“Cool Kid” Secrets to Getting Social Network Traffic to Your Blog Posts

Each time we run the Ultimate Blog Challenge or I get in a chat with a group of bloggers, I see a trend… some bloggers know the secrets to sharing their posts in a way that gets click throughs and others don’t.  And many don’t even realize they’ve figured out those secrets.

But I’ve got to be honest with you.  I always giggle a bit when people seem to think I’m part of some “cool kid” club.  I’ve never been that girl and “cool” really isn’t my thing.

So if there is some secret club, I haven’t been invited.  And you don’t need to be, either.

So, what can you do, short of marrying a Kardashian, to get people on the social networks to notice, click, and read your posts? 

1.  Write catchy headlines.

Secrets.

Drama.

Intrigue.

You clicked this post to read.  Why?  I combined “secrets” with something you want to know more about (traffic).

Notice what headlines catch YOUR attention.  Then figure out why.  How can you apply that to your own writing?

Example: This post started out with a headline of “Getting More Traffic from the Social Networks” which might have worked okay but wouldn’t have worked nearly as well as the one I went with.

Try this for help with better titles/headlines: Copyblogger’s Guide to Magnetic Headlines

2.  Use interesting thumbnail images.

Have you ever clicked on a link on Facebook because the thumbnail image was interesting?  I have.  The image gives us a chance to get noticed.

So be sure you’re including an image with each blog post.

If you need image sources for your blog posts, check out this post: 20 Totally Free Image Sources

3.  Take advantage of the description space.

Don’t just link to your post.  Add in a couple of questions or reasons why people should come visit and read it.

You could include…

  • A short quote from the article
  • A question about the post or that’s discussed in the post
  • What else would be interesting and grab your potential readers attention?

And on Facebook you can edit the excerpt part, too:

Click on the excerpt (it will show in yellow) to edit the text that shows up with your blog post preview.  And click on those little arrows to change what thumbnail image shows.

4.  Be actively involved.

If you just fly in, post your blog link, and leave without interacting with anyone else in the page/group/network, you’re not going to get results.

Try being involved.  Comment on and share other people’s stuff.  Connect.  Build relationships.

On Facebook, like, comment, and share people’s stuff.

On Twitter, RT and reply to others.

On Google+, share and +1 good things from other streams.

5.  Diversify.

It’s smart for financial investments and it’s smart for your blog, too.

Don’t just tweet once and expect a flood of traffic, even if your headline is awesome and you’ve got 1,000 followers.

Share your post all around the social networks and bring in traffic from multiple sources.

6.  Be in the Right Place.

Where are your potential readers?  Be where they are.

On Facebook, if I share my latest post in a recipe group… I probably won’t get any traffic and I’ll likely be kicked out!

On Twitter, if I tweet a post about driving traffic to your site but use the hashtag #photography or #physics or #insertcooltvshowhere it’s not going to work.  Even if I do get a few click throughs, that’s not traffic that will be happy and want to stick around since I tried to fool them into thinking I was writing about something different than I was.

See what I mean?

What Else Works?

What have you found that works (or doesn’t) in helping get your posts noticed and clicked on?

Image Credit: Paha_L/StockFresh

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39 Comments

  1. Great tips Michelle, I find I struggle with the headlines… It took me half an hour this morning to come up with one, it’s something I need to improve upon.

    1. This is our little secret, Jo, but sometimes the headline takes me as long as the blog post! LOL
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Find the Right Image, FasterMy Profile

      1. Headlines just frustrate me!

        I never know how how much promotion is too much though… I guess there is a fine line, you don’t want people unfollowing you!
        Jo Harrison recently posted… My Top 3 Social Media AppsMy Profile

        1. That one is tough sometimes. My promo varies a lot depending on the network. I’ll only link to a new blog post once on Facebook, but a few times on Twitter, and I don’t share all of mine on G+. I just keep trying different things to see how they work and consider it all a big experiment. :)
          Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Posts You Loved in 2011 (And My Favorites, Too!)My Profile

          1. Michelle, Jo – my issue with headlines is the same and I often try to be TOO creative with them but I still want to have keywords in the titles for SEO purposes. Sometimes I just say forget it and go with the creative, elusive title but more times than not I pull myself back and make sure it has a keyword in it (since my goal is to obtain more search engine traffic)…

