Getting people to share a blog is extremely difficult. We certainly haven’t perfected the art yet and if you’re in the same boat, you’re certainly not in the minority.
That said, we are finding that an increasing number of people, who we don’t know, are sharing our articles.
This increase correlates with changes we have made in recent times, so we thought we would share our findings.
A recent Moz report condemned a lot of content out there for a lack of external links and suggested that the majority of content isn’t receiving many shares at all:
“A randomly selected sample of 100,000 posts over 50% had 2 or less Facebook interactions (shares, likes or comments).”
So why is nobody sharing your blog?
In this article we share eight of the main reasons why nobody shares or cares about your blog and how to resolve these issues.
1. It Lacks Quality
This is obvious, but it’s important that your content is quality. By quality I’m not referring to the content being well-written and easy to read- it always should be…
By quality, I am referring to the value the content provides your audience. For example, is your post actionable, insightful, original, informative or helpful. Does it elicit emotion?
If not, why are you sharing it?
After analysing 100 million articles, research from BuzzSumo found that the ‘most shared’ articles are those that tick such boxes.Popular Emotions Chart Via OKDork.com
According to BuzzSumo, longer form content (1,000 words and over) is more shared than shorter form, with the research suggesting that you should aim for 2,000 words.
Queue the creation of loads of long form content. But the reason that longer form content receives more shares was best summarised by Angular Marketing.
Angular highlighted the idea that more effort was being put into longer posts- they were more than likely better researched, more interesting and better written, hence the length.
These posts weren’t just long for the sake of it.
Creating bad content is probably more detrimental than anything, if you’re waffling for 2,000 words due to a lack of research or understanding you’re better off cutting the count right down.
After all, whilst the word count is important, content marketing experts suggest keeping your writing short and simple i.e. waffle free.
That’s why many writing for the web use short paragraphs like the ones in this article.
2. You’re Not Using The Right Formats
Consider what form your content is taking. BuzzSumo studied the most shared content. For this they viewed:
– How to articles
– What posts (articles whose title started with the word “What”)
– Why posts (articles that tried to answer a “Why” question)
They found that, in the eight months the study ran, 8 out of the 10 most shared articles were quizzes.
But it is list posts and infographics that receive the most shares on average.
Because list posts let the reader know exactly what to expect and infographics are visually appealing and make it easy to digest large amounts of information. Just like the infographic below…Infographics Are One of The Most Shared Content Forms
By blending such content formats in with your standard articles you could increase shares of your blog.
3. You’re Not Reaching Out
Of those 100,000 posts 75% had no external links.
Links aren’t only important as a way to evidence your claims, they also show other blogs you are citing them. This allows cited bloggers to respond and share the article.
Reaching out isn’t just about including external links. Top bloggers reach a wider audience by emailing relevant bloggers and industry experts to alert them about their latest article.
Neil Patel affords some good advice. He suggests creating a list of influencers to email after you complete an article; but be prepared for plenty of hard work.
Don’t confuse this with a newsletter, which should also be utilised (see point 8), but rather a personal email to those whose influence would give credibility and large exposure to your article.
According to Patel, of every 100 people he emailed when starting out, 5 would respond and share his article. These are the sort of odds you’re battling to get your article seen.
So build your list up. Introduce yourself to those within it, don’t email them without an introduction or they won’t share it.Email your articles to experts so they share them. Better yet, include those experts in the post!
Segement the list too, if the article is about football boots don’t share it with generic contacts who just like sports, ensure they have some interest/involvement in the topic first.
Doing so brings it to the attention of those within your industry and gives them the opportunity to share it.
I imagine after all the hard work Neil Patel has put in, he gets a response to every email he sends and probably 100 in his inbox for each of those, asking for his help.
If Neil decided to share this article with his 185,000 Twitter followers it would gain a lot more exposure than Joe Bloggs sharing it, so curate your list carefully and remember not all shares are equal.
4. It’s Ugly
Is your blog ugly?
If it’s illegible or not particularly pleasing on the eye then people won’t share it.
When you share something, you are advocating it. Presenting it to your audience and saying “this is good, read it.” If you just share rubbish, your followers will quickly disown you.
Because of this people will ensure your content is quality and that your blog looks professional before sharing.
Remember, aesthetics extends beyond the homepage. Everywhere should look professional and enticing.
This also goes for individual articles. BuzzSumo suggest the most shared articles contain an image every 150 words and Neil Patel suggests that we read in an F-shape on the internet. Hence why most of these paragraphs try to conform to the letter’s shape.
