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    8 Sneaky Little Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More Shareable

    Are your blog posts shareable?

    I’ve been blogging for over two and a half years now, and during that time, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make blog posts shareable.

    But before I get into the details of just how to do this, I have to let you know that I have a very different viewpoint on why anyone should want to make their blog post go “viral”.

    I don’t believe in getting more numbers for the sake of getting more numbers. I repeat: if all you want to do is get more people to see your blog post just so you can brag about the numbers you can get, this post is probably not for you.

    However, if you want to get your blog post shared by more people because what you have written is really going to help a lot of people, or change people’s lives for the better, then this post for you.

    If you believe that blogging is a way of serving humanity for the greater good, then this post is for you.

    It’s important that you come to this post from a place of magnanimity, or else none of what I share with you today will work for you.

    Got it?

    Okay.

    Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about how you can make your blog post more shareable

    1. Make your blog post primarily about your reader

    (Now can you see why none of these tools are going to work for you if all you have in mind is yourself?)

    The only reason your post will get shared is if it is useful to your readers. It has to inform them, inspire them, help them, guide them, motivate them, entertain them, or clarify something for them.

    If you want your post to go “viral”, you have to remember why going viral is such a great thing in the first place: it’s a great thing because your helpful blog post has a chance to reach more people.

    If your helpful blog post reaches more people, then more people will be helped. And that’s a good thing.

    Also, when people land on a blog post that they find truly helpful, they like to share it with others.

    Why?

    Because most people like helping other people.

    Why?

    Because most people are pretty awesome and actually want others succeed. (Believe it or not.)

    If this were not true, people wouldn’t share anything at all. They would just keep all the “success secrets” to themselves.

    2. Make your blog post timely

    Follow the news, read your readers’ blogs, study your niche and see what blogs and websites your readers frequent. Try to get into your readers’ heads to see what concerns are on their minds right now—at this very moment. Then address their current concerns in a blog post.

    Solve a timely problem for your readers and your readers will show you their appreciation by sharing your post with their networks.

    (Oh, and by the way, the more timely your post is, the more likely it will come up in search results. Why? Because if your post is timely, it is far more likely that people are searching for articles on the very subject you are writing about.)

    3. Make your blog post well-written

    Make sure to review your post several times before you press “publish”.

    4. Make your blog post easy to read

    People are very busy these days, and they often read tons and tons of material every single day. So by the time they get to your post, their eyes are tired and sore. This is why readers will reward you if you put your post into an easy-to-read format. (Like a list, for example.)

    Also, try not to make the language too complicated. It’s not that your reader wants you to dumb down your language; it’s just that they are likely coming to you after reading tons of complicated material at work and at this point, they really can’t handle convoluted sentences any more.

    5. Make your blog post about one subject

    Even if you address two subjects brilliantly, these two subjects will cancel each other out.

    (I know this from experience. Trust me.)

    I’ve realized that when it comes to blogging, readers can’t digest two complex subjects at the same time. No, your readers aren’t “dumb”. It’s just that something about the style of blogging lends itself to extreme simplicity.

    The more simple a blog post is, the more effective it is and therefore, the more it will be shared.

    6. Understand that these are just the rules of the game—you can always break them

    A smart blogger knows when to follow the rules and when to break them.

    She will design simple and direct posts that are meant to be widely shared to bring in newer audiences to her blog. Then, she will design other posts that are a bit more complex – posts that are meant for her established audience, and not intended for newbies.

    7. Give your post an attention-grabbing headline

    The first thing a person usually sees is your headline.

    A reader uses your headline to judge whether or not she wants to take time out of her busy schedule to read what you’ve written.

    Again, your readers are very busy people who have a lot of responsibilities. Reading your blog post is probably near the end of their list of important tasks to cross off of their “to-do” list.

    Think of your headline as an argument. You are trying to prove to a reader why reading your blog post is worth their precious time. If your post doesn’t seem important (or intriguing) enough to read, it is likely to be skipped, or it will be put on the “will-read-later-when-I-have-free-time” list.

    So make a strong case with your blog post headline. Prove to readers that your blog post is worth their precious time.

    This will ensure your blog post gets read and then shared.

    8. Field-test your blog post subject

    The best way to make your blog post more shareable is if you first “field-test” your blog post subject.

