Characteristics of highly shareable blog articles

Mar 25, 2015 · 5 min read

Characteristics of highly shareable blog articles -- Made In Helmikuu

One way to gain more traffic to your blog is to get other people to share your posts. There are many ways to try and accomplish this. You can add social media buttons to your blog posts and you can yourself share your content and hope for reshares. When you take a look at the blog articles that are being shared you can determine some basic attributes which apply to most of the content shared. These attributes are based on the different types of posts people are sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and elsewhere. While the different platforms give their own spin to which sort of content gets shared on them, there are certain features which are the same all over the web. If you are able to add these characteristics to your blog posts you can see a boost in the shares.

Alluring titles

There's lots of advice about writing titles for your blog posts. While it may be a bit overwhelming to try and apply all that advice, you can take something out of it. Most people share without actually reading the content they are sharing. They share mainly the title, sometimes they may skim the content or at least read the first paragraph or two of it. Alluring titles suggest that the article itself is somehow useful and is nicely advising. They also may have a shock factor, to which how you are doing something wrong types of articles are based. Alluring title gives an idea of what the article itself contains and it appears interesting. Alluring titles are also easier to share. The person sharing your content doesn't have to come up with a new title to make sure their followers and friends get interested on the content they share.

Fortifying existing ideas

Have you noticed how a blog post which tells that thing you have always known makes you feel good about yourself? It tells you how you have been right all along, it even gives you a feeling of superiority. We all have this bad habit per the way our brains are wired. When we learn something we don't like giving up on it. We stubbornly hang on whichever opinion, belief, idea or understanding we have and we don't like it being contradicted. Thus we love sharing content which fortifies our existing knowledge. When your article hits that "see, I told you so" button it has a high chance to get shared. My post about how majority of your online audience is silent has been shared quite a lot because many bloggers are struggling with gaining comments and shares. The post fortifies the idea that there's nothing wrong with your content, but most visitors to your blog don't leave any marks of their visit. This is why you need not shy away from writing about subjects others have already written. Familiarity makes your content more shareable than if you try and feed you readers some new ideas and opinions.

Helping the sharer

There's one most important thing about getting your content shared. Those who are sharing it are doing so in order to help themselves. They want to gain more followers, more likes and perhaps there are other perks in sharing your content too. Perhaps it makes them seem more interesting, more liberal, more fun, more intelligent and so forth. There are some cases when the person sharing content shares it to help you. But even then they have an ulterior motive. Helping you is somehow good for them. This sounds rather bad, but realising this can help your blog get more shares. Can your content make the sharer appear somehow better amongst their followers and likers? Can it help them to gain more followers, likes, retweets and other engagement? As an example, helpful content, such as quick SEO tips for bloggers, makes the person sharing it appear more helpful too. Sharing content can affect the image of the sharer or at least they will think so. When your content gives the wanted effect to the person's online presence they will share it.

Boosting confidence

This actually could be part of both fortifying existing ideas and helping the sharer, but when you are able to boost a person's confidence with your blog post they are more likely to share it along. There are many ways you can boost confidence. You can tell about how something has changed your life, made it better or how it has been for you, in general. As long as it's a motivating story. For instance, my recent post about how freelancing for 8 years has worked for me got extra shares because it was encouraging people who either are freelancing themselves or are thinking about freelancing. When you are able to boost the confidence of a reader on your blog they are more likely to get motivated in sharing the content which gave them that nice feeling.

Hitting the emotions

Lots of people want to keep things light online. So they share cute and funny content, rather than serious or sad stories. However, there are also those who want to share all the shocking stuff, all the gore, all the bloody details. In some occasions these two groups share each others stuff. The gore sharing folks are more likely to share the cute than the cute sharing folks are to share the bloody stuff. Basically all the emotional stuff gets more shares. This includes the sad stories about life as well as cute photos of kittens. If you are able to make your reader experience strong feelings they are more likely, in that moment of ecstasy, to share the content with their followers. Write this kind of content with your heart. An example of this kind of heartfelt content is my month old post about authenticity not being glossy, clean and sparkly all the time. If you can read Finnish, take a look at this warm response to it by Taru.

There are many other factors that affect the when and where your content gets shared. It can depend a lot on the subjects you write. As you can see above some subjects are easier to get shared. This doesn't mean you have to throw away your blog and start a new one with more shareable content. You can use this knowledge to make your current subjects more likely to get shared.

Have you noticed that you share certain types of content? Or do people share more some stuff on your blog than other? Do tell!


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