Write • Build • Scale with Sinem Günel

How to write content people WANT to engage with

Published 6 months ago • 3 min read

Hey Reader,

I'm currently hosting a live cohort for my signature program, Medium Writing Academy, which means I'm meeting our students in several weekly coaching sessions to discuss their questions.

One of the topics we discussed last week was how to get more engagement on your content:

I'm looking for more audience engagement on my content. Do you think I should place a call to action at the end of each article saying, "If you read this, leave a comment sharing what you liked or disliked about this piece. Thanks for reading."

Short answer: No, don't do it. 🛑

Long answer: Your audience won't engage with your content because you tell them to do so.

They'll engage with your content because it's engaging.

And that brings us to the biggest problem with most (online) writing advice like:

  • Write engaging content
  • Be yourself
  • Use stories
  • Stay consistent
  • Be unique

All of that sounds good, but..


How do you actually do any of that?

Most advice for new creators/writers is vague and left me feeling confused when I started to write online back in 2018.

Let's be honest: We all know our content should be interesting, engaging, useful, valuable, and unique.

But as beginners, we don't know what any of that really means, let alone how to actually do it.

So let's get actionable today - here are 3 reasons your audience will engage with your content (not because you tell them to but because they want to):

REASON #1: They feel understood

Your readers will love to engage with your content when they feel understood and supported by your work.

Most content is dull, uninspiring, and repetitive. 🥱

We all crave ideas that make us feel inspired and understood.

The good news is, your readers will feel understood when you share your truth.

The right people will feel connected to your work when you allow yourself to open up and be yourself.

If you want your readers to engage with your content, take a step back and think about who your content is for and how you can help them.

Without those answers, you can't write content that makes them feel understood.

Once you understand your ideal reader and tailor your content to meet their needs, you'll start to see comments like this:

REASON #2: They disagree (or have something to add)

Let's be real: Some stories aren't meant to make your audience feel good. They're meant to educate or share new perspectives.

When you allow yourself to be controversial and share your raw, honest opinion, some readers might engage with your work simply because they have something to add.

Sometimes, that might be a different perspective or opinion on your story.

Other times, they might just make an addition to your point, like in this example when a reader enjoyed my piece and shared his own approach through a comment:

Lots of creators go for controversial topics because they want to trigger engagement at all costs.

REASON #3: They genuinely love your content

The most obvious way to get someone to engage with your work is to create content your audience will genuinely like because it's useful and different compared to what they've seen before:

You can't enforce engagement when your audience doesn't feel like engaging.

And let's be honest: Most people never engage with online content.

Even if they like your work, they move on without engaging.

Getting people to engage with your content is no easy task, but it's an important one.

Without engagement, you won't be able to stand out from thousands of other creators and build a significant audience.

Without engagement, you won't be able to successfully monetize your work. 💰

That's why you want to focus on mastering the three most common reasons for audience engagement:

  • Get clear about WHO your ideal audience member is, so you can craft content that speaks to their desires and pain points. This will help you make them feel understood, which is a feeling we all miss.
  • Allow yourself to be a little controversial instead of trying to do what everyone does. We're bored of seeing the same old messages and patterns all over the internet. Be you. Share stories we haven't heard a dozen times already.
  • Go the extra mile to create content that'll be appreciated. Don't just tell your reader WHAT to do, tell them HOW to do it. Provide examples. Share your real-life experience. Back up your claims through research. Write content others don't dare to write. I talked about this in detail in a live event I hosted with my co-editors at Better Marketing.

Was this helpful, Reader?

Hit "reply" and let me know if you have any additional questions about audience engagement. 📨

Big love from my screen to yours,

Want more?

Write • Build • Scale with Sinem Günel

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