It's really hard to justify having a blog if no one is reading it. A huge reason that certain blog posts go viral is because people are easily able to tell their friends and family about the awesome new blog they just read. Think of your readers as potential microinfluencers. Your readers each have an audience that only they can tap into. Readers will not automatically share your content or seek out ways to do so. Today on the blog I am going to talk about how to get more shares on your blog content.
I. Add A Share Bar On Your Blog
Let's be honest, the share buttons that come with most blogging platforms are teeny tiny and easy to miss. There are SO many great sites out there that allow you to add share buttons quickly and easily. My favorite are:
I am sure there are other share bars out there, but those sites make the prettiest share buttons in my opinion. I really enjoy Shareaholic because you can really brand your share buttons because you can color the background and logo of the buttons. I chose this specific red color because it was one of my brand colors and I chose white because it went well with it. You can't choose as many colors on Sumo unfortunately (at least not on the free version).
Decrease The Number Of Share Options To Your top 4-5
As you can see over to the side, I only have 4 options. I specifically chose Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon because those platforms are where I want my blog shared the most. Most share buttons that you can get have the option to limit what share buttons you have on your sidebar, and I really encourage you to do this.
Yes, some people share more when they know all the options, but for most people they get overwhelmed. Make the choice for them, and there is usually a button they can press if they want to choose something else.
If you don't want to make your share bar smaller, at least take the time to pull certain networks to the top. The top of your share bar should always be the networks you want people to consider the most. Be strategic about how you set up your share bar, because that can really change how often someone shares your content.
2. Always Include An Image On your Posts
When I first started blogging in 2011 I never shared an image on my posts--like ever. I would always just share text, obviously broken up into paragraphs, but walls of text nonetheless. People cannot share your content if you give them nothing to share. Words alone don't translate well on social media, and even if they did, you wouldn't want them to. When you share content that is just words it is really easy to skip over and ignore. You don't want to create forgettable content.
This is where my FAVE site ever Canva comes in. Canva makes it excruciatingly easy to create cute graphics for your brand. They have 100s of pre-made templates and dozens of image sizes already pulled for you so your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc images are always on fleek. You really don't even have to think when creating work on Canva. I really suggest going up to Canva For Work, for a few main reasons:
- Unlimited storage and folders for your images: if you are a stock photo hoarder like me, this is a godsend because I can always quickly find the right image when it's all stored online.
- Uploading your own fonts: If your font of choice isn't on Canva already, you can upload a ton of awesome fonts to Canva by having Canva for Work.
- Color palettes: No more searching for color codes when designing, because you can store tons of color palettes on Canva with Canva for Work.
Those reasons on top of all the awesome templates you get just by being a Canva for Work member is amazing. It's a bit pricy at $120/year, but I think it's well worth it because it makes creating images a breeze.
3. Join Reciprocation Groups
Reciprocation groups are a great way to "fake it until you make it." As long as you are joining reciprocation groups where the people actually understand who you are and create content that is similar to you, these groups can be an amazing asset for you.
One of my favorite reciprocation based Facebook groups is Show Your Blog Love. If you don't want to join a large reciprocation group consider getting together a small group of individuals who post around the same amount of content as you to comment on each others work each week.
Tailwind has become a huge part of my Pinterest arsenal lately, particularly because of Tailwind Tribes. These tribes make it SO EASY to collaborate with your fellow creators to share content and grow together. Because of Tailwind and their Tribes feature I was able to get some awesome content to 100+ pins, even as a fairly new Pinterest account which is amazing in my opinion. It's not easy to get a Pinterest pin to so many repins and I really thank Tailwind for allowing my content to reach the heights that it has.
Are you unsure where to start with Tribes? I really love this post by Singing Through The Rain called 75 Tailwind Tribes You Need To Join Today. It has SO MANY amazing Tailwind Tribes listed that you can join right now.
4. Share Other People's Content & Tag Them
Even if you don't want to join any reciprocation groups, make a habit of sharing other people's content and tagging them if you can. By sharing other peoples content freely and giving their account credit they may return the favor. Even if they don't return the favor by giving you a share they may decide to reply to your content or give your share a reshare or RT. This will really help you grow your audience because it gets your account in front of their audience whether it's a share of your own content or just a RT.
People love when others value their work so much that they share it. Shares and comments don't happen as often as you would think, so when you share someone's work be sure to let them know that you are doing it by tagging them.
You can do a lot of your share work on autopilot by using sites like SmarterQueue to automate your sharing process. Sharing can really help you because it increases the content you put out on social media, it helps you collaborate with people in your niche, and it can also lead to people sharing your work. It's a win all around in my opinion.
5. Flat out tell your readers what you want them to do
I know, it sounds crazy, but asking for shares, comments, likes, etc is one of the easiest things you can do to get more shares, comments, and likes. Why? Your readers might not think like bloggers think, depending on your niche. On this blog I am talking to other bloggers so they know the power of a blog share. On my other blog The Happy Arkansan, I am not speaking specifically to bloggers, I am speaking to people who are in college (while there is a bit of overlap because some of my readers are college bloggers.) They wouldn't necessarily think to share a post after they read it, but if they see the share buttons and see me asking them to share the content--they will be more likely to share the content.
So if you want your readers to share your post, let them know that. If you want them to comment on your post, ask them a specific question to get them to comment. Be specific in your ask, but don't ask too many things. At the end of every post give your readers a specific set of marching orders.
We all want to create more content that people want to share, but you cannot expect that shares will come. It is important to do the work that getting blog shares requires, at least until you have made a name for yourself and blog shares come naturally.