Have you been blogging for a while, pouring your heart into writing exceptional content, and yet you aren’t getting the traffic and shares that you want and need?
Then this post is for you.
As a blogger, I read a lot of blogs (I think we all do)! There have been many, many times that I see an amazing article that I want to share or pin to Pinterest so I can finish reading later, BUT I don’t.
Below I’m sharing why I don’t share many blog posts (even when I want to). Then I’ll follow it up with changes you can make to your own posts, to increase your shares dramatically.
This post contains affiliate links. Disclosure here.
Before we get started, you may be thinking…
“What does she know and who is she to tell me how to improve my blog”?!
First things first, I want to share this… I have been blogging for just over a year, BUT I’ve been working in online marketing and advertising for 18+ years. Yep, this ages me, but I want to share this as a big chunk of the marketing I’ve done for large corporations has been focused on driving traffic to their big brand websites. So I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t and I’ve been applying this to how I promote the content on my own blog.
I want to share these tips with you so you’ll start seeing a dramatic increase in your blog post shares, which will directly impact your monthly page views.
Let’s get started.
Why Your Blog Posts Aren’t Getting Shared:
It comes down to this… It’s just too difficult to share your content.
Here’s what I mean…
#1. Your Social Sharing Buttons Are Hard to Find
It’s important to make it easy for your readers to share your content. If someone ends up on your blog and is reading your article, you want to have easily accessible sharing functionality so they can share if they choose to. Make sure your share buttons are:
- Easy to find… at the top of the post, throughout the entire post and at the bottom of the post. Most people don’t read the entire post (people are lazy online readers and typically read the first part or skim through). If they read the first part of your post and want to share for later, but your social sharing buttons are at the bottom of your post, trust me they aren’t going to look for the share buttons. You’ve therefore lost that share and potential return visit.
What to do about it: Make sure you are using a social share plugin that can be configured to live at the side of the page and be visible at all times. Here’s what mine looks like…
There are a few reputable social sharing plugins out there. The one I use is called Shareaholic but I’ve also heard great things about Social Warfare.
You’ll notice the social share bar on the left-hand side. When you scroll down any blog post it stays to the left in full view – making it EASY to share.
IMPORTANT! Make sure you configure your social share buttons properly. You’ll want to do the following:
- Set up the most popular social channels so they are in view. Top 3: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter. You can also add G+ and email shares if you like.
- You can choose to have the total share count showing at the top or not. I like to show the share count so I can quickly see which posts need more promotion, or which posts might be going viral. You can quickly become obsessed with looking at your total share counts on each post!
- If you choose to use Shareaholic, they have fantastic customer service to help you with any questions you may have. Also, if you are moving from http to https, Shareaholic has a feature where they can save your total share counts, adding your counts from your http address and your https account. This was a big factor for me when I chose Shareaholic as my social plugin.
You can also use a Wordpress plugin called “click to tweet” to make it easy for people to automatically share your blog posts.
See what I mean… 🙂Why your #blog posts aren't being shared and what to do about it... #bloggingtips #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia Click To Tweet
#2 You Don’t Have “Pinnable” Images
So far this year, Pinterest has been responsible for 90% of my total blog traffic. Now, I have also put in A LOT of effort with Pinterest to make this happen. Pinterest is so important as it can consistently bring in traffic for months and even years after you create a blog post. Due to this one of my older posts is a #1 traffic driver even though the post was created in July 2017! This is why nailing Pinterest is really important.
You may have heard the term “pinnable image” before, but let me clearly explain what it is.
- It’s a vertical image which includes some kind of graphic or photography with a text overlay. Many sizes can be used, but one of the standard sizes is 735 x 1102 pixels. If you are using an online graphics program like PicMonkey or Canva they have premade template sizes you can use for Pinterest and other social channels.
In many cases I have come across blog posts I really want to “pin”, but their pins look like this (note: this is a mockup)…
Instead, you want your pin to look like this (actual pin)…
See the difference? The example on the bottom which is a recent pin of mine, has high-quality photography, an easy to read text overlay and a clear description of the title at the bottom. Also, try and create a title that will solve a problem or answer a question. Remember it’s all about the user, so make sure the text overlay addresses them directly.
