Share Triggers: How to Create More Powerful Content

I realised recently that MoreNiche affiliate managers have been misleading affiliates for years, certainly since I’ve been with the company.  Over and over we have told affiliates to do the same thing which really isn’t good for their sites, ranking, traffic or user experience. Shocked?!

Before you head off and leave us though, let me explain.  Once you’ve written your product reviews, what do we tell you to do? Go and write lots of generic content relating to your niche.  

Now we know what we mean by that. We mean content that isn’t related to specific products. But if you look up the word generic in the Oxford dictionary it means “lacking imagination or individuality; predictable and unoriginal”.  
Perhaps we need to come up with a new term, because we certainly don’t want you working away, spending hours and hours creating hundreds of articles or blog posts that meet the dictionary definition.

And that leads me onto a concept I came across… share triggers.

What are Share Triggers?

Share triggers are specific elements you include in your content which make people more likely to share that content with others.

They’re the things that turn your article or blog post from generic, predictable content, into content that stands out, makes people read and prompts people to share it or link to it.

They’re also the same elements that make people take other actions, such as buying a product.

Share triggers were researched by behavioural scientists, Jonah Berger and Katherine L. Milkman who found the following:

  • Content that arouses strong emotion is most likely to be shared
  • Positive content is shared more than negative content
  • Triggering emotions such as awe, anger, anxiety, surprise, joy, fear and lust gets readers to take action
  • Practical, useful content is also more likely to be successful

Now perhaps none of that is amazingly ground breaking news?  But it’s certainly worth looking again at the kind of content you’re writing and thinking ‘does my article really do that?’.

It’s also worth checking out Rachel’s copywriting article which includes Power Words (Step 5) which are going to help you craft your share trigger content.

10x Content, Skyscraper Content and Ego Bait

For many affiliates, practical, useful content is going to be the “easiest”  to create.  How-tos, articles that explain at particular topic, in-depth guides, case studies and plans for readers to follow.

Of course, everyone is trying to do the same, so to beat all the other affiliates you’re going to have to bring your A-game. You need to create what Moz.com call 10x content.  

You’re not going to be able to create this type of content in just thirty minutes, and you’re not going to be able to outsource it to someone on Fiverr or Upwork… at least not without one hell of a lot of prep work first to define exactly what it is that you need.  

But that doesn’t matter. Because unlike many blog posts or articles that you have done that with and which don’t bring any traffic to your site, you’re going to work on this one so that it does.

Brian from Backlinko.com also has a concept for extra special content.  He calls it the Skyscraper Technique. The idea is to find the best content you can on a particular subject, and then ask yourself how you could make that content even better. And then of course, create it.  As he says, make it longer (only in a worthwhile way of course), make it more up to date, make it more thorough and better researched, and maybe even make it better designed.

P.S. check out each of the links in this article for much more in-depth awesome content than mine… they’ve cracked the share triggers and that’s why I’m linking to it and sharing it with you.

Another thing from the share triggers research is that people like to share things that make them look good. That’s why people share funny, interesting, useful content… because it makes them look funny, useful and interesting to others.  Ego bait employs a slight twist on this idea; creating content that specific, influential people will want to share… because it includes them in it.

Push the Boundaries…

Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries, that’s what’s going to make your article different and make it stand out from all the others.

Take a stance and have an opinion on your subject, maybe be a bit controversial.  You don’t want to put your readers off, but if you can create some shock and surprise, provoke people’s thoughts and emotions then you’re certainly going to get people talking about your article, engaging with you and potentially sharing it with others. Our director Andy likes to do a bit of this from time to time!

Longer content too used to be a no-no. People won’t read it, they said. But I see affiliates doing very well with long content, not just 1200 words, but 2000, 3000 or more. Of course long content on it’s own doesn’t mean success. But long content is naturally going to contain more relevant, topical key words and phrases. And studies by Moz and Neil Patel found longer content seemed to generate more backlinks and social shares. So if you have a great 10x content idea and can craft those words (including power words and share triggers) to perfection, then you could be on the road to success.

And don’t feel like you need to publish a new article or blog post every day or multiple times per day. Fresh content is important if you’re writing on the latest news, and of course all content needs to be up to date. But Google doesn’t want you creating new posts for the sake of it, that don’t add anything to what’s already available online, and that don’t generate traffic to your site. Backlinko Brian is always talking about how he only has (I think) 33 posts on his site. He focuses instead on creating, in his words, awesome content and then reaching out to people to link to and share it.

Did you learn anything new here?

No?  Good. In a way there is nothing really revolutionary in this article. But it’s a good idea for everyone from time to time to evaluate what they’re currently doing and consider if it’s the best they can be.


2 replies on “Share Triggers: How to Create More Powerful Content”

In my experience, using certain types of posts can raise social shares and backlinks up to 10 times. This is the main linkbuilding strategy for me. I advise reading some psychological books on copyrighting to find out more about social triggers.

Nice stat Michael

If you have any particular books you recommend please do let us know 🙂

Our MoreNiche copyright Rachel recommends Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini for any affiliates looking to start reading on this subject.

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