While Facebook users aren’t as affected by trust, with only 0.10% more inclined to share a post based on trust, LinkedIn and Twitter users share Google+’s need for trust.
How can you build trust?
According to BuzzSumo, it’s as simple as including a bio and a byline for each article.
Work on the aesthetics of your blog and make it share-friendly.
5. Boring Title
I fell into this trap when I first started. I had boring titles to my articles. The content was decent enough, but left with an uninspiring title the clicks and the shares didn’t materialise.
Take the interview I conducted with the entrepreneur behind Durban’s first innovation hub.
He had achieved an incredible feat against all the odds and I titled the article:
Very few people would know what an innovation hub is and it’s hardly an inspiring title. Worse than that, it’s straight up boring.
Compare that with more recent titles I used for our exclusive interviews with Greg Strandberg and Neil Patel:
The titles probably aren’t perfect- they’re both bordering on being too long, but you can see a progression from that initial title.
This doesn’t mean I can’t repurpose the old content, the interview is evergreen (timeless) and can be shared again with a better title.
6. Repurpose & Repromote
If it hasn’t worked first time round, what’s gone wrong?
In this case it was the title. Sometimes it’s just not interesting or original enough and then you can archive it. But if you believe in it, why not repurpose it?
Test what works and what doesn’t: will I get more shares if I extend this article? Do I need more images? Have I emailed it to enough influencers? Should the title be?
Innovating Against The Odds- Durban’s Startup Scene
Repurpose and then don’t be afraid to share it again. This is easily done on Twitter thanks to its fast paced news feed, the likelihood is that very few of your followers saw it the first time anyway.
7. You’re Not Promoting it Properly
If you’re not promoting your content properly then you’re not giving anyone the chance to share it. That means you need to know when to share it, where to share it and how to share it.
Journalist and digital marketer Nick Chowdrey’s excellent article Six Scientifically Proven Ways To Attract More Retweets, highlights -you guessed it- six ways to improve your chances of getting a retweet shared:
-Ask for a share:
“Tweets containing the words ‘RT’ and ‘retweet’ gained significantly more engagement.”
Much like content, longer is better. 130 characters is the optimum.
-Use News Style Headlines:
” Tweets phrased in a news headline style are often, by their very nature, more informative and attention-grabbing than other tweets.”
-Include Positive and/or Negative Words
“Using the third person (he, she, they) resulted in more retweets than using the first (I, we) or second (you) person.”
Brilliant advice, but there’s so much to consider here when you are considering more than Twitter.
Such as the time you post, which platforms you post it on, how often to post, these represent a blog post in themselves.
Luckily we’ve written one for Twitter covering these problems: 10 Top Tips to Mastering Twitter.
If you’re not sharing your blog properly you can’t expect others to retweet it or share it on other platforms. It’s also worth noting that tweets with images get over 89% more likes and 150% more retweets.
When sharing the blog on Facebook you should always include an image. Ensure that the image is always optimised and high-resolution.
Twitter has a pretty savage crop and Facebook posts with a poor image quality will guarantee nobody shares it.
The easiest way to make sure your image meets the requirements of each platform is by using the free software Canva. On Canva you can select Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post and then edit your image to fit.
8. You Don’t Have Returning Readers
Your list acts as a kind of newsletter for experts, but you should also cultivate a newsletter for those fans who enjoy your articles.
By sending a newsletter consistently, you can keep them up-to-date with the latest from the blog. It makes it easier for the readers. Anything that makes life easier will be appreciated.
Returning users, who are familiar with the blog, know it can be trusted and that it is a quality publication are more likely to share it than those simply stumbling across it.
These are users who are also likely to comment on such articles, giving them more credibility and catalysing others to engage as well.
Make sure you always respond to these comments to keep people engaged.
Always Reply To Blog Comments
You can build up subscribers by using subscribe pages and forms such as the ones on the right hand side and bottom of this page.
Your newsletter subscribers are invaluable, you know that email is reaching them every time which is not the case with social media posts. You can measure what they’re clicking on- which can inform your content creation and title selections too.
By being responsive and helpful to this list they will return the favour.
There’s a lot to consider if you want to successfully increase the amount of shares of your blog. By implementing measures such as those listed above you should see a marked improvement of the quality of your blog and hopefully a few more shares too.
Let us know how you get on and if there’s anything you would add to the list, let us know in the comments below!
Anything you would add? Let us know in the comments.
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