What blogger doesn’t feel a twinge of envy reading a runaway viral success story like Seth’s — 26 million views? Whoa!
We may not all be viral sensations, but we can make sure our posts are primed for sharing. Shareable content is about more than making sure there are Facebook and Twitter links at the ends of your posts. Here are five more ways to up the odds your readers (and their readers) will share your post far and wide.
1. One blogger published a post with a great title — and you’ll never guess what happened next!
There’s a reason you see so many Upworthy posts in your social network feeds: their titles are catchy, intriguing, and crafted to get you to click.
A strong title can mean the difference between hundreds of readers — or none. Between the 1.4 million posts published on WordPress.com every single day and the endless stream of other new content on the internet, you need a strong first impression to cut through the noise. The first thing most people will see is your title, so make it a good one. Titles are also shared by default if you use Publicize, and they’re what will most often show up when readers publish links to your blog on their social networks.
Not sure if your titles are click-worthy? Check out our top tips for writing original, enticing titles.
Confused? Let’s try again:
Make sure readers can actually read your post!
You might have just written an earth-shattering treatise, but if it’s hard to read, it’s not going to get read — or shared. Things like font color, size, and paragraph length can make it more or less likely that readers will get through your post.
Very small or large fonts are challenging to read in longer posts, as are brightly colored fonts. It also helps to embrace empty space; white space makes long posts easier for readers to scan. Shorter paragraphs, headings and subheadings, blockquotes, bullets, and images all create space and break up chunks of text. Bullets and ordered lists are quickly digested, highly shareable, and provide simple, clear takeaways.
3. Don’t forget an image.
When we visit a web site, our eye is drawn to the boldest or most colorful part of the page. For many pages, that means an image, like a photo, logo, graph, or cartoon. On sites like Facebook, posts with an accompanying image rack up more clicks than those without — when we scroll through a long feed of information, our eye travels to the image.
Take advantage of this and try using more visuals. If you’d rather not interrupt your post with one, as we have, put it at the start or end, or set it as a featured image. Now, when a reader shares your link on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ve got a mini-billboard that makes it more likely that people will notice, click on, and re-share the link.
(And since images help create the white space that makes posts more scannable, this is a win-win!)
4. Be a resource for others.
People share things that (1) inspire them; (2) make them laugh; or (3) add value and make it easier for them to do something.
Maybe you don’t think of yourself as particularly inspirational or funny*, but we all have something to share that adds value to others’ lives. Are you an expert in something? Teach us how to do it! Did you discover an amazing new way to do something? Tutorial, please! Have you collected great resources on a particular topic? Write them up and share the links. Spreading knowledge makes you a resource to your loyal readers, but also provides them with tips and tools they’ll want to share with others.
*We think you are.
5. Toot your own horn.
Sharing your own stuff makes it easier for others to do the same. Once your post is already circulating on Twitter, it’s simple for a fan to pass it on with a single click. After all, we all want to accomplish things on the internet with as few clicks as possible.
Publishing the insightful essay, hilarious list, or stunning photo is up to you, but paying attention to these five small elements boosts your already-amazing content and makes it more easily shareable — a few small tweaks for a potentially big payoff.
Jan 27th at 6:04 pm
Some great stuff here, really glad I read it. And these hints do sound fairly straight forward but they’re surprisingly effective once you’re conscious of them! ^^
Jan 27th at 6:09 pm
Thank you for this post. It has made me see that I am definitely learning and doing some things right. It has also helped me clarify where I have room for improvement
Jan 27th at 6:25 pm
Yes, yes, yes! All doable! Thanks!
Jan 27th at 7:07 pm
I so often forget to include an image – lack of confidence, basically – so this is a really useful point. Very good post all round. I don’t think my titles are up to much either, so that’s another thing to work on. Thanks. Alienora
Jan 27th at 8:03 pm
Appreciate the info and the tips! Thanks! I sometimes don’t include an image because I either can’t find one or create one that goes well with the subject I’m talking about, but I’m going to start making more of an effort in that regard.
Jan 27th at 8:44 pm
Great tips. I wonder- where do people get images they can legally use in their posts? Is there a secret place bloggers are getting their images that I don’t know about?
Jan 27th at 9:16 pm
YES!! Thoughtful advice.
Jan 27th at 9:21 pm
TY I just love reading ur posts. They r like my own personal coach giving me advice and timely aswell. I take what u post seriously and apply what you write to my own blog. TY for ur encouragment and love for the written word in his digital age. Thanks again.
Jan 27th at 9:25 pm
Thank you for this! I’m new to blogging and appreciate the tips!
Jan 27th at 9:43 pm
Great ideas. I’d love to see Stumbleupon added to the Publicize feature.
Jan 27th at 10:01 pm
I see the importance of adding images/photos…it grabs attention better than letters!!! Great short reminder post!
Jan 27th at 10:23 pm
Thanks! I need all the help I can get, still a newbie.
Jan 27th at 11:42 pm
Thank you. Very helpful. My blogs are mostly for family and friends to follow our adventures, but this helps. Great ideas.