            ~Kesha
            Kesha Brown recently posted… What’s Your Favorite Oxymoron?My Profile

  2. I always love the tips you give Michelle! They are quick and easy to implement. And who doesn’t want to be part of the “cool kids club”! LOL! Thanks for these tips though. I probably need to work on my titles to create that curiosity.
    Katie recently posted… 10 Tips for Effective ResolutionsMy Profile

    1. Yeah, my titles are a work in progress, too. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… “Cool Kid” Secrets to Getting Social Network Traffic to Your Blog PostsMy Profile

  3. As always Michelle – great stuff. I know for me, titles are something that I plan to put more effort into.
    Danielle McGaw recently posted… Are You Using These 7 Important Tools to Promote Yourself as a Writer?My Profile

    1. I think good titles are an art form. Sometimes I feel like I m in the fingerpainting stage. LOL. Thankfully there are lots of great headline writers out there to model and learn from.

  4. Thanks for this article! Great tips, especially tip #5 regarding diversify. I just discovered a great tool in WordPress that will hopefully help me with that. Writing catchy titles is another good one. You can have the greatest content in the world, but if the title isn’t catchy, no one will read it. I just wish there was an easy way to create such captivating titles. Ideas? :-)
    Gwen Thibeaux recently posted… Day 16 – Uncovering My Abundance: Revealing My Secret SauceMy Profile

    1. Hey Gwen, would love to know what that secret tool is. :)

      Yes! In addition to that link above for Copyblogger’s headline posts, check out http://headlinehacks.com/
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Does Working from Home Really Work?My Profile

  5. Thanks for the post. I usually have to write my post first before a title comes to me. This challenge has been very helpful with writing. Sharing others posts does help a lot too. I am very excited to where this challenge will take me as a new blogger. This is a great reference.

    1. Titles usually come to me as I write or after the post is done.

      And I love blog challenges! They’ve improved my writing so much.

  6. First, thanks for the tip on changing the description in Facebook — I did not know you could do that! That is great! YAY … great tips … and I agree .. I am one of those that it takes sometimes as long as it takes to write the post to get the title. Sometimes I come up with some clever ones, others times .. not so much. Thanks for sharing the link to CopyBlogger’s article about headlines! Saved it to my desktop!
    Kimberly ~ Gypsy recently posted… Keeping your blogsite secureMy Profile

    1. Yep, that one’s worth saving. Lots of good ideas in their articles.

      The Facebook description/excerpt thing I discovered by accident one day–just clicked in the wrong spot. LOL
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… “Cool Kid” Secrets to Getting Social Network Traffic to Your Blog PostsMy Profile

  7. I use Blogger and seem to only get 1 picture option come up instead of it selecting all the pics I might have put in my post….everyone seems to be talking about selecting the right pic to go with it when you post to the group….Is it something I’m doing wrong when I put my post together? I only use one of the templates and do not create my own as that is so far beyond my capabilities it’s not funny….
    Katrina recently posted… 10 Random Things about MeMy Profile

  8. Great tips. I usually write the headline first and that works well for me but unfortunately they haven’t been as catchy as they should be, that’s the part I need to work on. Thanks for the tips on sharing on Facebook though.
    I find that brainstorming headlines is a great way to get some content started. I just sit down when I have a minute or when I think or one headline and then i start writing headline after headline. After a while the first one is usually garbage and i have something better but sometimes it’s great. I save that file under brainstorming which sometimes helps me get started later when I’m stuck.
    Thanks again for the tips. As always, they are great!
    Tawnee recently posted… Homemade Granola Bars – YUM!My Profile

  9. Thanks Michelle for letting readers know some great tips.

  10. Hi Michelle,
    I am planning to launch my first wordpress blogsite in February 2012 and I have many blog posts ready with me right now. I also have their titles ready with me but they are not so catchy. Can you suggest me any wordpress plugin that can help me for finding catchy headlines? I liked all the secrets that you have shared here. I am delighted to find this blog. Thanks a lot.

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Headlines are beginning to be the thorn in my flesh. Glad to know that sometime they take you as long to write the post as it does to come up with the headline. Love the tips!
    Trisha Philbrook recently posted… I love a sequence of photosMy Profile

  12. Thank you for the tips and the links. That’s what I like about your posts. I can always count on links to more information, if there is a part that I have more questions on. I appreciate all you do.
    Jen Simons recently posted… What I Hate About Your Web Site – Part IIMy Profile

  13. thanks. I’m going to try doing these things.

