I think you’ll agree with me when I say that getting your content shared by your readers can be challenging.
Heck, I remember when all it took to rank well on Google was a matter of having good meta tags!
But no matter what, it’s not as easy as some online gurus suggest. In fact, it can be a slog.
Well, it turns out that you can dramatically increase the shareability of your content by adding a specific kind of content your publishing queue, the Round Up post.
And in today’s discussion, I’m going to show you how to develop a good round up post with the 15 key ingredients needed to make sure it packs punch and gets shared.
The more we learn about the value of shareable content, the more people are coming up with new and varied ways to share that content.
This is why online copy appears in all kinds of form: lists and articles, to blogs, videos, infographics, and roundup posts.
Let’s start with what a round up post is:
A roundup post is an article that either shares contributions for various sources on one particular topic, or gathers together the most important information shared over a particular stretch of time.
As user attention spans continue to fall, list and roundup posts are growing to be exceptionally popular among online users.
Of course, roundup posts – like any other content, are most effective when they are highly shareable!
Ideally, they should prompt readers to expand your impact through social media.
Following are 15 crucial tips to ensure that your roundup posts capture the hearts and minds of your audience.
Let’s dive in …
1. Write Roundup Posts with the Reader in Mind
Your roundup post, like any other piece of content you produce must be tailored specifically towards your reader.
It should help your reader solve a problem.
Think about what you would want to see if you were a user, and develop a roundup based on that.
Or answer questions that people have asked you during the year.
Answering common questions is bound to make your content more shareable. If you need more ideas, go to forums where your target readers congregate and look to see what kind of questions they ask.
Be sure to use the language they use and include it in your copy.
For example …
Let’s check out Reddit — a massive online forum where topics of all kinds are discussed.
Just about any niche you can imagine is talked about on Reddit. I’m not kidding!
For our example, let’s check out a real, super niche topic to show you how far down you can drill on Reddit for obscure topics:
Western martial arts and historical fencing
I searched under historical fencing and found this forum with over 5,000 subscribers.
I went ahead and subscribed:
Once you click on the new Subreddit, you’ll be taken to the forum where you’ll see the questions the participants are posting.
Here’s a snap shot of what I found there:
The highlighted subjects above indicate that people are interested in products.
There is a question about a particular fencing jacket and the other is about a “feder” or a lighter weight steel training sword.
Now we have a better idea of what information people are looking for and want to talk about in this niche.
2. Utilize Odd-Numbered Headlines
How important is the number of facts or features you’re writing up?
The science says its very important.
Apparently, headlines that utilize numbers lead to around 36% more clicks, and odd numbered headlines are even more shareable,with 20% more clicks than even.
As an example, notice that I numbered this post with 15 best practices.
3. Have a Short URL
Research suggests that short URLS are 2.5x more likely to encourage clicks from readers.
What’s more, by having the keyword in the URL, you can improve your search engine ranking significantly.
If you’re looking for a tool to help you with this in WordPress, try using the Yoast SEO plug in.
Yoast will help you ensure your keyword is in the headline, present near the top of your copy in your post and more.
Its simple and easy to use. I swear by it.
4. Use a Plural Keyword to Increase SEO
Typically, users searching for a singular keyword are looking towards a conversion, whereas customers that search for plural keywords are hunting for information.
In other words, by using a plural keyword in your roundup, you’re increasing the chances that you’ll draw in the right people.
Let’s say your are writing about swords to continue with our earlier example of historical fencing.
For example, let’s say you have decided to write about a particular “sword” (singular) maker.
You should try to use each term at least once: sword and swords.
Google will consider “sword” and “swords” close variations of one another.
A close variation includes misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as post and posting), abbreviations, and accents.
I suggest using your primary keyword phrase (containing sword or swords) in the title tag, meta description and headings.
Give yourself every edge!
5. Use Images to Encourage Sharing
People like content that has a range of media to capture their attention.
Let’s face it, a block of text hardly looks very appealing, right?
