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Here’s the down low –
- During the challenge, I’m going to suggest a particular style of blog post for you to create.
- Create and publish the challenge post
Write a Discussion Post
Today, my challenge for you is to create a piece of content that attempts to get your readers engaging in some way through a discussion. This may be a little bit daunting for some of you who are just starting out and who might feel like you don’t have much of a reader following yet. Right from the start, even if it's just your mom reading your blog, try to create content that invites engagement and invites answers to your questions and encourages discussion.
Remember, the challenges aren't just about writing blog posts. You can create a piece of content that goes into a social media stream, you might want to do a Facebook Live video, you might want to do some content on Instagram, maybe use Instagram’s new stories feature to invite discussion. You could do a post on Facebook or Twitter if you get good interaction there. Or, you may choose to do it on your blog and then promote that piece of content in those social spaces.
Reasons why asking your readers questions and starting discussions, can be good.
- It gives readers a sense of Community and Participation – follow up when you do get an interaction and it could be the beginning of a long term reader relationship.
- It increases Blog ‘Stickiness' – people are more likely to come back once they’ve interacted. They are more likely to return to your blog to see what others have said and if you have responded to their comments.
- These posts don’t take a whole lot of effort to create but if you get controversial prepare to take some time with moderating.
- They are great for helping you to gauge where your readers sit with certain topics and can even help give you ideas for future posts to follow-up with.
- If you choose to do something like a poll or multiple choice questions it can be an opportunity for followup posts as you summarize the answers you got, pick up conversations and even answer the question yourself with your position.
A few tips to help you to create your discussion starters.
- Keep it relevant to your blog’s topic – don't be random!
- Ask a question that builds on a previous post – link it up with something you've written about previously and ask how your reader would answer the question. Share different perspectives.
- Ask questions that are answerable – no room for redundant questions and make the questions simple and not too taxing.
- Ask questions that readers will want to know the answer to
- Suggest some possible answers – give them a choice of a few answers (multiple choice)
- Either/Or or this/that questions can be great for starting a debate
- You can use a poll plugin to give your readers a way to vote on options
- Controversial questions can be great for starting a debate
- Do you have a frequently asked question that you don’t know the answer to?
What if no one says anything?
Why not email your friends and say hey, I just started this discussion. No one’s answering, could you chime in? Reach out to others in your niche and ask them to comment (you know like your friends in our Facebook group). Those first few comments are the hardest but once there is a little bit of ‘social proof' people are much more likely to join in and add their two cents.
Once you’ve created your content today, your discussion starter, publish it and head over to the Challenge Group on Facebook and share a link to your discussion starter. Once you’ve shared it, check out some of the other discussion starters that people are sharing. Make a comment or two in there and help to get each other’s discussions up and running.
Here’s to Your Success,