I feel like one of the most intimidating things about running a blog is coming up with content that your readers actually find valuable. Everyone once in a while I find myself second guessing whether or not the things I post are redundant and share-worthy. I decided to come up with a list of 19 ways to create shareable content so I can continue providing my readers with posts they actually are about.
1. Organize Content Ideas through Microsoft OneNote
Microsoft OneNote really came through for me when I was coming up with content for Blogademics. It is a digital note taking app that can link to all of your devices. I feel good knowing I can add/edit/update content on the go that I started planning on my computer. It literally gives me the ability to carry my ideas with me everyone. Here’s a quick break down of how it works. You can set up different notebooks. My current notebooks are Maya Elious, BRNDWCH and Blogademics. Each notebook allows you to create a section. The section is kind of like old school separators that we used in our binders. Each section allows you to create pages where you keep all your notes. Oh, yeah… You can assign different colors to different notebooks and sections. Mine looks something like this.
2. Create and maintain an editorial calendar
Once you come with great content ideas for your blog, use an editorial calendar to plan everything out. An editorial calendar helps you visualize your content publishing on a calendar-like interface. I use CoSchedule because not only can I schedule out new posts, but I can schedule out old posts through my social media accounts. Here’s what two weeks of last month’s calendar looked like.
3. Host as “ask me anything event” via ask.fm
People absolutely love brain picking. Set up an ask.fm account to give your readers a platform to ask you anything they want – publicly or anonymously. Ask.fm is a great way to determine what your readers are most intrigued about or what they struggle with most. Use the questions as a way to generate excellent content that they will find useful.
4. Host or join a Twitter chat
Twitter chats are basically a big conversation amongst a Twitter community. Recently my two favorite Twitter chats have been #BGBChat by @BrownGirlBloggers of BrownGirlBloggers.com and #CreateLounge by by @Kayla_Hollatz of KaylaHollatz.com
5. Survey your audience
On the reverse side of having your readers ask you questions via ask.fm, you should ask your readers questions. Put together a mini survey to learn more about who they are, and what they want from you. Putting together a survey through your blog or newsletter is a good way to determine their demographics, how you’ve helped them, what they want to see from you, and more.
6. Come up with at least 5 working titles/headlines
When you share your post more than once, you don’t want to seem robotic and repetitive. Plus, your first headline may not be as catchy as you think so finding 5-7 different creative ways to say “5 reasons you should eat peanut butter” will increase your chances of readers actually clicking on your shared link. For example, another headline option could be “5 benefits to incorporating peanut butter in your diet”.
7. Keep a dictionary + thesaurus handy
Unfortunately describing everything as “kick-ass” or “awesome sauce” gets played out. Using a thesaurus can help you be more creative with your descriptive words. While using a dictionary and thesaurus is beneficial, do your best to still keep things in layman terms for your readers. Ironically, I just tried to spell “layman” like “lamen”. Thank you for catching that, Google Chrome dictionary.
8. Combine blog posts to create an eBook
Really awesome eBooks are usually just a collection of excellent content pieced together in a way that makes sense for the readers. A good place to start is by combining a blog series you have on your website to transform into an eBook.
9. Break down big ideas into a series
The cool thing about having a series (besides the fact that you can easily turn it into an eBook) is that it builds anticipation. A series creates a level of expectancy of what will be coming up next.
10. Interview people in your industry
Doing interviews with people in your industry allows you to share a different perspective on your blog of current trends. Two of my favorite interview series are #HerStory by Alisha Nicole and OlyviaWorks by Erika Madden of Olyvia.co.
11. Have theme blogging days
Theme blogging days are great to help you with consistency. For example: Monday is how-to post, Tuesday is outfit post, Wednesday free printable, etc. Don’t feel pressured to write 5 days a week, but creating a theme for each day alleviates any confusion about “what should I write about today”?
12. Create a series based on the month’s theme
Use the national calendar holiday website to find out what the month represents. For example: August is National Romance month. You can do a weekly blog post centered around romance.
13. Create “pinnable” images for your blog
“Pinnable” images are images that people will post on Pinterest that will link back to your blog. Your Pinterest images should have quality photos and/or text with your website’s URL at the bottom. Regina from ByRegina.com has reeeeeally good example of share-worthy Pinterest graphics. If you don’t know how to use Photoshop, I recommend making your graphics for free in Canva or PicMonkey. If you just want to make some cute quotes, I also recommend Quozio. I got into the habit of making my graphics square because I didn’t utilize Pinterest when I first started by blog, but I think rectangular graphics are more effective. Make your pin graphic 736 px in width.
14. Create CTAs
CTA stands for Call-To-Action. This basically means you are creating a button (or a linkable graphic that appears to be a button) that encourages your reader to take action.
15. Use imagery to break up text heavy posts
Posts that have a lot of text can be hard to follow. Use bold headings, bulleting systems and images to break up the text. It makes it easier for your readers to digest everything. Imagine if this entire post was written without any numbering systems, graphics or bold headings? One of the first things people do before reading a blog post is scrolling through it to look for key points. Make relevant graphics that highlight the key points of your blog post.
16. Add text overlays with Apps
I like that I can add text to photos without having to get on a computer. I used the InstaCollage Free app for a while. I still use it, but I also really like the Word Swag app. It’s $3.99 in the iTunes App Store. It gives you cool variations to display your image in the background and your text. You can also import your logo to go at the bottom of the graphic.
17. Find quality photos w/ free stock photos
18. Create recognizable social media designs
Create recognizable graphics for your social media posts to enhance brand recognition. Here are 3 tips to developing a strong visual brand.
19. Make GIF images
You can use a free GIF image generator at GifMaker. I’ve used them to make ads for companies, but they’re also a fun way to make graphics for your site or newsletter.
Main takeaway? People want quality content. That means brainstorming a relevant topic, strategizing when you’ll post it, and it making it look nice for your readers. It’s a process, but all excellent blogs and businesses have one. How do you create shareable content?