Sometimes the most obvious things are also the most easily overlooked. When it comes to blogging, there are ways for you to make your posts instantly more shareable. The problem is, you are most likely completely overlooking them because they are so obvious.
They are, if you will, ‘obvious-but-not.’
Implementing these tips makes your blog posts instantly more shareable by improving the quality. When the quality is better, you hold the readers’ interest. When you can hold readers’ interest in this digitally distracted world, they probably like what you’ve written.
And if they like what you’ve written, they’re more likely to share it.
#1: Practice good tone and formatting.
Take a look at the way you write. Are you still writing for your English teacher? Would your blog posts be easily confused with the academic papers you turned in to your college professors? If so, you need to recognize the difference between academic and blog writing.
Make no mistake – just because blog writing is more informal doesn’t mean that you can toss all grammar-related caution to the wind. You still want to sound educated and knowledgeable, but you can relax a little bit when writing blog posts. For example, “cannot,” “does not,” and “would not” can become “can’t,” “doesn’t,” and “wouldn’t.” Get crazy and start a sentence with a conjunction.
(If you’re thinking that your English teacher would be horrified to know that I’m giving you this terrible advice, now would be a good time for me to tell you that I used to be an English teacher. You have to know the rules to break them. Creative writing breaks these rules all the time, which is why you probably find it more interesting to read a novel than a dissertation. Think of blogging as a form of creative writing.)
When you relax a little bit with your writing, your tone will naturally come across as being more conversational.
And what happens when your tone is more conversational? Your post is easier to read and is more engaging. When your post is easier to read and is more engaging, readers are more likely to consume the whole thing and share it.
In that same vein, make sure you know how to format a blog post. Include an image to break up the text (we’ll talk more about that momentarily) and use short paragraphs. Make use of headings, numbered lists, and bullet points when possible. These formatting options also help to make your posts more readable and therefore more likely to be shared.
#2: Include an image – and maybe even a video.
There are any number of reasons that you should include an image in each blog post. For starters, including an image helps to break up the text. Readers consume a lot of content. Their eyes appreciate a break.
What’s more, though, is that images also make your posts more shareable. Think about it this way: when a friend shares a link on Facebook, are you more likely to notice it and take action if there’s an image included?
And what about Pinterest? It’s been one of 2012 biggest hits as far as social media goes, but you can’t pin anything without an image (or a video). Adding an image to your post means that it can be shared on this network, as well.
If there’s something people love, it’s video. Videos are shared all the time, so if you find a useful one and post it to your blog, that increases its shareability, as well. Bonus feature? Pinterest users can “pin” videos, as well.
#3: Make social share buttons available for easy sharing.
Yes. I know. “No kidding!”
You would be surprised. There are some people who don’t make social share buttons available at all. There are others who make Facebook and Twitter shares available, but not Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. There are so many popular social media networks out there, and while you don’t have to be using all of them, you should make it possible for your readers to share to those networks. Not sure how? If you’re using WordPress, there are quite a few options for plug-ins that you can install.
The point is that you need to have adequate sharing options. The more clicks people have to take in order to share your content (hint: copying and pasting is too many steps), the less likely they are to share it.
So while these techniques are definitely obvious, they’re also surprisingly not. They’re so obvious that they are often overlooked, but working this “common sense approach” into your regular blogging routine can make your posts more shareable.
And who doesn’t want more blog shares?