Have you ever wondered how other sites in your niche get their blog posts shared like crazy?
You’re not alone. At some point, most of us have thought the exact same thing.
But the only question is – how can you do the same?
Sure, the more readers you have, the more shares you’ll get but there’s more to it than that.
In this post I’ll show you how to get started.
Let’s dive in!
It all starts with understanding your audience
In order to get your blog posts shared, you need to build a solid foundation.
Your target audience is that foundation. It’s the reason your content exists and the reason your website exists.
Once you understand who your target audience is and how you can help them, you’ll be able to plan and create content that they’ll love.
Important questions to answer
Imagine your ideal reader for a moment and answer these questions:
- Who are they? (be as specific as possible, e.g. – travel bloggers or chefs)
- What challenges are they facing?
- What blogs do they read?
- What do they want to learn? (consider potential blog post ideas)
- What are they curious about?
All of these questions will help you form a picture of exactly who your target audience is. We call these personas and you may have several.
If you want to go into more depth here, it’s worth checking out Buffer’s guide on marketing personas.
Getting more data on your target audience
Aside from the usual analytics platforms, there are a few ways you can get some great information about your target audience.
In the past I’ve gleaned some great insights from my existing reader base on how I can help them better. This can be done by using a survey creation tool like Polldaddy or Typeform (they’re both free).
But my favorite approach is to find the communities and forums where my target audience hangs out – these are the places where you’ll get some great insights and you’ll get some good content ideas too.
And it’s those content ideas which you should incorporate to your editorial schedule.
Craft a tantalizing headline
Your headline is the first thing people will read.
So this is a big one!
The web is full of helpful resources you can use.
But out of everything I’ve learned there are two key points that stand out as being essential no matter what niche you’re in:
- Your headline is a promise that your content has to deliver on
- Your headline should always leave an unanswered question
Add visuals and make them sharable
Visuals are great and just by adding them to your content, you’ll make it more appealing and in turn, you’ll likely get more shares.
You could include screenshots or a stock image, but you could also try creating a completely unique image.
For example, I recently wrote a post where I wanted to highlight some key points from a previous post. So I created this:
To create the above image, I used a free design tool called Canva. It’s super easy to use and comes with royalty free images/layouts built in.
After around 20 minutes of trying out different designs – it was ready.
How to make your images sharable
There are a bunch of tools to help you do this, most of them WordPress plugins.
I use SumoMe’s Image Sharer app which can be used on any HTML based sites and there is a WordPress plugin you can use if you prefer.
It’s a free tool but it does mean having a little blue badge being displayed on your site, you can pay to get it removed but it’s small so it doesn’t get in the way.
It takes a few seconds to get started and the end result looks like this:
Promote other people in your content
There are people in your niche that have a sizable social media presence, what if you could get their help with sharing your content?
The truth is that you can and more often than not, it’s as easy as mentioning them in a blog post and letting them know about it via email or social media.
There are a few things to consider here:
- Not everyone will share if they’re mentioned, the more influential someone is, the less likely so finding mid-tier influencers is the way to go
- Any one you mention should be a good fit for your content, don’t mention people for the sake of it
- Don’t hassle people to share your content, just let them know you’ve mentioned them and why
People love it when others say cool stuff about them, especially when they’re mentioned with other influential people.
And by sharing your content with their followers it increases their perceived authority.
So how can you find influencers?
You could manually go through the top blogs within your niche, or you could use a tool to automate the process partly.
BuzzSumo and Twtrland are great tools for this, both are paid tools but have a free version you can get some helpful information from. I covered these tools and some others in more depth here.
Involve others in the content creation process
Mentioning influential bloggers in your content is one thing, but you can take this a step further by involving them in the content creation process.
You could frame your entire post around this idea and put together a group interview, where you ask a single question to a number of experts in your niche.
Or you could reach out to people asking for a quote to include in your post.
The bottom line is this:
When someone is directly involved in the content creation process, they’ll be far more likely to share your post.
Don’t offer too many sharing options
But, are you be adding too many of these sharing buttons?
Usually the more options you give someone, the less likely they are to take action.
Neil Patel ran a split test on Quicksprout.com where he added 2 more social sharing buttons (5 in total).
The result was a drop in conversions of 29%. That’s quite a significant amount!
While Neil’s results may not be typical, it’s worth testing on your own blog to see how changing these buttons impacts how often your posts are shared.
Repurpose your content to expand your reach
People tend to consume content in different formats.
For example, I prefer written content while others prefer videos, podcasts or Slideshare presentations.
This could even be as straight forward as hiring a designer to convert one of your blog posts into an infographic.
Last year I published a group interview which received over 2,000 social shares. I teamed up with Niall from TweakYourBiz.com and 24Slides.com to get this post repurposed as an infographic which was later published on TweakYourBiz.
The infographic received over 2,000 social shares and has gone on to receive over 32,000 visitors.
There are a lot of ways that you can repurpose your content, so your next blog post doesn’t have to only be a blog post – it can be the catalyst for so much more.
And in turn you’ll get more shares as well as increasing the size of your blog’s audience.
Crafting a blog post that will get shared requires careful planning and an understanding of your target audience as a minimum.
You can then improve your results by optimizing your blog and repurposing your content.
There are more tactics and approaches, so now I’d love to know what’s working for you.
Which tactics are you using to get more social shares for your blog posts?
Let us know in the comments below.