

Number two, consider using an image. You can ask a question and that might get seen by people but if you use an image that relates to your question, it’s just going to pop in the news feed a little bit more. People will notice that a little bit more. You might just have a plain image or you might even get an image and then put some text over the top with the question itself, that can also get a little bit more engagement.

Another alternative might be to ask the question as a video. You might actually want to do a Facebook live, we talked about that a few episodes ago, get on Facebook live and ask your readers a question. That will then appear in their feed later on after the Facebook live is open as a replay, as a video. We all know that Facebook Lives get more reach than other types of posts. Maybe try and incorporate the Facebook Live episode a couple of weeks ago with asking a question.

The fourth thing I’ll say is that timing is really important. You don’t want to ask questions when your audience are all asleep. I did this stupidly the other night, I had this question pop into my mind that I wanted to share my audience. I asked it at 3:30PM Australian time which is in the middle of the night when most of my audience are awake in America, and it’s also when my Aussie audience are picking up kids at school or about to go home from work. It was just a bad time. I know my readers aren’t online at 3:30PM.

If you’ve got a question that you want to ask, schedule it for a time when your readers are engaging with your page. It’s really important to do that.

Don’t ask too many questions would be another little tip. I think it’s important to mix up the type of post that you publish. Share some links, share some videos, share some pictures, and share some questions as well. When you mix up the types of content that you share, Facebook seems to reward that.

Be responsive, as responsive as you can on your Facebook page. When people respond with an answer to a question that you have, it’s really nice if they then get a response from you. They’ve taken the time to respond to you, take some time to respond to them. You need to be the community that you want to have. If you want engagement, you need to be engaging with your posts.

Another really quick tip is to ask timely questions. If something big is happening, whether it be a holiday, an event that’s relevant to your industry, maybe it’s an event like the Oscars which just happened. If you can find a relevant way to ask a question about that timely event, it can really help. For starters, it’s on the top of mind of your audience and so they may have already been thinking about that and be more likely to want to talk about it. It also can work in Facebook as well. Facebook has trending topics. If you use words that are trending at a time, Facebook might share that a little bit more often as well.

The last thing I’ll say is you’d be really careful about how open ended your questions are. You can ask really open ended questions but I find I get much better responses if I’m specific with my question, if I’m narrow-ish and have focus with my question. That’s why I think fill in the blank questions do quite well because they’re very narrow, you’re just looking for one word and you’re nominating the topic. If you’re too open ended, sometimes the response tend to be a bit wishy washy or people don’t know how to respond as well. You want to make it easy for people to respond to your questions, at least as easy as possible.

I hope that somewhere in the midst of today’s show, there are some questions that you can ask on your Facebook page. Again, these are the types of things you could also be asking in a Facebook group, LinkedIn group, pretty much any type of social media. Or, even on your blog. You may actually want to try doing some blog posts that are centered around questions as well. This is again a big thing that I get asked a lot by bloggers, how do I get people to leave a comment on my blog post? One of the best things you can do is to learn to ask good questions.

I’m sure as I’ve gone through this that some of you are thinking, “He didn’t mention this one,” or that, if you’ve got another type of question that you’d like to ask, I would love to hear what that is in today’s show notes. You can go to problogger.com/podcast/183 and tell us about the types of questions that you like to ask.

I’m also really interested if any of you, during the listening of this podcast, went to your page and asked a question. If you did, congratulations, I would love to know what that question was.

You might even want to leave a link on the comments on the show notes today as well to that question. You can also leave comments in our Facebook group, just search on ProBlogger for the ProBlogger Podcast Listeners group, there’s 2,500 people in there who do discuss each episode and who do a few challenges together as well.

Thanks for listening today, I’ll chat with you next week on the ProBlogger Podcast.

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The post 183: 9 Types of Questions to Ask On Your FaceBook Page to Get More Comments appeared first on ProBlogger Podcast.

180: 7 Types of Facebook Live Videos that Grow Your Audience, Build Your Brand and Make Money

Ways to Use Facebook Live to Grow Your Blog

In today’s lesson, I want to talk about Facebook live video which is a technology that has been around for a while now on Facebook and that I think continues to be something that bloggers could get a lot of value out of.

We’ve seen Facebook continue to develop it over the last 12 months. Initially, it was only available to larger influencers and verified account holders, then they opened it up to everyone and in the last few weeks they’ve made it so you can now do it from your desktop rather than just using your phone.

I know numerous bloggers getting pretty amazing results with FB live – they’re using it to build their brand, grow their audience and make money – so I thought today we’d look at some of the different ways that you can use it to grow your blog and business.

Stay tuned my quick top 7 ways to use Facebook Live!