Tip 1: I use Canva to create my pins and Picmonkey to edit, crop and resize photos. Both tools are easy to use and have many fonts to play with. You can upload your photos to Canva or Picmonkey to incorporate into your image design.
Tip 2: If you want to stand out from the pack I encourage you to sign up to Creative Market’s newsletter as they send you 6 FREE fonts and graphics every week. I absolutely love the goodies they send me and I’ve also taken advantage of some beautiful premium fonts that they had on sale. You can also use fantastic stock photo sites such as Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash.
#3 You Have Spelling or Grammar Mistakes in Your Blog Post Title or Pin Image
Bloggers want to share other bloggers content, which is important to get your content in front of large audiences. However, if you have bad grammar and spelling mistakes that are seen immediately in the title or graphics within your blog post, you can bet your shares will dramatically decrease. Bloggers do not want to share content that will make them look bad!
What to do about it: I installed the free version of Grammarly months ago and I love it! It’s like a real-time spell check that highlights your errors (grammar and spelling mistakes) as you are typing. When you hover over the mistake it gives you the correct word to replace it with and you simply click the word and it’s fixed. You can learn more about Grammarly’s features here.
As for the pinnable images and other graphics you are creating for your posts, before you publish anything make sure to triple check your spelling and grammar!
At this point you may be saying to yourself – I have done all of the above! Well, make sure this next faux pas isn’t you…
#4 You Have So-Called Pinnable Images, but The Quality is Poor
Quite simply your images and text look fuzzy, or you have a poor colour palette that just doesn’t look appealing.
Since I’m writing from the perspective that Pinterest is an extremely important social channel for you to use, you have to think about people not only sharing to Pinterest but also people wanting to repin your pins.
If your pins are fuzzy and have garish colours, you can guarantee the repin counts and click thru’s to your website will be very low.
So, here are a few tips to make sure you are creating the highest quality pins possible.
- Colour is everything. Typically lighter pins with great lighting in the photography do better. Some say blue does well and red does not, however, your job is to try different things and see for yourself what’s working. You can actually create pins and upload them directly to Pinterest without uploading to your site. This means you can try different techniques (different fonts, background images, text overlays and call to actions).
- Wherever you are creating your pin (Canva or PicMonkey) make sure to save the file as a PNG. This should ensure you have a clear image. Many times PNG files will be too large to upload to your website (as remember you want your page load time to be as fast as possible), so I then convert my PNG to a high-quality JPEG in PicMonkey. Note: If you are uploading the pin straight to Pinterest you can use the PNG file. PNG’s are simply higher quality.
Tip: To see how other bloggers are doing a great job with Pinterest check out this post: The Ultimate List of Inspiring Pinterest Accounts to Follow.
A few final tips for sharing:
To maximize Pinterest traffic consider using a pin scheduler. The officially approved scheduler is Tailwind. I tried their 30 free pins trial a while back which really helped me understand how Tailwind worked.
- After the 30 pin free trial, you can sign up to the annual plan which works out to $9.99 a month or try it monthly for $15 a month.
- Many people ask if it’s worth paying this price and one thing I can tell you is that the amount of time it saves you is honestly worth it. Of course, there are a ton of features on top of that, but I say give it a try and see what you think before you decide to spend any money.
- You don’t need a credit card for the free trial which makes it easier.
- Sign up for Tailwind’s FREE trial here.
When sharing a post to Facebook, find ways to encourage your audience to click through to the post, don’t just share the title and call it a day. Also, make sure to work with other bloggers through Facebook groups.
If you are using Twitter your post is most likely only seen in people’s feeds for a maximum of 15 minutes depending on how many people they follow – so Twitter is a platform you can share multiple times a day. I’ll be writing a post on Twitter soon to share more info.
To reiterate remember that you’ll want to have:
- Easily accessible social share buttons that are configured correctly.
- High-quality “pinnable” images that people will love to share.
- Well written, problem-solving headlines with great grammar!
- Tools that will make your job easier (Tailwind, Canva, PicMonkey, etc)
I hope this was helpful to those bloggers who are having a tough time getting traction on Pinterest or other social platforms.
If you have any questions about the above or comments on other ways to improve social sharing for bloggers, please share in the comments section below.
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