It happened again. I read a brilliant blog post and wanted to share it with others but there were no share buttons. I had no way to retweet or post to my Facebook status. I couldn’t give it a Stumble, vote for it on Reddit or even share with my associates on Linked In.
And folks wonder why traffic is so slow to their blogs.
Here are some of the reasons I’ve read or heard for not having share buttons on blogs:
- “I don’t know how to install them:” In most cases, installing a share button is as simple as installing a plugin and activating a plugin and takes five minutes. If you’re unsure of how to do this, there are a million tutorials available on the web. Also, if you ask a more experienced blogger to help, most will say yes. Heck, you can even save up all your tweaks and hire someone to get all that done for you.
- “They clutter a blog.” Yeah, I know, we like clean blogs. But share buttons can be as big or small as you like. You can even get the kind that floats to the left side of the post so it’s out of the way, but in a spot where it’s always accessible. No one considers share buttons clutter, and no one will fault you for using them.
- “I’d rather have a link in a blog post.”Wouldn’t we all? Folks don’t link like they used to, especially now that it’s so easy to share on the social networks. Don’t sit around waiting for the phone. Get out there and mingle.
- “I’ve seen them but don’t know what they do or why I should have them.”Ok, so you know now.
- “It’s spam.” The lines between sharing and spamming are indeed becoming blurry. However, there’s a difference between sharing and discussing an interesting point of view and only spamming the social networks with links to your stuff. Sharing isn’t spam and as long as you’re not pushy about your own content, you’ll be fine.
I can tell you that after I installed my first “tweetmeme” button my life changed. Immediately my community began sharing my posts and I learned a good lesson in recipriocity. Now, whenever I read a fun or thought- provoking blog post or article, I always look for share buttons so others can enjoy them as well. This is why I’m so disappointed when share buttons are no where to be found.
Thanks to the share button:
- Your community shares your stuff with their community. One post can receive hundreds of shares and end up as discussion fodder in several different communities. People you may not even know might be sharing your stuff.
- You’re building community. Now that others have a link to your blog, they can visit more often and participate in the discussions.
- You’re driving traffic to your blog. Each person who shares your stuff, has the ability to share with a certain amount of people. For each share several people may visit. If you get about twenty shares, you can have hundreds of new visitors as a result.
- You’re creating awareness of your brand. Whether professional or personal, when folks see your stuff being retweeted or shared often, they’ll wonder why. Your name will be synonymous with trusted content and only lead to better opportunities.
Sharing is good juju. It makes us feel good to share your stuff, but we can’t if you don’t give us a way to do so. As much as we want to turn others on to what you do, most of us aren’t going to jump through hoops to tweet your link.
Providing share buttons encourages, well, sharing.