Relying solely on the brilliance of your written content to motivate your readers to share your post and engage with you is unfortunately not doing you any favors. Each of your blog posts should include a variety of “add-ins” or features that will enhance your content, provide numerous opportunities for your audience to share and interact, and increase the longevity and reach of your post. The idea is make it as easy as possible for your readers to take action as a result of reading your post! Ideally, the action they take will be to share how awesome you are with their friends! ;)
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Disclaimer: Including a variety of these add-ins in your posts will majorly enhance your content, but this is not an invitation nor is it a recommendation to include them ALL in one post! Not only will it take you about 100 hours to publish each post, but your audience will be extremely overwhelmed!
Read on for tips on how to choose which add-ins to use for your blog posts. >>>
Add-Ins to Make it Easy to Share and Follow
1 | Add a pinnable image
Pinterest is the #1 traffic referral social media platform. Regardless if you are an avid user or not (like yours truly), make it easy for your readers to “pin” your content to their own boards with a pinnable image. Hello, free marketing?! Pinnable images are generally long, vertical images that feature your content without “giving everything away.”
Here are some examples of some truly exceptional pinnable images. (Click each image to pin and enjoy later!)
You can find more examples of killer pinnable images on The Common Great’s Group Boards!
2 | Include “Pin Later” links
You may have noticed in the previous point that if you click on each example, I’ve already queued up a pin, making it easier than ever for readers to add your beautiful pinnable image to their boards. As Buffer suggests in their Pinterest Marketing Tips, the idea is to give readers the opportunity to come back to your content and reengage with it, as long-form content can be overwhelming to take in at first glance, even if it is packed with great information.
Need to take a break? Click to Pin this Post to read the rest later!
3 | Embed a Pinterest Board, Instagram Post, Facebook Post, or Tweet
To further illustrate a point, to share some behind-the-scenes action, or to encourage your readers to engage with you on those other platforms, embed some of your recent social media posts into your blog post.
Allow me to provide some examples:
You don’t have to be on every platform online. I’m talking about Why I Don’t Have a Facebook Page: http://t.co/t2JFUWlKGN
— Kayla Hollatz (@kayla_hollatz) July 2, 2015
Instructions for How to Embed a Social Post On Your Blog Post:
Pinterest Profile and Boards:
You can grab the code for your Pinterest profile or boards by visiting either your profile or the specific board on your profile, clicking the ellipses on the top right of your board, and selecting “Make a widget.” Copy and paste the code into your HTML editor.
Visit Instagram.com and sign in. Then, click on the post you’d like to embed. In the pop up, click on the ellipses on the bottom right and copy the code. Paste it into your HTML editor.
Scroll to the post you wish to embed, click on the arrow on the top right of the post, and select “See More Options.” Then select, embed post. Copy and paste the code into your HTML editor.
Scroll to the tweet you wish to embed. Click on the ellipses underneath the post and select “Embed Tweet.” Copy and paste the code into your HTML editor.
4 | Insert a Click to Tweet link
It’s easy to tweet something if all it takes is a click of a button! Now you can craft the exact messaging you’d like your readers to share on Twitter. You’ve likely noticed those clever “Click to Tweet” boxes cropping up here and there that give you the option to tweet out a particularly share-worthy statement. ClicktoTweet.com generates links that you can use as hyperlinks within your content or you can download the Click to Tweet plugin to generate them right in your WordPress editor. You can even edit the CSS so that it’s branded to your website, like Elembee has done so expertly!
Great uses for Click to Tweet:
- To recap long-form content
- To emphasize a strong statement
- To provide readers with a call-to-action they can share with their followers
- To promote your products or services (perhaps with a quote or testimonial)
5 | Provide social sharing buttons for each post
If you’re savvy, you can create your own custom social buttons, but for the rest of us, downloading a social share plugin like Jetpack, Shareaholic, or Naked Social Share will help you create buttons that appear on each post. Don’t forget to add a Pinterest pin-it button to those fabulous pinnable images; you can do this easily by downloading the jQuery Pin It Button for Images.