Blog posts that are packed full of relevant and high-quality images are 94% more likely to be deemed shareable than those that don’t.
Keep in mind that pictures of people are often more effective than pictures of objects.
6. Use High-Quality Images over Low Quality
Talking about images …
Keep in mind that packing your content full of substandard images won’t be enough to make it shareable.
Consumers prefer to see high quality images, as it generates a sense of professionalism and trust between reader and business.
What’s more, high quality images get 121% more shares.
7. Use Social Buttons to Encourage Sharing
If you want to create shareable content, then you need a website that promotes sharing.
Make sure that you have shareable social media buttons somewhere in every single post.
There are plenty of free plug-ins out there that allow you to create free buttons so that your readers can instantly post snippets of text to their favorite social network.
I recommend using the SumoMe plug ins for WordPress.
I use them for the social sharing buttons (Share) and more on this site:
Just download the plug in, you won’t regret it.
8. Make Descriptive Text Concise
Simply put, get to the point in your writing.
If you’re tempted to write paragraph after paragraph about each point in your roundup post, you might want to re-consider.
Concise text can improve your readability by around 58% in comparison to non-concise text.
People like list-based articles that they can scan through to find the information they need quickly.
Rember what I said at the beginning about attention spans?
9. Make Text Scannable for Your Readers
Remember, making your content concise isn’t enough.
Placing text into short paragraphs (like I’ve done here) is a good start.
You can also include things like subheadings, bullet points, and other text-breaks, you give your readers a far better experience with your content.
Include keywords in the H2 headings as I’ve done in this post.
Plus, one more thing:
Scannable text improves readability by up to 124%.
10. Ask a Question
When readers access content, they’re looking for a solution to a problem or an answer to a question.
One way to develop shareable content is to share the curiosity your readers.
Ask a question and then answer it.
If your audience feels as though they are receiving the information they need, they’ll be far more likely to share your copy with their friends and family.
11. Use the Right Content
If your roundup post includes content and information from other people or businesses, make sure you source content that has already achieved high share and link numbers.
Information that you’ve found on highly popular sites will contribute to more shareable content, and improve your distribution network from the start, particularly if you can get those websites to mention your content.
How to you ensure the content your rounding up has been shared a lot?
Go to BuzzSumo:
Just enter a keyword or URL and the engine will provide a list of results:
I searched for “swords” and BuzzSumo pulled up all of the posts about swords and how many social shares the posts using this keyword received.
I like the tool so much I signed up for the Pro version.
I use it every day.
And you will too once you start using it.
12. Surprise Your Readers
The web is packed full of posts that contain the same old obvious information.
People don’t want to read about viewpoints that they expect, or advice that they already know.
Instead, try to find a few places in your roundup post where you can surprise your readers.
If you give them something new to appreciate, the chances are that they will consider your copy to be far more shareable.
13. Reach Out to People You Mention
A lot of roundup posts contain information about other businesses, websites and blogs.
A great way to make your copy more shareable is to reach out to those people that you mention.
Studies suggest that sending a quick email to around three or five people that you mention in your content can be enough to increase your traffic by approximately three times!
14. Reach Out to People Who Already Shared
The chances are that after a few days you’ll already have some people that have liked and shared your content.
To make your efforts even more shareable, reach out to those people and make sure you keep them up to date with any new posts you share in the future.
Maybe you’ve linked up with them on LinkedIn or Google +.
Send them a brief note alerting them to your new post and why you think they might like it.
Remember not to get to “salesy” or you can turn them off.
15. Offer the Most Information for your Keyword
Content production is something of a competition, so aim to have the highest amount of information in your roundup post for the keyword result you hope to achieve.
CTR increases by 20% if you improve on your competitors.
If your competitors have written about some topics you cover in your round up post, be sure to offer more complete detailed information.
Make it actionable and something your readers can implement today, now.
Make sure that every piece of data you offer is relevant, and valuable.