Content

Published on June 18th, 2013 | by Austin Gunter

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Creating Shareable Content

Janet-Aronica

Head of Marketing for Shareaholic Janet Aronica offers five tips on how to make your content more shareable.

By Janet Aronica | September 15, 2012

With nearly 27% of traffic coming from social media referral sources and Pinterest now outpacing even Yahoo! organic traffic for the traffic it sends to websites, it’s clear that the shareability of your content matters. “It’s not a marathon….” can seem cliche, but it’s true. The occasional viral post aside, there are no quick fixes that will improve the number of Tweets your posts get on a consistent basis. That said, there are changes you can implement to how you approach your blog that will improve the overall content and reading experience on your blog and increase shares.

1. Use an Editorial Calendar

From what we’ve seen in our publisher network of more than 200,000 websites, the blogs that create content the most often generally get more traffic and shares. But throwing content on the blog every so often without a plan of attack is like driving around aimlessly without a map. Do you know why you’re publishing those pictures of the company picnic to your blog? Or are you just adding to the noise? Ask yourself: * What are my goals for this content? * Who am I trying to reach? * Who will write this? * How will I promote this content?  * Who would want to share this blog post?

Your editorial calendar can answer these questions. An extra bonus: this planning process is very motivating. The pressure to get a new post up each day can be daunting, and sometimes procrastination and writer’s block win the battle. Planning ahead a week or month’s worth of blog post ideas gets you really excited about writing them. Get hungry for the content buffet!

2. Focus on Great Headlines

Your headline is your first impression, so you want to make your headline count so your content is as shareable as possible. Plus, Google considers your CTR on places like Google News as well as social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter as a signal of relevancy for your content. Writing a great headline will pay off two-fold, increasing your social shares and referral traffic plus improving your organic rankings in the long term.

3. Measure Your Progress

You can’t know where you’re going with content unless you get a grasp of what’s been working or not working so far. Using a content analytics tool like Shareaholic, you can see what your most popular content is. When you see what gets shared the most, you can get a sense of how you will want to replicate success.

4. Get the Right Tools on Your Blog

Social sharing buttons are becoming a standard on blogs nowadays – almost to the point of overkill. We see them all the time—the blog with rows and rows of social icons smattered everywhere around the content. Personally, as a reader, I know I feel confused when I see this and it kind of makes me not want to share the article at all. It makes me pause and think: “Where should I share this? Why? What is that social network?” Don’t overwhelm your readers with choices—be selective and only include the social media buttons that will enable sharing to the social networks that your audience actually uses. Again, look at your referral sources in your content analytics to identify which social networks those are.

Another tip: Remember that when it comes to your content, it may not be love at first sight for your readers. Your readers may need to read a few posts before you engage their interest enough to motivate a social share. With a related content tool, you can suggest your best performing content at the bottom of each post—engaging new visitors and delighting returning ones with recommendations for more of your great content.

5. Think First as a Content Consumer

What made KONY 2012 so viral? Did you share it? Why?  Skillshare’s manifesto has more than 4,000 Facebook likes and nearly 300,000 views on Vimeo. The Next Web even covered it.  The Holstee Manifesto has nearly 800,00 views. The Atlantic’s recent article Why Women Can’t Have it All has nearly 200,000 Facebook likes. We all know more than we think we know about what makes great content, and that’s because we share what is great to us each day. Think about why you share, and you’ll surely stumble upon the same motivations that your readers have.

Janet Arania is Head of Marketing for Shareholic. Shareaholic reaches 300 million people each month through their global network of 200,000 websites who use their social sharing, related content and content analytics tools.

What shareable content tips do you have?


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