Thanks for the invite @apm. First off, just a short introduction. I've been actively participating in online discussions since I was in my early 20s. I joined sports forums and also had my own personal blog. Actually, I had two during my 20s. Then I started writing long-form content on Google+, and now I'm on Cake, where I've had quite a few conversations garner great discussions, and some conversations were featured on the platform. Professionally, I've written several scientific papers which were published in international journals, and I also do proofreading part-time. Needless to say, writing is something that's been a big part of my life and continues to be so.
The timing of this workshop is actually very good for me, because just over a week ago I started a conversation entitled "Anybody can write". In it I shared some advice for people who want to start writing, or who may have already started writing but want to improve. The reason why I said the timing of this workshop is good for me is because in my conversation I never touched about engagement, which makes this is a great opportunity for me to add on to what I've already shared without repeating myself. So here are a few tips I could think of to help boost engagement on your conversations here on Cake.
Attach a lead image to your post
The first step to getting people to engage on your conversations is of course for them to actually read it. Getting people's attention on the internet is difficult. With so much content to sift through your content might slip through the cracks. A good title is important, but a good lead image will attract more eyeballs. If you're scrolling through Cake's feed and you see lines of text, chances are most people will just keep scrolling unless their eyes catch a keyword which interests them. Rather than hoping people will actually read your title, attach a good lead image. If I want to write about wireless earphones, I attach a photo of a bunch of wireless earphones and headphones. If I want to write about a messaging platform, I attach the platform's logo. You should always try to attach a lead image to your conversations. It'll be the first step to getting people to notice your content.
Don't be afraid of being different. If your content is the same as everyone else's, there's no incentive for people to be interested in yours. Share things which other people may not know about. Talk about stuff that you're good at. If you want to talk about something which other people are talking about that's fine too, but bring a new perspective. Don't just parrot what other people have already said. Bring your own spin on things. People will appreciate your point of view, and chances are they'll see things differently too, which can ignite a conversation on your posts.
When you end your initial post in your conversation, ask a question to your readers. Ask a few if you can. By ending with a question(s) instead of just a statement, you're likely to get some engagement as your readers will be given an opening to post their thoughts, rather than just a reaction. Questions are a great way to get the ball rolling.
That's all for now. Hope everyone who reads the content in this panel learns something new and is encouraged to contribute more here on Cake!