Whether you own a business with a blog, you’re a freelance writer or a traditional blogger, learning to write a shareable blog post quickly is an essential skill that can be quite lucrative. Even if you’ve never written a post before, knowing how to do so can break down barriers and provide opportunities to guest blog on other sites and grow your business.
Do you know how to create a shareable blog post quickly? Your answer obviously depends on what I mean by ‘quickly.‘ After all, the word is a bit vague. Some people can crank out a post or two every day. For others, like me, it’s a slower process affected by time constraints, professional obligations, and family commitments. So, my definition of the word may be substantially different from yours.
Nonetheless, I would argue most writers would love to increase their output and improve the quality of their posts. That is where the word ‘shareable’ comes into play. Will your articles get the love, attention, and engagement they deserve? Will readers clamor to share your content on social media? If you’re uncertain, consider what you can do to compose more shareable content and increase your writing speed.
Ramp Up Your Productivity
Personally, when I need to produce an article quickly, I use a time management method called the Pomodoro Technique. I avoid ALL distractions and work on my post for twenty-five minutes. Then, I take a five-minute break to perform other tasks. I can answer an email, start a load of laundry, etc. After my break, the process begins again. After completing four rounds, I allow myself a more extended break of thirty minutes to relax, eat a meal or exercise.
This technique is amazingly effective, and I suggest using it throughout the entire process of creating your content.
Perhaps you’re saying, “I’ll just write shorter posts. Then I can produce more in less time.” Well, you can do that. However, your site will not please Google if it’s packed with mini posts. Google will respond by pushing you down the rankings. Better to publish articles of at least 600 words. And audiences share longer articles more often anyway.
Create a Catchy Title
I can’t tell you how many times I have read a strange, unclear, or incredibly long post title and ask, “What was this writer thinking?” Of course, I don’t click on the link because I don’t want to waste my time. That may sound harsh, but it’s hard to take bloggers seriously when they don’t understand or adhere to basic rules.
The title should be a clear statement or question
It should be relatively short – six to ten words is usually plenty
Powerful and emotional words like ‘you’ or ‘free’ or ‘easy’ should be incorporated
Numbered posts and how-to articles typically generate more interest
Chose a Relevant Yet Interesting Image
Another important aspect of a shareable blog post is the image your readers see. You don’t have to break the bank to obtain eye-catching pictures for your content. Plenty of free-to-use sites offer professional photos for you to upload to your blog. Here are a few:
For example, this video was free for me to use in this post.
Use Images, Graphs, or Videos Within Your Post
Readers will likely find your content more appealing if it contains a little visual stimulation. Include a relevant photo from the sites I mentioned above or embed an emotional Tweet or instructional video for impact. People share posts that entertain and provide value.
Make the Words Stand Out (In a Good Way)
Most professional bloggers keep their paragraphs short. They would likely tell you to vary the length of your sentences too. Readers have become accustomed to this style of writing because they’re skimmers. They simply love subheaders and bullet points. So use them.
This brings me to another point. I know it sounds boring, but use a large, standard looking font when you blog. People can’t read tiny words on a mobile device and won’t stay on your post, let alone share it. And if at all possible, use black lettering on white background. You might think this is ho-hum, but you’ll look like a pro. And that will result in social media shares.
Include a Call-to-Action At the End
If a reader makes it all the way through your post, you have kept their interest and provided valuable information. It’s the perfect time to ask them to:
1. Leave a comment about your post
2. Join your email list or Facebook group
3. Follow you on social media
4. Share your post
Don’t ask your audience to complete more than one action. Their time is important, and you’ll likely irritate them if you request too much.
Triple Check for Spelling and Grammar Errors
The following paragraphs contain affiliate links. If you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.
Before you publish your content, edit it. Then do it two more times. Go through each paragraph line by line. Does it make the grade? Nothing will ruin the quality of a post like a series of typos. You won’t look professional and neither will your work.
When I began my journey as a blogger, I wanted to hire a proofreader. However, I could not afford one. So, I purchased Grammarly. It is an inexpensive program that edits my posts, Microsoft Word documents, and my emails. I still rely on it to correct my work daily. If you just can’t swing it at this time, ask a trusted friend or family member to review your article.
For Goodness Sake, Include Share Buttons
How can anyone pass along your epic post without share buttons? Don’t make it difficult for your fans to sing your praises. No share buttons translate into little attention or exposure to potential readers or clients. Perish the thought!
