So you're a blogger. I'm a blogger too. Walk into a single coffee shop and I'm sure you would find a handful of more bloggers. With all of the hundreds of thousands of blogs on the Internet, how can any of us expect readers to find ours?
It's not enough for us to simply write content and then share it on our personal Facebooks or Twitters. We need to create quality, engaging content that makes our readers want to share it for us. That is how we can expect people to find our blog. It's not that hard to do, either--just follow these steps for writing content that basically shares itself.
1. Create an eye-catching headline.
Your first step is to create a headline that someone is going to see and immediately think, "I have to read what this article is about!" Create a headline that draws people in so much that they couldn't even imagine life going on without reading your article first.
How can you do that? Well first, forget about the search engines. Forcing keywords to fit into your headline can cause it to become drab and boring. Think only of your audience and what kind of headline will make them need to click to your article. Good headlines trigger emotion and curiosity in the reader. Including the words "How To" or a number in the headline also tends to provoke readers to click over to your article. No one can resist a good how-to or a list.
2. Write what people want to read.
No offense, but you're not going to attract many readers with a 10,000 word chronicle of what your cat did this morning. People want to read something that is relevant to their lives. More precisely, people want to read something that is useful or helpful to them in some way. People want solutions. They want to read something entertaining. They want to laugh and they want to relate to what you're writing. Bring your writing to life. Be funny and be engaging.
3. When in doubt, make a list.
As I mentioned previously, no one can resist a good list. Write about "5 Ways to Brush Your Hair" or "10 Tips to Taking Your Cat to the Vet Without Getting a Single Scratch." Why do we love lists so much? The New Yorker says, "lists tap into our preferred way of receiving and organizing information at a subconscious level; from an information-processing standpoint, they often hit our attentional sweet spot."
Our brains process lists easily, so we like to read them. Who can argue with that logic?
4. 1,500 is the magic number.
While conducting research on how to write the perfect blog post, Buffer found that the most shared content are articles of 1,500 words or more. So contrary to popular belief that the Internet has made our brains lazy and we don't want to read anything other than short, sweet, and skimmable blog posts, it's quite possible that longer blog posts actually have the upper hand. As long as your information is useful, important, and of quality substance, you can write as much as you need in order to get your point across.
5. Make it easy for your readers to share your content.
There are several different plugins that you can choose from to offer buttons for your readers to click and instantly share your blog post. Although you don't want to include share buttons for every single social media website out there (stick with the two or three that are most important to you), it makes it easy for your readers when you give them an option to share your post right from the source.
Ending your post with a call to action, such as, "If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends!" is a popular way of asking readers to share your content as well. If someone stuck around to the end of your post, chances are they enjoyed it and will have no problem posting it to their Facebook or Twitter.
6. Be conscious of what time you publish posts.
Many people have done studies on what time of day web content gets the most views, and posting during those prime times can really help your blog traffic. This infographic will give you all of the information you need to know about when your audience is reading blogs.