Ever write a blog post, hit publish, and feel like all you hear are crickets? If your content isn’t remarkable, it’s not shareable. Social sharing is the new link-building. It’s a Panda world and we’re just blogging in it, so that means social authority matters more to Google than garbage content.
People share content for a variety of reasons. We share content to define ourselves to others, earn respect and develop a sense of belonging. That definition of self can vary – it can be a professional or expertise definition. It can also mean sharing hipster things because you want to be a hipster.
Either way, when it comes to content marketing, you need to ask yourself if you are serving these needs of your readers and potential sharers. Are you filling your editorial calendar with content that is interesting and entertaining enough for people to want to associate their personal brands with it? If not, you better re-think your approach and consider these 7 tips.
Why No One Shares Your Blog Posts
1. Your Headline Sucks
Your headline is the most important part of your post because it’s your first impression. It’s what people see in big text when your blog post shows up in search engine results.
It’s also what they see when your content is tweeted and shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. So without a great headline, few people will get that initial intrigue that makes them want to click through and check out your post. Write great headlines that are descriptive, but also spark a sense of urgency. And don’t be afraid to try a funny or snarky one, too. Grab their attention with the headline, and hook them with the great content behind it.
2. You Write About Yourself
Your company is interesting to you and your mom. So she might subscribe to a blog full of company party photos and long essays written from your point of view. But is your mom your target audience?
When readers are visiting your blog for the first time, they don’t care about you yet. Make them care by addressing the topics they want to learn and talk about. How-to articles and lists of tips and resources are good formats to begin with.
3. … But You Don’t Write Like Yourself
Developing your own unique voice is a great way to build a community of regular readers who want to share your posts. One blog that I think does a particularly great job with this is Nerd Fitness. The blog’s author Steve Kamb is enthusiastic, descriptive and personable in every single post. And the posts have a similar format each time: YouTube videos, funky stock photos of Lego men. LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS AND BOLD TEXT LIKE THIS!! Plus, there’s generally just a lot of positive messaging. This style isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t meant to be. It’s what fits this readership, and they love to share it. Develop your own style.
4. Your Posts Are All the Same
Ever listen to a band and every one of their songs sounds the same? Nickelback, I’m looking at you… Change up the format of the content with charts, infographics, videos, photos, and other visuals to keep people coming back for more. If you look at Social Media Examiner‘s posts, you’ll see how they break up the text with different visuals, headings, and bold text. Be sure to enforce this formatting through editorial guidelines.
5. There is No Clear Takeaway
If there isn’t a clear takeaway from your content, people don’t have a key point to share with their friends and followers. Long paragraphs full of allegory, symbolism, adjectives, and adverbs are best saved for English literature class. Cut to the chase, and make the lessons from your content loud and clear. I think this is particularly important for B2B content. If people wanted to make time for rambling, they’d read a magazine.
6. You Make it Difficult to Share
It’s surprising to me how many blogs either don’t have social sharing buttons or don’t have them properly formatted for sharing. It’s easy to get caught up in selecting the perfect design or theme and then forget about the obvious, functional elements likes social media buttons or “subscribe by email” widgets. Have at least a simple design that looks clean, but first get the basic features on your blog and get a content plan in line. Then go crazy with design.
What makes you want to share a blog post? How will you use these elements in your blogging? Let us know in the comments!
I want to be a hipster. That.is.all.
i thought you were a hipster Bill =p
@bdorman264 haha me too! I wish I were that cool. 🙂 Thanks for reading!
Thanks for mentioning Social Media Examiner 🙂
@Michael Stelzner thanks for teaching me so much about content every day!