It should come as no surprise that there is a copious amount of awesome writing around the Internet. Every week, I am inspired, encouraged, and motivated by the work of my fellow bloggers, and by posts from sites like Thought Catalog and Medium. I learn from Greatist and the New York Times. As I continued to find so many gems that I thought others might find valuable, I started a “Reading List” series on my blog. I fully believe that this community, like so many things, is at its best when we are serving and loving those around us, and I hope that sharing a few posts a week that I loved helps other bloggers grow their own sites, even if just a little. Most of the blogs I read are a result of someone else linking to them in some form, so I want to pay it forward.
Creating shareable content
Writing these posts has really challenged me in my own writing, as well. The first thing I do is go through my Feedly and delete posts based on title alone. There are a handful of blogs from which I read every post, but by and large, if a title doesn’t capture my attention, I’m not likely to read it. With 200+ blogs in my reader, I don’t have time to read each and every post. Knowing that this is my own habit has helped me to be more intentional about the title for the posts on my own blog, although I’ll admit that “2014 workouts, week xx” certainly lacks a certain pizzazz.
On that same note, I’ve tried to increasingly focus on quality over quantity in terms of how frequently I’m posting. I would rather have a couple of posts that I put my heart and soul into than a dozen that I wrote just for the sake of hitting publish. The strange thing about that is, though, that the more I focus on quality, the more I feel inspired to write. While my blog is first and foremost something just for me, I am also trying to create a brand for myself and with that comes creating (what I hope is) higher quality writing. I recognize that I’m far from perfect in this regard, but it’s something I’m striving to improve.
So, to be shareable, start with the title and make it attention grabbing. Beyond that, focus on the quality of your content.
Finding things to share
There are two things that are absolute life-savers when it comes to writing these posts: the favorites option in Twitter and the Saved for Later option in Feedly; Pocket is another option, although one I haven’t made a habit of using (yet). As I’m scrolling through both of these throughout the day, I’ll flag anything that sounds like it might be shareable. Every couple of days (or usually on Friday nights before the post goes live on Saturday), I go through and pull out the posts that I want to share in my reading list. I would say about half, at most, of what I mark for later gets included.
Why should you read what I liked?
One thing that I’ve tried to be particularly diligent about when writing my posts is to not only share the link to the article or blog post, but credit the source and share a brief line about why I found it worth sharing, including a snippet from the article. By doing this, I hope to give my readers a little taste of what they would be reading so they know if it’s something they want to click over to read in full.
An example from a recent reading list:
The Hardest Thing About Doing What You Love via Medium because there’s a lot of wisdom in this, even for those not (yet!) doing what they love.
But not shutting off is dangerous, and doing what I love has often caused me to rapidly approach burnout. I’ve had my lowest of lows because I couldn’t find any semblance of work-life balance.
Writing these weekly reading list posts has helped me discover so many great voices in efforts to find content that, for me, is worth sharing. I know that when someone shares my posts, be it via social media or their own blog, it always makes me smile. Being recognized, even in a small way, is a nice feeling, so I hope that I can share that moment with others!
Read more from Mindy at Just a One Girl Revolution!