Want to write a shareable post? Check out these tips for how to write a blog post people will want to read and share.
I’m a content writer, but I almost gave up writing last week. I’d just spent five days thinking about, researching, writing, editing, tweaking, re-writing, and publishing one of my blog posts.
Yep, that’s right: Five. Whole. Days.
I hit publish and sat back, excitedly waiting for the flurry of comments, shares, likes, and tweets to come flooding in. So, I waited.
And I waited … And I waited. Minutes ticked by… Nothing. All that care and attention to detail I’d put into that post. All that research. All that time, work, and effort, and for what? Had anyone even read the freaking thing?!
We’ve all been there, right?
Once I’d gotten over my initial devastation and disappointment, I decided to make it my mission to find out what I needed to do to make people like and share my content.
And let me tell you, the stuff I found out was gold.
What makes people share content?
To be able to write a blog post that gets shared by the masses, we first need to understand what motivates people to share in the first place.
Why do people share stuff online?
Reason 1. Sharing is caring
“We always seem to be on the lookout for who else will find this helpful, amusing or interesting, and our brain data are showing evidence of that.” (UCLA Newsroom)
People share content because it’s an enjoyable act, according to Smarp. They know that others will appreciate, like, or get some value from the piece of content they’ve shared with them.
They believe that a particular piece of content, whether it’s a blog post, an image, a tweet, a video, or a meme will make someone else feel as happy, as special, or as enlightened as they felt after consuming it.
Reason 2. People like to be liked
When you share a good piece of content, you kind of feel like you’re making a difference in someone else’s life, don’t you? And that makes you feel good, doesn’t it?
The thanks that you receive for sharing an insightful post about a career change, or the lols you get from sharing a funny meme about Winona Ryder gives you the warm and fuzzies, right?
So, when you’re planning out your next blog post, keep those two motivations in mind.
1. Build rapport and make your blog post relevant
Who would you rather buy from: a faceless money-grabbing corporation or someone relatable that you like and admire?
The whole reason influencers exist is because they’re fantastic at building rapport with potential customers. They cultivate their loyal following by creating heaps of quality content that they know their audience will relate to.
In other words, they get to know their audience. They ask questions, they do Q&As, they share insights into their lives, and they encourage interaction.
They speak to their audience on the same level, and they treat them like long-lost friends. Then, as soon as they recommend a product or service on their platform, people immediately trust what they’re saying, which then makes them feel compelled to buy what they’re recommending.
The same principles apply to writing blog posts.
If you can build up a strong rapport with your readers, they’ll start to trust you and what you’re saying. They’ll hang onto your every word. They’ll subscribe to your blog, they’ll eagerly await your next piece, and most importantly, they’ll share your posts.
A study from the New York Times found that 90% of users will assess the usefulness of the content before sharing it.
So, to create “useful content” and build rapport you need to research your target audience, create a persona, and utilize this to write content that provides value.
Establish where your readers are in their lives, what industries they work in, and what sort of age they are. Find out what they like, what they don’t like, what their problems are, and what their goals and aspirations are.
This in-depth insight into your readers will help you add real depth and value to your posts. You’ll be able to write blog posts that your readers can really relate to. You’ll be able to write content that solves their problems, answers their burning questions, and scratches their proverbial itches. You’ll become a go-to-guru that they’ll want to share with others.
“[Don’t] just provide clickbait headlines with watery content that people have heard before. Your post will get a click, yes, but it will result in a bounce, not a share,” according to Blogging About Blogging.
To build an unbreakable connection with your readers, alongside getting to know them on a personal level, make sure you also:
Include credible sources and up-to-date statistics so that people trust you from the word go.
Write as though you’re talking to your best mate or a friendly neighbor.
Make sure you use the phrases, language, and terminology that they use.
Write as if you’re speaking to only one person: THE READER.
Remember: Uninvested readers keep scrolling, but invested readers subscribe, comment, and share!
2. Make your blog post easy to share
If something’s too difficult, people won’t do it. Especially these days when everything you do, see, read, or hear is all about making life as easy as possible.
