The two main things I look at to determine how well a website or blog is performing are the traffic and the level of audience engagement.
Most people who make the effort to build websites or maintain blogs are trying to attract a lot of traffic. We want new visitors, repeat visitors, people who stay for a long time and people who look at a lot of different content while they’re on our sites. I think most people know how important growing traffic is. If you’re trying to leverage that traffic towards something bigger, though, (like ad revenue or opportunities beyond your site) it’s important that your big audience be engaged.
An engaged audience leaves comments, shares your posts and participates in the initiatives you ask them to. (If you want to see an engaged audience in action, check out ThePioneerWoman.com.) An engaged audience is more valuable than a passive audience when you’re attracting advertisers or trying to get a book deal, because you’re able to demonstrate that the folks who visit your site will also take action at your request– action like checking out sponsors or buying your future book.
There are a lot of ways to engage an audience. A few of the easy ways are asking compelling questions, stirring up controversy, offering give-aways, or doing polls.
If you’re using WordPress, there are a lot of Plugins available that make it easy-peasy to do polls. I just loaded Social Polls by Opinion Stage, and it added a button to the editor in my blog. All I needed to do was click that button to create the poll below.
Take a moment to do this poll for fun, and then think about the kinds of polls you could do on your own site that would be relevant to your theme and purpose. Do you want to know a little more about your audience? Do you want to get their input on something you’re working on? Polls might be the tool for you!