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Category: Front Page

Jun 18 2014

5 Ways to Increase Your Blog’s Ability to Go Viral!


Not everyone can be a huge viral sensation, but you can make sure your posts are optimized for sharing. That doesn’t mean all you have to do is make sure there’s a Facebook and Twitter link at the beginning or end of your posts. Here’s a list of 5 things you can do to increase the odds that your audience will share your posts over and over again.

#1 – Create Engaging and Provocative Titles

There’s a reason you see so many share worthy posts in your social network feeds: their titles are catchy, intriguing, and crafted to get you to click. A strong title can mean the difference between hundreds of readers and none. Between the millions of blog posts published every single day and the endless stream of social media content on the internet, you need a strong first impression to cut through the noise. The first thing most people will see is your title, so make it a great one. Your titles will most often show up by default when readers publish links to your blog on their social networks.

#2 – Make Sure Readers Can Actually Read Your Post

Make sure readers can actually read your post! That’s right, I just repeated that because it’s so important. A picture is worth a thousand words so please DON’T do anything like these next 2 examples: (Both are real blogs.)

Don’t EVER do this. Please!


And Certainly DON’T do this…


You might have just written an earth-shattering and epic post revolutionizing the future of man kind, but if it’s hard to read, it’s not going to get read or shared. Things like font color, size, and paragraph length can make it more or less likely that readers will pass along your post.

Very small or large fonts are challenging to read in longer posts, as are brightly colored fonts. It also helps to embrace empty space; white space makes long posts easier for readers to scan. Shorter paragraphs, headings and subheadings, blockquotes, bullets, and images all create space and break up chunks of text. Bullets and ordered lists are quickly digested, highly shareable, and provide simple, clear takeaways.

#3 – Always Add An Image

When we visit a blog or website, our eyes are drawn to the boldest or most colorful part of the page. That means an image, like a photo, logo, graph, or cartoon will get noticed right away. On social sites like Facebook, posts with an accompanying image typically rack up more clicks, shares & comments than those without . When we scroll through a long list of information, our eyes travel to the images first.

Take advantage of this fact and try using more visual aids. You’ll notice all of my posts begin with an image that sums up what you’re about to read. At the bare minimum you should add a featured image even if it’s hidden from the regular view. That way, when a member of your audience shares your link on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, you will have a mini-billboard that makes it more likely that people will notice, click on, and re-share your link.

#4 – Be a Dependable Resource for Others

People share things that:

  1. Inspire Them
  2. Make Them Laugh
  3. Add Value to Their Life
  4. Make Something Easier for Them

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as particularly inspirational or funny, but we all have something to share that could add value to somebody’s day. Are you an expert at something? Teach people how to do it! Did you discover an amazing new way to accomplish something? Create a tutorial, please! Have you collected great resources on a your favorite topic? Write a list and share the links. Spreading knowledge makes you a dependable resource for your loyal audience members, but also provides them with information they’ll want to share with others.

#5 – Be Your Own Biggest Fan

Sharing your own posts makes it much easier for others to do the same. Once your post is already sitting on Facebook, it’s easy for a fan to pass it on with a single click. By making it simple and convenient, you’ll increase your engagement because they don’t have to put in any extra effort. I post every article I write on Facebook because you never know who might see it and pass it along.

Since I started doing that, the organic reach of both my blog and Facebook page has risen dramatically. A good post that resonates will see 100+ shares and regular posts will see 20+ shares. You can’t beat that kind of free publicity!

Paying attention to these five small steps will boost your already amazing content and make it easier to share These small tweaks build on each other for a potentially big payoff and greatly increase the chances of your blog post going viral!


Jun 18 2014

New Facebook Lookalike Audience Options Explained


Facebook recently opened up expanded options for Lookalike Audiences. Now you can target even more people who are similar to those who have already interacted with your brand. These new features are absolutely amazing and you should be super excited about them.

Here’s what I want to go over with you:

  • What Are Lookalike Audiences?
  • Lookalikes of the Past
  • Lookalikes for Website Visitors
  • Lookalikes for Conversion Pixels
  • Lookalikes for Pages
  • Lookalikes for Mobile App Users

What Are Lookalike Audiences?

They allow you to create a list of Facebook users that are similar to your current audience. You can then target that list with ads and reach a much larger group of people. There are 2 types of lookalike audiences that you can choose from: Similarity & Greater Reach. Optimizing for similarity finds the the top 1% of users in a given country that match your list. Optimizing for greater reach returns the top 5% of users in a given country that match your list. It’s a great way to take a list of 1,000 people and turn it into a list of 2 million with almost no effort. It’s a great way to get exposure when you’re just starting out!

Lookalikes of the Past

In the past, this was a two-step process with no real options:

  1. Create a Custom Audience
    In most cases, advertisers would upload an e-mail list to create their initial custom audience. Facebook would then match those addresses to actual accounts that could be targeted with ads. To fill in the gaps, phone numbers or Facebook UIDs could be used to build the audience.
  2. Create a Lookalike Audience from that Custom Audience
    After the custom audience was created, advertisers could make a second request to have a lookalike audience created. You could choose to optimize for similarity or reach.

Lookalikes for Website Visitors

Back in January, Facebook launched Website Custom Audiences. This amazing feature allows advertisers to target visitors to their websites. This includes any general visitor as well as visitors to specific pages.

Soon after, Facebook briefly made Lookalike Audiences available for website custom audiences. But that period of time was very short-lived. Until now. I’d like to point out that not everyone has had these features the whole time. They were rolled out in batches starting with the beta group so you may not have seen them until just recently.

This is great news on several levels.

First, you can find users similar to any visitor to your website. If you don’t get much traffic, this will allow you to target relevant users while expanding the net from what was otherwise a very small group of people.

Second, you can find users similar to those who visited a specific page of your site. You could use the success page following a conversion, for example, as your basis for a Lookalike Audience. So Facebook would then find users similar to those who bought a particular product (though that will come up again shortly).

Finally, you can find users similar to those who visited a specific section of your site. For this to work, the URL structure needs to include that category within it — or visitors need to be guided to specific landing pages when looking for product types.

An example would be visitors to a retail website that sells men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, hats and bags. It’s important that Website Custom Audiences be created for visitors to each individual section so that they — or their Lookalikes — can be targeted on Facebook.

Lookalikes for Conversion Pixels

Facebook now also allows advertisers to generate Lookalike Audiences for a specific Conversion Pixel. This would allow marketers to target users similar to those who converted (sale, registration, lead, etc.).

Keep in mind that this can essentially be done via Website Custom Lookalike Audiences, too. There has actually been talk of merging conversion pixels and Website Custom Audiences, and here is an example of why that may be necessary.

Regardless, a dynamic way to target Facebook users similar to those who have bought from us is an important development. While you could target a Lookalike Audience based on email addresses of customers in the past, that email list was not dynamic.

Lookalikes for Pages

Quite possibly the most interesting development of all. Advertisers can now generate a Lookalike Audience of pages within their control so that they can target users similar to their own fans.

[NOTE: No, you cannot create Lookalike Audiences of pages outside of your control.]

This will be very helpful for brands looking to grow, but lacking substantial traffic or an email list.

Lookalikes for Mobile App Users

Finally, advertisers now have the option of generating a Lookalike Audience of users who currently use their mobile apps.

Mobile App Custom Audiences are relatively new (they came out along with Website Custom Audiences) and allow marketers to retarget those who make specific actions within their apps.

Now they’ll be able to target users similar to those who make these actions.