7 Questions to Ask On Your Blog to Get More Reader Engagement

Posted By Darren Rowse 2nd of December 2009 Video Posts 0 Comments

Have you ever been ‘talked at’ instead of had someone ‘talk with’ you in a real life conversation? It doesn’t feel good to have someone talk AT you.

It leaves you feeling like you might as well not have been there at all.

Blogs can be like that and in this post we explore the power of asking questions on your blog and I share 7 types of questions you can ask to increase reader engagement.

The 7 questions are:

  • What Do you Think?
  • How Do you Feel?
  • What Will You Do?
  • What is Your Opinion?
  • What is Your Story?
  • What is Your Experience or Example?
  • What Have you Been Working On?

Of course there are plenty of other types of questions – what type do you ask and how do you find people respond?

Note: you can get the full sized version of this video at YouTube here.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Thank you for the information… I will ry to implement this as I had to block comments on my blog because all of them were spam… maybe like this I can get real comments :)

  2. We leave our blogs short, to the point and add new entries every week with useful information. It’s so over saturated out there. Short and sweet. That’s what we like. :)

  3. I really enjoyed this – be great to see more people commenting on my blog

  4. I actually heard someone say one time, “A blog is not for opinions.” I wanted to laugh this person out of the room.

    Great post. I feel like readers engage on my site, so I know I’m doing that right. I just need to work on building my audience!

  5. Thank you for the information… I will ry to implement this as I had to block comments on my blog because all of them were spam… maybe like this I can get real comments

  6. I did not think about asking questions to encourage participation and, most of all, help

  7. do you have any other advice on how site owners can find out more about what their viewers want to see, like maybe what questions to ask in polls?

  8. Brilliant post. I’m going to start using these questions immediately. It’s critical for your readers to get engaged and I have had trouble hearing back from them. I get frequent comments through email, but not back at the blog. This will help a lot. Just a little grease to spark the conversation. I can see how this will start something

  9. Great tips for engaging readers. I have tried asking for participation in the past, but without much luck. I’ll definitely put these to test.

  10. LOL! John,if everyone knows what to ask in any blog as a poll their blog would be rank as a the best blog ever exist on earth.no one could possibly answer that,you yourself can answer that!
    A poll is just another item to attract readers not more than that!No one knows what will happen to everyone blog but to raise ranking the blog expert can do that!

  11. If I’ve created a list of some sort or if I have a post that offers tips, I tend to ask people “Are there any points I’ve forgotten? Or is there anything I’ve left out?
    Like I did in this post:

    http://highlyfavored.affiliateshelpdesk.com/2010/02/03/a-christians-guide-to-social-media-interactions/

    While it seems to spark a lot of comments, people don’t always exactly answer the question – I don’t really care if they answer it or not – I’m just glad when they interact and respond. This is a wonderful tip – I definitely need to try to do this a lot more.

    I don’t like talking AT people, yet I’m sure I’m guilty more times than not.

  12. hi darren, actually i’m a no novice to the blogging world. but, after i read some your tutorial, i find a good way how to build a blog. i think we need hard work and should be creative. i’m trying to get a great way.

    Truly this is a good post and it will definitely help beginners increase their user engagement, but i truly don’t think it is so useful for advanced bloggers. Thank you for the blog post and i hope to keep watching you darren.

  13. The 7 questions are good. I shall try to engage in such practice in my site : http://www.freelancing-on-net.com

    Also can you cover a topic like “a controversial blog post”

  14. i use these questions in Turkish for my site. Especially, What is your opinion?

  15. Great post – helpful to all bloggers like me

  16. Very powerful technique. One thing we teach in sales is to always ask more questions. Also, after writing an article og back through and make sure you have more “you’s” “your” than “I” and “we”.

  17. Asking questions is a great technique. I think it can be strengthened by asking followup questions to the responses received to the blog post. Sometimes, these discussions will provoke ideas for a whole new post, or even an idea for a whole new blog. When you get good at this technique, you can make and sell blogs and make a bit of money on the side.