Further Resources on Using Facebook Live

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Hey there, it’s Darren Rowse from ProBlogger. Welcome to Episode 180 of the ProBlogger podcast where today I want to talk about Facebook Live and give you my Top 7 different ways to use this technology that I think has a lot of benefits for bloggers. As I said at the top, my name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board, series of ebooks, and many other things all designed to help you as a blogger grow your audience and make money from your blog. You can learn more about ProBlogger over at problogger.com.

In today’s lesson, we’re talking Facebook Live and we’ve seen over the last 12 or so months Facebook continue to develop this particular aspect of their platform. Initially, it was only available to larger influences or verified account holders but then they opened it up to everyone. I’ve seen a lot of our audience begin to experiment with the technology.

Facebook hasn’t just let this technology sit dormant. Over the last few weeks, they’ve made it even easier to do. You can now do it from your desktop, you just need to log into Facebook itself and there’s an option to do a Facebook Live broadcast from your webcam which really opens it up to even more bloggers. I suspect they’re going to continue to develop it even further. I hope they add things like being able to share your screen and to do split screens. You can do a lot of that stuff using other tools and we’ll touch on some of that a little bit later on today.

I know a number of you as readers of ProBlogger are already using Facebook Live but I suspect there’s many of you who have been looking at this technology and wondering how you would use it. That’s what I want to focus upon today. Let me give you seven ways to use Facebook Live to help to grow your brand, grow your audience, and to make money from your blog, and to build your business.

Let’s get into today’s show. But before I do, I just want to briefly give you some of the why of using Facebook Live and I’m going to whip through these reasons really quickly. Firstly, for me, Facebook Live, the real benefit of it is that it gives you a live interaction with your audience. It’s all about engagement, it’s all about understanding who is reading your blog and who’s watching you because you get immediate feedback. More important than that, it personalizes your brand and it shows your followers, your readers, who you are.

I’ve lost track of the amount of people that have contacted me after watching one of my live videos and having interacted with me on a live video. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have said things like you’re not the way I had previously thought of you, you’re different to my previous perception of you. Usually, the difference is a positive difference, I’m pleased to say.

Facebook Live does open up that engagement with your audience and it certainly warms up your audience. I’ve noticed many times after a Facebook Live that people leave comments on my blog for the first time ever having seen me on a Facebook Live or they will purchase a product in the days that follow as well. I think it’s really about that engagement, it helps your audience to understand who you are, helps you understand them, and helps them feel like you have noticed them because you’re seeing their comments, you’re interacting with them. It helps you understand who’s reading your blog which gives you insight into the type of content that you can create as well.

I find Facebook Live gives me a lot of energy as well. It’s quite often after doing a Facebook Live that I will have an idea for a blog post and I will have real motivation to write that post because I’ve just been asked a question or I’ve just seen one of my audience members with a particular need. I’ve lost track of the amount of podcasts that I’ve created almost within minutes of completing a Facebook Live because it does give me energy and motivation and ideas as well.

It’s also a really great way of testing your ideas. If you’ve got an idea for a blog post or a podcast or a piece of content or a product, jump on Facebook Live and test that. You get immediate feedback with your audience as well.

It’s also a great way of increasing your reach on Facebook. Facebook is prioritizing Facebook Live at the moment. They are showing your live videos to a large audience than pretty much any other type of content that you can put onto Facebook at the moment. I’ve seen this time and time again, I did a Facebook Live just last week. I think on the ProBlogger page, we have an audience of about 80,000 people who followed our page. That video had reach of over 150,000. That’s because Facebook prioritizes that. It’s the type of content that people like to share as well, so it is a great way of finding new readers or engaging with those readers who perhaps haven’t seen your content for a while on Facebook Live because of their algorithm on Facebook.

There’s a whole lot of reasons there. I think it does help to build your brand, build your audience, and there’s potential for it to help you to monetize as well. The question then is how do you use it and what type of video should you be creating on Facebook Live? Really, there’s no one answer. I’ve seen 10, 15 different types of videos that bloggers are using on Facebook Live but today I just want to share the top 7 that I’ve seen and done myself.

Number one is my favorite and that is to do an ask me anything video. We’ll say right upfront that this is the one that you need to have an audience for. If you are a small blogger, this may be a bit of a tricky one, or you may need to really work hard to get people to show up on your ask me anything video. This is where you sit in front of the camera and you take questions and you answer those questions to the best of your ability. This is what I predominantly use Facebook Live for at the moment, I’m trying to do it at least once a week. Sometimes I announce it beforehand with an email or in Twitter to try and get people to my Facebook page just before it happens. That certainly helps to get more interaction.

I find that I need 20 to 30 people to be watching live to get enough questions to last me at least half an hour. That’s the minimum that I’m looking to be on Facebook Live for is about half an hour because it takes a little while for your audience to grow and for Facebook to be able to prioritize it. You want to be aiming for at least that long.

