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10 Blogging Tips That Increase Shares & Engagement

10blogging_tipsAre you getting enough traction with your blogging efforts on social media?

Do your readers spend several minutes on your blogs or are they disappearing in seconds?

There are several blogging tips that can boost engagement with your readers but in the past couple years, there are a few that have proven to be very useful for us here at Top Dog Social Media. We were honored to be named one of the 10 Top Social Media Blogs of 2014 by Social Media Examiner and really had to reflect on the things that made us different this year.

We realized several important lessons and incorporated them into the following blogging tips to help you better connect with your readers. Each tip aims to help you achieve one or more of these goals:

  • Increase time spent on your blog
  • Increase blog comments
  • Encourage more shares across all major social networks

1. “How To” Blogs: Stop Telling Readers What To Do, Show Them How

Focus more on providing “how to” tips and information that readers can immediately act upon. Being vague with your tips makes people think your content is fluffy and will result in them not returning to your blog.

For example, the most popular blog posts on our site last year were on LinkedIn etiquette, a task list with over 25 specific social media tasks and a step-by-step guide to creating the perfect LinkedIn profile. Each of these articles provides immediate tangible value and put the ball in the reader’s court to do something about it. Don’t tell people what to do, show them how to do it. 

2. Embed A Video That Supports Your Point

This works best if it is your own video but if video isn’t your thing, there are millions of videos being uploaded to the web every day that you can embed into your blog content if it’s relevant. Here’s a great video from Rocky Walls that describes four common mistakes bloggers make when embedding video on their blog.

3. Put Tweetable Quotes In Your Blogs

Using services like Click To Tweet have become an engagement goldmine for us at Top Dog Social Media. We’ve used them for articles to give readers a quick way to share the most impactful points in the article with their own audience. This is very appreciated in a world where everyone is constantly creating tweets and social media posts for their own presence.

Here’s how I do it to get maximum value:

  1. Pick a short snippet that would make a great tweet from your blog
  2. Use Click To Tweet to setup the tweet
  3. Make it short enough so that you can include a link back to the article and “via @yourusername” at the endScreen Shot 2014-03-18 at 9.21.50 AM

4. Give Them Something Visual To Share

People are always looking for great content to share that makes them look good and visuals often do this better than plain text articles. We got heavy into infographics throughout 2013 and that resulted in a ton of pins to Pinterest – something we weren’t previously getting.

Here are a few types of visuals you can incorporate that always result in higher shares:

  • Large infographics
  • Mini infographics
  • Quote graphics
  • Blog title graphics (like the one of the top of this article)
  • Graphics that show interesting stats

5. Embed Social Media Posts Into Your Blog

We got a crazy amount of traffic after showing off a couple popular people’s posts in our blog and telling them about it afterwards. They shared it to their exceptionally larger networks and, in one specific case, we ended up on the front page of Reddit’s technology section due to the attention, which resulted in over 30,000 new views to our blog.

You should also consider embedding your own social media posts into blog posts, if they are relevant to the point you are making. This can be an excellent way to leverage blog traffic to gain organic Facebook reach.

 

6. Consider Using Facebook’s Commenting System

I can’t believe I’m going to say this but there are some benefits to using the Facebook commenting system. Although I dislike not having my comment system hosted directly on my website, I have to admit that our comments drastically increased when we started using the Facebook comment system.

I personally feel that a lot of people feel more inclined to comment using the Facebook comment system as they are usually already logged in and the convenience factor is there. However, others have argued this can deter comments. Either way, Facebook comments do bring more viral promotion to your articles when people comment. If that’s something that interests you, consider it!

7. Set Up Google Authorship

According to this guy, using Google Authorship on your blog can increase G+ engagement by 281%. Nobody is too cool to pass up on 281%. Plus it looks really professional in search results.

Setup Google Authorship for your website now!Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 9.42.31 AM

8. Get Personal

A few of our articles that received the most engagement and social shares last year were also ones that were the most passionate and personal. Your readers are more attracted to your work when you reveal your deep, dark secrets about whatever it is you do.

It’s not just about giving out great tips, sometimes it’s more about revealing more honesty than others are willing to share. We were one of the first to be publicly vocal about the massive drop in Facebook organic reach during December and our site broke it’s biggest traffic record three times in a row in one week. As a known “social media expert” I was concerned about admiting that we had no solution for the Facebook organic reach debacle, that I even considered deleting the post right before publishing it, thinking that maybe I revealed a little too much. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

9. Get Mobile Friendly

Our mobile traffic has grown drastically year-over-year the past two years by over 300%. To be frank, it’s not because our site is any more mobile-optimized than it was before (although it has been mobile friendly since the beginning). It’s because readers are getting more mobile.

Last year it was predicted that the mobile web would take over the desktop web in 2014. Are you prepared to potentially lose all that traffic if you aren’t mobile-friendly?

10. Quality Over Quantity Wins

Before 2013 we were extremely consistent about putting out two articles a week even if it killed us. We’re a small operation that does an insane amount of projects in a year so we realized that we had to focus on quality, not quantity.

Instead we didn’t to change our strategy and only publish one article a week, unless there is an additional guest post, and we make sure it’s as good as possible. Google likes fresh, regular content but it likes quality even more.

What Blogging Tips Do You Find Most Helpful?

We would be lying if we said that we come up with all of our blogging tips alone. Most of the great ideas we share have been pioneered by readers like you! Please let us know which of these tips you agree with, disagree with and any others you feel should be on the list.  Share in the comments below.