  18. Thanks for the great advice. I am in the process of creating a new blog and this was helpful. Thank you!

  19. I am fairly new to blogging IM in general, and I must admit I never thought about treating your reader like they were their talking with you.

    I guess it makes sense, I mean who wants to be talked at, and blogs that I have written in the past tend to be kind of “preachy”

    So from now on I will definitely take on board what you are saying..

    Thanks V much for the info

  20. I feel very much stressed when i want to work on blog, I don’t know how to attract the bloggers and make my self a brand but when i read the posts like these make me inspired to work on them but i m unable to make it for long term … Could u suggest me how to keep the track and make it more successfull ?

    Sri

  21. Neat stuff:D will come back again soon:D

  22. I noticed in the comments that many people end their posts with a question. I hadn’t really thought of that, but it does seem like an idea that would add some engagement and get the blog reader more involved.

  23. I still forget to ask readers questions. Thanks for the reminder. Quizes are another great way to get them involved.

  24. Good post,

    Asking questions is something I haven’t taken into consideration before on my poker blog but It’s an aspect of my posts I’ll definitely be in a rush to start using.

    Thanks for the tip!

  25. prashant says: 02/09/2010 at 10:56 pm

    I think I might write a blog post about that possibility. Thanks for the posting

    bookmarking demon

  26. Darren,

    I just found your blog with this post and I think is fantastic. Congratulations.

    To me Blog is synonym of conversations and just like in 3D life there are people that just listen to themselves, which it is an option, of course.

    I particualrly enjoy conversations and although I am new as a blogger one of my goals was to make others participate, even let myself follow this arising conversations to become issues for new posts.

    Right now we are making a collective game based on an experiment of surrealism and it didn’t come out from a single person, and I am happy about it. That’s my story, or I should say: our story.

    Sorry if my English sounds weird, I haven’t practised it for long.
    Congratulations from Spain.

  27. well, i think the most effective question for reader engagement is “what is your opinion?”. Yeah, that’s it. The more opinions they have the better. And the more people contradicting in others’ opinion, the better! LOL

  28. Thanks Darren for a great video. It certainly backs up my theory that people today just want to be heard and how powerful blogging could be. Consequently, I have just learnt (am learning!) WP so still have a long way to go.

    It’s strange, isn’t it? We have the most powerful ever ability to communicate with each other for perhaps the first time in history and yet so many of us have communication problems/uncertainties or insecurity problems…

    Do you people think this behaviour could be partly blamed on our Education systems or is it more to do with TV and/or working parents?

    “Curioser and curiosier” as Jan in Cyberland ponders the problem.

  29. Hi,

    I have never come across such a post. This is definetly useful for bloggers. I got answers to many of the questions I had in my mind. :)

  30. It is a very interesting topic, hopefully you will get more users into it.

  31. Well of course it depends on the context of the conversation. The most common and useful if you cant think of something to say is to ask, “what do you think?”
    Everyone likes to share their opinion and usually it is interesting to hear what people think…usually. I just don’t like when people act in a fake way.
    When Bloggers make comments like “thanks for the info” or “nice tip”, it seems to rub me the wrong way. This is like talking at you in a Blogging kind of way.

  32. Great post! I used to post questions then I had a blog sabbatical due to family issues and now I can’t seem to find readers. I’m back to square one!

  33. Hi Darren

    A great video that caused me to rethink how to end my posts.

    One last thing, since it’s meant to be a weekly video post, what calendar are you basing a weeks length on. :)

    Thanks
    Adam

  34. I usually end mines with What is you opinion or Have you ever experience this.

  35. I always try to ask these type of questions at the end of the post. I think it helps to encourage comments.

    Mohamed,
    blog: Free MLM Success Tips

  36. Thank you for reminding me to engage my readers. ;-)

  37. Great video! I’m very new to blogging, but to answer your question, I’ll probaby end with what I end with in my e-mails and that is usually…Thoughts? or Your thoughts?

