Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Momma Always Said Blogging Was Like Sunday School

Actually, she didn’t, but that’s beside the point. And actually, I’m spending some time with my parents this week, along with attending an associational meeting in Missouri.

One of the things we hope to do is engage the readers of our blog. Some blogs do this better than others. Rachelle Gardner has done well at engaging her readers with her blog, but the idea behind the title comes from a thought I had while watching a video of Michael Hyatt talking about blogging. Don’t get me wrong, Mike is an interesting speaker, but as I watched I kept taking notes because I knew I wouldn’t remember what he said. When he got to the part about engaging readers I thought about the differences between the lecture he was giving and how I teach a Sunday school class. Mike is a better speaker than I will ever be, but I can’t help but wonder how many people walked out of that room and all they remembered was that Mike sent his Google password over Twitter. The problem with lecturing is that that people remember only a small percentage of what the speaker says, no matter how well he speaks. In a Sunday school class, we get around this by engaging the student in the learning process. We ask questions, incorporate activities (yes, even with adults) and tell stories, all in an effort to increase retention.

Blogging is similar. We increase interest by asking questions, encouraging readers to participate in some way and telling stories. People love to hear stories about other people. It doesn’t have to be a big story. I would imagine it spark some interest when you read that I’m attending a meeting this week. I’m off somewhere doing something that you aren’t experiencing. Most people are interested in hearing stories about that kind of thing.

People remember stories better than facts. That’s why I made the comment I did about Mike’s lecture. People won’t remember the twelve reasons to blog or the six…huh, the six…whatever, but they will remember that Mike Twitted his Google password. Those who asked questions in the question and answer session are likely to remember what they asked and Mike’s answer to the question. When people are engaged in our blog posts, they will remember and return to our blogs.

What do you do to engage people in your blog?

Tomorrow: Dear Anonymous, I Don't Trust You