Several plugins give writers the ability to place share buttons on their site. After much research, I opted for Social Warfare. This tool has helped my business grow with professional looking buttons that look great on desktop and mobile.
Do you ever get frustrated trying to locate social media share buttons in an article or on a web page that you enjoy? I know I do. Then, of course, I quickly give up the search and move on with my day. Honestly, it’s too bad. That business or publisher lost out on some free exposure all because there were no readily visible icons on their content.
Believe it or not, though, there is some debate amongst experts as to whether sites should even bother with share buttons. Some argue that readers rarely use them on desktop and even less frequently on mobile. It all depends on what type of product or content you produce and whether or not you know how to use share buttons properly.
As a blogger, I can’t imagine marketing my posts without them. However, we all should learn to utilize sharing icons effectively. But what are the best practices? After much research, I discovered 7 expert strategies for using share buttons.
According to Coschedule, the upper left-hand corner of your page is the optimum location for placement. This is because people scan pages in a pattern starting in the upper left area. Buttons should appear ‘above the fold’ when someone clicks on your page or post. Let me explain that; they should be visible immediately without a reader scrolling down first.
As reported in research conducted by Nielsen Norman Group, low numbers offer users negative social proof. Meaning nominal sharing counts may suggest to readers your content is poor quality or weak. Some social sharing tools can hide the number of times a post has been shared until a minimum number is reached. I set my site so the counts aren’t displayed until my posts have been shared at least ten times.
Don’t clutter the screen with too many buttons and overwhelm your viewers. Many big-name blogs and online magazine like Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Social Media Examiner, for example, offer four to six buttons at most. And I’m guessing they’ve done their research on this topic!
Share This recommends you display buttons in order of importance to your target audience. What social channels do your customers prefer? Do they like Twitter more than LinkedIn? If so, put them in that order. And it doesn’t matter if you have an active presence on a particular platform or not. If your clients like it, give them the opportunity to share your content where they want to!
Use standard buttons instead of custom buttons that match the colors and fonts of your website’s theme. This can be difficult for some entrepreneurs to accept because they put a great deal of money and time into branding their business. Then, naturally, they want everything on their site to match. But if buttons blend in with page design, they will become invisible, and readers won’t see or click them. As marketing expert Jeff Bullas states, “Use standard buttons that work.”
Consider adding call-to-action text to your icons. Some social sharing tools allow you to add words to your buttons. Wordstream suggests you merely ask for what you want. Saying, “Pin This” or “Share on Twitter” might be a great way of increasing social metrics. You can try this method and test which strategy works best for your site.
Using a floating share bar makes it easy for readers to click on their favorite icon at any time. Floating buttons scroll with you down the page while you read. The folks at Sprout Social believe this is why floating bars have become so popular. I use them on the left-hand side on desktop and at the bottom of the page on mobile devices.
There is an abundance of choices for entrepreneurs regarding the use and placement of social share buttons on their web pages and blog posts. Hopefully, you will implement a few of the expert tips offered here and grow your business as a result. What do you think? Should your share buttons stand out or blend in with your design? Feel free to comment below.
Nothing is more infuriating or frustrating to an online entrepreneur than a content thief. The idea that some lazy, immoral @#$*% has the audacity to copy your products, images or articles is enough to make steam blast from your ears. Where’s the sense of common decency and fair play?
If you’re lucky enough to have avoided yelling, “a troll stole my content,” you may know someone who has. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep it from happening or put a halt to it if it has already occurred.
First Things First
Set up a copyright statement or page on your business website. You can find a free template here. Also, numerous sites sell customized copyright pages. Obviously, you don’t need more busy work, but it does protect your product to some extent. Although, if someone is determined to copy your work, they will.
Create Google Alerts for each post or page on your site using a unique sentence within each. Perhaps you already utilize these alerts to monitor mentions of your company or brand on social media. Consider this another use of this free service. Remember to place quotations at both ends of your sentence. Expect to be notified if that specific wording is used elsewhere on the web. While it doesn’t stop theft, it keeps you in the know.
Check for those plagiarizing your content with Copyscape or Unicheck. These sites will help you monitor your previously published content. They each offer some free limited services and paid premium programs. Be aware it could take a while to process all your posts or if you have been in business or blogging for more than a few months. Consider starting with your pillar content. You obviously want credit and Google rankings for your most popular material first.
