What makes a blog post something worthy of links? What makes a blog post something that people will send around to their friends? If you’re looking to find some kind of value and impact in your blog as a communication tool, it might be useful to know what makes a post share-able, versus those posts that people read and forget.
Here are my ideas on what might work:
23 Essential Elements of Sharable Blog Posts
- It starts with a picture that captures your eye.
- No. It starts with a title that makes you pay attention.
- The post is useful to others, and not just about you.
- It’s easy to read, and not a big clump of text.
- It’s written in a human voice, and not corporate-ese.
- There’s information there that might require a second visit.
- You write in small words where possible. Remember: eschew obfuscation.
- You use links out to resources liberally. Share, share, share.
Specific Blog Topic Advice
- Posts that gather resources into one place are very often heavily bookmarked.
- Controversial posts get lots of links from people refuting your information.
- Popular current topic posts often get swept up in searches.
- Blog posts with your own original thoughts never get old (versus posting a few observations on others’ stuff).
- Writing reviews of products or services sometimes get links, especially if you’re early to the game.
- Writing how-to information goes everywhere, gets linked everywhere, is one of the best types of posts, depending on your audience.
- Blog posts explaining use cases for products and services are good, too.
- Blog topics about applying ideas to specific industries get play in that industry.
- Pieces written to reinvent an industry don’t get very many links, but attract comments.
- Writing list posts never dies. Wish it weren’t true, but my top posts are lists. Always.
You’re Not Done Yet
- Use appropriate plug-ins to share blog posts. I’m using Tweetmeme and ShareThis.
- Share only the very best posts on services like Twitter, and pipe your blog feed into sites like Facebook, LinkedIn (if it relates to your profession), and FriendFeed.
- Note: sharing other people’s stuff makes them a bit more interested in sharing yours.
- The post ends with a question that encourages more thought.
- The post is written such that the community might have something to add. Do you?
To get a jump on possible criticisms, it’s not like getting linked or shared is the most important thing in blogging. Conversations and engagement are the hallmark of a good blog and I’m forever thankful that you come here and interact with me. (Side note: I read every single comment, even if I can’t answer ever single one individually. I am the #1 commenter on my own blog, mind you).
But for those of you who have objectives to move things forward, to get your stories seen, to get your words out to a lot of people, these ideas might help. What do you think?
Update: Looks Like it Worked: