In a world of millions and millions of bloggers and blog posts, it can be hard to stand out. But just because there are a multitude of “competitors”, doesn’t mean that you have zero chance of attracting a crowd. In fact, anyone and everyone can attract a tribe. Their tribe. The internet has a funny way of making you realize that you are not alone — That there are people out there who have experienced the same ups and downs that you have. People who connect with your language, your laughter, and your heartaches. Bottom line is, no matter who you are or where you come from, someone is bound to fall in love with your work. The trick? You have to put yourself out there in order for them to find you.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links*
Step one: Write a Damn Good Post
Make It Useful
First and foremost, your blog post should bring value into other people’s lives. So whether that’s a tutorial or an experience you had that would help others, there must be a goal.
Think of it this way.
Let’s say you’re a beauty blogger; what is your intention for each blog post you create? If you’re placing numerous, unrelated affiliate links and ads in hopes that someone will purchase something, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Now, don’t get me wrong — There is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving some moola for a product you endorse, but you have to put your audience first. The whole purpose of being a beauty blogger is to teach, inspire, and spark other people’s artistic presence. So when you create a new blog post, it should encourage your readers to challenge themselves creatively.
Got sponsored to promote another company’s product? Be honest. “Yes, I love this product because X Y and Z, but here’s why it may not work for you.” Or, “here’s what I didn’t like about it”.
Interested in creating a blog post which isn’t a tutorial? On let’s say, an experience? Don’t hold back. Write as if you’re writing in your own personal journal. This will give your readers true insight and therefore, value. In a world smothered with secrecy and a lack of openheartedness, your honesty and authenticity will be appreciated.
Placing your tribe first will automatically make your blog posts a million times better, and with them being that good, they’ll definitely sky rocket.
Make It Lengthy
Homie. You know you gotta get that word count in. You could have let a 500 word blog post fly back in 2012. (Yeah, back then, that’s what was recommended. *sighs*) But as more and more people are joining the blogging world, and as more and more people are starving for details and more information, it’s up to you to make that happen.
Hint, hint: 2000-2500 word blog posts receive the most shares on social media.
Also, your SEO depends on lengthy posts as well. Google loves informative content, so placing the who, what, when, why, how, and where will rank you higher in the search engine and you’ll be able to receive more organic traffic to your website.
Suggestions for extending out your blog post:
‣ Choose a topic, product, or service you’re passionate about or interested in. The more you like what you’re writing about, the easier it’ll be to write.
‣ Get that outline planned. Begin by adding your headings and subheadings, and from there, jot some notes under each item you’re covering.
‣ Include your own opinions, experiences, or story in the introductory paragraph. (Relevant to the topic at hand, of course.)
‣ Research for more information. This helps you cover any additional material you may have accidentally overlooked during your brainstorm.
Format like You’ve Never Formatted Before
People nowadays have less of an attention span than that of a goldfish. That’s right, a riveting 8 whole seconds. And no, I didn’t make that up.
With this information kept in mind, your content should be segmented off in a way that is easy and comfortable for your audience to read. Plus, structural writing offers consistency for your readers.
The 5 sacred rules of formatting a blog post:
1. Use headings and sub-headings.
This sections off your blog post for easy reading.
2. A large wall of text scares people off.
Use short paragraphs to keep people interested instead.
3. Use numbered lists, jot lists, and steps.
This way your audience can scan through your article for the specific information they’re looking for.
4. Punctuate, mate.
Use periods, apostrophes, parentheses, and all of those other nifty punctuation marks. This will keep your content clear.
5. Negative space is sexy.
Stuffing your blog post with too many images, ads, and headings causes for overwhelm central.
Step Two: Beef it Up
Blog Post Title Boss
Experiment with blog post titles to see what would be the most eye-catching and/or the most straightforward. For this particular post, I played around with a few titles:
How To Get Your Blog Post Shared Thousands of Times
How To Dominate The Blogging World in 6 Steps
Diving Into The Anatomy of a Viral Blog Post
For this particular post, I decided to go for a title which wasn’t flashy or flowery, but blunt and easy to read: The 6 Steps You Need To Take In Order For Your Blog Post To Go Viral.
