So you added a social widget to your blog, with the text ‘Sharing is caring’. You want to use this as a call-to-action to get their posts shared. But when do you share content? What do you share, and why?
Do you share a post just because you see some sexy buttons with the text ‘Sharing is Caring’? Bloggers try hard to get their posts shared. I must admit that it may even increase the chance of getting a share.
- But what’s up with sharing is caring?
- What does it mean when a blogger says it?
- Does HE even care about you,
- or is he just selfish and eager to get more visitors?
There are different ways to explain what sharing is caring means. Here is one:
Sharing is caring means that if you were a caring person, you would share with someone who had less. You can’t eat up food, so you give it to homeless people. You have a big know-how, so you share it with others.
When a Blogger cares
A blogger for example, cares about people who want to take their blog to the next level, so he shares his knowledge with his readers by creating great content.
You can spot caring bloggers by their valuable content they constantly provide. I even go as far as thinking that good writers should only blog if they have something of decent value to say/share. Putting out mediocre content is humbug because there’s too much of it. And google is sick of it too. In the SERP’s, mediocre content can stand in a queue behind.
When a Reader cares
Now from the reader point of view: A user reads a useful article on a blog and benefits from it because he can use this knowledge for his own blog. If this user is on facebook and cares about people he’s connected with, he will share this piece of useful content, so his friends can benefit from it too.
Sharing content on the web is actually a win-win for both the blogger and the reader. The blogger gains more exposure and the reader shows his friends that he cares by sharing a helpful article.
What if Everybody shared Everything they Read?
Doesn’t it make sense to share everything on the web if sharing is a win-win? Kind of yes, but no..
If you share almost everything with your friends, too many things are shared. So we don’t know which content you share is good. In order to filter the good ones, we would have to wait for another friend to share a shared content by this initial friend. Complicated, no?
We can say that the marginal utility of a shared content decreases the more content gets shared.
So, if you from a reader point of view want to be a good friend, you need to make sure to only share content that you think could help your friends. If you share crap, people will notice and don’t take your recommendations seriously anymore. You don’t want this.
Imagine your friend says: This stuff this dude sends me every day sucks. Don’t listen to him.
You don’t want to be a useless friend who doesn’t provide value with your shares.
What this means for Bloggers
Many bloggers get obsessed with the number of shares of their blog posts. And I was too. The more often it gets shared, the more traffic you get. But you can think from another angle. As a caring blogger, you want the best for your potential readers. In order to serve them the best way you can, you want them to read your best content only. If the content is not sharable enough, then why should you waste their time?
- Blogger to friend: Please share my post.
- Friend: I don’t think my friends want to read this.
- Blogger: Just do it for me, please. (he obviously doesn’t care)
- Friend: ***hmm.. sharing or not sharing?***
A blogger shouldn’t bother how many times his post gets shared. The number of shares is pure quantity. If you told all your friends to share a post, the post would reach many people. But many of these people don’t give a crap about your post. Not because your content is bad but rather because people’s needs differ.
How about targeting your visitors? If you post quality content, you want quality readers too, right?
Telling all your friends to share your post, violates the saying ‘Sharing is Caring’ as a blogger. It’s the same as suggesting your friends to waste their friends time. That means you don’t care about other people. You only care about yourself (you just want traffic). You don’t deserve the post to get shared.
Instead, I would recommend my friends/readers to read my article and to share only if they like it. There is absolutely no reason to focus on the number of visitors only. I want those visitors who become regular readers. I don’t need visitors who increase my bounce rate.
So, if you read this far, then thank you for your kind attention and I hope it provided value. Please share this post only if you think it deserves to be shared. Does it provide value to your audience you share it with?