A well-written, informative blog article with eye-catching images just isn’t enough to make an impression these days. Even the very best content can be overlooked because of our visual numbness in the world of scrolling. To get your blog post seen by as many people as possible, you need to grab your audience and get them to stop the scroll. But, how?
What makes a blog post so remarkable that people will stop and click? Obviously you have to have good content and SEO to have any visibility online, but let’s explore other ways to make sure you’re maximizing your blog’s potential.
Recently, I wrote an article for the Click blog called How To Create Artistic Selfies From Above Using Your Smartphone. The story had a positive response, lots of page views and shares, and is popping up in organic searches because of my creative techniques and sharing strategy. I figured if I was going to spend my time making an awesome blog post that I’m proud of, then I was going to put in the effort to make sure people actually saw what I wrote. Because really, what’s the point of only doing half the job?! Here’s my strategy:
PART ONE: Get their attention.
You already know that you need to write good content, but I want to talk about a few specific items that will make a huge difference in getting your blog post seen. These elements can truly mean the difference between your audience scrolling by or clicking on your post.
1. Choose an image that’s a scroll-stopper.
In our ever fast-moving social media lifestyle, it literally takes a “scroll-stopper” image to grab our ever-distracted attention. We are all guilty of mindlessly scrolling and swiping through out feeds, but there is a certain type of image that will stop us in our tracks. These are often images that trigger an emotional response, are super eye-catching or make us wonder, “How did they do that?”
When you’re choosing a feature image for your blog post, think about what would make you stop scrolling and click. It’s not always going to be your favorite image or the one you spent the most time editing. It’s important to be as objective as you can, and to think about what your audience would find compelling.
2. Write a clickable headline.
If you’ve done a good job on step one, the image grabbed the viewer’s attention. But now you need them to click on your post. Here’s where a compelling headline is everything. A headline is the make-it-or-break-it point on whether the viewer will decide to react to your post, or just smile and move on. The headline needs to be engaging, cute, witty, or something that grips your audience in a way that makes them want to read your post and rave about it with their friends. Think about headlines you’d click on.
Use these headline ideas to help you get started:
- How-to headlines are successful because they offer the promise of teaching us something. Think about how many times you’ve typed “how to” in any search bar. Our brains are wired to be curious, and we love the idea of learning how something is done or how it works. For example: “How to clean your entire house in just a few hours.” Makes you want to click, right?
- Number headlines are also very impactful. They give the reader a clear idea of what expect and lets them know what they are getting into before reading the article. It also indicates an easy-to-follow design that will add value. Think of these examples, “8 Ways to create the perfect selfie,” or “3 Simple ways to get your cat to smile in photos.” Would you click?
While your headline should pique curiosity, be sure not to “click bait” your reader by tricking them to click on your post with a misleading headline. This will only cause them to bounce right back out of your post. And worse, you’ll lose their trust.
3. Add value to your reader’s day.
We are all busy and our minutes are precious. So when clicking or sharing content we want to leave our readers feeling a sense of fulfillment. We want them to feel like we gave them value in exchange for their time. Deliver them details that leave them thinking, “I just have to try this” or, “I can’t wait to read more.” When you pique someone’s curiosity and teach them something new, they want to show it off to their friends and are more likely to share.
Get to the point and get there quick. If there is too much reading before getting to the good stuff, your audience is less likely to save or share it.
PART TWO: Market your blog posts to gain visibility.
The article is written, the best images are selected, and the headline is catchy. The blog is live. Now we sit back and wait for the love to come… Nope, that’s not going to work. You need to be proactive in finding your readers, sharing your stories and making sure your posts are seen by as many people as possible. Because if no one actually sees your blog post, does it even exist?
4. Find a larger audience.
If your own blog doesn’t have a huge following and tons of page views, consider sharing on a larger platform. For example, I’m a photographer so I sought out Click Magazine as an influencer in my industry and a good fit for my content. I’ve written several articles for Click because I know they get far more monthly visitors to their website than my own blog. This is a faster way for me to build name recognition and a good way for me to direct viewers to my own blog. It is also great to get those links back to my own website.
5. Get your readers excited by building anticipation.
If you want people to read your blog post, you have to let them know it’s coming. Build hype around it! Share teasers and/or image previews from the coming post. Share a photo that makes people ask, “how did you get that image?” Get your audience excited to read your content. All major companies plug their products — whether it’s a movie trailer to a summer blockbuster or the build-up to the release of the newest smartphone — and you should do the same!
Not everyone will see your social media posts (as we know that algorithms don’t always make us visible). Offering a few little teasers builds both curiosity and lets your audience know to watch for what’s coming.