Install content theft plugins on your website. Some keep trolls from stealing text while others prohibit image copying. Wordpress offers the plugin Disable Right Click. However, there are many others available on the market from which to choose.
Watermark your images. Purchase software that protects your digital photos or place your name and website at the bottom of each picture. Although, it is fairly easy to crop or edit the words out of most images. Again, nothing will keep a persistent criminal from taking your intellectual property, but it’s a deterrent.
After You Have Discovered a Content Stealing Troll
First, take a screenshot of the page where your stolen work appears. You can also go to the internet archive WayBackMachineto confirm you published this work first if necessary. This site will provide proof someone stole your material even if they have since removed it from the web.
Email the offending site’s owner and demand your property be taken down within forty-eight hours. If you cannot find an address, go to the WhoIs database, type in the site’s domain name, and you may locate the contact information. Please know that your request may be ignored. If your words or images remain on the site two days later, it is time to move on to the next step.
Contact the thief’s hosting provider via WhoIsHostingThis. Hosts are supposed to respond to complaints within a reasonable amount of time. They can ultimately take down an entire website if they deem it appropriate. Think of how satisfying it will be to know your actions took down a site that copies the hard work of others. Keep in mind this may not work quickly, so I would move on to the next step because it is a doozy.
The primary reason for prolific content theft is monetary gain, right? People unlawfully take your articles or images, republish them, and place advertisements on the page for profit. However, using stolen content is a violation of just about every business contract on planet Earth.
Contact advertising programs like Adsense,ShareASale, or CJ Affiliate and file a complaint. The offender will likely be banned and lose the incentive to steal from you or anyone else. Also, consider contacting the companies within ads themselves. However, I would consider that a hail Mary type of move. In other words, they will likely ignore you.
File a DMCA complaint with Google. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a 1998 United States law meant to protect original works from plagiarism and other acts. If you need further explanation or assistance, consult an attorney, as I am not one.
Take legal action after you have exhausted all other alternatives. Perform a Google search for DMCA lawyer and include the name of your city or town. I would consider this the nuclear option if a troll copied my content. Many people who feel wronged or victimized say, “I’ll sue!” Sadly, it takes one lengthy lawsuit to bankrupt most companies. That goes for both plaintiff and defendant. Just food for thought.
While the process of stopping a content thief may seem daunting, it is relatively straight forward when you know what steps to take. Hopefully, you are not in the situation to need them. If you are in that unenviable position, fear not, take action, and block that troll!
Do you know any other strategies that protect content and images from theft? If so, share them in the comment section below.
Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. The reality of inconsistent sales and paychecks should scare the hell out of anyone with a brain. Yet, according to the most recent U.S. Census data, over 450,000 Americans dive headlong into the dark, unpredictable waters of entrepreneurship annually. About half of them sink within four years. Why? It is almost always due to a lack of planning or funding or both. A thorough business plan will adequately address the former, but the latter is not as easily overcome.
Financing a successful startup consists not only of your access to money but your psychological relationship with it. Do you hoard cash or spend it too freely? Are you willing to or capable of investing extra capital when it is needed? Do you suffer from a slight case of chrometophobia; the fear of spending or managing money? If so, it could cause your endeavor to go under or keep it treading water. You could be setting yourself up to fail by:
Limiting your exposure on social media channels without an advertising budget
Not spending money on the development of new products or services to sell
Not learning or improving skills through courses or coaching
Appearing unprofessional with low-end branding, photos or website
Not investing in software and programs to eliminate unnecessary tasks
Let’s face it. Our financial situations cause many of us a substantial amount of stress and anxiety each month. The pressures that come with handling money affect our personal and business decisions every day. Saying you can’t afford ‘x’ for your business while planning a vacation or trekking to Starbucks every day is nonsensical. Yet, we can all make strange choices like these and then have the audacity to justify them. Are you guilty of this? I know I am from time to time.
Making a mental shift is scary and often necessary to grow your startup and prosper. But what if you’re not in a position that will allow you to change your financial strategy immediately? If you can’t actually afford to increase the support of your fledgling business, then maybe it needs to become or remain a side hustle. There is no shame in that. That is a decision only you can make after a bit of soul-searching.
However, if you want to succeed and prosper, you’ll need to find a way to overcome your chrometophobia and make some room in your budget for your dream, your baby, your business. Is it time to make some fiscal changes and a commitment to yourself?
Personally, I need to increase my advertising budget. I have understood this fact for a while but have resisted the change until now. The decision means something in my private spending will have to be cut. So be it. My business is worth the sacrifice and I am ready to flourish.
