Creating a blog that people read and share requires a lot of thinking and strategizing. Try the following tips to optimize your blog and get more shares and backlinks. 1. Be Unique Ask yourself: “What do I know that others don’t?” “What unique offering do I have?” “How many other bloggers write on the same topic and what do I have to add?” You might have seen quite a few bloggers who are so good in arranging information in an attractive, logical, and easy-to-understand way, that they can make the same point as everyone else. Yet, the rivalry is too tough today to rely on this strategy. 2. Use Meaningful Images Is there a point in your article that can be made apparent by using an image? An image should add value to the text. If you’re not sure whether a picture is really appropriate, try removing it from the article. Has the post lost anything important? If yes, then you’ve managed to find a truly strategic image, and it should be definitely included in your post. Readers’ eyes are drawn down the page by photos, so your post may benefit from pictures even if they aren’t strategic. However, be careful so as not to distract people from reading and make them lose the thread of your story. 3. Let Your Ideas Ripen Great posts need time to grow and mature. You might be tempted to share your ideas as soon as possible. Before you yield to the temptation, make sure you really can’t add any new dimensions to your idea (talk to an expert, find more information, think of a new point of view on the topic). 4. Create Sharable Content People tend to share positive information (most of us prefer to be the “bearer of good news”). The more high-arousal emotions, from delight to anxiety your post elicits, the more likely it is to go viral. Deactivating emotions, like sadness, tend to scare readers off. Also, articles having practical value or discussing trending topics in a unique way often get a lot of likes. Sharing buttons should be clearly visible on your site. Don’t forget to use share count, as about 30% of readers prefer to up-vote a pre-liked piece of information. 5. Don’t Write a Post Unless You Have Something to Say Your readers don’t have the time to read generic content. Yes, there is a rule that a blog should be updated regularly and that you shouldn’t make intervals between posts too long. Still, it is safer to skip 1-2 posts if you have more important things on your to-do list. For instance, if your head is full of thoughts like: “I need to write my term papers from scratch within this week” or “If I don’t finish this project, my boss will fire me”, don’t even consider writing for your blog. Bear in mind that one article that’s not up to scratch is enough to lose a lot of readers. Can you afford the risk? 6. Don’t Use Keywords in Links Not too long ago, optimized anchors worked well, yet now this strategy doesn’t seem to be as advantageous as it used to. Links with diluted anchors (without keywords) often work better. Here’re several more tips on internal linking strategy: - make the text in the anchor (where people click on) as attractive (and even intriguing) as possible. You want a reader to stay with you for a while; - use links to “deep” pages (neither the homepage, nor any other major pages); - never link to irrelevant pages. Ideally, the data in the link should provide a deeper understanding of the main article - as a rule of thumb, use from 3 to 10 links in every article. Also, to make your linking system work, you need enough content. If your blog is new, you’ll have to wait until your linking strategy starts bearing fruit. 7. Create Scannable Texts 84% of visitors don’t read the text on the page word for word. Headings and lists – that’s all that will be actually read by most of your visitors. If an article has a clear eye track, it is more likely that readers will be able to grasp the meaning and share it. Enjoy writing every article. Write about something that is your passion, and your readers will feel and appreciate it!