How to Write a Blog Post Your Audience Can’t Resist Sharing

Source: Sprout Social Content is the lifeblood of social media marketing. If you don’t have anything worth sharing, you’ll never be able to build a

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How to Write a Blog Post Your Audience Can’t Resist Sharing

Content is the lifeblood of social media marketing. If you don’t have anything worth sharing, you’ll never be able to build an audience, earn traffic or maximize your social media ROI.

One of the best places to create content to share is your blog. However, it’s not as simple as jotting down a few hundred words, hitting publish and waiting for the traffic and shares to roll in. Not every blog post will resonate on social media. But not to worry.

We’ve spelled out every step for your below. Here’s how to write a blog post your audience can’t resist sharing:

Find Out What Your Audience Wants to Read

The first step to writing a blog post that gets shared on social media is to find out what your audience actually wants to read.

When you’re writing content to attract search engine traffic, your topic selection is often based on keywords. You use a keyword research tool to find out what keywords people search, then create content targeting those specific phrases.

With social media, target keywords aren’t as important. Instead, you need to look for the topics and types of articles your audience wants to read on social media. Luckily, finding these topics is simple. Here are a few places to look:

BuzzSumo

You can use BuzzSumo to search for the most highly shared content based on a keyword or specific website.

buzzsumo search example

You can even sort the results by network. This is helpful because content that resonates on Pinterest might not work as well on Facebook. You have to know which types of blog posts to create for each network.

Quora, Groups, & Forums

Q&A networks like Quora, social media groups and forums are hotbeds of questions waiting to be blogged about.

On Quora, start by entering in a broad topic. Then you’ll see a list of suggested searches. Pick a topic closely related to what your industry is about.

Quora Search

Then, you’ll see a list of questions people ask. The cool thing about Quora is it has an up-vote system for answers. That means people can vote up answers that they feel are the strongest or most relevant. Look for questions that have answers with a lot of up-votes, because that’s a sign the subject is popular.

Quora Question

Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as forums on your industry, are also home to people who have questions about the topics that you would want to blog about. Therefore, it’s good to use these sources as inspiration for your next blog post. Best of all, if you are timely, you can come back to these questions and answer them with a blog post link.

Your Social Media Followers

Do your current and potential customers ask your sales and support team questions? If so, have those teams note the questions that are frequently asked. These can make for great blog post topics that will ultimately save time for both your customers and employees.

@AllisonBoatgirl Hey Allison, thanks! Don’t have anything on Facebook audits yet. But we might write one on @SproutSocial later this year

— Dominique Jackson (@djthewriter) April 13, 2017

Remember that 61% of consumers research products and services online before making a purchasing decision. Help them get easy answers through your content and save the phone calls for closing sales.

Between these three tactics, you should have plenty of good ideas floating around for blog posts. Best of all, these are topics that your audience has shown they’re interested in and are willing to share on social media.

And just one last note, list articles tend to work exceptionally well on social media. To give you an example, we analyzed the most socially shared articles related to “social media marketing.” List posts are the clear winner for the most average shares.

average social shares by content type

Now we can move onto the next step.

Spend More Than 30 Seconds on Your Title

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an article for a newspaper, magazine or in this case, a blog. Your headline needs to be extremely engaging and compelling. Otherwise you’re going to lose potential readers right out the gate.

Think of the articles you click when you scroll through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. More than likely, something in the headline caught your attention and made you click. Your readers need to do the same thing when they see one of your articles in their feed.

The text you write inside your Tweet or Facebook post is one thing. But social networks will also pull in meta data from your posts, along with a summary card. In this Facebook post from Greatist, the headline “8 Everyday Activities That Totally Count as Exercise” is being pulled directly from the article on their site.

Notice how much the headline stands out nearly as much as the featured image. Needless to say, you shouldn’t treat your headline as an afterthought. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what ends up happening and the result is blog posts with little to no social engagement at all.

The next question is, what makes a headline click-worthy? There’s actually a lot that goes into it, and the folks at Copyblogger have written several guides and tutorial on what works best. According to Copyblogger, a good headline should:

  • Be useful to the reader.
  • Create a sense of urgency.
  • Mention a unique benefit the reader will get from the article.
  • Ultra specific to the intended audience.

Here’s a quick test to show the effectiveness of these tips. If you saw these articles, which headline would you be more likely to click?

  1. How to Make Your Dog Happier
  2. 7 Principles From the Dog Whisperer That Will Transform Your Dog’s Life

While the first one is simple and straight to the point, the second one is intriguing, pokes at your curiosity and pulls you in to want to read the article.

Just be careful not to clickbait readers.

For one, it’s deceptive and will turn off readers. But on top of that, in 2016 Facebook made updates to its news feed algorithm that push clickbait headlines to the bottom of users’ feeds. If you’re curious about what Facebook considers to be clickbait, here are the two key points according to the company’s website:

(1) if the headline withholds information required to understand what the content of the article is; and
(2) if the headline exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader.

For example, we’re sure you’ve seen headlines such as “You Won’t Believe What This Actor Did After Losing His Oscar!” Headlines like this withhold information about what the article is actually about and force people to click through. What generally ends up happening is readers click your headline, then exit back to Facebook after they’ve been disappointed in what they see.

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