The One Golden Rule of Creating Shareable Online Content

Golden Rule: Create content that you would share even if you didn't create it.

Fun fact: your reader didn't make that, you did. But your reader is the one looking at it and sharing it... hopefully.

When you write, and when you decide what to write, ask yourself this one very important question: "Would I link this to a friend if I didn't create it?"

The pursuit of answering "YES!" to this question is likely the best and most genuine way to write quality, shareable content. We always talk about writing with your reader in mind, but put yourself in your reader's shoes eyes. Aim to create the sort of interesting and useful content that you and your readers (or viewers or listeners) love to share.

By pursuing this question, things will happen:

  1. You will likely gravitate towards topics you are very knowledgable about.
  2. Your writing will gain depth and authority.
  3. You will take greater pride in what you write.
  4. You will check yo'self and have more realistic expectations.
  5. You will get more views and comments and engagement.

Again: "Would I link this to a friend if I didn't create it?"

Write and rewrite until you answer "YES!" to that question because there is one ineffable Golden Rule to creating the most shareable content possible:

Create content that you would share even if you didn't create it.

Once you think you're done, take a step back. If you just stumbled upon the article you're starting at, what would you think? If it's not "Woah, this is sweet! I need to tell some one about this!" - then maybe you need to put some work effort in.

Put yourself into your reader's head as you read your own post and try to imagine if you can see someone saying, "This is really cool, I should link this to Matt!"

Get creative, iterate, research, provide more examples, rewrite, rephrase, delete, and proofread until you have a piece of work that you would be stoked to share even if you didn't make it yourself. If you would share something online, then your audience will likely share it too. Be your own audience, get shares.


Image Source: Huffington Post

Published Dec. 22nd 2014

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