You’re convinced that starting a blog is the answer to your marketing prayers. You know it can drive your ideal customer right to your website and give you the access you need to build trust and authority among your target audience.
You start publishing blog posts and… crickets. Nobody’s reading. Nobody’s sharing. If your conclusion is that blogging just doesn’t work, hold on right there.
Blogging may not be the marketing tool you dreamed of because your posts aren’t getting into the hands of the right people. You can have the best information out there, but if nobody knows about it, well, nobody will know about you.
Content marketing – which includes blogging – is a powerful way to get people to notice your business and to respect you as an authority within your niche, especially if your blog posts can rack up social shares.
So how do you create blog posts that get shared? Start with these tips for über shareable content.
1. Sweat the Title
Contrary to popular belief, people do judge a book by its cover. In this case, people judge how good a blog post will be by its title. Unfortunately, some bloggers have taken this to mean they will write shocking, catchy headlines and then under-deliver when it comes to the actual post. Don’t fall into this trap.
An excellent title should let readers know what they’ll get when they read your post and tickle their curiosity. How do you go about writing such a title?
You learn from the best.
Entire books have been written on writing the best headlines. A much simpler approach, however, is this: the next time you’re in a grocery store, whip out your cell phone and take pictures of the covers of popular magazines like People or Better Homes and Gardens.
When you get home, review those pictures and write down the exact titles they used. How can you reverse engineer your own catchy titles from your new swipe file?
2. Begin Your Post With the Right Words
Now that you’ve gotten their attention with a killer title, you need to draw readers into what you’ve written – how you open the post is almost as important as writing the title.
You can open a blog post in a lot of ways. Our go-to’s include:
A short story (as long as it’s relevant to the post’s topic)
A question that’s a perpetual nag for your ideal customer
A surprising but accurate statistic – using a visual element to present the statistic can make it even more effective
By the second or third sentence of your post, you should have your reader nodding along and wanting to read on.
3. Make it Simple and Relatable
Some years ago, an interesting study showed that one of the things that causes content to be shared is simplicity. People also like it when you present things to them like they are people.
I’ve come across many blog posts where the author is writing in $10 dollar words and you need to crack a dictionary to understand what’s going on. If your target audience includes the kind of person who understand technical jargon, that’s fine. Otherwise, keep it simple and use everyday language and analogies so that it stands out in your reader’s mind.
4. Provide Actionable Next Steps
A lot of people use the internet to seek out answers. If someone searches for “how to potty-train a boy” and they come across your post, it’s important you provide at least one actionable task for them to accomplish – a quick win, if you will.
In this post for instance, I’ve given you one thing you can do today that will help you write better blog post headlines from now on.
If you’re able to consistently provide people with implementable next steps in each post you write, you’ll quickly grow your authority within your niche.
5. Ask Readers to Share
Here’s a common mistake I see on business blogs: there are no buttons encouraging readers to share. Sometimes social sharing buttons are there, but they’re way at the bottom or otherwise easy to miss. Don’t be that guy.
It’s easier than ever to install social media sharing buttons on your website. SumoMe, Share This, and Buffer all have options you can use for free nearly anywhere on your website.
6. Get the Sharing Started
Last but not least, you should initiate the sharing process. A few of my favorite ways to do this include:
Use paid Facebook ads to boost the post on your business’s Facebook page
Sharing it to your business Twitter and other social pages
Share the link in relevant Facebook and LinkedIn communities or groups
Reach out to industry leaders you’ve built relationships with and ask them to share with their audience
Send it to your email list
Creating shareable blog posts is far from impossible, but it doesn’t happen by chance. Implement the tips above and you’ll be on your way to blogging heaven.
Thoughts? Share with me in the comments below.