How to Write Share-Worthy Blog Posts That Stand Out
Ever write a blog post or article that you swore was totally awesome and guaranteed to be a hit? But instead, you check your stats and it was a total dud!
Don't you just hate that?! And everyone tells you...you gotta write awesome content if you want traffic.
But, you just did! At least you thought you did...
Writing share-worthy blog posts isn't easy. Because what the heck does that even mean, really?
Let's take it for what it is. Getting people to share your content is 95% outside of your control. (I totally made that statistic up, but I believe it to be fairly accurate).
You spend hours writing an awesome blog post, taking great photos for your post (if you take your own photos. Yay you, by the way), checking and re-checking your grammar, to finally hit publish!
....and then wait.
Though you promote the post until you can't promote anymore, the real magic happens when someone else shares your post with their followers. Then that follower shares it with theirs, and so on. Until your post is shared so much that you're getting thousands of shares, re-pins, and views on your blog!!!!!
That's your meal ticket! That's what you're striving for!
But how do you make that happen if you can't control whether or not people will actually share your content?!
Well, you'll just have to give them no other option!
"Wait, Sade. Hold on! How am I supposed to do that?"
Easy. You make your post so good and so amazingly detailed and delicious, that people absolutely can't resist sharing or leaving your page without sharing that post!!!
You need share-worthy content. One that someone immediately says "damn, that was good!"
My formula below is going to help you create that content.
Before you read on, swipe my personal blog post outline and free blog post template with the exact steps in this post already done for you.
Step #1: Plan Out Your Post
You know the infamous 80/20 rule for blog promotion? Spend 20% of your time writing your post and 80% of your time promoting. Well, let's modify that rule!
Want a blog post guaranteed to get shares? You should spend 20% of your time writing the post and 80% of your time planning it.
For a truly awesome post, this is where you will and should spend the most of your time.
Here's the planning process you need to take:
- Figure out the topic and problem you're trying to solve
- What are the relevant steps you'll need to take to solve the problem
- How can you format this content for easy and effective reading
- Outline your blog post accordingly
Figure out the topic of your blog and the problem you are trying to solve
Let's be real. Nowadays, no one reads blog posts just for the hell of it. People want something from you. And it's your job to deliver.
The best products or posts either pertain to someone's pain or pleasure.
- Pain - they have a problem they need to be solved
- Pleasure - your post makes them feel good about themselves, inspires them, or more.
So do one or the other. But, in my experience, the most viral posts are ones that solve a problem. Because everyone going on the internet is searching for a solution to be solved.
So it's your job to figure out what the problem is that you're trying to solve and what solution your post will offer. Once you figure that out, make it specific to your target audience.
Let's use an example. (Examples are nice) Sample problem:
How can I use my Instagram stories to drive traffic to my blog?
If you haven't received audience questions, then try to put yourself in their shoes. What would your audience want to know?
What Are The Problem-Solving Steps?
...aka you're subheadings! See, how that works?
This step will help you to break your post down and actually make it easier for your readers to swallow. It gives the illusion that the post is progressing plus breaks up the content making it easier to digest.
You know the problem?
Brainstorm the many ways you can solve it. In other words, predict the questions your readers will ask and answer them in your sub-headings.
Let's continue our "Instragram stories" example.
Some of the questions people may ask are:
- how do I get Instagram followers or more views?
- how do I actually get people to view my stories?
- how do I link my stories to my blog site?
Now that you have those questions, what are the steps you can use to solve those mini-problems?
Those steps are now your sub-headings. Case in point? This very post you're reading.
Figure Out Your Format
Did you know that there are some blog post formats that readers just love reading and sharing?
The top 3?
- List Posts
- "How to" Posts
- "Why" Posts
Why do people love these posts?
Because they're super easy to read. Super easy to follow.
In other words, these posts are guaranteed to be share-worthy blog posts. But that doesn't mean that will work for your specific topic.
Before you write out your post, you need to figure out the best way to deliver all of that awesome information that you're about to give. Should it be a step-by-step guide? Bulleted post? Numbered post? Should you write a story instead or give it to your reader in a video?
This is very important. Because though you've just figured your next five-star post. You can still mess it all up if the delivery isn't write.
Outline Your Post
You've just done the brainstorming, now you just need to put it all together before you actually write it.
I like to use Google Docs for my outlines or type the outline directly into Wordpress.
You can write the outline if you'd like, use index cards, or whatever your pretty heart desires.
Side Note: Let's Take a Brief Intermission...