Ultimately, it’s an ask me anything type session but sometimes it is helpful to be able to put a topic around it as well. You could say, if you’re a photography blogger, “Ask me anything about portrait photography.” Or, “Ask me anything about landscape photography.” That sometimes can help to draw people in with that particular interest.

Sometimes it’s also good to be able to go into those sessions with some questions that you’ve already been asked to get the ball rolling. You might say on your Facebook page a few hours you’re going to do the video that you’re taking questions and that you will answer them in an upcoming Facebook Live video.

Ask me anything is really great if you do have that audience. It does build engagement, and this is where you do get that conversation with your audience. It’s one of the few places that you can almost have a real time conversation with your audience. These are the ones where I often get those emails afterwards of people really saying thank you so much for answering my question and you are different to the way I expected. You can be a bit playful in these types of sessions.

Number two is to teach something. Prepare a talk, prepare some tips, prepare some teaching of some kind. Usually, I would take in about five different points that I want to make on a particular topic and I would make the topic a pain point of my audience or a challenge that they’re trying to overcome and then I would present five or so things about how to overcome that. Again, you want to aim for maybe 10, 15 minutes of teaching and then you can switch into a Q&A. That’s where you get a little bit more interactive. You want to say right upfront that today, I’m not here to answer questions, I want to teach you something and then we’re going to take on a Q&A as well. That really does work well.

You can use some visuals with that, I’ve seen people standing in front of a white board where they have their points written. I’ve seen people use their camera on their phone and flipped it around to show the points on the screen, it’s a powerpoint presentation. I’ve seen people stand in front of televisions where they have a powerpoint so they’re able to have some visuals for their teaching as well. Using those visuals can really work well.

I really hope that Facebook does add in the ability to do screen sharing natively from their app or from the desktop option that they have at the moment because that will certainly help with the teaching because you will be able to use your visuals. But, there are other tools that you can use to do that as well. There’s a tool called WireCast which will enable you to have multiple cameras and also to share your screen, your desktop on your computer. You could also use a tool called Zoom. Zoom is a webinar tool and you can actually do a webinar and then share that to Facebook Live. That would be another way that you can share some slides in a fairly easy way.

The key here is to think about what you’re going to teach and make sure it’s something that really is a pain point of your audience or it’s something that they want to learn. One of the great things as bloggers when it comes to this is that if you’ve already got content on your blog that teaches something that you can really quite easily take one of those old posts that you’ve written and repurpose that into a live video. You’ve already got the content there, you’ve got your main points already lined out, it’s just a matter of speaking those points. Don’t read them, you want to speak them.

A number three type of video that you want to use is where you want to use the live video to promote some content that you’ve already published. This is something I’ve done a number of times and I’ve done it a number of times particularly on Digital Photography School. What I was doing for a while on the DPS Facebook page was to jump on and to do a Facebook Live just after our newsletter went out. What I would do is basically run through the newsletter and show our viewers of the video the post that we’ve published over the last week. If you’ve subscribed to the DPS newsletter, you’ll know that we send out once a week an email that just basically shows the 14 posts that we’ve published over the last week. We list them, it’s a very simple email.

What I did was basically I showed people the content and I use my phone to do this. I flip the camera around and show the screen of my computer and actually talked about each of the pieces of content that we published over the last week. And then in the description of that video, I shared the links of each of those pieces of content as well so people could then go and find those pieces of content. That did really well, we saw spikes in traffic but it also helped us to get new subscribers to our newsletter because that start of that video I was saying, “Hey, if you haven’t already got our newsletter, here’s what it looks like.” I show them, “Here’s the content that we promoted this week.” That motivated some people to sign up for our newsletter as well.

You could do it with your newsletter or you could do it every time you write a new blogpost. You could say hey, today, I published this. You might give a few of the reasons that you published that post. You might even give a bit of a teaser on some of the content itself, and then you give people the link to go and find that piece of content. You might also take some questions. You might say, “Go and read it now, let me know what you think about it,” and get feedback in some way. Promoting content, promoting a newsletter, promoting some feature of your blog is the number three type of video that you might do on Facebook Live.

Number four is to do a review or to demonstrate something. One of the beauties of video is that you can show stuff. It doesn’t just have to be you standing in front of a camera talking into the webcam, you can be actually illustrating how to use something or to show a product or something that you’ve got that might interest your readers in some way.

You might do an unboxing. If you get a parcel in the mail, you can do an unboxing if you know what it is. Give your first impressions of that particular product. I’ve seen a number of bloggers do this in the fashion space, fashion bloggers who actually unbox a dress and then duck behind a little place and put it on and then show it and then get feedback on it from their audience.

I’ve seen parenting bloggers demonstrate toys with their kids, actually showing the product that they have being given for review. You could do this as a first impression review and then go in and write the full review later on.