So, if you’re expecting readers to copy your blog post URL, open up a social platform, paste the URL into a new post, and share it with their following themselves, you must be mad!
Including social sharing buttons and click-to-tweet embeds in your blog posts is a no-brainer.
Click-to-tweets are a great way to break up your content and enable the reader to share insightful snippets or inspiring quotes with their followers. This exposure could then encourage others to read your post in full.
There are plenty of tools and plug-ins that you can use to make adding click-to-tweet widgets and social sharing buttons to your posts easy. (See, it really is all about making things easy!)
A particularly good plug-in for adding social sharing buttons is Social Warfare. Once added, this plug-in allows you to see the number of times your blog post has been shared or liked across each social platform.
Not only does this allow you to track how successful your post is, but it also acts as social proof for others who are reading it. If they can see that 4,568 people have liked and shared your post they’ll instantly know that it’s worthy of their time and possibly even a like, a comment, or a share.
A word of warning about social sharing buttons: Limit the number of times you add them and be mindful about where you place them. You want them to be easy to see, easy to reach, and even easier to click.
3. Promote your blog post
Despite what we covered in tip #1 and tip #2, it’s not just about what you write or how you write it.
How you promote your blog post is equally as important.
Sadly, the days of writing a great post, publishing it, and then sitting back, waiting for the adulating likes and shares to come rolling in (like I did) are over.
There’s too much competing content out there for that strategy to work.
You have to physically put your post in front of people. Then, if it’s written well, provides value, and is easy to share, people will share it.
All-in-one social media solutions like Agorapulse are great for helping you get your post out into the world.
How Agorapulse can help in your blog promotion
Rather than manually uploading your posts to all your social media platforms, you can use this platform to auto-schedule them to go out at different times and on different platforms.
It has a simple, easy-to-use social calendar so you can keep track of and organize when and where you want to publish your posts. This means you’ll get a good balance of varied content going out across all your social networks.
And it has nifty tools like the image cropper, video thumbnail customization, and saved hashtags which you can use to tailor your posts so they perform well on social.
If, like me, you’re a writer and not a promoter, then seriously consider tools like Agorapulse.
They make sure your post gets in front of the right people at the right time. They take the stress out of content promotion, and they let you focus on what you do best: writing shareable content.
4. Open and close with a bang
A catchy headline is a must if you want people to read and then share your content.
In fact, 59% of links shared on social media aren’t even clicked, people share them based on the headline alone. And, to add insult to injury, around 80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% will read the full article. (As writer, I am saddened by that fact.)
So, some basics about writing shareable headlines:
People only tend to read the first and last three words of a headline. So, start with strong, hard-hitting words and finish with powerful, lasting ones.
People love a list, so include numbers in your headline where you can.
‘How to’ headlines tend to generate more shares because that’s how people naturally search for stuff.
Use headline tools like CoSchedule’s headline analyzer to see test how effective your headlines are.
We’ve established that 80% of people would share your post based on the headline alone. But what about the wonderful 20% that do go on to read your post in full?
It’s important to engage these readers in your post. After all, as we determined earlier, the more engaged they are in your post, the more likely they’ll be to share it
So, the best way to encourage interaction is at the end of the post. You’ve hooked them in with a tasty headline, you’ve built up a strong rapport throughout the post, now you can spark conversation and keep them with you for a bit longer.
Ask them for their thoughts on your post.
Ask them for ideas, feedback, and experiences.
Ask them to think, participate and invest in your post and you’ll start to see the number of comments, likes, and shares rise.
“The key to being noticed on social media, and gaining the attention of your target audience, is to create ‘ultra-shareable’ blog content.” (Social Media Today)
But, before you rush off to share this post, let’s quickly recap.
The most shared blog posts aren’t always word-perfect and they don’t always contain the newest ideas.
The best blog posts (if we’re looking at the number of shares as a determiner):
Are targeted to a specific reader
Are super easy to share
Get in front of the right people, at the right time, on the right platforms
Hook people in with catchy headlines
Keep readers engaged and encourage interactive with thought-provoking questions at the end.
Have some tips to add to this list? Share this article and add your tip. Be sure to tag us!
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