Contently. Upworthy. Vox. Mashable. Uproxx. Pour some out for Gawker. And the major domo of all shareable content, Buzzfeed.
When you think of "websites to troll for good content in a pinch," these typically make the list. But have you ever asked yourself, "Why?"
Why do we bookmark these sites? Why is their content more appealing than content on a more mainstream website? Why do the articles on those websites spike in traffic when others are paying Outbrain and Taboola just to be seen?
The answer is simple: They understand why people share.
These content juggernauts may have hired a team of psychologists to research user behavior, but I doubt it. The aforementioned purveyors of pleasing verbiage may have deciphered some algorithm that reads the minds of their visitors, but again, I doubt it.
Odds are this small army of scrivener geniuses just get it.
If you want to get it too, here are 7 great ways you can make your content more shareable.
Make it Sexy. It should go without saying, but consider what you share on social media. What makes you stop scrolling your timeline? Odds are, it is a visual cornucopia and sets itself apart from whatever else that may catch your attention. From typography to iconography, organization to optimization, what your post looks like is equally as important as what the story is like.
Create an Emotion. Whether you like them or not, do you know what makes those sanctimonious TV political pundits so much in demand? See there? It's happening already to you. They make you have a reaction. Good or bad, who cares. They make you watch and nod your head vehemently or yell at the TV ferociously. How do you know when it's genuine? Knee-jerk reactions create acquisition. True emotion develops conversion. When you create that, you create shareable content.
Optimize the Content. These days, how can you not? There are algorithms, numbers, metrics, and even code named after animals that should convince you to do more than just write. You should also measure how you want those words to be found online. Write a headline that piques interest and content that backs it up. Native content using the right terms, links, and definitions makes content that needs to be found.
Ask your Audience. You sit there staring at the computer, scratching your head, hoping to expose some light to your brain that will spark an idea. It's a lonely time wondering what's next when all you have do is listen to your audience. Sometimes, they will tell you by what they share, how they respond, and whom they engage with your stuff. To borrow a scripture, if you have not, it's probably because you have asked not.
Make Them Return. While you are asking your audience what they want to read, you have to give them a reason to come back and read some more. Are you offering content that is usable, shareable, and above all, teachable? People who use social media for more than trolling are typically using it for learning. Be among those people they bookmark to show them a little something they didn't know before you put fingertips to keyboard.
Teach Some Trends. Every audience is unique...including yours. Although the competition is fierce and most of your bookmarks are everyone else's, don't take your audience for granted. Take every opportunity to share new information and don't assume they have read those umpteen thousand pages first. Just maybe you got to them first.
Take Your Time. From your research to your SEO, listening to your audience to seconding that emotion, the only way any of that becomes effective is by investing your time. If it is not memorable to you, how in the world can it begin to matter to anyone else? Put part of yourself in what your write because the goal is they put part of themselves into what they share.