23 Essential Elements of Sharable Blog Posts

surprise party 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

  1. It starts with a picture that captures your eye.
  2. No. It starts with a title that makes you pay attention.
  3. The post is useful to others, and not just about you.
  4. It’s easy to read, and not a big clump of text.
  5. It’s written in a human voice, and not corporate-ese.
  6. There’s information there that might require a second visit.
  7. You write in small words where possible. Remember: eschew obfuscation.
  8. You use links out to resources liberally. Share, share, share.

Specific Blog Topic Advice

  1. Posts that gather resources into one place are very often heavily bookmarked.
  2. Controversial posts get lots of links from people refuting your information.
  3. Popular current topic posts often get swept up in searches.
  4. Blog posts with your own original thoughts never get old (versus posting a few observations on others’ stuff).
  5. Writing reviews of products or services sometimes get links, especially if you’re early to the game.
  6. Writing how-to information goes everywhere, gets linked everywhere, is one of the best types of posts, depending on your audience.
  7. Blog posts explaining use cases for products and services are good, too.
  8. Blog topics about applying ideas to specific industries get play in that industry.
  9. Pieces written to reinvent an industry don’t get very many links, but attract comments.
  10. Writing list posts never dies. Wish it weren’t true, but my top posts are lists. Always.

You’re Not Done Yet

  1. Use appropriate plug-ins to share blog posts. I’m using Tweetmeme and ShareThis.
  2. 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.
  3. Note: sharing other people’s stuff makes them a bit more interested in sharing yours.
  4. The post ends with a question that encourages more thought.
  5. The post is written such that the community might have something to add. Do you?

Parting Shots

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:

I hit the delicous/popular page with this post:

Photo credit Editor B

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