Content Marketing

How To Make Your Blog Posts As Shareable As Mashable’s

Social media blog Mashable has developed a formula that makes its readers into raving fans who distribute the site’s content quicker than Mashable could on its own.

We all want to publish content that spreads like wildfire. Often the difference between a flop and a meme is in very small details. So long as your content is high quality, the following Mashable tricks will help your posts instantly increase in shareability.

Pete Cashmore

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore. Image by jdlasica via Flickr


Have-to-click Headlines

Shareable content begins with a great headline. The result is two-fold: the headline will invite someone to read your article, a common prerequisite to sharing, and the headline is what readers put their own reputation behind when sharing your article.

Newspapers in the past wrote clever, curious headlines as teasers to grab attention. But today, with most content discovery coming from RSS readers or tweets, it is important that the headline can stand alone. A vague headline like “The Sun Also Rises” might attract curiosity, but without promise of what is inside, it will not get clicks.

The headline should also match what is inside the post. If your blogpost is titled How Seth Godin Rose to Fame, it must deliver factual information about his development. Your audience will lose respect for your brand if headlines offer false advertising.

When applicable, drop “Exclusive” or “Breaking” into your headline. Mashable does this all the time. This grabs a reader’s attention and someone sharing articles also likes to take part in being the first of his or her friends to hear the news. But your brand is “crying wolf” if you use this tactic too often.

How-tos and Roundups

Mashable’s mainstays are the How-To post and the numbered list. Both these post types – because of the aggregation of information – are useful tools, making them an easy sell for sharing.

An example of the list post is 9 Best Free WordPress Themes for Portfolios. A post titled, How To Double Newsletter Subscriptions in 10 Days, promises to empower the reader.

Visual Viral Peas

Notice that every Mashable article includes an image. Content on the web or in a mobile RSS reader is more consumable when there is a visual that matches the text.

No need to shoot your own photos — just do a search in Flickr’s Creative Commons to find an image that is approved for use. And, just like Mashable, give credit and link back to the Flickr user at the end of your post.

Trust Factor

Mashable’s solid brand also makes its content shareable. Many people will not read a story entirely before deciding to share it with friends or followers. In Mashable’s case, some readers trust them to offer verified, timely information – so an article that sounds especially relevant might be pushed to someone’s Twitter stream without an initial read-through. The article’s author might be all the branding that is needed — if so, make the author’s name prominent.

The Right Buttons

An obvious, but crucial component, is placing share buttons on your site. Mashable makes it easy for readers to share its content, without making them search for a button or waste too many clicks.

Know your audience, and what social networks they use most frequently. Decide if you need a full suite of sharing options, or just a tweet button. Mashable readers are tech-savvy, so each article offers the number of shares next to each button.

Readers like to be in good company, so seeing that over a thousand tweets have already been sent might encourage them that this is an excellent post to share.

Nothing is so satisfying as letting readers share your articles with friends. It’s immediate positive feedback, and can build your audience exponentially. Take note of what content really takes off, and be sure to repeat your own success.

Image by Flickr

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