Quick Fixes to Keep Readers and Share Your Content

I haven’t written a blogging-related post in awhile.

I’ve posted a lot about technical issues associated with blogging, but those posts were geared more towards bloggers. Today’s post is a reflection of things I’ve noticed when reading blogs. Granted, the advice is still geared towards those people writing the blogs, but let me know in the comments if you’ve had similar experiences when reading through a post.

People are busy. Many blog readers, myself included, won’t dive in depth into every post. Many times they will skim the content, share it if it’s convenient or relevant, and move on. Based on my experience with reading blogs, there are a couple things that stick out to me when I do.

I return to blogs that I trust and that I can learn from in one way or another. Speaking from the other side, here are some quick fixes to keep readers and share your content.

As a blogger and a reader of blogs, it's hard for me to see some of the same things over and over again on other blog posts. Here are some quick fixes to keep readers and share your content!

1. Disclosing

I think this is probably my biggest pet-peeve when reading a sponsored post. Most of the time I’m able to tell that the post is sponsored, but I don’t see any disclosure of that fact until the very bottom. I wrote an entire post about the FTC regulations for disclosure, so I won’t go into it all again, but the bottom line is that a reader should not have to significantly scroll to discover that the post is paid for.

I may just have some issues with this that I need to figure out more, but I get super annoyed when people try to hide disclosing their work with brands or companies. It makes me feel deceived and I feel like I lose some trust every time that happens. I know not everyone has that reaction, but I get really bothered by it.

Related: Stop Misleading Disclosure Practices

2. Check your alt tags

“Alt tags” refer to a component of your image. Basically, it is the text conversion of whatever the image is. With more and more people moving towards automated social media scheduling tools such as Tailwind for Pinterest, the captions for pins are drawn directly from the alt tag.

In WordPress, you can edit your alt tag (or alt text) as you upload the image:

alt tags

Or you can edit it by clicking on the picture and then “edit” once you’ve uploaded it:

alt tags 2

If your image doesn’t have an alt tag, Tailwind will either provide no caption or more often draw the caption from the image name, which is also problematic if you haven’t named your images. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not likely to share a photo with a caption of “DSC-2156.”

3. Make a graphic for Pinterest

Depending on your niche, Pinterest is one of the top traffic sources for many bloggers. If you are posting a recipe or an instructional post such as this one (hint, hint), make a graphic that is appropriate for Pinterest. These are long images that allow you to easily tell what the post is about. Canva is AMAZING for creating graphics and even allows you to select “Pinterest graphic” as an option that will automatically start you with the right dimensions.

I’ve read a number of great posts, but the images were either nonexistent or too small to fit with the theme of Pinterest so I didn’t share them. If you’re looking for more help, Ashley has a great tutorial on how to make food-related Pinterest images.

4. Click to Tweet

Speaking of automating social media, “click to tweet” is the box that you see at the bottom of this post that allows you to simply click and post a pre-written message to Twitter. If a post has this included, I will share it on Twitter 99.9% of the time. This is a great way to help out readers and get your content shared, but make sure to check your message before you post. I’ve gone to post a message and found out it’s too long for Twitter and then I have to find a way to shorten it which takes more time. Also, don’t use ampersands (&) in Click to Tweet since they don’t carry over and end up turning in to several symbols that usually make your tweet too long.

5. Proofread

Granted, I may be more of a stickler for grammar than I need to be, but PLEASE proofread your posts. Of course everyone isn’t perfect and I’ve made mistakes as well, but read through your post a couple times before posting it. There’s nothing worse than reading a sloppy post. Ok, there is, but it’s still not awesome.

