12 Reasons No One is Sharing Your Blog Posts
We all know that as a blogger, one of the very best ways to build traffic is to get other people sharing your content. We spend our precious time and put our hearts and souls into creating each blog post, and still some times it seems like we’re speaking to a big empty room.
“Why is no one sharing my content?” you think to yourself. “What am I doing wrong?”
Today’s lesson is all about identifying some of the reasons why your posts aren’t getting shared as much as they could.
1. You Haven’t Effectively Built Your Tribe
A rookie mistake many new bloggers make is that they don’t get the importance of networking. Either that or they’d like to build a supportive network, but they don’t know where to start. If you’re confused and/or overwhelmed by the idea of networking, open this article in a new tab and read it when you’re done here. It will help.
2. You Aren’t Commenting on Other Posts Frequently
Once you’ve found the right tribe and made sure you’re all set up to network with them efficiently, you’ll want to start by reading their new posts and commenting on them on a regular basis. Now, some bloggers expect super long, essay-like comments, while others are fine with just a few sentences. As a good rule of thumb, you can take a look at the other comments on their posts to get a feel for how to plan yours– OR, make sure you stand out by writing even longer, more in-depth comments than the rest!
Someone I know who’s had huge success recently doing this is my new friend Ryan Biddulph. Need further proof? Take a look at the blog (or should I say empire?) of the fabulous first lady of blog commenting, Adrienne Smith. Look at the comments they get. Do you see any one-liners? My guess is that you won’t.
That’s because while any comment is good, meaningful comments are better. As bloggers, we love nothing more than feeling like what we’ve created has helped someone, and comments are one of the best possible ways to show the author we’ve heard them. They’re also a great opportunity to establish your expertise on a subject, because if we bring some new information or insight to the table, bloggers will often take notice.
3. You Aren’t Yet Practicing the “Share and Notify” Method.
One of the only things most bloggers love more than comments is shares. I feel much more inclined to share the posts of people who’ve shared mine. Now, there are ways to set this up automatically, Twitterfeed being my favorite, but there’s nothing better than a thoughtful, stand-out share.
In the very least, make sure the author of the post is tagged when you share, but an even better way to share a post is to tell your followers WHY it’s great. When you really want to get a blogger’s attention, don’t just throw the title of their post out into the world like everyone else– try adding a little plug for it. If the blogger has included a “Click to Tweet” option with their post, click it! Tweet it!
Share blog posts in a more unique way and you’ll get more attention. Period. tweet
Even if you’ve tagged the author, you could also send them a message, an email or a tweet to let them know you’ve shared– or you can mention it in your comment. Don’t let them miss your share. But just make sure that as you’re notifying, you’re not implying that you expect something in return. That’s a surefire way to annoy people and guarantee you won’t get their attention.
By the way, have you added this site to your Twitterfeed account yet? The feed url is http://mommybloggeracademy.com/feed . Make sure to let me know if you do! I will love you forever!
4. You Aren’t Yet Practicing the “Mention and Notify” Method.
When was the last time you mentioned someone else in a blog post? If you’re not sure, it might be time to rethink your strategy. Mentions in other people’s blog posts might just be even BETTER than shares! Let’s be honest here, we bloggers LOVE attention– and more than that, we love DRAWING attention to the attention we’ve received!
Want to make sure a post get shared? Link out to another blogger and make them look awesome. They’ll almost always send their audience to see how good they look on your blog. Case in Point: My friend Kevin did this on his site in a big way just this morning and it’s already been shared 135 times. How’s that for momentum?
5. You Haven’t Asked for the Share
Having a clear Call to Action (CTA) within your post is absolutely essential if you want to see it shared. I always try to include one at the end and at least once or twice throughout, but there’s not a blogger I know who does this more expertly than Ana Hoffman over at Traffic Generation Cafe. Ana’s CTAs consistently blow me away. Not only does she recommend other articles to read in her posts, but she also embeds share buttons and comment forms all throughout each one. It’s just plain brilliant.
Ana knows that sometimes people don’t read all the way to the end of a post, so she makes sure that everyone who even glances at one of hers gets the opportunity to interact with it in some way. She’s inspired me. I think I’ll give it a try now! If you’ve liked this post so far, shoot me a +1 now or better yet, a share!
Did you know that links that say “Click here” get more clicks than those that don’t? That’s because we’re naturally inclined to follow instructions. If we’ve been asked specifically to do something, we’re much more likely to do it. This applies to blog post shares as it does just about anything else.