    Thanks for the great tips!

  38. Very nice question, and I think this could be possible to make a little traffic to a blog.

  39. I agreed! I think the main purpose of Blog is to gain more traffic to engage people on your discussion and point of view.

  40. Great post! Got me thinking of new ways to approach questions on my blog. I absolutely agree with your point about “asking” people for their opinions. Hadn’t occurred to me…but you’re right! We need to give permission to speak up!

  41. Thanks for these great tips, I have this problem with trying to get people to interact, I mostly get spam. I will try out these tips and see how it goes. All I want is someone to comment on my article and not give some random BS answer about where to get the best hosting.

  42. * How does that make you feel?
    * Do you have a relevant example of this happening?
    * What will you do, in light of this?
    * What is your opinion?
    * Do you think that’s a good idea?

  43. I have long been sold on the power of asking questions in teaching and in engaging an audience. As a blog post reader, however, I must add that in my experience, some posts seem to draw out my desire to comment and some do not, whether the post explicitly asks for comment or not.

    In my case, my desire to comment may be motivated by whatever pushes my emotional buttons. Some posts are controversial or on account of some personal anecdote or experience, I am itching to write a comment.

    In other cases I may want to comment, but I am simply don’t know enough about the subject to offer much. Or the post may be excellent, but of such a nature as not to draw out a desire for comment–perhaps the post is merely factual or emotionally even-keel or is perceived as having the final word (closure). OK, I’m fishing a little for my own reasons, but trying to be honest about it too.

    Today, I even decided not to write a comment because although I had wanted to offer something relevant to the post, what I had wanted to contribute did not address the specific question. Too specific a question can stifle comment. And in other settings, I have been asked questions that were too general or obscure or ambiguous for me to know what the questioner wanted.

    Thew questions you propose in the above post seem relatively specific, but open-ended.

    Of course, another reason I comment–let’s be frank–is in hopes of getting relevant and substantive backlinks. In other words, people may comment because they respect and trust the blog or author … or otherwise have ulterior motive for offering comment.

    Explicit requests for comment may push some over the edge, but they are only one tool in the arsenal for garnering comment.

  44. What is the best time to post to get the most responses?

  45. I have same question…what is the best time to get quick responses…?

  46. Hi Darren, thank you for this post, it really helped me a lot.
    I was thinking of starting my own blog and i didn’t know a thing about how to keep my potential readers engaged.

    Lucky i saw this article, now i know what to do. thanks again.

  47. Enjoyed your article. Asking questions like the ones you listed are good ways to get comments.
    One of your earlier comments asked how to get people to leave comments on their blog. I just read a guest post in the SEO section on ProBlogger by Danny Wong (who is in the shirt business) about why commenting on blog posts was not a good way to get backlinks. The actual text concluded that commenting on blog posts is still an OK way to get backlinks but the title of his post stirred the readers’ interest, and got comments (not as many as this post, but it’s another way to get comments). :)
    Thank you for sharing.

  48. I’ve been reading problogger.net and johnchow.com almost everyday since 2 weeks ago and if it wasn’t for them, I would not have started my own website. I just want to say thanks.

  49. This is all so true…the internet today is all about your readers/customers. No one wants to read your blog if you’re only going to be talking about yourself. It’s important to gear all of your actions towards readers/customers and make them your prime focus..what’s going on with them, what do they want, what do they need..etc.

  50. I think you’re completely right with the need to ask questions and how to phrase them to get a direct response.

    By doing this you’re inviting both the more forward visitors and the more shy visitors to participate and show the diversity of your audience.

    It’s especially important making articles assessible to everyone by talking with people rather than at – no one likes being spoken to, whether that’s online or offline.

    Have you found there are some topics that get more comments than others or is it more based on how the article is written and the question asked for participation?

    All the best,
    Belinda