Please, Let Me Share Your Blog!

I just read a really cool blog post and I’d LOVE to share it with my followers on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere.  But there’s not a TweetThis button in sight.  Not a Facebook share or like icon.  No easy way to share on LinkedIn, Stumble or Digg the post.  Hrm… now I’ll have to decide how bad I want to share it?  Do I feel like copying and pasting the link, running it through a shortener for Twitter, and all that…

I’ll still share this particular post, because I have time this morning, but 90% of the time I probably wouldn’t.

Make sure your blog is quick and easy to share!  Your other readers might be short on time and looking for an easy way to share your great content, too.

Give your readers a quick way to share your content (or two, or three) and they will!

Here are four easy ways to enable your visitors to share:

Apture Search Bar: You can see this in action on the top of my pages.  It gives visitors an easy way to share on Facebook and Twitter, or email content to a friend.  It’s easy to install (just add a bit of code to your footer) and sharing stats on my site have gone up since I installed it.

Facebook Like Button: This one allows visitors to click to “Like” your posts/pages on Facebook.

Tweet Button: See that little bubble with the green tweet button at the top right of all my posts?  It makes it easy for visitors to “Tweet” my posts on Twitter.  It’s a WordPress plugin you can get here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tweetmeme/

Social Networking Icons: There are several options to add social networking icons to the top and/or bottom of your posts that allow readers to share your content on a variety of networks.  You don’t have to be active on all these networks, just give your visitors an easy way to share your content on the networks they choose.

My favorite of these options is SexyBookmarks.  I like the way the icons jump when you touch your mouse to them.  You might also like Sociable, ShareThis, or AddtoAny (each of those are linked to their WordPress plugin pages).

If you’re not on WordPress, then try AddtoAny.com – it’s easy to add to any web page.

Here’s what each looks like in action:

Share This (pops open the box when you touch it with your mouse):

Sociable (shows a row of small icons):

Add to Any (works similar to Share This and pops open a box when touched with the mouse):

SexyBookmarks:

Pick one, two, three or all four of these options and get them on your blog!

If you found this post helpful, or have other great ideas on how to encouraging the sharing of your blog posts and other content, do leave a comment below.

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47 Comments

  1. Good idea, but I had some doubts:

    Will it work in WordPress site? I know that we are limited to install external plugins. There are “native” options? If any, What would you recomend?

    Thanks!!
    Gonzalo J. Suárez recently posted… Fascination: MystiqueMy Profile

    1. Just wanted to add a little note here for anyone reading – scroll down and watch for Gonzalo’s comments later as he solved this little mystery and shared some great tips for those using wordpress.com for their blogs. :)

  2. Hi Michelle-

    Really enjoyed reading your blog post about sharing people’s post. So important for bloggers to post up share buttons, tweet this, digg it or facebook share so other people can get access to their blogs post. How can others share your stuff, if you have no icons/button to retweet? One thing I need to add to my blog is the sexy bookmarks. Thank you for this article.
    Jane recently posted… Using Audio Podcasts to accentuate your blog post, Part IIMy Profile

    1. You’re welcome, and thanks for commenting, Jane. :)

  3. Same question — what works on a WordPress blog hosted at WordPress.com?

  4. WordPress.com doesn’t allow plugins (http://en.support.wordpress.com/plugins/) and they block javascript which can make it a little tricky, but there is a way around that. :) You can use addtoany.com and insert it in your posts. Here’s a guide that makes that easier to do: http://www.addtoany.com/buttons/for/wordpress_com

  5. It’s so true. That one or two extra steps can be a major deterrent. My blog is on Typepad and “Share This” is automatically included in each post. But, I don’t think it’s easy enough to find. I’m going to look into Sexy Bookmarks (my fav as well) to see if it will work for me.

    Thanks for the great tips.
    Patty Rose

    1. That’s great that Typepad is including something in there for you – it makes sharing so much easier for visitors!

      I did find my sharing stats went up when I switched from Sociable to ShareThis and I think it’s because the buttons are more obvious now. Hopefully there’s a way you can give that a try, too.

  6. Hey! I already found a way to do it. From within wordpress.com via AddThis. it’s limited, it open a new window… but it work! Thanks for the inspiration, Muse!!
    Gonzalo J. Suárez recently posted… Fascination: MystiqueMy Profile

  7. Wow, Michelle:

    I just learned a whole log about my blogging software that I didn’t even know, thanks to this post! I had more options for sharing, aside from Share this, so I added them. I was also able to add Apture Search Bar. Thanks you so much for such helpful information!

    Patty Rose

    1. Awesome! Good detective work Patty. :)

  8. In WordPress hosted in his owns servers, you can use the http://www.addthis.com/ service, but only with the first two text limited options. You choose “wordpress” as the service, and the first one or two button options -no toolbox allowed-.