My decision for this title was based off of its sheer simplicity. I stated exactly what my blog post is offering and in how many steps one could achieve the result.
Sometimes people just want you to get straight to the point. Plus, that’s just how I’m feelin’ today. *inserts deal with it meme*
Some things to consider when coming up with your headline:
‣ Your title strategy.
Which emotion are you looking to evoke from your audience? Hope? Urgency? Fear?
‣ Who your target audience is.
Are you making it clear to whom you are writing for?
‣ Staying accurate.
Reflect the content within. *ommm*
‣ Do you want to get groovy?
Have some fun with alliteration or add powerful language like “life-changing” and “revolutionary”.
Add a Content Upgrade
A content upgrade is a piece of content that supplements your blog post. So this could be a checklist, a workbook, a podcast episode, or whatever else relates to your existing article. The catch with content upgrades is once you offer this additional material, the only way a reader can receive it is by giving you their email address. So in exchange to offering your audience value, you are also simultaneously building your email list.
Having a mailing list is important because it’ll keep people coming back to your website, you’re able to foster a much stronger relationship with your following, and it has a super high conversion rate. This means that you’ll have a group of people who are already interested in your content and are more than willing to purchase any new products or services you are putting forth.
Types of Content Upgrades:
‣ Mini e-book
‣ Mini e-course
‣ Cheat sheets
‣ Exclusive video content
‣ Slide presentation
‣ Resource list
‣ Printable posters
‣ Report or case studies
‣ Audio files
‣ Swipe files
There are two types of links I’m talking about in this section.
The first is internal linking. If you don’t already know what internal links are — it’s a way to connect one of the pages on your website to another page on your website.
So let’s say you’re in the process of writing a post for some delicious gluten-free onion rings you just made. The recipe calls for mega onions. Instead of simply stating “oh ya, by the way go slice up some onions cause you gon need a butt ton” — you can encourage others to click on one of your other blog posts which teaches people how to properly cut an onion.
Or let’s say you’ve written a blog post on a few templates you’re offering for free. (In exchange for an e-mail address, I hope *winks*.) You can add in a link to a post or posts where you’ve offered other freebies in case of interest. I mean… Who doesn’t like free stuff anyway?
This keeps your audience engaged and interested and makes them stay on your website longer. It’s also an awesome strategy for reviving some of those old dusty posts you’ve had hidden on the last page of your website. And in that case, I feel you. Go back, put some spring back in their step, and re-promote it. Repurposing old content is everythang.
The second type of link I’m talking about is affiliate links. Once you’ve gone through all of the things I’ve mentioned above (ahem… putting your readers first by offering them value), go ahead and place relevant affiliate links. So, use links which are natural to the flow of your content.
As you can see, the bright coloured text is a link to her affiliate partner, and it just seamlessly integrates within the subject matter of her blog post.
Affiliate marketing is a great way of generating income for products and services you already use and love. Just keep in mind to only promote stuff that is true to who you are and is in sync with your niche. It wouldn’t make sense for a travel blog to offer marriage counselling — unless of course they’re specifically blogging about how to make your marriage work, while travelling for long periods of time. You catch my drift?
Step three: get visual
Social Media Graphics
Ah, yes, visuals. Social media graphics are super important because they are what initially persuades people into clicking through to your website.
Some things to consider:
‣ Which social media platforms will you be circulating your content through?
Analyze where most of your traffic hails from. Is it Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Where does most of your tribe hang out? Pinterest happens to drive the highest amount of traffic to Nialogique, so I really focus on creating images that would attract Pinterest users interested in my niche. So I’ll create graphics which are optimally sized for Pinterest and include images pertaining to my content. But if let’s say, your target market resides mostly on Instagram, then you have to create your images sized to Instagram’s platform, because your Pinterest one won’t fit.
‣ Which tool will you use to create the images?
Will you use a paid software such Illustrator or Photoshop? Or are you looking into using a free tool such as Canva? Adobe programs tend to have a learning curve but Canva is very entry-level friendly, so it’s up to you to identify which software will work best for your needs and your business.
‣ Will you include an infographic?