    You can do this in several ways: you can “field-test” your subject in a Twitter Chat, in the Comments section of your blog (or in the Comments section of another person’s blog), or even by responding to a reader’s e-mail.

    If you get a huge response through field-testing your subject (for instance, if your subject gets a lot of re-tweets during your Twitter Chat), you are almost guaranteed that a blog post on a similar subject will be shared like crazy.

    (Again, I can tell you from experience that this strategy works wonders.)

    The reason this strategy works is because you have already seen proof that the subject of your blog post can get people talking.

    Now, go use your new powers

    Now that you know how to make your blog post more shareable, implement these strategies on your blog and see if they work for you.

    But remember: use these tools only in the service of others. If you use these tools just so you can get higher numbers for the sake of getting higher numbers, they probably won’t work for you.

    However, if you use these tools to help others, they will likely make your next blog post very successful.

    In your experience, what do you think makes a blog post more shareable? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

    A guest post by Ollin Morales. He is a fiction writer and professional blogger. His blog, Courage 2 Create, chronicles his journey as he writes his first fiction novel. His blog offers writing advice as well as strategies to deal with life’s tough challenges. His blog was named one of The Top Ten Blogs for Writers by Write To Done two years in a row (2010, 2011).

    Have you nominated YOUR favorite blog for the  Top Ten Blogs for Writers Contest 2012? Click here for nominations.

    <small>Image: children sharing icecream courtesy of Bigstock.com</small>

    About the author

      Ollin Morales

      Ollin Morales's blog, Courage 2 Create, chronicles the author’s journey as he writes his very first novel. His blog offers writing tips as well as strategies to deal with life’s toughest challenges. After all, as Ollin’s story unfolds, it becomes more and more clear to him that in order to write a great novel, he must first learn how to live a great life.

    • i think focusing on our blog title will make people to visit more often. blog title should be attractive then comes the content. we should be careful and should write it in an easy language. thank you Ollin. can call it a great post. 🙂

    • Bogdan says:

      I’m trying my best to adhere by most rules listed here, because they do make sense. However no. 7 “Give your post an attention-grabbing headline” to me is the most important”. I always have the tendency to insert only keywords in the title. I do have to work on that.

    • This is a great post. Too many blog posts nowadays share the same old information, but this one didn’t.

      Focus on one subject was particularly good advice. When bloggers start to ramble, they lose me no matter how many other positive qualities they have going for them.

    • Glenn says:

      Nice post Ollin,

      Particularly liked your writing style here.

      Your point #5 makes real sense, way too many writers try to cover more than one topic in a blog post. This as you quite rightly point out serves to confuse the reader.

      Much better to use the other element for a completely separate blog post. Helps to keep up the blogging activity, this way too!

      All the best,
      Glenn

    • #1 deserves its place as most writers forget to consider their audience, let alone placing the reader first. Most writers use language to impress themselves, which is fine if that is your goal. If your goal is to gain active readers who always wait for your next post, then gearing it towards those living, breathing people is where to start.

      What do you do if you don’t know your audience? Then, you discover them online by engaging in the blog posts of others. Comment on their posts and get to know them. Research them as you would a character you are crafting. These are all awesome ideas, but even if you only get to #1, you are well served. This is the stage of the game where I currently find myself. I’ve discovered that it is enjoyable – getting to know strangers and turning them into friends.

      Thanks again.

    • Great post. I do some of those things but there are a few that I’m going to try. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mr. Morales, thanks for the advice on a very important subject. I always wish I had more shares so that more people could be helped by my content. I think my biggest shortcoming is number 2. I find it difficult to time blog posts with current news or events because I like to really think about my topics and try to provide a unique, well-written perspective.

      I think I can address this issue by planning posts ahead of time for events that I know are going to happen every year or so. This includes holidays, conferences, sporting events, etc. I think if i work on this I’ll get more traffic and more shares for those posts.

      All Best!

    • Hi Ollin,

      It’s absolutely true. If you focus on helping your readers, they will not be able to resist sharing them. That’s because it would be valuable to them and it would be almost automatic for them to share the new lessons they have learned.

      I really appreciate that you have shared this;however, I would like to learn more about field-testing blog posts. How do you exactly do them? Can you share more details about how to do it?