    As it didn’t use Javascript, are allowed as a “text widget” in a sidebar, or as “html” added directly to the HTML post view. The downside is that the visitor gets a new window in which he or she can share. But that opens a new window, so it is not as immediate as other options, and that they get the 250+ services to share, in alphabetical order, so the most commons -facebook or twitter- get in the middle.

    I will try to adapt the landing page, but at least I had now a Sharing button!! (So Jeane, Muse… What if you paid me a visit and use it?? Thanks a lot!!)

    Again, Muse, thanks for inspiration. I will credit you with the extra traffic, and make a re-post of this idea too this afternoon!
    Gonzalo J. Suárez recently posted… Fascination: MystiqueMy Profile

    1. Thanks Gonzalo, I appreciate you coming back to share that info!

  9. This is a great post, thanks! I’ve been wondering what those “sexy bookmarks” are called – now I know! DO you have any suggestions of any easy way to direct folks who read your blog in a reader to do this?
    Candy from Candied Fabrics recently posted… Empowering Indie Biz Owners to Think BIGMy Profile

    1. Hi Candy,

      TweetMeMe and SexyBookmarks both have an option on their settings pages to show them in the RSS feed.

  10. I’m sending along a virtual hug to accompany my comment! Thanks so much for sharing all this great “sharing” info with everyone. :-)

    I don’t like to think of myself as lazy, but I’ll go along with your remark about not going the extra mile in 90% of the cases to share someone’s content when they haven’t made it easy to do so! It’s especially frustrating when you find a really good post that you’d like to share with your fans and followers.

    Your post will help everyone to get up to speed!

    Now I’m going to hit the Re-Tweet button and share this with my followers on Twitter. :-)

    Melanie
    #blog30

    1. Thanks for sharing it Melanie!

  11. Thank you! I have seen the Apture Search Bar on quite a few sites lately but did not know what it is called or where to find it.. now I know. I am going to add it to my blog as well as the Facebook Like It button.

    A question though… is it possible to have too many of these “sharing tools” on one’s site? Apart from Sexy Bookmarks, the Tweetme button and a Zemanta Reblog button on every post I also have a Follow Me on Twitter button in the sidebar. I have been wondering if there comes a time when you maybe have too many of these sharing tools on your site.

    Elsie
    Elsie van Rooyen recently posted… Vuvuzelas, Kuduzelas, Sockzelas, Zazu’s and Other Music InstrumentsMy Profile

  12. Hi Elsie,

    Thanks for commenting! Yes – I’m sure it’s possible to have “too much of a good thing.” :)

    I try to watch my stats and track what happens when I add or remove various plugins or features. I have the TweetMeMe button top right, then the SexyBookmarks and FBLike at the bottom of the post. So far adding Apture seems to have had only a positive affect on my site sharing patterns.

    When I installed the FBLike one I only put it at the bottom because it felt cluttery to me to have it top and bottom, but I’ll also test later with it in both places and see what works better for encouraging people to share my posts on Facebook.

    One other thing to be aware of with the sharing options would be the site loading speed. If you get too many of these tools it can slow down page loading time, so if that happens, it’d be time to re-evaluate and pick just the ones most used by your visitors to keep. :)

    1. Michelle

      Thanks for the advice. I have a very visual blog and loading speed is one of the things I actually have to watch. Lately I resize all my images with Irfanview, smaller but still clear.

      I installed the Apture Bar as well as the FBLike button so now it is a wait and see what is going to happen, although I actually noticed that one of my posts showed 3 Facebook shares since I installed the Apture Bar earlier… Cool!!!
      Elsie recently posted… Vuvuzelas, Kuduzelas, Sockzelas, Zazu’s and Other Music InstrumentsMy Profile

      1. Awesome! It’s fun to watch those numbers grow.

  13. Hey Michelle!!

    I keep doing my homework. I discovered that for blogs hosted in wordpress.COM is possible to get a more functional and pretty button than http://addthis.com which I previous comment. Is the http://addtoany.com that can also have an applet in the toolbar, which automatizes the button inserting process. You can check it here:

    http://www.addtoany.com/buttons/for/wordpress_com

    Thanks for the idea!!
    Gonzalo J. Suárez recently posted… Simple, but trueMy Profile

    1. Awesome! Thanks for coming back to let us know Gonzalo – I appreciate that. Now I know what to suggest for bloggers on wordpress.com. :)

  14. I have been having this experience A LOT lately. I visited a blog, and I’m struggling to find a way to share it. And even sometimes, I’m struggling to find who the author is! It’s amazing. Why do some people make their lives so difficult? – – – or maybe it’s a blog that’s meant to be private ;)
    Fiona Bosticky recently posted… Foursquare Plugins for WordPress, Joomla and FacebookMy Profile

    1. I run into the same thing. If I know the author, I’ll usually shoot them a quick email, but there are so many others I’d love to share and leave comments on if they’d just make it a little bit easier.

  15. Yet another thing I have to implement. I love this, though!

    My blogroll is ssssssoooooo long. If I would just learn to implement this and feed/reader, it would so make my life easier and my computer time more productive.