The great thing about Facebook Live is that you can embed the videos that you do as a Facebook Live into a blog post later. That’s pretty cool. You can actually say in your full review that you write up in your blog, “Here’s a video that I shot with my first impressions.” Give the rest of the content underneath that as your written content. Doing reviews, demonstrating if you’ve got something particularly visual that you’re writing about, that could be a great way to use Facebook Live.

Similarly if you’re a travel blogger to show a destination. I guess in many ways that’s a review or a demonstration of that destination as well. If you’ve got something visual that you’re blogging about, Facebook Live could be brilliant for you.

Number five way that you can use Facebook Live is to recap an event. I know a lot of you go to conferences, you go to workshops, you go to different types of events. Using Facebook Live in that scenario is brilliant. Firstly, you could actually be showing part of the event. You need to get a bit of permission, you need to actually find out what the terms of service are of that event. You probably don’t want to be live broadcasting keynote speeches without permission. But at the end of the day, that is often a great time for you to do a Facebook Live because you can recap what happened at the event.

I’ve done this a number of times. Last year at Social Media Marketing World, at the end of every day, I would get on and do a Facebook Live video for my followers of here’s the top five things that I learned at Social Media Marketing World this year. That was great because it actually shared what I was learning with my audience. I have a large audience that wants to be at the event that I’m at, but most of them just can’t be there. To be able to give some sort of an insight of that to show them parts of that event can be a really good thing as well. If you are going to an event, make sure at the end of that day, at the start of the day, perhaps just do some little snippets throughout the day of different things that you learned at the event.

Number six thing that you can do for Facebook Live, I’ve already touched on it, to do interviews. This is something you could do at an event to actually ask a speaker, ask another attendee, can I ask you a few questions about the topic that you spoke about, or a session that you’ve been at. Interviewing people can be a great way of doing your Facebook Live. This gets someone else into your video which brings a bit of variety to what you’re doing as well.

It doesn’t have to be at an event, you can actually arrange to meet someone, find a quiet room somewhere, and to do a longer interview or more formal interview as well. This can be done live or they can be done using some of the tools like Zoom, the webinar tool that enables you to do split sharing. At the moment, the Facebook Live doesn’t natively let you do split sharing but I have heard some rumors that that might be coming. But at the moment, you can use tools like Zoom to do that as well. It might be more of a virtual interview in some ways as well.

The last type of video that I’m keen to experiment with, I’ve seen social media examiner do this a number of times, is where they give their Facebook Live access to a guest presenter. If you think about guest posts on blogs, that’s fairly common today. We allow people to write a useful piece of content on our blog, why not consider giving access to someone to your Facebook page to do a live video? This takes a bit of trust because you’re going to have to give them some admin rights to your Facebook page. You don’t want to just be doing this to anyone.

If you’ve got an expert in your field, someone that you know and trust, get them on to do an ask me anything or get them on to do a teaching type one. Get them to present something. That can actually be really interesting because it shows your audience that you’re connected with other people in your industry, it gives them another voice which adds a bit of variety to your page, and they may promote it as well if they’re someone who has some influence in their space, they might share it to their network which then helps your page to be found by more people as well.

Again, it takes some trust. Don’t just give access to your Facebook page to anyone, but that’s something that you might want to do.

Those are just seven things that you can do with a Facebook Live. Ask me anything, teach something, promote content or your newsletter, do a review or a demonstration, recap an event, interview someone, or get a guest presenter on. You can do a lot more than that, you can do a behind the scenes, announcements, previews of things that are coming out. Those seven things that I’ve gone through are the things that I’ve used Facebook Live for with best results.

I would love to hear what you think. How have you used Facebook Live? You can tell us how you’ve done that at problogger.com/podcast/180 or you can share that over in our Facebook Group. Just search on Facebook for ProBlogger Podcast Listeners.

Lastly, I want to challenge you to do a Facebook Live this week. I know for a fact that a large percentage of you have not done your first Facebook Live. I want to challenge you to do it today. Whether anyone shows up to your Facebook Live live or not, it doesn’t matter. The great thing about Facebook Live is that once the live session is over, it becomes a video on your page or in your group, wherever you decide to do it. It becomes content that you can then embed into a blog post or that will remain on your page and people can access it afterwards.

Facebook continues to share it later on. Even if no one shows up to it, if you do a teaching for example and no one shows up, it still is valuable content as well. I want you to choose one of those seven types of Facebook Lives, to do it on your Facebook page, and then to come into our Facebook Group ProBlogger Podcast Listeners and share what you did, leave a link to your Facebook Live. I really want to see as many Facebook Lives over the next seven days as possible. I challenge you, I dare you, I double dare you, do it today.

Thanks for listening, I’ll chat with you next week.

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