7. Share your blog post on social media.
Now that you’ve intrigued your social media following, it’s time to share the full blog post. Start with your natural market, the people that know you. Ask your friends, family, or even your current fan base to help you share the news. If you’ve written great content (which, you have! Be confident!), then your friends will be more than happy to help it spread the word.
Share a link to your blog post on all of your active social media accounts: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. And, let your viewers know where to find it (i.e.“link in bio” or “”link in first comment”).
It’s completely OK to self-promote. In fact, your social media followers want to know what you’re up to! Share your blog post across your various social media platforms multiple times. Use different images from your blog post so it doesn’t feel too repetitious. Write compelling status updates and/or captions. Post at different times of day, knowing that it is not going to reach every single person. Sharing several times is completely acceptable and there is no shame in that.
You should also share your blog post in groups relevant to the topic. I posted images from my “selfie series” to some well known photography pages on Facebook and I reached an entirely new audience. When the question “How did you do this?” came up, I gave the commenters a teaser answer of saying, “I taped my phone to the ceiling, but if you would like to see how I do it, click the link in my IG bio.” (Some large pages do not want you posting links directly, so be sure to follow the page rules.)
Go through your teaser posts and reply to the comments that were asking “how did you do this?” Let them know the post is live. They’ve already engaged with you and will appreciate you following up.
8. Engage with your readers.
One of my favorite sayings is: “People will remember half of what you told them, and 100% how you made them feel.” How true is this statement? It’s a huge part of my approach when nurturing relationships both personally and professionally.
This is why I make sure to respond to all comments on my blog and social media. If someone took the time to engage with my post, I’m going to nurture that relationship and show my appreciation with a response. Because, while we don’t want to be on our devices all day long, we need to nurture our blog post and social media engagement while it’s fresh.
Don’t just post a link to your blog post and run. Communication is two-sided. Showing your readers that you’re there for them will build a longer lasting relationship, and when they trust you, they will be even more inclined to open their circle to you. Letting your readers know that they are important and thanking them for engaging with you goes a long way. Think about how you feel when you receive a reply to your comments. Makes you all warm and fuzzy, right?
Be genuine. Take time to interact with your reader and ask them how they found your article. Share added tips or tricks with them. Show them that they matter.
9. Tag and link to industry influencers.
Another way to get eyes on your blog post is to tag companies, brands or products that you are featuring in your images or text. If you’re showing a piece of furniture or clothing, mention (and link) the brand. If using a special lens or a Lightroom preset, link the company that sells it and then tag them on social media. By tagging these brands with a unique image, you could draw in a whole new audience. Maybe the company will notice your image and you can work out an agreement for them to use it in their marketing or on their social media. This is a great way to get your blog post seen by people who aren’t in your social circle.
10. Be creative and think long-term.
Of course sharing your blog post for the first time is super exciting! But in order to really get the most page views, SEO, engagement and visibility for yourself, you need to stick with it over time. I don’t mean years (this is the fast-paced world of social media, after all) but you should certainly be promoting your blog post for more than just a day or two. Because, like I said, you already did half the work!
Give your social media followers a reason to come back to your account. I hosted a giveaway on Instagram during the release of my Click blog article as a way of thanking my fans for their positive support. This giveaway had my following tagging their friends. Those friends that took the time to look through my profile would see images leading them to the article and the visibility to the blog grew again.
Ask your readers to stay in touch. There’s nothing more rewarding than sharing a how-to post and then watching your readers try it. Cheer them on as they share their results! Ask them to tag you or create a special hashtag they can use to share their work.
Continue to post images that are relevant to your blog post over the period of days or weeks. I like to pepper mine throughout my feed and include in my caption “find the how-to link in my bio.” This keeps readers flowing to my blog post long after it went live.
Why it all matters
1. You want to get your name, business, talent, ideas and services out into the world to as many people as possible. That’s the reason you spent your valuable time writing the blog post in the first place, right?
2. You want your article to show up when someone searches a keyword related to your blog post. This makes it easier to get even more people to read your excellent content.
3. If you’re writing for a blog that isn’t your own (Click Magazine or Clickin Moms, for example) having lots of users, pageviews, shares and clicks on your post tells the editors that readers liked your content and that they should publish more of it. This is important if you’re interested in writing for that blog again in the future.
4. When you build a readership and engage with your viewers over time, they want to see more of your work and hear more of what you have to say.
Creating a high quality blog post and then realizing no one knows it exists can leave you feeling like the wind was knocked out of your sails. But, with some creative marketing, sharing and genuine engagement, you will dramatically increase your odds of getting it in front of a wide audience. Be confident in yourself, your work and your blog post, and go get the page views you deserve!
Photos by Dana Walton