    1. Have you tried any readers Amy? If you use GMail, try the GMail one. It really does only take a few minutes to setup. :)

  16. Thank you for recommending Apture I have added it to my blog and LOVE it!!
    MJ Schrader recently posted… Adding Templates to WordPress ThemesMy Profile

    1. You’re welcome – isn’t that one cool? I found it on someone’s site through Twitter and then started seeing it everywhere. lol

  17. This is exactly the information I’ve been searching for! I use WordPress, so I have to study what people have written about getting this onto WordPress. But I’m so grateful to find some directions. It’s been making me crazy not to have an easy way for people to share! Thanks so much.
    Judy Stone-Goldman recently posted… Feeling Bookish- Returning to Reading as PleasureMy Profile

    1. You’re welcome, Judy. I’m glad it was helpful. With WordPress we’ve got so many options! :)

  18. Great info and tips are always appreciated. I’m plugging along trying to learn all I can about social media and blogging to help develop my business on a shoestring budget. It is difficult to get found, but I will be back to your site and am following your blog. Good information is more valuable than gold! Keep up the good work…
    Cindy Seipel recently posted… I Did It Again!My Profile

    1. Thanks, Cindy. And just keep at it! It CAN be done on a shoestring budget. :)

  19. Yet something else I need to do on my blog. There are so many things you have brought to my attention that I need to do and learn, now that I’m moving away from e-commerce carts and on to learning more and more wordpress.
    Amy recently posted… 25 Little Match BoxesMy Profile

    1. Luckily most are much easier than dealing with ecommerce sites. ;)

  20. i just added the fb like to my blog. thanks!

  21. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sharon Hurley Hall and Jeanine Byers Hoag, Michelle Shaeffer. Michelle Shaeffer said: Please, Let Me Share Your Blog! http://t.co/c4nVKCg #blogboost […]

  22. Thanks for the reminder Michele. I have the Tweet button and although I LOVE Sexy Bookmarks, it is apparently clashing with something else. The plugin works BUT when I hover over the icons they all say the same thing as opposed to saying Digg, Facebook, etc. (sorry can’t remember what they say). Then I tried several FB Like plugins that would show the profile picture of the people who clicked “like” and the pictures either don’t show up at all or they are not lining up with the plugin graphic. UGH! I had to leave that alone for a while. Guess now I have to revisit the problem. LOL!

    Thanks,
    Linette Daniels
    http://EmpoweringYouthForSuccess.com

    1. Oh gosh, it’s annoying when plugins conflict like that! You might try contacting the SexyBookmarks programmers. One of them actually commented on a blog post earlier this week when someone mentioned a challenge with loading time so I’m guessing they’re very responsive and might know which plugins don’t play nice with it.

  23. […] No share buttons.  None.  Don’t use any of the plugins like ShareBar, TweetMeme, Sociable, SexyBookmarks, FBLikeButton, ShareThis, or AddtoAny. […]

  24. […] 8. One important aspect of blogging is promotion. You want people to share your blog posts-don’t you? Michelle Shaeffer writes on letting others sharing your blog. […]

  25. […] No share buttons.  None.  Don’t use any of the plugins like ShareBar, TweetMeme, Sociable, SexyBookmarks, FBLikeButton, ShareThis, or AddtoAny. […]

  26. Finally added FB Like and Follow on Twitter buttons to my blog, whew! I realized that I needed them when someone had to ask me by email if I am on FB and on twitter. Now I’m all set.
    Thanks for this post :)
    eosgrafx recently posted… Twitter: Make the 140-character limit work for you!My Profile

  27. […] idea for a while in my ideas bucket. Just today I stumbled over Michelle Schaeffer’s blog post Please, let me share your blog, and I got inspired to write my post […]

  28. I am really enjoying your blogging course. You give such good information. I am still confused about how to linking and linking. I hope you will talk more about this.

  29. I just relistened to mod 4 of your Launch Your blog …. and your article “10 reasons I haven’t commented on your blog (yet)” :) so this was almost like deja vu for me! LOL and I totally agree … if I can’t find a way to share it … sadly, I will most likely leave without copying and pasting unless it is a REALLY REALLY important post for me … or I know it will really really help someone else.

    I guess in this day and age with all the options there are to make it easy to share, it kind of slays me that there are still some people and / or blogs out there that don’t have a way to share their posts on word press or other outlets. Blogger has sharing options, Tumblr does, and I know that you can use snippets of code in other outlets too to have sharing options. So in the end I end up asking myself … “How important is this to me that I really need to share it?” :(

    PS I LOVE Sexy bookmarks!!!! I’ve been sold on it since you pointed me in that direction almost 2 years ago :)
    Kimberly ~ Gypsy recently posted… The Journey is ALWAYS More Important than the DestinationMy Profile

  30. I’m glad my coach told us to get our sites up and get SexyBookmarks – makes life easier!
    DavetteB recently posted… Frugal Friday – Repurpose Your MealsMy Profile

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