How to Create Blog Posts Influencers Will Share – Michael Stelzner

Mike StelznerA lot of small businesses don’t even know what linkbait is let alone how to go about implementing it. Do you know how to curate and share relevant content from outside sources?

Do you know how to properly notify your audience and contributors once your post goes live?

If you don’t, you’re not alone. Many small businesses don’t know how to use linkbait techniques and tools to curate relevant content. That’s why we asked Mike Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner and author of Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition, in this week’s episode of The Marketing Agents Podcast.

Big Ideas:

  • In one of your recent videos you talk about Linkbait. What do you mean and how do you do it?
    • The idea is to create content that will draw people (with a bigger platform than you) to your site in hopes they’ll share it.
    • One example, at My Kids Adventures – my new blog – has an article “5 Daddy Date and Mommy Date Ideas for Quality Time With Each of Your Kids” that talks about parenting tips and we asked for tips and provided a link back to their blog with a mention of their name – it’s aggregated content in a post that is designed to be popular and shared.
    • When these bigger platforms give feedback, they might feel compelled to share with their larger audience.
  • How did you go about that? How do you get these bigger platforms to contribute?
    • We all like to see our name in lights.
    • You promote, tweet, and share this content so it’s reciprocal.
    • The secret sauce is most people don’t get enough recognition and people love getting that opportunity.
    • Even if you’re unknown in your niche, if you reach out to these targets and say “hey, I’m putting an article together on ‘x’, and I’d love to get a few sentences from you – and these other people are contributing to it as well.” Once they see that other respected peers are involved, that helps.
    • It helps that you have a nice blog and they find cool stuff they may want to contribute just on that fact.
    • You can also created Linkbait pieces without people at all. You can find bigger blog content and curate relevant content into a new post.
    • People love someone that does the hard work for them.
    • On Social Media Examiner our recent “top 10 social media blogs” post had a contest and it was a Linkbait campaign on steroids. People submitted their choices, there was judging, nominations, and we offered a graphic called the “badge of distinction.” It’s very prestigious and the winners put this badge on their site.
    • You can do it the easy way by finding and sharing, have contests, there are so many angles to it.
    • Businesses don’t do enough to find curated content. People like to read posts from someone they trust.
    • You can create something new out of the best curated content that is of value to your audience.
  • Can you walk us through what you do about notifying your audience once a post goes live?
    • One of my interviewees told me to do a video podcast, and that I should use my looks to help.
    • Remind people that the post is live and twitter is the easiest way to do this.
    • You can schedule slightly different tweets based on the user’s name and it’ll get their attention plus the likelihood they’ll retweet is good.
    • I’ll email the person and thank them for their contribution and let them know the article went live with the article name, and a link, but don’t ask for a share.
    • It gives them the opportunity to click through and share it

      Do not ask for the share. It converts that communication into a pitch and it’s a turn off.

    • When you go out of your way to not ask for it, the likelihood they will share it is higher, because it looks more like a favor when you remind them of their contributed post.
    • Distinguish yourself by not asking.
  • Are there other post archetypes that you find successful for a small business blog?
    • There’s bazillions!
    • I think the “how to’s” are the best.
    • As small biz owners we don’t have a lot of time. Any time you can put “how to” in your post, it has search benefits.
    • 80% of our posts are “how to” posts.
    • Why do we turn to the web? We want to know how to do things.
    • It’s a universal thing for any type of blog.
    • The art of writing the headline is so important to your blog post.
    • I do have another tip. Use “numbers” (i.e., 18 Ways To Improve Your Facebook News Feed Performance, 5 Dangerous Projects You Should Probably Let Your Children Do, etc).
    • We all like numbers. There’s something magical about a numbered list.
    • This formula for both my blogs is nearly all “how to” or “# tips/ways.”
  • In your blog, your page title and SEO title can be different. Do you mix that up or do you write one title for everything?
    • We use Yoast for WordPress because it does an analysis.
    • I rarely ever change the titles. Whether they find it via search, or Twitter, I just try to find the best headline for human consumption that is slightly search optimized.
    • I design one title for both, but we haven’t tested that. I’m not sure if that’s better or not in the long run.
    • If one title is stronger, then probably use it for both versions.
  • You get an insane number of comments. What are you doing to get people to engage with your content and leave comments?
    • An important caveat, Social Media Examiner has millions of readers, and we don’t get as many comments as you’d expect. We do get a lot of sharing on social channels. Sharing is a one-click way to say they appreciate your content.
    • Even big sites like Mashable don’t have a lot of comments.
    • We get comments by saying “what do you think?” at the end of every on of our articles.
    • On My Kids Adventures, we also say that and ask for a comment or input as well.
    • By adding that you greatly increase the chance your readers will comment.
    • The other thing that’s absolutely essential is that we ask our authors to engage with comments on their posts.
    • If someone makes a comment, they’re investing time in your post. If you don’t answer that comment it’s rude.
    • Try to reply within the first day to every relevant comment.
    • The end result of that is that people are becoming more affiliated with your brand and it starts real engagement and evangelism of your content down the road.
  • What social share tips do you have? What tools or techniques do you use?
    • Decide which social platform for your website is most appropriate and put those share buttons at the top of the article and you can see how many people shared it.
    • Just google Twitter widget or Facebook widget.
    • We also use a persistent share bar on both our sites. We’ve got Digg Digg and it remains in view on the article throughout.
    • If you have a mobile plugin, like WP Touch Pro, you may have to disable the Digg Digg plugin if it interferes. You can put share buttons at the bottom of your post for your mobile users. Facebook for WordPress is a good plugin too.
    • On My Kids Adventures we use jQuery Pinit Button for Images that puts a PinIt share option over any image on your post for people to easily pin things.
  • What can we expect from Social Media Marketing World if we’re new to it or a repeat visitor?
    • What makes this different from other conferences is the networking. We have a pre-conference networking event. This year’s will be on an aircraft carrier! It immediately helps you to meet people.
    • We also have dedicated network ambassadors and they try to help to make connections for you.
    • We have a big space called the “networking plaza” to get to meet people and know people.
    • We have the who’s who in social media coming to speak. We have over 80 sessions.
    • It’s bigger and better than last year. It’s an incredible opportunity to get to meet people and to learn.
    • We have 9 simultaneous sessions under four different tracks – social tactics, social strategy, community management, and content marketing.
    • It’s in March in San Diego so it’s nice and warm there!
  • Any last things you want us to know?
    • Check out #SMMW14 on Twitter and look at how many people are already crazed about this conference.
    • I’ve never seen this kind of excitement.
  • Juicy Links:

    Rich Brooks
    Another Link Baiter Fishing for Content