We’ve all been there…
You create the perfect piece of content; you hit the Publish button; and you just sit back and wait for the traffic to start rolling in, right? The only issue is the traffic never “rolls in”.
As you already know, getting people to read, share and talk about your content is the hardest part about content marketing. This is one of the main reasons most blogs fail.
In essence, it’s the “marketing” part of content marketing that you struggle with. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are 30 ways you can get your content read, shared and talked about at parties:
How to get your content read
Just imagine yourself browsing through a magazine. How do you decide whether to read an article or not?
Is it the pictures, the headline, the length of the article or the writer? It’s the headline that pulls you in. No matter how good your content is, if your headline sucks, no one will read it.
Here are 10 ways you can ensure your headline is magnetic:
- Where’s the benefit? – people enjoy reading articles that teach them something. Use your headline to tell your readers what they are going to learn in your article.
- There’s no need to reinvent the wheel – people enjoy headlines that are “How To” and “List” oriented. So, use them… even if they seem played out.
- Stats are better than opinion – if you have data that backs up your main point, use it within your headline.
- Put people over search engines – adding keywords to your headline to make it more search engine friendly isn’t a good idea if it makes your headline boring and dull. Write them for people over search engines.
- Create a sense of urgency – by telling your readers that they only have a short window to act on your information, you are more likely to get them to read it.
- Leverage laziness – people don’t like working, so leverage that within your headline. For example, your headline could start off with… “the lazy man’s way to…”.
- Appeal to emotions – we are all humans, and sparking an emotional feeling within your headline is a great way to draw a reader’s attention.
- Capitalize on mistakes – people make mistakes, so creating a headline that shows what people can learn from your, or other people’s, mistakes can easily draw a big audience. My most popular post on Quick Sprout is still about a handful of business mistakes that lost me money.
- Evoke curiosity – people are naturally curious, so making your headline a question will encourage them to click through and read your content.
- The double whammy – by combing a few of the elements above and using them in one headline, you can create the double whammy effect. For example, your headline might read “How to Increase Your SEO Traffic with These 3 Simple Steps”.
Hopefully these tips will help you create a headline that encourages people to read your content. If you still find yourself struggling to come up with a good headline, you can check out this headline formula template or you can use this tool.
Now that you know how to get your content read, let’s focus on getting it shared.
How to get your content shared
Whether you love or hate social sites like Twitter and Facebook, you have no choice but to use them. They are some of the most popular destinations on the web, and if you aren’t leveraging them, you are missing out on thousands of visitors a month.
Here are 10 ways you can get your content shared on the social web:
- Don’t place too many social icons on your site – the simplest way to get your content shared is to include social buttons within your content. You can easily do this through plugins like Sharebar, but if you give your readers too many options, they won’t click on any of the social buttons. Limit the number of social buttons to 3, if not 2.
- Not all social networks are equal – don’t just ask your readers to promote your content on all social sites. Only pick the ones you know your readers are on. In most cases, it is going to be Twitter and Facebook.
- Build up your social media accounts – blogs that get a lot of social media traffic usually also own powerful social media accounts. Invest time into building up your Twitter account and consider running Facebook ads to grow your fan page.
- Leverage content blockers – have you ever thought about putting a gate in front of your content that forces people to share it before they can read it? You can see this strategy in play here, and you can do the same thing on your site through WP Lead Magnet.
- Ask for a retweet – by including “please RT” within your tweet, you are four times more likely to get a retweet. This sounds simple, but it works.
- Build your network – through services like Tiberr, you can get hundreds of people to share your content on the social web.
- Ask your readers for help – at the end of your blog post tell your readers to share your content on a social network of your choice, but don’t do this too often as it will lose its effect. I generate 38% more social shares on average when I use this tactic at the end of a blog post.
- Run contests – through simple software solutions like Contest Domination, you can run contests and quickly increase the number of Facebook fans you have without spending a dollar on paid advertising.
- Don’t forget to participate – you can’t just reap the rewards without providing anything in return. To do well on the social web, you need to participate first and then promote your own sites. For example, you should be tweeting on a regular basis or publishing status updates on Facebook that aren’t related to your product or service.
- Collect emails – every time someone hits your blog, offer them a free ebook in exchange for an email address. Then, when you post new content, you can always email it out to your list. This is so effective that in the month of October, emails made up 21% of the traffic on Quick Sprout. Plus, email subscribers are 3.9 times more likely to share the content via the social web.
Now that you know how to get your content shared, let’s discuss how you can make it go viral.
How to get your content talked about at parties
If people are talking about your content at parties, you’ve mastered virality. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it is possible.
Do you know what makes most things go viral? It’s not the marketing strategy… it’s actually the content. By creating content that is exceptionally good, you will increase your chances of people talking about it.
Here are 10 ways you can create exceptionally good content:
- Quality over quantity – I’ve found that writing content that is long and thorough, such as 40,000 word guides, produces more traffic than writing short blog posts. My advanced guides on Quick Sprout can easily generate 300,000 plus visitors.
- Infographics tend to go viral – if you can make complex data easy to understand through visual images, your content will be talked about. When did this at KISSmetrics, we were able to generate over 2.5 million visitors.
- Story telling is powerful – just think about the last time you were at a party. Chances are someone told you a story. If you can make your blog posts into small stories, people are more likely to talk about them.
- Don’t put people to sleep – do you remember the days you had to write essays in school? Well, we all do because it’s not fun writing them… but I bet you don’t remember the actual essays you wrote. It’s because essays are boring, and they put people to sleep. Make sure your blog posts are written as if you were having a conversation. Use the words “you” and “I” within your posts as it will create the illusion of a conversation.
- Be controversial – controversial topics spread like a wild fire. I had a buddy who had a blog that talked about why men are better than women. He did it as a joke. He didn’t really think that men were better, but the topic was so controversial that he got featured on Dr. Phil. The TV show drove so much traffic to his site that his servers went down.
- Be unique – although this may sound simple, it’s actually one of the hardest things to do. Creating unique content on topics that have never been covered before is hard. But if you can create a unique masterpiece, you’ll increase your chances of it going viral.
- Ride the trends – one of the simplest ways to get thousands of visitors to your site is to write on trending topics. You can find these topics by monitoring Google Trends. If you happen to write about something within the first 30 minutes of it trending, you are likely to get a lot of traffic to your site.
- Laughter is powerful – have you noticed that most of the popular videos on YouTube are the humorous ones? They are just downright entertaining, which is why people will share them. But you don’t have to create funny videos that are irrelevant to your blog for them to go viral; instead, you can use a similar concept to The Oatmeal. They create comics and animations that are funny and entertaining around topics that will interest their readers.
- Leverage high-arousal emotions – content that is positive tends to do better than negative content. And content that leverages emotions like anger, anxiety, fear, joy and lust tend to go more viral than content that doesn’t evoke those “high-arousal” emotions.
- Timing is everything – hitting the Publish button at a bad time or on a bad day can mean that no one will read your content. By following this chart, you can publish content during optimal days and times to increase your odds of getting more traffic.
It won’t be easy to have your content talked about at parties, but it is possible. With some hard work and continual tweaking, you should be able to maximize your web traffic.
Even if you follow all of the tactics above, chances are you won’t get thousands of visitors rushing to your site all at once. But over a course of three months, you should see a drastic increase in traffic.
Content marketing isn’t a short-term investment. It really starts paying offer after six months to a year. You just have to be willing to put the time and energy into it.