When thinking about reader engagement, it’s easy to think in terms of clicks, time on site, or social media shares.
But at the crux of it, it’s all about being a resource to the community. Being originally from Colorado, when I moved to the South, I had *so* many questions.
What is okra? Why are there two Carolinas? What is Cheerwine? Why are biscuits a thing? What happened in the civil war? (Seriously, my Colorado education did not focus on this).
So, when I wrote a newsletter asking AVLtoday readers what questions they have about their community, I was excited to learn that my fellow Ashevillians had just as many questions as I did.
In just 24 hours, AVLtoday had over 100 emails with questions to answer.
Here’s what I did:
- I asked our readers what they wanted to know about Asheville by responding to our daily email.
- I literally copied and pasted all the responses into a Google doc, and then organized them into six categories which we published online and reported back to our readers in our email.
- I organize and plan our content calendars, and pull questions straight from the original list throughout the year. We answer about two a month and have answered about 30 so far over the last 7 months.
- My team and I have had fun exploring the economic impact of tourism, popular wedding venues,, what affordable housing is considered, and more.
- The last step is to keep asking readers what they want to know, keep adding to your master list, and checking off answers! Then, when a reader has a question you’ve already answered, you can send them the article as a resource.