What was the last time you went out of your way to share a post you found online? Chances are if you didn't see the right buttons to share it, you didn't bother. Most shares are very much spur of the moment things, and readers are doing us a service by sharing. What we need to do is make it easier and more rewarding for them to share our posts.
What makes a post easy to share?
When a post is difficult to share, most people just won't bother. Like I said, from the perspective of the reader, they're doing us a favor.
Making your post easy to share is as simple as VACS:
VACS = "Visibility, All Platforms, Comments & Sharing"
Visible Buttons: Make sure your share buttons are very visible, and on as many parts of the page as possible. Even having to scroll up or down might put some people off.
All Platforms Supported: Some people don't use Facebook. Some people live on Pinterest. You need to make sure to link to as many platforms as possible to broaden your reach.
Commenting Enabled: When people interact with a post-it adds credibility for other readers. What is more, people are more likely to share if the comment section is lively.
Share it Yourself: How can you expect random readers to share your posts when you don't even share them on your personal or professional pages? Most people will see your post through shares, so make sure to share it far and wide.
What makes a post more rewarding to share?
Making a post easy to share isn't the only thing we need to do! Just because something is easy to share doesn't mean anyone wants to share it. Even if it's great content, most people have to get something out of sharing a post to make it worth the effort.
To make sharing rewarding, consider PINKS:
PINKS = "Previews, Invite debate, No pestering, Keep it simple, Support your points"
Previews: People like being able to get an idea of a post before even reading it. Some people even share before reading. If your introductory paragraph is a preview of the topics and tone of the post, more people will share.
Invite Debate: If your post is too inflammatory, people will shy away. But if it is too uncontroversial, nobody has anything to say. Try and toe the line, being insightful and genuine, but firm in your arguments.
No Pestering: The vast majority of readers hate being asked to share every five minutes and dealing with pop-ups. This could chase them away.
Keep it Simple: Too many words can make your post stand out for all the wrong reasons.
Support your Points: Always provide sources. Many people will not share if it looks like you made it all up on the spot. They don't want to have to track down studies on their own.
With all that considered, here are the top 15 WordPress Plugins & tools to make your posts easier and more rewarding to share:
Social Warfare for amazing share buttons
Without visible and attention grabbing share buttons, you are unlikely to get your post shared. This is what Social Warfare is for – giving you beautiful, easy to set up buttons that are applicable to any screen. Social warfare is fast and doesn't slow down your loading time. They also offer plenty of options in controlling the way your post is shared, counting the shares and it's customizable. (Best feature is its ability to track every share count in different social media networks)
W3 Total Cache for faster performance
Quite simply, it makes your blog load faster. Readers don't like waiting around, so use this plugin to speed up your blog by up to 10x.
Cite It In for citations
Citations are essential for a trustworthy, professional-looking post. If you are having a hard time putting together a good reference list that is consistent and attractive, use Cite In to get the correct formatting.
Simple Reach for long lasting readers
Ever wonder why so many readers will go through a whole article and never come back? It's not you: it's the internet. To improve your readers' focus, use Simple Reach, which pops up a banner suggesting a new post just as your readers are finishing the last one. Instant second hit.
SumoMe for sharing quotes
If your readers are reading a post and it really resonates with them, they want to share a quote. With SumoMe, if they highlight text they get a pop up asking them if they want to share on Facebook and Twitter.
Plagiarisma for a plagiarism check
Just because you wrote it doesn't mean it's completely original! "People say and write similar things all the time, meaning your work could accidentally be flagged as plagiarism,". To spare the embarrassment, use a plagiarism checker and rewrite where needed.
Optin Monster for email subscribers
A lot of one-time visitors may simply want an easy way to subscribe. Optin Monster gives them a chance to subscribe automatically. Then, in the automated email, invite them to follow you on social media and share your posts. Job done!
Grammarix for online grammar check
Never underestimate the importance of grammar. Especially when you are trying to sound professional. A simple check can make the world of difference to how your article is perceived. Or you can also try out Grammarly tool and browser extension.
State of Writing for grammar
If you aren't sure how to fix all the grammar problems highlighted by Grammarix, check out Via Writing and State of Writing for advice on how to improve your grammar.
Dlvr.it for automatic sharing
If you want to automatically post your articles on all sorts of platforms, including Google Alerts in your RSS feed, use Dlvr.it.
Evergreen Post Tweeter for repeat sharing
Ever notice how some websites never seem to rest? Using a Post Tweeter allows you to share your older posts automatically, improving reach. And you can easily sort which posts you're sharing by category, age, etc, so you know what's being shared. (For auto tweet your old blog posts you can also check out Revive Old Post)
Grammarly for proofreading
If you want users to share, you need to make sure your post is top-quality. A reader might be put off sharing by spelling mistakes or common grammatical errors. To avoid this, try and use a proofreading services like Grammarly. Also comes with a lifetime free version.
Easy Word Count for word counting
If your article is too long a reader could get bored and go somewhere else. Easy Word Count lists characters, words, and the count without white spaces, so you know what you're publishing. Try this out and you'll notice how different it is from normal word count.
Social Metrics for tracking your shares
Want to know how well all these tools are doing? Install Social Metrics to track your total number of shares. Now you can focus on what actually works for you.
Triberr for content marketing automation
Many of you may not know about Triberr yet but if you got anything to do with content marketing while managing out your blog/website. This tool should not be skipped in any way. Triberr is a power suit for influencers and bloggers to boot up your content marketing and social media reach. You can also read my detailed guide on Triberr.
And that concludes our list!
Whether you are using WordPress for a conventional blog or as a platform from which to build a website, without a doubt you want your posts to spread. But if you need readers to share your articles, you need to make it simple to do.
What are your favourite ways of encouraging users to interact? Did we miss any great tools? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments!