The Content Lifecycle: How to Create and Share Content Your Readers Will Love

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This presentation was for Springboard Boston: http://bit.ly/SHRatSpringboard

Blogging isn’t easy—you’ve got to learn how to effectively create and promote your own content if you want to be successful. Here is the blogging process from start to finish with actionable takeaways:
• Brainstorming great ideas
• Writing engaging content
• Optimizing your posts for sharing and discovery
• Promoting your blog
• Analyzing which content works

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  • First, meet our fearless leader, Jay. Before founding Shareaholic, Jay was VP of Products at Lookery, a targeted ad network for more than 200 million users. Prior to that he was a Product Manager and founding team member at Compete.com, which was acquired by WPP. Jay graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a degree in Computer Science.
  • In 2008 Jay started Shareaholic as a nights and weekends project because he wanted a better way to share content on the web. In its first year Shareaholic won the Mozilla Foundation’s Extend Firefox award for best Firefox extension. Just a year later it crossed 1 million downloads.This early traction truly is a testimony to Jay’s scrappiness and intelligence. He is a true innovator and these accomplishments really laid the foundation for the where we are at today and where we will go tomorrow.
  • Fast forward to 2012 - Our browser tools have grown to more than 2 million downloads and 180k active daily installs.We enable our users to share to more than 200 social networks.
  • We have more than 200,000 websitesin our publisher network using our sharing tools and related content widget to increase traffic and engagement on their blogs
  • And in addition to all this, we have more than 2500 developers accessing our API to power their projects, which include more sharing tool styles and browser extensions.
  • All in all, our content sharing and discovery tools reach more than 300 millionpeople each month
  • That’s a lot of people. In fact, that’s more people than the populations of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom combined.
  • Put another way, if Shareaholic was a country, it’d be the 4th largest nation on the planet behind China, India and the United States.
  • My first blog was about my life as a server. I was a server from age 16 all through college and my blog was just funny stories about my customers.I got an A though!Sometimes I think to myself that I’m really the most unlikely person ever to run marketing for a “blogging startup”… but then again I really think that we’re all sort of figuring this out together.
  • Flitted around from different platforms—tried EVERYTHING and nothing stuck
  • Because the truth is…even though blogging has been around for sort of a while…we’re all figuring this stuff out. I see a lot of really smart people who don’t know what to write about and they don’t know how to measure what they write about. And those who are measuring are only focused on pageviews and they completely ignore the impact social sharing has on that metric….
  • It’s tough to make a plan for how you want to change things if you don’t stop and think about what you’re currently doing. If I really wanted to do a “shareable content” rehaul tomorrow, I’d first take a look at what is working so far for my content.**this is where we’ll talk about our publishers - we will talk about how they teach us about this stuff everyday, how we are learning from THEM, so we are just trying to keep up with them and share what we are seeing from their successes... shine the light on the community
  • So now that you have an idea of what has been working in the past, my next recommendation is to try and replicate that success and plan to test out simialr types of posts. You’ve got to make a plan, and having an editorial calendar will help you do this! Plan it out, test it out: Use an editorial calendar. (if you want to create shareable content you can’t just fly by the seat of your pants!)
  • Take a look at your top content in google analytics to see what is getting the most pageviews. For Shareaholic we offer free publisher analytics for our bloggers, and using a tool like this you can see a breakdown of the top posts ranked by pageviews and shares.
  • Test timely eventsLook @ current events to identify what people are already talking about, and see if you can insert your opinion, product or service into that conversation.So an example of that is something we do at Shareaholic. When there is something timely happening we’ll do a post like “How to follow the Stanley Cup playoffs online” because it’s related to the digital interests of our audienceFor a more B2B, it’s always a good opportunity to establish yourself as an expert based on what’s currently happening for your industry. So, a post like “What the new Google+ redesign means for marketers” or “What _____ law means for real estate attorneys” are ways to insert yourself in that conversation.
  • At Shareaholic for our editorial calendar planning, I actually simply use a Google Doc spreadsheet! It works really well as our marketing mngr Ginny and I both change things on there. And it’s also easy to share with a freelancer or guest blogger who may not be in the same office as you. AND it is $free.99Wrote a pretty good guide for this and the bitly link for that is down @ the bottom of the post
  • SO to begin your post… Write your headline first! Your headline is your first impression so you have to make it count.The keywords that you use in your headline are significant ranking factors.So, optimize your headline for social sharing. Keep it short – around 10 words or less, include keywords and make it snappy and intriguing.There are 3 elements of a really great headline… Missouri University of Science and Technology – according. You have .2 second to catch people’s eye
  • Urgent: Why should I read this NOW? - negative emotionsUseful: Why is the blog post valuable? - ULTIMATE guides, newlearningsUnique: Why is this blog post compelling and unique? - if it’s been said, find something elseUltra-specific: What can I expect to learn from the blog post?
  • Another good thing I like to mention about headlines is that you can alter your headline and your page title…So here is an example from the WSJ where the headline was fun for humans, but the page title was fun for search engines. Google doesn’t laugh, so you have to be a little more literal for him and so by optimizing both of these areas you’ll be good.As a side note… I would say though not to keyword stuff your page title too much as that is the line of text that comes up in a social share right before the link. BUT you can make this still interesting and keyword filled.
  • You have to hook them right awayState a problem – It seems like there is not enough time in the day to blog.Popular phrase – They say that beauty is only skin deep, but…Numbers – ex about Pinterest in WP layout. Use stats from Pinterest being 4th largest traffic source in the world
  • Some think it’s a a little presumptuous that you can dial down an entire strategy into little bit-sized chunks of content in a “list” post. But here’s why people love list posts and why they are shareablePeople ScanHave clear benefits and takeawaysPeople don’t always need a story
  • Write in a predictable voice – if you are more casual/professional, stick to it!Build a rapport by standing out!Cassey
  • Visual storyteller – BuzzfeedSometimes pictures convey the story better than you ever could. Look at this photo—this is more than just a road. It speaks of possibilities, openness, opportunity. Buzzfeed does a really good job with using pictures to tell the story. http://www.buzzfeed.com/txblacklabel/true-love-in-pictures-only-28m7
  • You want to think about the template or the look and flow of your blog content and how that relates to its shareability. No matter what you’re writing about… whether its product reviews of kitchenware or fitness tips or 5 ways to choose a cloud data backup provider… the right format will increase the readability and shareability for your contentThis is from SEOmoz and it’s a good way to think about setting up your posts so they are easy to read and optimized for search engines.You’ll see here that a common keyword is targeted throughout the copy of the post, they’re emphasizing a great headline.. They’re using bullets and an SEO-optimized image. All good things to think about for your blog post
  • So now that you have an idea of what has been working in the past, my next recommendation is to try and replicate that success and plan to test out simialr types of posts. You’ve got to make a plan, and having an editorial calendar will help you do this! Plan it out, test it out: Use an editorial calendar. (if you want to create shareable content you can’t just fly by the seat of your pants!)
  • Be visual! Our latest stats show that Pinterest now sends more traffic to websites than Google+, Bing, StumbleUpon AND Twitter. That’s signficant!
  • Some of our publishers do a particularly great job at branding their visuals with the name of their blog. Like that a lot, increases the awareness for your blog as well as directly adding traffic!
  • Urgent: Why should I read this NOW? - negative emotionsUseful: Why is the blog post valuable? - ULTIMATE guides, newlearningsUnique: Why is this blog post compelling and unique? - if it’s been said, find something elseUltra-specific: What can I expect to learn from the blog post?
  • Optimize your sharing buttons. You don’t want them to look weird!URL – that URL will be wrapped by twitter, but some readers may not realize this and just x out of your share. Choose a URL shortenerAdd your Twitter account!Shareaholic makes this easy
  • don’t just blast out the same thing to all platforms. Pick the ones that are working for you, look @ your referral traffic, and spend your time accordinglyScheduling tweets actually does work, people read on the weekends
  • General tips that will help your own shares and the shares from your readersMeta descriptionFeatured image – auto featured image pluginPage title (like I said before, this is important!)
  • Engage new visitors with calls to action for further learning. Encourage email subscriptions
  • referral traffic accounts for nearly 33% of traffic, and a ton of that has to do with how many shares you get. And in addition, your organic traffic is significantly impacted by social signals like Facebook likes, +1s and Tweets.You BETTER be on social media.
  • What do you see in YOUR newsfeed?People share because something…Defines themTeaches them somethingMakes them laugh/cry/scream
  • Examine your analyticsThese are the top 3 networks the our publisher network shares to and uses often
  • Edgerank – what content works bestWhat percentage of fans see your contentAffinity – RELATIONSHIP WITH PERSON/Brand. is built by repeat interactions with a Brand's Edges.Weight – Comments/Likes/InteractionsTime Decay – How long it’s been aroundhttp://techcrunch.com/2012/02/29/facebook-post-reach-16-friends/ 12 % of fans reached
  • Edgerank – what content works bestWhat percentage of fans see your contentAffinity – RELATIONSHIP WITH PERSON/Brand. is built by repeat interactions with a Brand's Edges.Weight – Comments/Likes/InteractionsTime Decay – How long it’s been around
  • Pin to the top, make it big Timeline – how often
  • Hashtags – a way of organizing conversationTwitter chats – esp for bloggers – there are a ton
  • Scheduling posts – tweetdeck, crowdbooster, buffer Knowing your audience and when they’ll be availableTrack effectiveness with bit.ly
  • @ vs. .@EmbeddingMultimedia
  • Follow the tips from before and have your own presencePresence & account – have your own page to network, but also check your source pageNetworking – repinning, commenting, likingOptimize – use hashtags, categories
  • Talk about engaging, you’ve got to share to be shared
  • The Content Lifecycle: How to Create and Share Content Your Readers Will Love

