Ever feel like you’re publishing blog content to an empty theater? It can be frustrating when you don’t get clicks, shares and reads for your content. What’s the point in writing if no one cares?

Listen up: you’ve got to make people care. You do that by first creating really awesome content, and then sharing it the right way. Here’s how.

1. Research Your Topics

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I assure you: anything you want to write about has already been written. So how can you stand out? Find your own angle. Search for a topic you’re considering and see what articles are already out there. How can yours be different and better? Your personal opinion is one unique factor, and you can also include lots of research and statistics (if your audience craves it) to make it the go-to source.

Note: researching will take some time. So don’t expect to jot off a quick blog article and have it be good. Increasing visibility is well worth the time investment.

2. Mix Up Your Content

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If you always write a 400-word blog post, you’re providing a pretty monotonous experience for readers. Vary it up and pique interest by diversifying your content. Write an e-book (a great way to get email signups). Include a video post or infographic in your blog lineup. Try to include different types of content to reach different types of people.

3. Love What You Write

After you complete an article, read it. Do you love it? Would you enjoy reading it if you stumbled upon it? You should be proud of everything you produce. The hope is that if you love it, others will too.

4. Use Humor and Informality

I find that people respond better to my posts that sound like I’m having a casual conversation with them, rather than stiff, formal content. Pretend you’re BFFs with your reader. What would you tell them? You wouldn’t use $20 words, so keep your language digestible.

My caveat here: first know your audience. If they don’t respond well to casual content, don’t write it! But a witty comment here or there is likely to evoke a smile with any reader.

5. Ask for Shares

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You should build in sharing every article you publish into the writing process. I like to schedule one share a day for a week of any new post. Vary your social update so it’s not always just the blog title. And ask for shares. You’ll find people want to help you, so sometimes all they need is a little nudge to do so.

Bonus tip: if you share some of your connections’ content, they’ll be that much more likely to share yours back.

6. Leverage Social Listening

If you need content ideas, spend some time doing social media listening. You’ll find out what people in your industry care about right now, which makes excellent blog fodder. If you know that a certain piece of news is all the buzz right now, you can write a blog post that will get shared far and wide. That’s what I did with my recent post, “If Twitter Removes Character Limit, How Will Marketers Benefit?” Because I knew it was a topic people cared about, I wrote about it.

There’s no secret formula to having content go viral, but these practices will help you see more shares and reads of your content.

Social Media Listening

Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3

About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.