What are you willing to give up in your personal life to succeed professionally? Tell me about it in the comment section. If you know a business owner who is struggling with this issue, please share this post with them on social media. Life is better when we lift each other up.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.
I wish there were easy answers in business. It would be lovely if we could figure out the perfect formula or crack the code or get the recipe to the ‘secret sauce’ of entrepreneurship. It would make life a lot easier and save a tremendous amount of time. We all want shortcuts and we want them now. As a matter of fact, where is that $50,000 per month paycheck and half a million Facebook followers I was promised by every online marketing guru on the internet? After all, I have been blogging for seven months now. Shouldn’t I be a millionaire already?
Unrealistic expectations and algorithm changes are stressing most of us to the point we will spend ridiculous sums of money on courses or gimmicks to reach unattainable social media goals. The truth is, you should not compare yourself to people who started their Facebook business pages several years ago. The landscape was different. You now have to work twice as hard to get half the fans. I admit I’ve been frustrated too. So much so, that I doggedly investigated a few new tactics of my own that I would like to share with you. Let’s go over these 5 inexpensive ways to boost your Facebook page likes.
1. Share Popular Videos or Produce Your Own
I know this is not news, but it bears repeating. FB loves it when you produce your own live video or share someone else’s. You will probably increase engagement, reach, and Facebook pages likes implementing this strategy. It can be intimidating and time-consuming to put yourself on camera, so if you feel overly nervous, simply post interesting or humorous videos from popular FB accounts. Make sure you only promote content that will resonate with your audience. I recently shared this inspiring video with my niche audience of women over forty. It resulted in a nice boost for my account with little effort from me.
2. Create Quotes Posts
I noticed a significant jump in my likes and engagement when I started using quote posts on all my social media platforms. I create them in Canva and use their ‘magic resize’ tool to change the dimensions to fit the image requirements for each social media platform. As a result, I am able to share the same quote post on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin. Canva can also be used to create infographics and memes.
I upload these posts to my scheduling tools Tailwind (for Pinterest and Instagram) and MeetEdgar (for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) to maximize my reach. When existing fans share my quotes, I get the page exposure I need to gain coveted Facebook page likes and followers on my other social media accounts.
3. Install a Facebook Page Plugin
If you have a WordPress website, you can choose from several different plugins that will embed your Facebook page within your sidebar. Some plugins are free while others are not. All are relatively inexpensive options though. The Page Plugin is readily available and easy to install. This short video will guide you through the process.
4. Do Interviews With Podcasters
Being a guest on a podcast might prove less stressful than producing a Facebook Live or YouTube video because you won’t need to appear on camera or create a script. When the episode is released, you’ll likely get a link to your site or your FB page and often both. I have been interviewed by several podcasters and find the process gets easier each time. The host is usually more than happy to mention your FB page at the end of the interview.
Don’t wait for an invitation from a podcaster. Be proactive here. Find your niche on iTunes charts and start researching. If you are a beginner, you’ll need to start with newer podcasters who are more likely to interview someone with less experience as a guest. I recently signed up for weekly emails from PodcastGuests. This company matches potential guests with hosts who need interviews. The best part, it is a free service for guests. I’ve already completed one interview and have another scheduled next week.
5. Ask for Facebook Page Likes at the End of Emails
If you haven’t already created your business email list, you should. After I signed up with ConvertKit, my list took off. Getting your new products, services or blog posts in front of your clients and readers is imperative to the growth of your site and Facebook page.
After someone signs up for your weekly emails or newsletter, your welcome email should end with a call to action asking them to follow you on Facebook. Do not request likes on all your social media channels. Pick one and go with it. If you want to see how I’ve done this, you’ll have to sign up to receive my weekly post! I am so subtle, right?
If you want 10 additional FB tips from the experts, click here.
I hope you found a few cost-effective strategies to boost your Facebook page likes. What tactics do you use to grow your followers? Let me know in the comment section below. As always, if you found value in my post, please share it with other business owners and bloggers.
As a business owner, I find streamlining my social media tasks an absolute necessity. Otherwise, I get overwhelmed with the minutia and spend half my day wading through posts and tweets. Not a productive or efficient use of my time. However, knowing what information to include in a tweet or a post can be tough. It all depends on your industry, niche, and which social media platform you are using.