    1. The ContentLifecycle:How to Create andShare Content YourReaders Will LoveJanet AronicaHead of MarketingShareaholicGinny SoskeyMarketing ManagerShareaholic
    2. Hi! I’m Janet. Head ofMarketingShareaholic
    3. Hey! I’m Ginny. Marketing Manager Shareaholic
    4. Meet Jay.CEO/Founder Shareaholic
    5. Nights and weekends to early growth 2008 Mozilla Firefox Extension Award 1 MILLION downloads February 2008 June 20095
    6. Browser Tools Shareaholic TODAY 2 MILLION Browser extension downloads
    7. Source: Civilized Caveman Cooking http://civilizedcavemancooking.com publishers200,000Publishers
    8. 2,500 + Developers accessing our Share API8
    9. 300,000,000people each month
    10. + +For context: That’s more than Germany, France & the United Kingdom combined.10
    11. Shareaholic is the4 thlargest country in the world.11
    12. Humblebeginnings?
    13. Humblebeginnings?
    14. Strugglefest.14
    15. We learn from our publishers.15
    16. 1 Brainstorm Overview 2 Write 3 Optimize 4 Promote 5 Analyze16
    17. 1 Brainstorm17
    18. Friends don’t let friends post without a plan.18
    19. Analytics19
    20. Consume the content you want to create.Photo courtesy of D Sharon PruittPhoto credit: Bakerella20
    21. Leverage current events21
    22. Editorial Calendar http://bit.ly/SHRedcal22
    23. 2 Write23
    24. Your headline is your first impression.24
    25. Great headlines • Urgent • Useful • Unique • Specific25
    26. Headlines vs. Page Titles26
    27. Great introductions • State a problem • Popular phrase • Numbers27
    28. Lists work.28
    29. Predictable Voice29
    30. Be a visual storyteller.30
    31. 3 Optimize31
    32. On-page Off-page SEO SEO • Keyword • Linkbuilding research/targetin • Guest blogging g • Social media • Headlines • Ad words • Page titles • Image file names • Meta description32
    33. Source: SEOmoz http://mz.cm/y2MX7d33
    34. All-in-One SEO Pack34
    35. 35
    36. Brand your visualsSource: PB Fingershttp://www.pbfingers.com/36
    37. Tools: Optimize for Pinterest • PicMonkey • Shareaholic Chrome Pinterest Extension http://bit.ly/SHRPintools37
    38. Funky page title Not your Twitter account38
    39. Sweet page title! Optimized for Twitter!39
    40. Page Title Featured Image Meta Description40
    41. It might not be love at first sight.41
    42. Link to old contentSource: How About Wehttp://howaboutwe.com42
    43. Related contentSource: Guilty Kitchen http://guiltykitchen.com43
    44. 4 Promote44
    45. Where does traffic come from? 33% Referral Traffic45
    46. Why do you share?46
    47. Where should you share?47
    48. AFFINITY WEIGHT + TIME DECAY48 EDGERANK
    49. 49 Source: http://www.whatisedgerank.com/
    50. Timeline Tips & Tricks50
    51. Join the #conversation.Twitter Chat Schedule: http://bit.ly/UlKN6Q51
    52. Make the most of your time by scheduling posts.52
    53. Twitter Tips & Tricks53
    54. Get visual Pinterest is the fourth largest traffic source in the world. Inspirational, curated photos 41% of adult internet users curate photos or videos online.11Source: 54 http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Online-Pictures.aspx
    55. Get down to the basics. Pin Share Repin Board Reblog, Retweet Collection of Pins55
    56. What should you do now? Complete Network Optimize Presence56
    57. Sharing is caring.Photo courtesy of Milena Mihaylova 57
    58. 5 Analyze58
    59. Metrics: The intelligence you nee to take your blog to the next level.59
    60. (But don’t get lost in the data jungle.)60
    61. Shareaholic Content Analytics http://bit.ly/SHRa alytics61
    62. For more product and installation information, visit Shareaholic.com/publishers62
    63. Thank you! • @JanetAronica • @gsosk • @Shareaholic • Shareaholic.com

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