You should *wink*. Infographics tend to be one of the main reasons for an article to go viral. This is because almost 50% of a human’s brain is involved in visual processing and an outstanding 70% of our sensory receptors are in our eyes. This means that infographics work because they’re more engaging, impressive, and convincing. So once someone spots your infographic, they are more likely to be more interested in clicking through and reading the rest of your article.
step four: call ’em out
Up and @ Them
There are two ways to get noticed:
One way is to @ a company on social media for a product or service you mentioned in the blog post.
And the second way is to @ a guru in your niche.
Both of these techniques get you noticed and it can also give you access to their following if they reply and/or acknowledge you. Think of it this way, even if you tag them on Instagram and they don’t hit you back, you just received more exposure by being in their tagged photos (under the premise that they have their photo tagging on). Or, better yet, they may even repost your image to their account for their followers to see. The same idea goes for other social networks as well. Twitter? Retweet! Facebook? Shoutout! And so on and so forth.
step five: promote the hell out of it
Group Boards + Scheduling
As a content creator and/or creative, you should know about this very important rule: 20% creation, 80% promotion. You can make cool things all day long, but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to see it or buy into it. You have to put yourself out there. Point blank period.
If you’re not already circulating your content through Pinterest group boards, I suggest you do that ASAP. Group boards are an excellent way of promoting your content and having access to people outside of your following. So let’s say you have 100 followers but you joined a group board with a following of 3000, that means your Pinterest and your blog just received a 3000+ potential reader count.
People on Pinterest love following group boards because they’re able to see a bunch of content from a bunch of different people all in one place.
And you should love joining group boards because it’s low maintenance. You don’t have to spend hours engaging, looking, and hoping for people to give you a follow; the group boards are doing it for you.
Pst! If you blog about blogging and business, I have a Pinterest group board you may be interested in following or joining: The Blog Library.
Now, once you’ve been accepted into multiple group boards, you have to pin your content in them consistently. No, once or twice a week doesn’t cut it. The only way to grow your brand is by being seen every day. How often do you see commercials and ads for big companies? All the time! People need to be reminded of the existence of your business! So even if people come across your pins and don’t click through initially, they eventually will because you’re out here waving your content in their faces all day long. However, this is not an encouragement to be spammy, but rather brand recognizable! Posting the same pin 20 times a day in one group board is sure to get you kicked out. So focus on circulating different articles throughout different times of the day and perhaps even throughout different group boards. Follow the group boards instructions, see how frequently something is getting posted in them, and trust your gut.
Now, pinning your content into them manually will drive you nuts. So, the only way to create engagement on Pinterest without losing your mind is by scheduling your pins.
I recommend Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling, which is my favourite because it really puts a focus on analytics and strategies, rather than only just being there for the sole purpose of scheduling. The app examines your Pinterest and lets you know when the best time to schedule is (as that’s when your account has had a spike in activity) and it automatically schedules your pins in intervals so Pinterest doesn’t classify your account as spammy.
I talked about Tailwind more in-depth in this post, if you’re interested. They offer a free trial so if you’re not 100% on investing just yet, there are no obligations for you to sign up for the annual plan.
Whatever you do though, bloggers and blogettes, I highly suggest using Pinterest group boards in your marketing strategy.
Step Six: Keep it going
Insert an invitation for feedback and commentary at the end of your blog post. This strategy keeps the conversation going by allowing readers to reply to you and other commentators. Plus, people will keep coming back onto your website to see what the replies have been. You’re responsible for starting the chain reaction!
‣ Try to ask the right questions
Ask questions personal to their own experience(s). This way they’re able to open up and perhaps even ask you for some guidance in regards to the problems they may be facing.
‣ Specify where to reply
Let them know where you’d like the responses to be directed. Be specific! Maybe you don’t only want the exchange to happen on your blog but also on Twitter. And in that case, make sure to invite them there! You could add in a tweet box within your content which asks a provoking question, and from there, your readers can click and immediately reply. Or you could simply state that you’d like to keep the discussion going on another platform. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Have you gone viral? If so, what strategies have worked best for you?
If not, what have you found to be your greatest challenge with having your blog posts shared?
Let’s chat below!