Recently I read a great article by Wendy Neal called 10 Ways to Make a Splash in the SharePoint Community, in which she explains some steps that you can take to become more popular in the community. The Article is really great, and I agree with everything she says, however I would like to elaborate her point #1, which is “Write Great Content“, aka “Write good Blog Posts on your blog”.
This is great, however as a lot of people asked me on SharePoint-Community.Net, How can you get your great content actually seen by people. Here are 5 ways to get more reads on your SharePoint Blog!
1. Write Great Content
I know, you have seen this over and over, but even if you do the other steps, and you miss this one, you still won’t succeed. You need to write something that is NEW or with added value over the posts that already exists. If you write how the command “get-spsite” works, by only copying things from TechNet, you won’t get a lot of views, and your readers will be left with a bad taste in their mouth, since you just wasted 30 seconds of their life. Instead, if you write how you can do something really awesome with the command “get-spsite”, like “How to get the date a SharePoint Site has been last accessed using PowerShell”, then it’s a win! Users that will look for this information will find what they are looking for, and that’s stuff that isn’t already on Technet! Once you got great content done, do the following steps.
2. Work on your SEO
SEO, stands of “Search engine Optimization”. Is it important? Yes. How Important? Imagine Steve Ballmer screaming “SEO, SEO, SEO, SEO” in his keynote speech. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you definitely need to check this video! Why is it so important? Once the initial hype of your post goes down, and your post goes down your blog page, the only hits you will receive on it will come from Search Engines. When someone makes a google Search, you got a big chance that if your post is in the first 5, you will get a hit. If you are on the second or third page, they will never get to you. There are many articles there on how to get better SEO, since there are millions of them, however I will give you some tricks I found the most useful!
Google/Bing Webmaster Tools
Google and Bing Webmaster tools is where you sign up, to view stats on how their respective bots crawl for content. You can submit XML Site maps, see search statistics and key words, see if you have any 404 errors, and a lot more! Check them out!
Ok, now Google/Bing know you exist, but how do you notify them that you posted something? The answer is Ping Services. What are they? In blogging, ping is an XML-RPC-based push mechanism by which a weblog notifies a server that its content has been updated. What Servers are notified? Mr. Google, Mr. Bing and the others. For WordPress, you can automatically add a list of Ping Services in your Writing settings, if you use Blogger or another service, you can google for free ones. Most people use Ping-o-Matic which, with just one “ping” from you, will let many other services know that you’ve updated.
3. Share your Blog Posts everywhere
These days, there is a ton of content to read on every technology. There are lots of people who share interesting articles, and it’s virtually impossible for readers to check every blog that exists for new content. However, if they see it pop up in their newsfeed, you got a lot bigger chances of them reading it. Fortunately, there are some nice free websites that will automatically share your new blog posts on LinkedIn/Twitter/FaceBook for Free! This is the one I use, and it’s called dlvr.it. For a small fee, you can even do it share on Google+, as well as on LinkedIn groups that you are a owner/ moderator off.
Talking about LinkedIn groups, they are a great source of readers as well! You can share your link in there, and it will appear in other people’s newsfeeds, as well as sent in email for people who receive daily/weekly updates of the group’s activity! However, be very careful to respect the rules of the groups. Some of them might not allow sharing blog posts in the discussion area, so make sure you put it into promotion, so you don’t get banned.
4. Make it easy for people to share your Blog Post
If you did step 3, that’s good. All your followers will now see you posted something, which is good. But, what if they could easily share what you posted to their followers? That will bring new visitors, who might become your followers and your reader base will grow significantly! If you don’t make it easy for them to share it… they probably won’t. Here is a very nice way to make it easy for them to Tweet your blog post! First of it is click2tweet. Click2Tweet is a service which lets you prepare a tweet in advance, and then share it by a simple link. For example click one or all of the following.
- Tweet “5 ways to get more reads on your #SharePoint Blog Posts by @vladcatrinescu”
- Tweet “Easy ways to make your #SharePoint Blog more popular by @vladcatrinescu”
While you’re at it, sending a tweet sharing my article with be a nice from youJ.
How About other social networks? There are a zillion plugins that will help you get Share Buttons on your site such as the ones below:
5. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your blog (you)
Now that you got new readers on your blog either from LinkedIn groups or from your friend’s followers who shared your article, try to make them your direct followers, so you don’t depend on your friends sharing it. There is no exact science on this one, however make sure you share your things on as many social networks as possible so you make sure everybody can subscribe to at least one. Furthermore, make sure they can easily find the links. Personally, I use the signature bellow after every post!
If you don’t want to deal with this SEO/Sharing stuff, and want it all done for you already, make sure you check my blog post here:7 Good Reasons to setup your blog at SharePoint-Community.Net
PS: Make sure you also read Wendy Neal’s Article on “10 Ways to Make a Splash in the SharePoint Community” here: http://www.sharepointwendy.com/2012/12/10-ways-to-make-splash-in-sharepoint.html
I hope that this has been useful for you. Leave a comment and don’t forget to like us on Facebook here and to follow me on Google+ here and on Twitter here for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint. Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content!