So, hello! Do you see how much work goes into making a quality blog post? We haven't even gotten to the writing part yet!
"Geez, Sade. Is this all worth it?"
If you asked me that question face to face, I would definitely look at you like you have two heads, because OF COURSE IT IS!
To streamline this process and cut down your writing time, I'm letting you swipe my personal blog post process cheatsheet, outline, and blog post template right here.
Step #2: Write the Post
Now to the fun part!
Write a Great Blog Post Title
Ok, so you've just brainstormed this amazing content for your readers. But how do you get them to take the bait and devour your post?
Simple. Create a bangin' blog post title or headline. Reel them in with just a few words.
A good title will tell the reader exactly what this post is about and the benefit they'll get from reading your post.
To create an awesome title, just remember this acronym: WIIFM
What's In It For Me? <-- that's what the reader wants to know before they click on your post. Remember, no one has time to just read your blog all day.
Answer that question and you've got yourself a click-worthy blog post!
The more detailed the title, the better it is. Readers will know what to expect from your post. I created my own formula for this (because who doesn't love math, amiright?! No? ... Okay, back to the post):
Main Problem you're solving + solution / benefit reader is getting
So for the sake of continuity (so I bring it all full circle), back to our "Instragram Story" post. If I add up everything we outline earlier, the perfect blog post title should read something like this: "3 Simples Ways to Use Instragram Stories to drive traffic to your blog".
- The problem: how to use Instagram stories to boost blog traffic
- the benefit/solution: 3 easy hacks to grow your traffic
Your reader will know exactly what they're getting from this post and is more likely to click it and share it.
Hook Them With a Killer Introduction
Is it just me or does anyone else absolutely dread introduction paragraphs?! I hated them in grade school and I'm certainly not a fan of them now.
If you were anything like me, you're probably tempted to just write your blog post and totally BS this part.
As tempting as that sounds, I don't recommend it.
A reader will quickly decide whether or not they will continue reading your blog post based solely on your introduction paragraph. Pull them in and keep them around by using an effective introduction. No pressure though.
Here are few introduction formats you can use to hook your reader.
- Address the main problem that your post is going to solve (just put it out there and let them know why they want to read this post!)
- Interesting story (who doesn't like a good story, huh?)
- Personality (charm them with your winning personality and you may just have a new fan for life!)
- Ask a question (I don't know why this works, but it just does)
Use Headings to Split Up The Text
Remember those problem-solving steps you brainstormed earlier? Now is the time to use them.
Include them in your post as sub-headings. You honestly don't know how magical this is.
Sub-headings break up the post (especially if it's as in-depth as this one) by giving the reader an illusion of progression. It makes bigger posts seem smaller. Making it more likely for your reader to complete the post and share it and all its awesomeness with others!!
Share-worthy blog posts. That's what we're after here, people.
Length v. Brevity
The worst thing that you can possibly do is short change your readers. They came on your blog post for a reason. Give them exactly what they want without holding back!! If you want people to share your content, your readers should leave your post feeling like they can always count on you to be a reliable bucket of information!
A general rule of thumb: aim for a word count of over 1200 words (at the very least!)
This is my general rule of thumb (you don’t have to follow this). But, I truly do believe that longer blog posts perform better. The more detail you can provide, the better your content will be. Plus, this is perfect for SEO and will guarantee a boost in your chances of your post popping up in search engine results.
There is definitely a fine line here. I am not at all saying that you should jam all the things into your blog post. No! Please don’t. Because ain’t nobody got time for that.
Encourage Your Reader to Take Action
Give your readers something to do. Give them instructions. Make them take action. It makes your post more valuable to your readers. Plus, it will make them feel as if they have received something of value from it. This is the type of content that will get shared!
Add a Content Upgrade
At this point, you've already showered your readers with such amazing and valuable content that they're shaking with the chance to share it all. Why not maximize your post's quality and boost it with a content upgrade?
A content upgrade (aka opt-in) is exactly what it sounds like. It is typically a freebie or product that your offer along with your post that maximizes and expands on your post content. If you asked your readers to take action, your content upgrade will usually help them take that action.
Your reader will think "Wow! This post already has a ton of quality information in it, plus I'm getting a free product to go with it?! I just have to share this!" <= That's what we're aiming for! 😊
Step #3: Review, Revise, Rinse, and Repeat
Alright! We're almost done!!
This is the most important step out of this entire process (after writing your blog post, of course!!)
Save yourself the embarrassment of getting a comment like this!