      Keep rocking,

      • Hey Anthony, you can check my reply to Sandra above.

        Here, however, is a perfect example of field-testing a blog post subject.

        1. You see what readers are responding to outside of the blog post itself.
        2. Then you design a post around that subject that is getting a lot of response.
        3. Then it gets shared like crazy.

        Right now, for example, I know that a blog post on field-testing a blog post subject will be popular because it is popular in these comments!

        So, that said, I’ll write up a guest post for WTD on the subject in the future. Thank you for your question!

    • Ollin,

      I really loved the slant of this post: the motivation to really help. So I had to smile when I got to the end and saw you had written it! You have a beautiful heart not to mention you are a fabulous writer too. I didn’t get “sneaky” in the title though cause I don’t really like sneaky, but I was curious about ways to make posts more shareable. I would love if you could elaborate on field testing your titles. I didn’t exactly understand how these three field tests examples work and I’ve never been on a twitter chat.

      Very inspiring! Thanks!

      • Ah, I was just following rule 7, and it got you to read the post didn’t it?

        I was thinking “sneaky” in a fun and daring sense, not in a “evil” or “malicious” sense.

        My intro to the post I think clarified that for the reader, that this post was going to help you help others and was not meant to be sneaky in a “bad way.”

        I know enough to know that if I just put “8 ways to make your blog posts more sharable” it would not get shard as much. But “sneaky” catches your eye.

        Field-testing is simple: on Twitter you can simply start talking about an issue–maybe send out a quote from you that teaches a wise lesson you learned. If that quote gets shared like crazy than a post elaborating on that quote is more likely to get shared. Design the headline of that blog post around the quote you tweeted and it is more likely to get shared.

        In the comments, again, you can share a bit of advice, and if you get a lot of replies from your readers, again, writing on this blog post subject will be a very popular post.

        Sorry I didn’t get more into this part, I wanted to make it short. Which is another tip! Short posts get shared more often.

    • Great tips, Ollin! :0)

    • Ollin, I really appreciate what you said about different posts for different audiences. This is a new idea for me, and one that would serve me well, I think. Thank you!

      • Vinita, I find I can’t always write blog posts in the way I describe here. If i did I’d go crazy: I’m a creative so I love to mix and match. I think your established readers appreciate this too. So I would recommend changing it up for them every so often.

        But the truth of the matter is, when you don’t follow the forumla I outlined in this blog post, you wont get as much shares. Bummer, but true. As long as you know what you are doing, when you are breaking the rules, and when you are following, I think it’s all right.

    • This confirms what I want my blog to be and the goals I am pursuing for it. I want to research current health topics and issues and provide my readership with information. Yes, I want to help people, solve problems for them. Thanks for confirming that I am on the right track! Beth Havey

      • Yup the more you help others, the more they will share you content. It’s the “physics” of blogging.

    • owen says:

      #3 and #4 are basically the same thing with the addition that you should make you post detailed and opinionated without being long winded.

      • I’m not sure if I agree with you there, (seems like 3 and 4 are different points) but thanks for sharing your opinion!

    • Jevon says:

      Great post Ollin. I especially like the points about making the post one subject, and field testing. Never really considered those.

      In the making the post easy to read point, what about ensuring that you have short paragraphs? Unlike books, I always find blogs need short spaced out paragraphs because of the nature of reading on a computer screen.

      And with respect to the well-written point, I’ve noticed that readers love when a blog starts with a story, especially when you can relate it back to the headline and the question you’re solving.

      • Really great suggestions Jevon. I agree with your short paragraphs point and also about the story point.

        However, I have found that getting straight to the point at the beginning of an article (that is, a short intro) does make the blog post more shareable.

        But having a story at the beginning does make the story more engaging and you will get better feedback. People do LOVE stories.

    • I loved this article, and mostly, the part where I learn that I can break all the rules. Don’t I just love that? Even then, I fear the consequences; so, I will stick to the rules. Thanks for the hints.

      • Yeah, when you break the rules you don’t get as much shares–but sometimes its hard to always write in this kind of “sharable” style of blogging. At least for me it does. So that’s why I don’t always follow the rules…

    • Angela says:

      Wow!!! It’s always wonderful to hear from you.

    • #6 field testing a headline works for me.

      • Nice: field testing on Twitter or through some other network??


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