  14. Michelle!
    So, this is why no one clicks my posts! I think my titles are too pedestrian and to the point.
    Sometimes I disclose everything instead of building intrigue.

    Going to spend Sunday revamping old titles.
    Shar recently posted… Looking for a low-fat, low-calorie restaurant for your next date? Try an Ethiopian place. Seriously!My Profile

  15. Great tips.. I’m still looking to broaden my readership and work on my photography..hopefully 2012 will be the year that my blog will improve by leaps.
    Dominique recently posted… SOC: Starting Anew Through De-clutteringMy Profile

  16. Exactly what I needed! One of my big goals of the year is to BLOG, and grow my little business. Thanks for the hot tips, Michelle, awesome as usual!
    Tracey recently posted… It’s a New Year…business resolutions, anyone?My Profile

  17. These are all good ideas. I feel like I have different audiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Google plus. The audiences seemed to have evolved as more people who have a stronger interest in my content have found me. And I have found them. It is kind of interesting phenomenon, like regression towards the mean. I have been working to cultivate a more interested audience by doing some of the things that you mentioned, like really engaging with more and more people. Many thanks for your tips, cool lady!
    Kristen recently posted… Taking Your Child to the Doctor: Tips to Reduce StressMy Profile

  18. I agree that headlines and thumbnails are a huge attraction. The most important part of the headline is the benefit. I try to include that when I can. Thumbnails make a big difference too. Line after line of text is boring. With regard to the actual post, I like them broken down into sections/points/numbers so I can get the info I need and get out. If I see a blog post that is a series of long paragraphs, I usually move on. Excellent, must-read tips in this post (as always). :)
    Lisa Kanarek recently posted… SCORE Some Free Small Business AdviceMy Profile

  19. Great tips Michelle! I see building a close relationship with fellow bloggers as one of the key factor. Faecbook likes, Twitter RT, Google+1s are required for every blog to be successful.
    Masood Rushdee recently posted… Best Google Analytics AlternativesMy Profile

  20. ok … got it … Secrets… Drama… Intrigue in the headline PLUS catchy images. Thanks for the wake up call, Michelle!
    Andreas recently posted… Typische, lustige, peinliche und häufige Englisch Fehler – Folge 9My Profile

  21. Great post, Michelle! I know that my success in getting people to my blog has been somewhat mixed, but these are definitely some great ideas to help get me over that hump. (My problem is that I get eyes sometimes, but not always, and I’m definitely not to the point where I can take a break and still have people come look at my blog.)
    Steve Nicholas recently posted… The Christmas TruceMy Profile

  22. Great tips, Michelle! I think my biggest problem is trying to find my potential readers.
    Sandra McLeod Humphrey recently posted… Hot Issues, Cool Choices Book TrailerMy Profile

  23. Sometimes headlines are play more important role than the content you have written….
    This is a great trick thanks for the share..
    I am looking forward to join some groups on Facebook do you know some great groups?

  24. Michelle,
    While the titles are always a stumbling block, I’ve found one of the ways I’ve increased viewership in the recent weeks is by paying more attention to my tags and SEO keywords.
    Becky – The Online Video Marketer recently posted… YouTube Layout Changes Again. Here’s The Skinny.My Profile

    1. Search engines can send some nice traffic when we pay attention to those keywords. Thanks for sharing what’s working for you, Becky! :)

  25. Great post as always Michelle – I shall be working on my titles too!

    Thanks
    Lyn

  26. Loved this! But one thing I also found out, by accident, is that if I put too many ‘Categories’ in my post in WordPress, people were unable to comment. So, only pick one or two Categories, and add all the Tags you want…
    Sandi Tuttle recently posted… Feeling Good is BeautifulMy Profile

  27. I think it’s great that you started off by saying this isn’t the “cool kids” club. I try and comment on a number of different posts so that I’m participating as much as possible. Catchy headlines always work. I also appreciated the fact that you said don’t use a hash tag if that’s not what the post is about. I’ve had that happen and I can tell you I will never visit that site again. These are great tips:)
    Toni Nelson recently posted… Business and the AlligatorMy Profile

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