5 Easy Fixes to Make Your Blog More Shareable
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I skim an article, find a shareable quote, like the content and post it with my social media management tool of choice.
I’d prefer to cite both the author and the source, but alas! The author’s name is a hyperlink to posts written by him or her, and I’d prefer not to open another tab to search for his or her Twitter handle.
I cite the source, post the content and move on to the next article.
Like many community managers, I post on average around 20 pieces of content for an audience just north of 10,000. Community managers like me are poring over hundreds of articles and choosing a fraction of those to share.
If you run a blog, these five simple changes will increase the probability your article will make my daily list.
1. Make Giving Credit As Easy As Possible
Include the author’s twitter handle (not a button with just the word “Follow” or “Tweet this”, but the actual @handle) near the byline.
It can be placed at the top of the post, like Social Fresh does, or at the bottom of the article, as it is on Convince and Convert. This should not replace social sharing buttons, but it will save community managers one extra step, times 20.
This also gives bloggers a lift in Twitter followers, increasing their audience (which is good for your blog) and making them feel like they have an impact. It is a positive feedback loop for the people who build your important content.
2. Make Sure Content Can Be Seen
If you embed a chart or infographic, please allow it to be viewed in a large format.
It doesn’t matter how amazing the data visualization is if I can’t read the text.
KISSmetrics does a great job of both making great infographics and allowing you to view (and embed) the enlarged version. Otherwise, how else am I going to see the survey methodology?
You can also use infographic hosting service Visual.ly to embed your infographic, and allow others to easily embed or enlarge these images. Edelman Digital did this recently with their Pinterest Infographic and it works very well.
3. Simplify Pagination
If you’re putting content on multiple pages as a slideshow, please have the “view as one page” option available.
If I’ve already flipped through the slides, I’m going to want to save my audience from having to do the same.
4. Highlight Main Points With Bold Text
If it’s under 140 characters, I’ll probably choose one of these bolded passages to share via Twitter.
But please don’t insert “Tweet this” buttons after particularly pithy sentences. If the content is good enough on its own, I’ll probably find it and share it without prompting.
Using blockquotes is also a great way to callout important elements of your copy.
5. Date Your Posts, Pretty Please
There are some posts that I continue to revisit because they really are Evergreen content. But the majority of posts I share are timely, newsworthy, or just plain entertaining.
You can make it obvious and easy to find, like Beth Kanter or Mark Schaefer, or subtle and small like Jason Falls.
While the industry standard of a posts’ half-life differs depending on who you ask, community managers still want to set the trend or be early adopters. If your post isn’t dated, chances that I’ll share it have decreased dramatically.
Your blog is a critical component of your inbound marketing strategy.
And the “shareability” of your posts is the difference between a really smart blog that gets a trickle of traffic and a really smart blog that gets a flood of traffic. These small changes can make a big difference.
Are there any changes you would like to see to make blog posts more shareable? Post them in the comments!