I have three stages to how I encourage sharing of posts on my site. Sharing, I believe, and shareability (not exactly a real word), are important for your blog (for most websites). Here’s my methodology.
On [chrisbrogan.com], I have a lot of ways one can share. At the top and bottom of each post, I’ve got the Facebook Like functionality added:
When someone pushes that little button, it sends off an instance of my post to Facebook to that person’s wall, thus giving all of that person’s followers a chance to read the post, and giving me a chance to get some new visitors. When those visitors are new, I use a plugin called WWSGD to display this to them for the first few times they visit my site:
Thus, I encourage people to “like” something, and I encourage newcomers visiting from that action to become subscribers to my blog.
At the bottom of every post, I include the following:
I use the ShareThis plug-in, the Facebook Like Plug-in, and Tweetmeme, to give people three ways to extend out from my blog. Of these, the most used (near as my stats let me know) is the Tweetmeme button.
Inside Disqus, my commenting system, there are a few more ways to share and extend my community’s relationship with my post:
Of these, I imagine that people most often click to subscribe to comments, as I don’t yet have accurate stats to know that for sure, but have some anecdotal evidence.
Make Shareability a Priority
If you’re hoping to grow your blogging community (and/or distribute ideas beyond your small circle), then shareability is the key factor. It should become part of your formula for how you do everything you do. Back in 2006, I coined this phrase: ” Give your ideas handles.” It’s still just as pertinent.
Oh, and be sure that you’re making good use of Creative Commons as your document licensing of choice. For instance, share your Flickr photos, please.
And with this, we’ll all grow. Yes?