In our 2015 WordPress Report on Power User Trends we discovered that the most prevalent activity for respondents – even more commonplace than doing search engine optimization or UI/UX design – was writing content. Despite spending so much time and so many resources on creating content, respondents still reported that increasing traffic was their biggest challenge.

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Increasing the reach and ROI of your content is critical to defend the effort and time spent developing it. Below are four proven techniques for extending the reach of your content that won’t take more than a few minutes to set up. You know, so you can get back to writing content.

1. Split test headlines

Crafting an effective headline is no easy task, but the right one can make all the difference. When researching topics to write about, consider using Buzzsumo or Content Explorer by Ahrefs to find the most shared articles in your field. Evaluate them for patterns and other similarities.

Then check out Elegant Themes’ guide to writing headlinesor CopyBlogger’s formulaic approach, and run your attempts through Emotional Headline Analyzer. Why would you want your headline emotionally analyzed? Good question! As Neil Patel puts it, “Over the years, I’ve learned that customers make purchasing decisions based on emotions and justify it by logic.”

Once you’ve nailed down some high-potential alternatives, you can use Title Experiments to split test different versions.

2. Encourage social sharing

Installing social share bars such as SumoMe Share or Monarch Social Sharing is a great first step, but how can your content stand out and really encourage people to share? The answer is integrated social cues.

Social cues are calls-to-action for your reader to share an interesting quote or statistic from your content on social media. Because it’s integrated and embedded right into the flow of your article, it’s much more natural for the user to share, and we often see significantly higher social sharing rates because of that. Quotables is a nifty plugin for this because it integrates with Bitly, has a number of out-of-the-box style options, and works across all major social media outlets.

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3. Schedule social messages to drive traffic while you sleep

Even with elegantly-embedded social cues, you can’t only rely on your readers to get the ball rolling on social media. You also need to get the word out. Different social media outlets have different best practices for scheduling and messaging, and since you’re not always by a computer (at least, that’s what we tell ourselves), you’ll need a scheduling tool.

Buffer is an industry leader in the space, but you’ve got even more powerful capabilities that integrate directly with WordPress content. Content Resharer Pro is a powerful tool that periodically shares your published WordPress content across social media to get more mileage. Just set it and forget it, and you will start driving traffic. 

4. Have your content talk about your other content

A relatively simple but underrated tactic is to have your content refer to other content on your site. Remember how I began this article? I didn’t just talk about WordPress trends – I cited a report I wrote, and linked you to it. This can get tricky when you have hundreds of articles and reports across your site. It’s difficult to remember everything you’ve published off the top of your head.

One of the ways my team ensures that we are adequately cross-referencing our content is by using Better Internal Link Search. This tool helps us link to relevant and high-performing content from within WordPress. Additionally, we get even more traction and click thrus to our articles by using sidebar widgets that display related and recent posts. For that, check out WP Related Posts Pro. We have started to put this into our own writing process. Before publishing, our writers specifically select which posts are related to the article at hand. 

Key takeaway: Getting more traffic to your content is important, but it doesn’t need to take away time from creating more content. You can implement the tools and techniques above in minutes and immediately begin seeing results. So hurry up and get ‘em up and running so you can get back to writing.

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