6. You Didn’t Make It Easy
Most bloggers are doing this already, but for the few that aren’t– please make sure it’s easy to find the share buttons for your post. If I have to look for them, I probably won’t do it. Make sure they’re conspicuous. Make sure they’re attractive (although this isn’t essential, it definitely helps).
Or, better yet, take a page out of Peg Fitzpatrick or Pauline Cabrera‘s book and embed a pin in your post if you want to see people pinning it. Include “Click to Tweet” quotes. Make it as simple and obvious as possible and your shares will increase.
7. You Haven’t Created Something Shareable
Most people online read a LOT of articles, so our standards really are quite high regarding what we will or won’t share. The items above relate mostly to networking and post structure, but the rest of the points on this list should help you get an idea about how to make sure that you’re creating the type of content that people would want to share.
Ultimately, you could do all of steps 1-6 correctly and STILL see no shares if you’re making one or more of the following errors:
8. Your Post Is Too Personal
As a frequent reader of “Mommy Blogs,” I see this VERY frequently. Now, if you want your blog to be your personal journal, that’s fine, but please know that most readers don’t feel comfortable sharing something that sounds like a journal entry. It’s not that it’s not touching, interesting or well-written, it’s just that it feels like an invasion of your privacy to share it. So we won’t.
9. Your Post Isn’t Unique
If I’ve already seen, read and shared a post like yours many times by now (or shared one on the same subject that was more thorough or well-thought-out), there’s a good chance I won’t share it. Many bloggers are protective of their social media followers, and rightly so. They’re trying to build a reputation for themselves as having good taste. If they’re always sharing the same old “just okay” blog posts, they risk damaging that reputation…. so they won’t.
10. Your Post Isn’t Relevant to My Audience
Even if it’s the most delicious looking pot roast in the world, I probably won’t be sharing a post about your famous pot roast recipe. That’s not because I don’t enjoy a pot roast every now and then, but I do still have at least a few hundred followers from back in my big-time vegan days (click here to check out my raw vegan cooking show, which often features a very cute little boy named Thomas who is now 6… wow, time flies and I was so nice and skinny then… sigh…) and I generally don’t share non-vegan recipes because I do try to keep things plant-based as much as I can.
Another example of this point: I have a lot of blogger friends with little girls. I love their blogs and their awesome crafty/girly ideas, but I rarely share them because I don’t have little girls. So I guess I should have added to the list “Your Post Isn’t Relevant to Me,” as I think many bloggers don’t share for that reason as well.
11. Your Images Aren’t Great
I do sometimes share posts without images, but images make it MUCH easier to share, especially on Pinterest. Obviously, if your post has no image, it can’t get shared on Pinterest, but I’ll take that one step further.
I almost never pin images with no text on them. Why? Because on Pinterest, they make no sense. Sure, you could read the description to find out what the post is about, but many people don’t. That’s why whenever I create an image for a blog post, I always include the title or at least a quote.
Pinterest aside, there’s nothing worse (okay, maybe a few things) than sharing something to Facebook or Google Plus and having no good thumbnail image to choose. I don’t want your logo to be what shows up when I share your post. I want it to look beautiful and interesting. Don’t you?
12. Your Post Won’t Make Me Look Good
This is the big one. This is the key to getting shared, and you really can’t count on getting any shares without it. There’s some pretty deep psychology behind this one, but without getting too fancy, I’ll just sum it up by saying that the #1 reason why we share things on social media is because we think they’ll improve our reputation.
If your post doesn’t stand to make me look interesting, intelligent, generous, funny or attractive, I probably will not share it. There is one slight exception to this: Pinterest. I bring this up because I do share things on Pinterest that don’t always match this criteria– particularly creative/food related posts. If you’re a creative blogger, as far as I’m concerned, you need to be all about Pinterest, because people are much more generous with shares there.
Why? Because to most users, Pinterest is more about seeing than being seen. We pin things for our own benefit rather than for the benefit of others. We bookmark them, we save them for later. HOWEVER, we are always aware that the things we’re pinning are being seen by others, so if a pin is sloppy, irrelevant or distasteful, we still won’t share it— even if we find the article interesting.
On other platforms, of course, the reputation concept is even more important. Keep this in mind when you’re brainstorming possible post ideas, or at least when you’re wondering why your post isn’t getting shared. Chances are, this one has something to do with it.
Building up a tribe of loyal followers is crucial to growing the traffic on your blog, but even the most loyal readers still won’t share everything. You have to create something that’s worth sharing. You have to create something that makes your reader look good.
Over to You
What’s your favorite way to get shares? Or, is there anything else that bloggers do that discourages you from sharing their posts? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments!