5 Reasons People Aren’t Sharing Your Content

gsosk
Ginny Soskey Marketing Manager, Shareaholic

Posted on July 5th 2012

5 Reasons People Aren’t Sharing Your Content

ImageSometimes 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.

gsosk

Ginny Soskey

Marketing Manager, Shareaholic

Ginny Soskey is a marketing manager at Shareaholic. Shareaholic creates social sharingrelated content and content analytics tools for more than 200,000 websites, reaching 300 million people each month. You can learn more about Shareaholic by keeping up with their blog

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Comments

CKettmann
Posted on July 5th 2012 at 8:30PM

Great post! Full of good insight. Nothing drives me crazier than huge blocks of text.

gsosk
Posted on July 5th 2012 at 8:32PM

Thanks for commenting, Courtney! Same here...maybe I'm just a lazy internet reader. It seriously speeds up the whole reading process.

SeoKungFu
Posted on July 6th 2012 at 3:41AM

Everyone on the Interwebs is fast and furious ADD'd: one either gets caught up and interested/engaged with the content or moves on, bouncing like a quark.

Good article, explaining why one shouldn't be a douchebag online if wants people to read and then share what's posted. Kind of obvious, but it is also necessary !

 

 

gsosk
Posted on July 6th 2012 at 12:10PM

I totally agree with you--attention spans are down to a few seconds, so we all need to be better writers to keep up. Thanks for the kind words! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)

Lien Brusselmans
Posted on July 6th 2012 at 7:51AM

Read your entire post and it's already a quite long one ;) You set a great example yourself: clear title, interesting content and neatly divided in 5 clear parts. 

gsosk
Posted on July 6th 2012 at 12:07PM

Isn't that crazy? This blog post is only 600 words or so and still it seems long. :) Thanks for the kind feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

DavinaKBrewer
Posted on July 10th 2012 at 4:43PM

Read a post not too long ago, about not asking for the share and omitting pretty much all social buttons b/c they're tacky and self-serving. Because yes we had time to search the writer's name, social handles, then copy the URL. It was a pretty compelling piece, so I did - but also doubted anyone else would take the time. If you want your stuff shared, you need to make it easy for them. 

I will read and share long posts as much as short, though shorter seems to get more play a lot of the time. Same with clever headlines and section breaks; nothing kills a good post to me like blobs of text. Section heads (bold) do more than give the eye a break and make for quick scanning, they call attention to key points, can act as power transitions.

A few other reasons your stuff isn't shared, ala point #1 FWIW: 

  1. It's all about you - so you rarely venture out of your own blog to link to or comment on others.
  2. You don't read and share the work of others. You're a community of one.
  3. You talk to, at - not with your audience. And ignore them.
  4. You don't write helpful, usable content - with audience in mind.
  5. And of course the obvious, your stuff is just bad. :)
gsosk
Posted on July 10th 2012 at 4:52PM

Hey Davina-Love the tips you provided! I 100% agree with you. I'd be interested to read that piece about not providing social sharing tools because I personally won't share if there aren't buttons available. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. :)

DavinaKBrewer
Posted on July 10th 2012 at 5:20PM

Had to look back.. here it is, it's actually a follow up on an earlier post on the idea. http://bit.ly/LOXlTq Interesting that it talked about feedback, for a post that doesn't allow comments? Anyway, I still think it's interesting but know that most people don't have, won't take this much time to be 'social.' Buttons make it easier.

gsosk
Posted on July 10th 2012 at 5:33PM

This is awesome! Thank you for sharing the link--I'm looking forward to reading the whole thing later this afternoon. Buttons definitely make sharing easier and allow others to see how popular the post is.

SalesAddiction
Posted on July 27th 2012 at 7:47PM

Davina,  I remember reading something about not using share buttons as well. I didn't give it much crededence frankly.  It seems to be based on the premise that sharing buttons only benefit the blogger which is completeliy wrong, in my opinion.

As blogger, I know that sharing other people's content is one of the strongest tools for building your own sphere of influence community.

 First of all, the blogger, in many cases, reaches out to the [sharer?].  This can be the start of relationship which can be mutually beneficial.

Secondly, by sharing valuable relevant content with my own connections it can strengthen my standing with them.   

Third, by sharing content, particularly on Twitter, you can expand your own audience by using smart hashtags.

As far as being tacky, I don't see it.  The entire concept of social marketing is the sharing of content so how can facilitiating it be tacky.

I totally agree with you also, that if you want your stuff shared (which we all do) then providing a one-click option for your readers to share is only a good thing.

 

 

FlumesNews
Posted on July 12th 2012 at 2:51PM

We can help with finding timely topics from social media. It's like twitter trends but we filter the spam, to bring you the top news stories being talked about right now. It's in real-time, and the curation is automatic - that is it to say, if it's not topical, it's not on flumes. All the stories currently relate to world news, but more areas of interest are coming shortly. http://flumes.com.