Jan 28th at 12:43 am
Love these ideas. I’m going to try them out and hopefully, it’ll work! haha thanks for the tips!
Jan 28th at 4:47 am
Great tips, but it’s sad that one has to conjure up a title, with the hope that the post will go viral. Great photos, great content and many such things are there in many blogs – and in a consistent manner. Sometimes the posts that are chosen doesn’t reflect the entire blog, and that is sad indeed.
Jan 28th at 5:04 am
Excellent tips here. I’m a new blogger, and this is extremely helpful. I’ll continue to read and learn. Thank you!
Jan 28th at 5:30 am
Fantastic article! Thank you
Jan 28th at 7:56 am
Great advice, and I do follow most of it.
However, I still have not figured out whether I can chose which picture ends up with my post in the reader and the automatic sharing via Publicize.
If I share the link itself on for example Facebook, I can choose among a couple of thumbnails, but I would like to do that when my post is publicized in the reader and automatically on FB as well. Not all pictures are pretty, although they may be very adequate for the text…
Jan 28th at 8:03 am
Very useful article, especially for someone new as me. Thanks
Jan 28th at 9:41 am
Great tips! Thank you!
Jan 28th at 10:34 am
Excellent, practical advice. One thing that I have found helpful on my blog is to change up the lengths of posts. I write on public speaking and presentation skills. Sometimes I will do a long post that analyzes a speech. The next post might be a one sentence quote from somebody famous that is relevant for speakers. That’s it. Just the quote and a picture. The variety keeps the stream interesting and much less tedious for readers.
Jan 28th at 12:22 pm
This is so helpful!!!! Great article!
Jan 28th at 12:44 pm
Thanks for the advice! <3
Jan 28th at 3:19 pm
I’m not always bothered to include an image, thanks for reminding me of this!
Jan 28th at 3:29 pm
Very useful tips… and helpful to new bloggers like me. Will try to follow your advice as I would love to find more visitors on my blog!
Jan 28th at 11:16 pm
A grande THANK YOU! This was very helpful.
Jan 29th at 3:57 am
A needed read. Thanks to you from a noob.
Jan 29th at 4:50 am
Thank you for sharing this post! As a new blogger, I am eager to learn ways to drive more traffic to my blog!
Jan 29th at 8:23 am
I didn’t even know you could follow/see anybody else’s blogs. I thought I only could invite people to my personal blog by sending them a link and they would read it once and say “cool.” That’s hilarious !
Jan 30th at 12:37 am
I’d have to disagree with the suggestion on titles, or at least the way it’s framed. Most of the people I know disregard anything with an obvious clickbait title like, “you’ll never guess what happens next!” If it sounds like it belongs on Buzzfeed, I’m going to assume it’s poorly researched, unsourced, and terribly written – in other words, not worth reading. This isn’t always true, particularly when videos have been retitled before being posted to UpWorthy, but it still seems generally applicable
Titles are certainly important for generating traffic, but unless your blog is of National Enquirer caliber, I don’t think sensationalist say-nothing titles are the right way to do so.
Jan 30th at 10:48 pm
Hi Michelle, I agree with everywherebuthome. I have stopped clicking on links with titles intentionally phrased to ‘lure’ people. Such a cheap trick! Thanks for clarifying your point!
Jan 30th at 11:11 pm
Thank you for putting these ideas out there in one place. Things like catchy titles or paragraph format aren’t things that come to mind first for many people but they’re the tiny details, like you said, that separate the great posts from the unread ones.
Jan 31st at 12:22 am
Well I have been trying to create traffic to my blog and its a slow process, this post does surely help to a certaing extent. I guess its a uphill battle for new upcoming blogs.
Jan 31st at 12:58 am
I appreciate the tips that you shared.
Jan 31st at 8:23 am
Thanks your blog was super helpful, I’m just starting out blogging and your advice I’m definitely going to follow. Thanks!
Jan 31st at 6:34 pm
Very helpful info for a newbie such as me; I just posted my very first blog and this is even my very first comment on a blog. Thanks!
Feb 3rd at 10:02 pm
Thanks! The title part actually worked for me today, I’m new to blogging…please how do I add pictures to my post before publishing?
Feb 4th at 11:19 pm
Thanks for sharing! This is a great post, gotta bookmark/Pocket it to read again later.
PS. You totally got me with #1. I was so excited to read what happened. Then I realized it was an example. Awesome demonstration of effective headlines!
Feb 5th at 4:28 pm
Really interesting article Will try and bear all that information in mind!
Feb 6th at 6:02 pm
I just posted my first blog. I’m new here and I found your article very, very helpful! Thank you so much!
Feb 8th at 10:21 am
Thank you for the advice. I am a new blogger looking for more fun ways to entertain my audience. Very cool tips.
Feb 9th at 4:34 am
For many years I hated blogging but now I realize how helpful these great tips are to promote your business .
Feb 9th at 5:37 am
I am still learning all of this stuff. Thanks for sharing:)