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Tips for getting your website visitors to promote your blog.

Promoting your blog is hard work, but if you can get your site visitors to promote your blog for you, your blogging life will be that much easier!

Once you’ve managed to make people aware of your blog posts and actually click on them, how can you get them to also share your posts?

Step 1: Write content that people want to share.

I know this seems super obvious, but how many times have you clicked an intriguing title only to learn absolutely nothing you didn’t already know, or only to have someone tell you to buy a list of things you didn’t need?  Those articles weren’t written with the goal of helping you; they were written with the goal of getting ad revenue or link clicks!  And chances are, their strategy backfired when you immediately exited the page.

It’s not hard to {eventually} get people to share your blog posts and, yes, make money from ads and link clicks when you’re consistently delivering content people truly value, whether it’s a solution to a particularly painful problem, or a story that makes them laugh.Advice for making your blog posts more shareable. | TheBloggingAboutBloggingBlog.com #bloggingtips #bloggers #bloggingforbeginners #socialmedia

So my biggest piece of advice for getting people to share your blog?  Write with your audience’s best interests in mind.  With every blog post you write, make every effort to…

  1. Help them!
  2. Entertain them!

Other characteristics of high-quality blog posts include:

  • Lots of images (to attract people’s attention)
  • Lots of subheadings (to keep people moving down the page)
  • Short paragraphs (which keep people from getting lost in the text)
  • Lots of useful information (go above and beyond!)
  • Bullet points (see what I did there?)

If people receive genuine value from your blog posts, they will happily share it, either to pass it along to others, or to save it for their own future reference.

Step 2: Make it easy for people to share.

Step 1 is really the most important, because if someone wants to share your content badly enough, they will, even if they have to copy and paste a URL in order to do so.  But you’ll get a lot more shares if you don’t make your site visitors work so hard.

The best way to make it easy for people to share your blog posts is to add social sharing links at the top and bottom of each page with the help of a social sharing plugin.  I use one on this blog called Social Warfare which looks like this:

Advice for making your blog posts more shareable. | TheBloggingAboutBloggingBlog.com #bloggingtips #bloggers #bloggingforbeginners #socialmediaBut beyond installing a social sharing plugin, there are other ways you can encourage and make it easy for people to share your posts.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Include at least one nicely designed, Pinterest-sized image in your blog post with a “Share on Pinterest” button (the paid version of the Social Warfare plugin will automatically add one of these buttons to all your images).
  • Remind people to share it!  You can add a sentence to the top of your post reminding people to “save this for later”, or you could post it on social media with a caption inviting people to “tag someone who should read this.”
  • Add a click-to-Tweet plugin to your blog and use it to feature particularly quotable parts of your blog posts in attractive boxes that invite site visitors to “Tweet this!”
If you want some great blogging tips, check out The Blogging About Blogging Blog! Click To Tweet

Step 3: Make it look good when it’s shared.

This one is so frequently overlooked.  When a link to your blog is shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, what does it look like?  Does an eye-catching image show up with an intriguing description that will make others likely to click?  If not, you’re missing a huge opportunity to draw new visitors to your site!

How to make your blog look good when it’s shared on Twitter and Facebook:

Find out any link on your blog looks like when it’s shared on Twitter or Facebook by pasting it in the box at the following sites:

Go here to see what any URL on your blog looks like on Twitter: https://cards-dev.twitter.com/validator

Go here to see what any URL on your blog looks like on Facebook: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug

Don’t forget to check your site’s home page in addition to blog posts and pages!

The easiest way to change the image and description (called “meta data”) that gets shared on these social networks is to use the Yoast SEO Plugin.  First, you need to go to the “Social” tab under the Yoast SEO settings in your WordPress sidebar and make sure meta data is enabled for Facebook and Twitter (and also Pinterest, though the process for controlling what your site looks like on Pinterest is a bit more involved).

How to make your blog look good when it's shared on Facebook.

Then, you should see a place under your blog post editor where you can write a title and description and upload an image specifically for Facebook and Twitter that looks like this:

How to edit social sharing meta data using the Yoast SEO plugin

Be sure to follow the image size recommendations to make sure your image doesn’t show up blurry or with part of it cut off.

Important: After you make changes to the meta data for a particular web page, you have to paste your URL into the Facebook “sharing debugger” and the Twitter “card validator” I linked to above and then click “scrape again” before the changes will start showing up.  (And if you can’t get the URL to look right for Twitter, try first shortening your URL at Bitly.com and then pasting the bit.ly version into the Twitter card validator.)Advice for making your blog posts more shareable. | TheBloggingAboutBloggingBlog.com #bloggingtips #bloggers #bloggingforbeginners #socialmedia

How to make your blog look good when it’s shared on Pinterest:

Pinterest is a little different because you don’t get to choose what image is shared on Pinterest; your site visitors get to choose from all the images on the page.  That’s why it’s so important that you have an eye-catching, vertical image that includes the title of your blog post and your website URL and includes a keyword-rich description as alt text (which you can add in the same area where you write a caption or description for your image).

Consider this: 2/3 of all the content on Pinterest was pinned directly from someone’s business website.  That means people want to pin your stuff!  And, it means your chances are much greater that Pinterest users will visit your site through pins your site visitors have shared than through pins you yourself have uploaded to Pinterest…but only if you give your site visitors a nice image to pin!

Two thirds of all the content on Pinterest was pinned directly from someone’s business website.

If you don’t have a nice image for your site visitors to choose when they click to share the page on Pinterest, then if they end up sharing your post at all, they’ll be forced to choose from whichever random images happen to show up (which could be a thumbnail of your face or a horizontal image of scenery that no one will ever care to click on). On the other hand, if you have a have an attractive, informative image with a keyword-rich description, your visitors will likely pin it, and it will be out there bringing more visitors to your site.

Consider the example below from my article about how I became a blogger.  Which one would you be most likely to pin as a visitor to my site?  If I hadn’t included any Pinterest images on this page, which one would you have chosen?  And which ones do you think are most likely to bring me more traffic if you were to share them publicly on Pinterest?

It's important to include Pinterest optimized images on every blog post.
Which of these images would you choose to pin?

By the way – if you visit my blog post referenced above, you will find those Pinterest images don’t actually even appear on the page.  They only show up when you click to pin the page.  If you don’t want your website cluttered with images targeted at Pinterest users, you can use CSS to hide them.  There are several ways to do that; here’s one way, and this is how I do it.

I recommend installing a Pinterest browser button to make it easy to check any page to see what images come up as options for pinning, but if you have a social sharing plugin installed on your site, you can use them to check as well (though, depending on your plugin settings, you might not be able to check your home page that way).

Additionally, and especially if your blog is in a niche that’s popular on Pinterest, you should apply for rich pins through a business Pinterest account so that your website name will show up in the pin along with the title of the blog post.

Advice for making your blog posts more shareable. | TheBloggingAboutBloggingBlog.com #bloggingtips #bloggers #bloggingforbeginners #socialmediaAdvice for making your blog posts more shareable. | TheBloggingAboutBloggingBlog.com #bloggingtips #bloggers #bloggingforbeginners #socialmediaStep 4: Remember the Golden Rule.

Want other people to promote you?  Start by promoting them!  Link to them in a blog post (be sure to ask permission before using their photos, though).  Share their articles on social media (and don’t forget to tag them!).  Tell your followers to follow them.  If you do this frequently (and genuinely), eventually people will start to take notice and, as long as you’ve followed the rest of the steps, some of them will probably start sharing your blog in return!