I’ve been saying this to my clients for years that chasing page views is a major danger zone for bloggers. And in 2018, it looks like the rest of the blogging world is following.
This is part five of a series of blogging trends. Check out the full series at the further reading section at the bottom of this post
This year, chasing page views is as out-of-trend as scrunchies, leg warmers, and Blossom hats. But building an engaged audience? That’s about as on-trend as you can get!
Why Engagement Is Important
Engagement is, hands down, one of the most important metrics we have as bloggers. It doesn’t matter if we have a zillion page views — if we’re not building an engaged audience, we don’t have a long-term model for success.
Page views are a fickle beast. When we’re entirely reliant on traffic to hold up our business, if our traffic crashes, our business crashes right along with it. We’re essentially at the mercy of Google. If they make an algorithm change that affects our page views, there goes our traffic not to mention our income!
Not only are page views unreliable, but being too focused on page views can lead us to do all sorts of things, like write spammy headlines to drive clicks But it doesn’t matter if we can get people to our blogs. What matters is what happens when they get there. 55% of people spend less than 15 seconds on a website before leaving — and most of the time, they never return. That’s the direct result of focusing on getting people to a blog and not worrying about what happens once they’re there.
That’s what we’re talking about when we say engagement. When we’re focused on engagement, we can build a sustainable business model that doesn’t require tons of traffic to maintain itself. Instead, all it relies on is the relationships we’ve built with our readers — something no one can take away from us.
It’s important to note that this engagement strategy doesn’t just apply to blogs, either!
The blogging world freaked out not too long ago when Mark Zuckerberg announced that brands would be featured less and less in people’s newsfeed…. unless they were able to engage in an authentic way.
Why You Should Focus On Engagement Instead Of Pageviews
Chasing page views is a short-term strategy. But when we focus on building an engaged audience
— by doing things like building authentic relationships with our readers, growing our email list, and launching products that serve our audience — we’re setting ourselves up for long-term success.
How To Make Engagement Work For You
If we want to hop on board the engagement trend, the first thing we need to do is let go of our attachment to chasing page views.
If you’re struggling with this one, I totally get it! It can be hard to not get caught up in the numbers (how many people visited the blog today?! Is it more than yesterday?! How does it compare to this time last year?!), but here’s the truth of
— those numbers don’t matter as much as we think they do. And they certainly don’t matter as much as building an engaged audience.
So this year, I offer a challenge: To start thinking about how we measure success a little differently. Instead of coming from a place of “how can I drive more readers to my blog?”, let’s try coming from a place of “how can I better serve the readers I already have?” Is there a product we can create that will make their lives easier? Is there a topic they’re dying to know about that we just happen to know like the back of our hand? Is there a way we can connect with our audience on a deeper and more authentic level? Because when we shift the focus to engagement and start thinking about how we can really serve our readers, not only will we build a more engaged audience — but the numbers will follow.
Funny how that works!
Got questions about building engagement on your blog? Want to share a strategy that’s been working for you? Leave a comment below and let me know what’s up.