Sometimes trying to get people to share your content feels like pulling teeth. There are only so many times you can hit up your closest friends saying, “Would you pretty please share this? I promise it’s awesome!” You shouldn’t have to hit them up at all because your content should speak for itself. If you’re finding that your content isn’t being shared, these are most likely the reasons why:
1. You only talk about yourself.
Everyone has been around constant self-promoters before—they aren't fun to talk to. Part of the reason they aren’t interesting is because they don’t involve you in the conversation. You probably won’t share their stories to anyone else since the stories relate only to the initial storyteller. The same thing happens online when people keep the conversation solely on themselves.
To increase your site’s shareability, start addressing the topics your readers want to learn and talk about. People will then view you as a resource and be more likely to promote you. The Golden Rule prevails here: talk about others as much as you would like them to talk about you.
2. You pick topics that aren’t timely.
In the age of the 24/7 news cycle, the pressure is always on to write timely content. If something happened last week and you take a full week to write a reaction to it, the post isn’t timely anymore. People like to share content that is relevant to what’s going on in their community at that moment, not content that was “so two days ago.”
You don’t always have to be rushing to create posts at the last minute. If you know which events will be happening, you can plan beforehand to write a post. Use an editorial calendar to help plan out your post schedule and ensure your posts are timely.
3. Your headlines aren’t catchy.
You don’t have to have gimmicky headlines, but you need to them to be interesting and relevant enough to capture the small attention span of your audience. Keep your headlines less than eight words to make them punchy and memorable, just like your favorite tweets on Twitter. Which headline would you be more likely to share: “My Favorite WordPress Plugins to Increase Your Blog Pageviews” or “Top WordPress Plugins to Increase Pageviews”? The second headline contains some of the criteria for a great headline: It’s exclusive and specific. Keeping your headlines short and sweet will make it much easier for your readers to share your content—all they have to do is click the “post” button!
4. You write huge blocks of text.
Now that everyone is used to reading online, people have tiny attention spans. Most people want to scan your post before reading it so they don’t waste their time reading something that isn't relevant to them. To make it easy to scan, try adding bullet points or numbers like I’ve done in this post. You can also break up your text with video and photos—people are naturally visual animals, so they will be more engaged with your post overall if you have visual content. Having a few bullet points with multimedia will help your readers take home the main messages and easily share them with others.
5. You don’t make it easy to share.
Do you have sharing buttons in an easy-to-use location on your site? You don’t want to make your readers copy and paste your link directly into their social network—it’s too much work for them! Instead, choose the right social media sharing buttons for your audience and place them where your audience can easily see them.
Do you have any other blogging don’ts? Comment below with your tips.