Trust me, when I woke up the next morning and read that comment, I felt a surge of embarrassment. But then I laughed at myself and my own stupidity and went on to correct the typos and re-published the post! Now it has over 65,000 shares. Can we say “win”?!
Main takeaway? Check your grammar and spelling before you publish your post. Or you can use Grammarly, a free tool that will do a spell-check and grammar check while you’re typing!! See, Exhibit A.
Step #4: Add awesome High-Quality Graphics and Images!!!
Gosh, we're almost to the end! This is so exciting!
This is the part where you make your post all pretty and attractive looking!!
Add a killer Feature Image or main graphic to your post
Sometimes, it's the graphics that actually draw people in and make them want to share your post!
You can easily do this by taking the photos yourself. Because you know what your post is all about, you can create an awesome image that could portray it!
If you don't have mad photography skills or you're just too lazy right now (after all the work you just did), you can use a free stock photo. My favorite sites for beautiful free photos are Unsplash and Pexels.
Tip: Try to use images or graphics that are consistent with your band or the underlying image or feeling you are trying to portray.
Add an Infographic
Who doesn't love these!! They basically sum your post up in one place. Plus, by saving people the time of reading an entire blog post, infographics are guaranteed to get shared on social media.
Step #5: Make the Post Share-Worthy
Remember when I said, that you have to make people want to share your blog posts, well this is the part that will put a nail in the coffin. Okay!
Now, you're probably thinking..."what the heck was all this other crap for, Sade? I thought this whole post was about making the post share-worthy?"
And you are right.
But, you have to give your reader something nice to share! They can't just share a link to your post and expect other people to just click on it and read it.
You want to attract readers with a nice Pinnable image. Yes, I'm talking about Pinterest here.
This is literally in your hands. You can control this!!! Make it easy for your readers to share the awesome post you’ve just spent hours writing. All that blood, sweat, and tears should not go to waste, chica!!!
Put shareworthy high-quality pinnable images in your post.
Which you saw above. If you want people coming back to this post, you want that image shared. Guess, that big image above is actually pinnable. All you have to do is click on it. Go ahead!
Best ways to guarantee shares
What’s the best way to get your readers to share your content, you ask? (I’m pretending you asked this by the way.)
- Place visible share buttons on your blog. There are free plugins for that!! I use Shareaholic.
*cue tour guide voice*
If you look to your left, I have floating social share buttons that are sticky and follow you while you read this post.
If you scroll to the top of this post, you will notice that you were greeted with more lovely social share buttons before you even read the content → I’m letting you know exactly what I want you to do. Getting you in the mood.
If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll see more share buttons.
2. Finally, if all of that isn’t enough -- and the easiest way to get readers to share your post?? Ask them.
Say what, Sade?! Isn’t that a little rude and kind of like I’m begging?”
Yea, maybe. But so what?!
If you really want something, you gotta go out and get it. If you want this post to be shared, give the instruction to your followers. I guarantee they won't think that you're begging. You can do this as a final comment before ending your post.
Keep Promoting Your Blog Post (Even if it's old)
Remember this: you'll never know when your blog post may go viral. You'll never know when the right person will come along with the most engaged following who will continuously share your post so you can rake in the views. Keep your content visible on the internet by sharing it.
Step #6: Develop a Consistent Blog Post Process
Wow! This was a lot, right? Now, you make think that this process must take all day or even a couple of days.
Well, it could. But it doesn't have to. Not if you have an established blog process.
Let me put it like this. Having a blog post process will guarantee that you consistently create super high-quality share-worthy blog posts for your readers every single time. And if you haven't guessed it already, that's what will get readers to trust you. That's what will you shares. And that's how you will drive traffic to your blog post.
Put in the work and you'll get the results you want. (I sound like my parents right now. Sorry!)
With the free cheatsheet and blog template I'm sharing below, I was able to write this 2900+ worded blog post in under an hour!
The Biggest Rule? Let it Flow!
Imagine I said that in Toni Braxton's sultry voice. (If you don't know who that is, go to youtube look up her song "Let It Flow". Listen to it. Come back to this post and thank me later.)
The best posts are those that are written straight from the dome, unedited and uncut -- until the end of course. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve outlined a post as a “Why” post, only for it to transform into a “How To” post while writing it. Whenever that happens, don’t sweat it. Your mind is telling you your true thoughts on that topic and is giving you the power to write that post exactly how it was meant to be written. That’s gold right there!!
Sick of all the talk? Ready to take action and create your next great big hit?! Swipe my blog post template and outline for share-worthy blog posts!