Getting people to share your content can seem like a minefield to people starting out in content creation. Sometimes things that you think are incredibly shareable get next to no hits, while stuff you post when you’re running out of ideas, explodes! This is because there are some things that just work and others that don’t and unless you know what they are, you’ll be stumbling around in the dark and scratching your head trying to figure out what went right and what went wrong. But worry no more as you’ve finally found the light! In this article, we’re going to be showing you 10 incredible ways to improve your content so that people share it far and wide.
Did you know that there are around 2 million blog posts created every single day? So much content being generated online means it’s difficult to make yourself stand out in the crowd and relying on the generation of fresh content alone isn’t enough to get you noticed. You need to be able to provide the ‘wow factor’ to get people’s attention and make them want to share your content with others. When they do, you’ll get more exposure and more traffic, creating a snowball effect that will then generate even more shares.
Getting to this stage can take a while, and you’ll have to learn from the mistakes you make in order to improve. However, once you have a winning formula and an audience to view it, you’ll find that life becomes a lot easier, providing you don’t stray from your path. First, though, you need to get onto that path, which you can do by testing out the following 10 ways to make shareable content:
1. Include Images
People generally have quite short attention spans because most content is designed for quick engagement. Remember, a picture tells a thousand words, which is handy when sites like Twitter limit you to just 140 characters. Therefore, you can generate far more engagement than if you simply use plain text.
The images you use should be relevant and representative of your written content. If you really want a chance at going viral, however, then it’s best to produce your own and have someone produce them for you. A good way to know if a picture will work or not is to imagine that you have no idea what the text is about. Then think to yourself, ‘If I only saw this picture would I know what the content was about and, even if not, would I be interested enough to find out?’ If your answer to either or both of these is yes, then you’ve got an image you can use.
2. Write Longer Articles
If a picture tells a thousand words, then your content should use 4000+. Studies have shown that, contrary to popular belief, longer content actually gets shared far more than shorter content. The reason for this is not yet known, but the fact that it somehow works is. One theory is that it’s to do with value for money, so to speak, meaning why expend the effort of a click to share 100 words when you can share 10,000 just as easily. Another theory is that people may be interested in long articles but not have time to read them. Sharing them means that they can easily come back to them later.
3. Hit the Headlines
The first thing people are going to read is your headline. Therefore it needs to stand out and generate interest. Headlines really are make-or-break so don’t be afraid to spend some time perfecting them. If you find it difficult to know what to say in your headline then here are a few tips:
- Don’t give too much away: you want people to read the article and if the headline tells the full story then what’s the point?
- Pique curiosity: If you have a video on your page, then tell people about it. Once they know what the content is, they will want to see in for themselves. For example: ‘Caught on Camera: Boy defies death to save kittens - watch the full video here.’
- Ask Questions: Questions always get people interested, whether because they want to know the answer or just to confirm to themselves that they already do, questions always get people clicking.
If you’re not sure whether your headline is hard-hitting enough, then you can check using CoSchedule’s headline analyser!
4. Follow the Trends
You may have been told to ‘be different’, ‘go against the tide’ and not to be a sheep. However, all of the people telling you that were following a trend of easily espoused opinion, making them sheep themselves! It’s ironic, but you should throw that advice out of the window; at least to begin with.
Breaking the mould isn’t easy, and you need first to learn the rules and apply them before you can break them. Therefore, look at what is trending and what people are talking about. If you can create content that is topical and at the forefront of people’s minds, then they are far more likely to share your content so that they too can join the debate.
It takes a long time and a lot of effort to become an influencer, so don’t start out thinking you can create the stories people will want to talk about. Instead, try to become a trusted voice in trending issues first. Once you’ve done that and you have people listening, then you can start to write the stories you want.
One thing to bear in mind though! Just because something is trending doesn’t mean it’s relevant. Make sure you are focussing the conversation at your niche and follow what’s trending in your area of expertise. Trying to jump around different topics which are widely diverse will mean you only ever scratch the surface of various audiences, rather than forming loyalty with just one.
One of the easiest ways to see what’s trending is to check Twitter or Facebook and look at the trending Hashtags. This will give you a good idea of what topics are grabbing people’s attention.
5. Utilize Popular Culture
Regardless of your opinions about the balance between professionalism and memes, memes get people sharing content because of how easy relatable they can be. However, generating memes isn’t always a good idea, and you should always think about what you’re posting before you post it. Try not to post anything too controversial, as it could backfire if misinterpreted. Also, you should avoid politics as it is always divisive and you may turn some loyal followers against you.
Interviews are a staple for many of the leading influencers, and if you can get a key influencer in your niche to give your followers some advice, then it’s a sure fire way to get more people interested in your content. What’s more, if you interview an influencer, they will most likely publicise the interview themselves and send some seriously valuable traffic your way.
Don’t worry if you’ve never interviewed anyone before and try not to let your nerves get the better of you. You don’t have to interview people face-to-face or even on Skype. Email interviews can also be great, and you don’t have to transcribe everything.
One technique of getting hold of interviewees is to make a list of all of the top influencers in your niche. Start out by writing to some of the smaller ones first asking if they would be interested in being interviewed. Don’t expect to get a response from everyone, however, when you do get a positive response, make sure to set a date for the interview. Once you have that, you can generate some hype by asking your followers what questions they would like to ask. This also saves you the effort of making them up yourself, and you know that the answers will be interesting for your followers.
7. Generate Lists
Lists are a great way to get a lot of information to your readers quickly and effectively. We’ve all been enticed by ‘Top 10s’ before, whether it be ‘Films of All Time’ or ‘Places to See Before You Die’, giving your followers an easily digestible list of information in ranked order will always garner widespread attention.
8. Reach Out to Your Community
This is one of the most obvious things to do if you want to appeal to people, but very few people actually do it. How do you not what your audience want to see more of or less of? Well, you could look at how many clicks and shares your content is getting but then, how do you know which element of a certain post worked and which didn’t. For example, you could have these 2 posts:
- ‘10 Pictures of Grumpy Kittens’
- ‘10 Pictures of Puppies Being Naughty’
The first one may get 200 likes and 50 shares and the second may get 100 likes and 25 shares. So why did the second not perform as well? The obvious answer would be that most people prefer kittens to puppies. However, it may also be that people prefer to see animals with human expressions over animal actions. Another way to look at it would be reaction over action. And with the swathes of reaction videos available online, this would be the more probable but less obvious cause.
The best way to counter this is to simply ask your audience what they like and dislike and what they want to see more/less of. You could do this by getting people to post their suggestions or by running a poll. Once you find out exactly what your target audience is looking for, you can cater specifically to their needs and desires.
9. Write Amazing Content
This is the tricky part, and it will take time to master but, practice makes perfect and as long as you keep trying to improve, you will get there. One way to ensure that your content is worth reading is to check whether it contains any valuable information.
The key to writing great content is to write with the reader in mind. This may sound obvious, but a lot of people write purely for writing’s sake. Instead, try to put yourself in your readers’ shoes and see if you are giving out genuinely useful and interesting information. If half of what you write is waffle, then trim it back. Don’t use unnecessary phrases or words!
Every sentence should hold meaning and give the reader information, if not, lose it!
10. Add Social Media Buttons
If you want people to share your content, then make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Put all of the tools in front of them and at the end, tell them to share it. You can do this by developing a tagline to go at the end of your articles such as:
‘Hey, guys! If you liked this article, then share it with your friends and like us on Facebook to get more great content every day!’
If you really want to get people to share your content, then you should try all of these tips at least once. You don’t have to get them all in one article, but each of your articles should include at least one or more.