When you are working with Twitter or Instagram, you should be including the best hashtags to extend your reach and increase engagement. I recently wrote about how to utilize hashtag websites to your advantage. If you are unfamiliar with these tools, go to my post here.
RiteTag is a site that ranks hashtags. When you type in a tag, it is given a color designation.
Green: Use this # to get seen now.
Blue: Use this # to get seen over time.
Gray: Do not use this # because of low traffic.
Red: Do not use this # because it is overused.
RiteTag is a great resource, but it still takes time to go through and determine which tags are usable and a correct fit for you. Fortunately, you don’t have to go to the trouble. I have sorted and selected the 700+ best hashtags for businesswomen and bloggers.
Please keep in mind that the color designation for each tag could change over time. It would be wise to recheck them every once in a while for viability.
Using the best hashtags effectively is imperative to your social media marketing strategy. Antionette Blake, The Delaware Blogger, uses them like hot sauce. “I love hashtags. I put those **** on everything.”
I hope you discovered dozens of tags to boost your reach and engagement. If you found this post helpful, please share it with other businesswomen and bloggers.
I no longer look at the # symbol and say, “that’s the pound sign.” I suppose the repetitiveness of social media has beaten that response out of me. It did take several months to make that mental shift, though. I remember a few years back when I didn’t understand what a hashtag was or why a company would need to use one. Times have certainly changed for business owners.
It’s not enough to start and maintain accounts on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the rest. Your complete understanding of each platform is vital to your success. You probably already know that users of Twitter and Instagram often include hashtags in their posts to gain more exposure for their products and services. Some businesses are better at this tactic than others. But, how do the successful people do it? They know how to use Hashtracking and other hashtag lookup tools to boost their social media traffic.
I have to say; I recommend this tool for medium to large businesses or blogs because it’s a pricey subscription product meant to help you with both Instagram and Twitter. However, you can get a free trial. Hashtracking gives you a wealth of information about your own branded, unique hashtag or any generic one. Discover peak use times, engagement, participation, sources, comments, likes, reach, and more. The analytics are extremely impressive.
Tailwind has recently introduced a hashtag finder for Instagram. Up until now, there have not been many Instagram hashtag tools on the market that are affordable and helpful. This tool suggests the best hashtags for your posts as you type your Instagram captions. You can include up to thirty tags per post, so Tailwind allows you to save groups of them in their Hashtag Lists feature. You can then access and use that group on any future post you want. Tailwind claims that users grow their Instagram likes five times faster than non-users.
The free version of Hashtagify provides you with their Compact Hashtags Encyclopedia (Twitter only) including ten related hashtags, six top influencers for your chosen tag and some introductory course material on hashtags. The upgraded package gives you more information and courses plus access to their Hashtags Lab for Instagram. I utilize the free program to find the popularity of a tag and then to discover the top ten related hashtags.
TagDef is the most straightforward resource for hashtags I’ve seen. When you don’t know the meaning of a particular tag, just type it in and ta-dah! You will have an instant definition. For example, #oomf means ‘one of my friends’ or ‘one of my followers.’ Pssst, you could use this helpful site to decipher your kid’s texts or tweets. It’s a thought.
RiteTag is probably my favorite free Twitter tool. Although, Hashtagify is a close second. The site tells you if you should use a hashtag or not. Type in your query and the program will categorize it as either green (use this # to get seen now) or blue (use this # to get seen over time) or gray (do not use this # because of low traffic) or red (do not use this # because it’s overused). You will also be given related tags when you search by topic. I wrote a list post of 700+ hashtags for businesswomen and bloggers. Click here to check it out.
I have heard a few experts say that you’re not supposed to use more than two or three tags per tweet, or the rate of retweets and interaction goes down. Additionally, you should no longer put “please rt” or “please share” in any posts on most platforms. I don’t know if that applies to the hashtags #rt or #share. Use those at your own risk. You may be pushed down the feed or ‘shadowbanned’ or voted off the island or whatever it’s called today.
Now that you know how to use Hashtracking and other hashtag lookup tools, you will be able to increase your social media engagement. These resources will also cut down on the amount of time you spend on your Twitter and Instagram marketing.
If you found this post helpful, please share it so other business owners and bloggers can benefit. Do you have any suggestions for effective social media tools? Don’t keep them secret. Let us know in the comment section.
Life is better when we lift each other up.
I'm Jen Monks. A small business strategist, a serial entrepreneur, and a steadfast optimist devoted to helping women over 40 create and grow profitable businesses within a community they love.