Add-Ins to Provide Useful Resources and Related Content
6 | Link to Related Posts
In order to keep readers on your site (lower that Bounce Rate and increase that Time on Site!), provide them with numerous opportunities to find related content on your blog. Download a plugin, such as Recent Posts Widget Extended, that will display other posts at the bottom of each post and organically link to related content throughout your post. Not only will this keep people on your site, but it will also boost your SEO.
Pro tip: Add a Post Script at the bottom of your posts. Believe it or not, the p.s. is one of the most read elements of articles and emails! If you’re an avid reader of Buffer’s blog, you’ll notice they use their post scripts as a friendly call-to-action to visit even more content or to sign up for their newsletter. Brilliant.
7 | Genuinely Share Useful Outside Content
When I shared my strategy in my May Income and Traffic Report, I discussed at length the importance of linking to outside content. If you look at the most successful bloggers and business owners, you’ll notice they aren’t afraid of directing their readers to the very best content and related resources, even if it’s not their own. As Erika asserts, this establishes you as a leader and an expert in your niche and also breeds credibility and trust. Don’t believe me? See how supporting others can lead to major success.
Related Post: 10 Creatives Who Are Killing It Online
8 | Provide a Storify recap of your Twitter chat
Twitter chats are all the rage right now. Make yours accessible to everyone, even those who could not make it, by providing a recap using Storify. I enjoy catching up on my favorite chats, like #createlounge, by visiting their Storify recaps. With your Storify account, you can choose the tweets you want to showcase that will give your audience an overview of the conversation.
Add-ins to Keep the Conversation Going
9 | Give readers a reason to comment
Ask a question, invite your audience to share their thoughts or stories, and/or provide a call-to-action throughout and at the end of your blog post. Michelle from Bloomology does a fantastic job asking several thoughtful, conversation-starting questions at the end of her posts and sometimes encourages her readers to continue the conversation on Twitter with a link to her profile.
10 | Provide an opt-in to your email list
Your most engaged readers will want to keep receiving notifications and information from you, but you must make it easy for them to do so. Adding an opt-in box within your blog posts will encourage readers to join as they enjoy your content. A great time to introduce the opt-in might be when you’re sharing your new product or service or by informing your readers that they can receive more content about that particular topic if they sign up.
For example, my email subscribers now have access to my super secret library of exclusive downloadable content: The Speakeasy. Want in? I’d love to have you! Sign up here:
11 | Survey your readers
Add-ins to Provide Valuable Bonus Content
12 | Create a free downloadable resource
Brainstorm ways your content could encourage your readers to take action and take the extra time to create that resource. For example, if you wrote a blog post tutorial about how you organize your editorial calendar, perhaps you could create a printable calendar they can then use while implementing your tips. Going that extra mile and giving resources away for FREE will delight your readers and keep them coming back.
In fact, here’s a downloadable resource just for you! Click the image below to download your free Blog Post Add-In Checklist to help you plan out which add-ins you are going to include in your next blog post. You’re welcome! ;)
13 | Add a complimentary audio/video component
There are so many fun mediums through which to convey your information these days! Take full advantage and touch all kinds of learners through audio and video content. Consider recording an audio snippet that would support your blog post or filming a video tutorial or interview. Not only will your readers benefit from these resources, but you can attract new audiences from those other platforms, such as YouTube and SoundCloud. Think big–you could even start a podcast or host a webinar!
14 | Include an Infographic
Just as audio and video help to convey information in a unique way, infographics also help readers digest information visually with easy-to-manage chunks. They’re attractive and more likely to be shared among audiences, especially on Pinterest. Elle & Company put together a fantastic post on how to create an infographic using, you guessed it, an infographic!
How to Choose Which Add-Ins To Use
If you’re not quite sure which add-ins to use for your posts, use these tips as a starting point. This list is merely suggestive, as add-ins are largely dependent on your specific content.
- Define your blog post’s goal(s). Use the categories above to select add-ins to support your goal.
- Include at least one supporting image.
- Add at least 1-3 ways to share your content or follow you.
- Link to at least one related blog post and outside resource.
- Go the extra mile: Try to provide some valuable bonus content in the form of a downloadable, webinar, video, etc.
P.S. In case you missed it, don’t forget to download your free Blog Post Add-In Checklist to be even more intentional with your strategy for your next few posts. Then, link your posts in the comments so I can see your wonderful work!