Over 4.4 million blog posts are published every day. Blogging is alive and well and more popular than ever. On top of that, hundreds of millions of status updates, photos, and videos are shared online daily. A lot of businesses assume they can bring in traffic by creating fresh content, but with the amount being churned out every day, it takes much more than that.
If you’re serious about standing out from the 4.4 million blog posts pumped out every day, here’s what you need to start doing.
1. Create an Interesting Title or Headline That Will Draw People In
It doesn’t matter how good your content is if no one bothers to read it. First impressions are essential. In fact, the 80/20 rule of headlines says that 80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% actually read the whole article. While a great headline doesn’t guarantee your blog post is about to go viral, it certainly helps build up the traffic and shares it generates.
A great headline doesn’t guarantee the success of your writing. The benefit conveyed in the title still needs to be found in the body of your post.
2. Identify and Understand Your Target Audience
One of the most important guidelines for successful blogging is to understand who your audience is. People aren’t going to share your content if they don’t care about it.
So who are you targeting? College students? Teenage girls? Stay at home moms? Small businesses? Regardless of who your target audience is, think about what they need. Create something that will help them!
3. Create Content That People Really Want To Read
Make your content as valuable to your intended audience as possible by educating and solving problems. Think about if YOU would want to read your content. It’s also a good idea to look at some of the sites you regularly refer to for industry news and helpful tips. What can you learn from their content? What is it that makes their blog posts or other shareable content appealing?
There are way too many blogs out there with mediocre content. Yours needs to be better. If you don’t share a quality post, or better said, a post that provides value to your audiences, then you likely won’t get the amount of shares you’re looking for.
4. Be Original
There’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that today, more than ever, it’s easy to make good original content. The bad news, however, is that anyone can make content.
A study conducted by Ipsos found that 61% of online sharers share interesting things, 43% share funny things and 29% share content that is unique.
The internet is infinite, so the odds are high that someone else out there has already written about the topic you choose. So what can you add to the conversation? Maybe you have a distinct voice, a funny perspective, or a unique example. Whatever it is, bring something original to the table!
5. The Importance of Aesthetics
Looks matter, even when it comes to content. A good layout means your blog post is easier to read, which will lead to more shares.
In order to make your blog post more readable, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, use as many sub-headlines as possible. The more you break up your blog post, the easier it will be to read. Even more importantly, when you use sub-headlines, you make it easier for your readers to find the exact information they’re looking for. Some might even share your blog post specifically because of one particular sub-section.
6. Understand Basic SEO and Select a Few Keywords To Use Throughout Your Post
One of the most important tools to be able to reach your intended audience is SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Search engines crawl to see what your post is about and determine if it’s relevant. However, Google flags and penalizes for keyword stuffing, so place keywords throughout your post in a natural, non-spammy way.
Insert your keywords into the following sections:
- The SEO/blog post title
- Headings and subheadings
- The first sentence and last paragraph of your post
- As anchor text for links
- In alt tags on your photos
- In the meta description of the post
Learn why top rankings don’t matter if you’re not ranking for the right keywords and how to choose the best keywords for you.
7. Keep It Simple
Use straightforward language. Your vast vocabulary may be impressive, but that doesn’t make it accessible to the average reader. Additionally, good conclusions aren’t long. They are short and to the point.
8. Use Lists
Lists are hugely popular due to how skimmable they are. Studies have also shown that lists tend to generate more social shares than most other forms of content. A study by BuzzSumo found that lists are much more likely to be shared than other types of blog posts.
9. Promote Your Posts
You can’t just expect people to find your blog post and share it! You need to make sure you’re doing everything possible to get it in front of people’s eyes. Create your own system for promoting any of your new blog posts. First, share them on social media and then encourage people to share them as well.
To sum it all up, if you want your blog posts to be more shareable, then you need to remember three things:
- Create content that provides value to your audience
- Make your blog posts easy to read and share with sub-headlines, visual content, and a catchy title
- Promote your content in order to get people to see it and share it
In a world filled with “Which Harry Potter Character Are You?” quizzes, quality, shareable content is a breath of fresh air. And, if you take the time to craft brilliant, viral, insightful content, you can establish yourself as something of an expert.