Questions:

  • As readers, what are some things that prevent you from sharing posts?
  • What other things would you like to see done differently when reading a post?
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23 Comments

  1. January 25, 2017 / 5:14 am

    The pop ups on mobile drive me nuts. If you’re gonna have them, you should test them out to ensure they’re not in the way like when you want to comment. I also don’t like that double read more thing a lot of bloggers are doing.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Hemp Seed Energy Bites {GF, Vegan, Low Cal}My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      Oh yeah that can be annoying. I think I’m on the computer more than the phone so I don’t notice it as much. Pop ups always get on my nerves

  2. January 25, 2017 / 7:35 am

    Great tips! 🙂 As a blogger, I’m always looking for quick fixes to make everyone happy! As a reader, I personally hate when bloggers have tons of pop ups telling the person to join their mailing letter, etc. The popups drive me insane!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…WIAW: 17 Weeks PregnantMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:19 pm

      Agreed haha

  3. January 25, 2017 / 9:22 am

    Ok. I think that the biggest thing for me is proofreading. Too often I write too fast, and this was kind of like a good ‘ouch’ for me. Thank you for reminding me to proofread. I usually do a Pinterest graphic, but I didn’t do that for a long time. Thank you for all these tips!
    Emily recently posted…WIAW: Why I’m Finally Happy with My Stocky BodyMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:20 pm

      Anytime! Thanks for reading!

  4. January 25, 2017 / 10:18 am

    I’m so with you on the disclosures thing. I, too, get super annoyed with it. I’m not sure why, but it defintely irks me.

    Alt tags is something I need to start doing. It’s not currently a habit, so I do it here and there, but I know I need to get better at it.

    I TRY to proof read, and I know I catch some mistakes, but I’m certain some make it through. I’m going for done is better than perfect, hopefully without sounding like a moron 😉
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…My Experience at Revive Lifestyle FitnessMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:22 pm

      I really only do it on pictures I figure people will pin. If it’s a random picture of food I usually don’t worry about it haha

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:22 pm

      Haha yes!

  5. January 25, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    I totally agree with you about disclosures. I find it very sneaky when bloggers try to hide that posts are sponsors. I definitely need to work on using alt text on photos more. I remember to fill it in sometimes, but I still miss some.
    Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona recently posted…Periodization: Why Is It Important?My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:22 pm

      I usually do it when I have an image I figure people will pin. If it’s not a great picture I’ll usually skip it

  6. January 25, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    I loathe pop up ads but also hate when bloggers don’t disclose sponsored posts! It’s ok that you’re getting paid – seriously – but just be honest about it.

    Click to Tweet is now my most favorite thing ever because I rarely have time to comment on blogs anymore but can still easily spread the love by sharing.

    And please don’t get me started on poor grammar!!! 😉
    Catherine @ A Cup of Catherine recently posted…What I Won’t Do in 2017My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:24 pm

      I know. I wish I could comment on everyone but I just don’t have enough time!

  7. January 25, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    Grammar is an area I know I need to work on but I do proofread and send it through a grammar checker before I post.
    I think you need to make your posts easy to share. If you don’t have something shareable like a great picture or tweet ready – then I’m not going to share it.
    Jen @ pretty little grub recently posted…Intuitive Eating Principle #2 – Honour Your HungerMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:24 pm

      Agreed. Haha make it easy and I’ll share away!

  8. January 25, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    I’m such a stickler for grammar, and if it’s consistently bad on a blog, a lot of the time I stop reading just to prevent myself from getting annoyed all the time. And I totally agree about easy shareability. I have to REALLY love a post to go through the effort of sharing it if it’s not easy. Either way, it only takes a few seconds, but I guess I’m just lazy 😛
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Five Friday Favorites 01/20/17My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      No no I feel the same way haha

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      Hahahaha OMG.

  9. January 26, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    Don’t do a wall of text! Break up your content. Break long paragraphs into shorter ones, add headings, photos, bulleted lists. Separate different ideas into separate posts. And edit not just for grammar and typos, but content. One of the best classes I took during college was Reporting & Writing (I was a Communication major). It was meant for journalistic writing, but I think it applies to ANY writing. Don’t be so wordy. Don’t use 5 words with 1-2 will do. Don’t write 5 sentences when 1-2 communicate your idea. Etc. I also work in digital marketing and spent a lot of time as a web publisher and training other people to post content for web. I’ve started calling these “novellas.” No one wants to read your novella, least of all on a screen!
    Maggie Wolff recently posted…Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:32 pm

      I can be super verbose and usually have to read through when I’m done and cut things out bc you just don’t need all of it. And also when I’m doing blog posts you’re right about keeping those paragraphs short!

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