If you’re using WordPress.com to build your brand online, you can increase your engagements and generate social proof by getting more “Likes” on your posts.
We are not talking about Facebook likes! We are talking about WordPress likes.
In this article, we’ll go over how people can “Like” your WordPress.com posts and offer a few tips about how you can get more likes on each post.
Yes, You Can
AGAIN, yes, you can get “Likes” on WordPress.com. They’re not Facebook “Likes,” either. They’re totally specific to the WordPress platform.
Many people don’t even know that the WordPress “Like” button exists, but it’s there. Perhaps WordPress will make it a little more obvious in a future release of its content management platform.
How You Can Like a Post
Keep in mind that what goes around comes around. If you’re interested in getting people to like your posts, you should like the articles of other people who post on the WordPress.com platform.
To like a WordPress.com post, scroll all the way to the bottom of it and look for a “Like” button sitting just below the social media buttons.
Keep in mind, though, that if you want to like somebody’s post, you’ll need to be logged into the WordPress.com platform. If you’re not logged in, just click the “Like” button anyway and you’ll be prompted with a login screen popup. Use that to login to WordPress.com and finish your “Like” effort.
Once you’ve successfully liked the post, you’ll see that the button changes to show that you’ve already liked it (sorry, but you can’t like a post more than once). You’ll also see that your Gravatar image appears next to the button as evidence of your appreciation.
Remember: your Gravatar image is clickable and will take people to your Gravatar profile. Make sure that your profile is up to date and properly reflects your personal brand.
Lots of Social Proof
Other people who click the “Like” button will see their Gravatar images added as well. That’s great news for digital marketers looking for more social proof as it offers a superior demonstration of popularity than social media likes or shares.
Why? Because visitors can see the faces of people who clicked “Like” on the post. That’s better than just seeing a number reflecting how many people liked post. Keep in mind that Twitter doesn’t even show that number any more.
Unlike Twitter, though, WordPress.com displays the number of people who liked the post along with a row of Gravatar mugs of the users who thought the post was like-worthy. So you get the best of both worlds with WordPress.com likes.
On Your Site
How do you get the “Like” button to appear on your own WordPress.com blog posts? You don’t have to do anything. It’s there by default.
However, it’s possible that way back when you were first toying around with your WordPress site, you accidentally turned off functionality for WordPress likes. In the event that you did that, just go into your WordPress admin console and select “Settings” from the left-hand sidebar. Then, select “Sharing” from the context menu that appears. Make sure that “WordPress.com Likes” are “On for all posts.” Also, ensure that “Show buttons on” is selected for Posts at least. If you want people to like your front page and other pages, you can select those options as well.
Ask People to Like Your Post
Now that we’ve explained the mechanics of the WordPress.com “Like” button, it’s time to explore some practical advice about how you can build social proof by getting fellow WordPress.com users to like your posts.
The first suggestion is also the most obvious: ask people to like your posts.
You’ve probably seen this strategy employed by bloggers on other sites. At the very end of the post, they’ll usually include some text like: “Do you agree? If so, click Like and share this post!”
It’s an age-old principal, and one that will probably never go away, that if you want people to do something, simply ask them. On the other hand, if you don’t ask them, you can’t expect them to do what you want.
It’s a good idea to make your “Like” request stand out a bit. Usually, bloggers will add the “Like and share this post” text at the bottom in a larger font so that it stands out. Sometimes bloggers will surround the text with a border and/or make it a different (but complementary) color than the text of the content.
Like Other People’s Posts
We’ve touched on this already, but it’s worth repeating. If you want people to like your WordPress.com posts, you should like other people’s posts as well.
Remember: you’ll reap what you sow. If you go out of your way to scratch somebody else’s back, somebody will scratch yours.
Bookmark a few WordPress.com sites of non-competitors who are part of your niche. Be sure to visit their blogs every now and then so that you can like posts that offer something of value to you and/or people in your target market.
You might see that those bloggers start liking your posts in return.
Make Your Content Easy to Read
You might be a literary genius who can wax eloquently on a topic with thousands of words. That won’t matter one bit if you’re trying to get more engagement on your posts.
People are in a hurry. They’re busy. They don’t have time to read several thousand words of beautifully written prose about a subject.
That’s why you should write in a conversational tone with brief paragraphs. You want to craft your content so people will be able to mentally digest the information you’re trying to disseminate in short order.
You should also break your content up with sub-headers. That gives time-crunched visitors a chance to scan your content and look for golden nuggets of detail.
When people find your articles easy to read, they’re far more likely to click that “Like” button when they reach the end.
Avoid a “Busy” Look
WordPress.com gives you a lot of options. You can design your website with a variety of bells and whistles or you can keep it more simplistic.
If you’re looking to get likes on your posts, err on the side of simplistic. Remember, you get likes from visitor who appreciate what you’ve written. You very rarely get likes because people like the overall design of your site and appreciate all the widgets that you’ve added.
Stick with a clean, minimalist design and focus your efforts on delivering amazing, original content. That’s how you’ll get people to like your posts.
Grab Attention With a Great Title
If you want people to like your post, you’re obviously going to have to get them to your post. One of the best ways to attract more visitors is with a title that grabs their attention and begs to be clicked.
The easiest way to generate clicks with a title is to use a curiosity gap. That’s a tactic, often employed by viral blogs, that leaves the reader with a question that isn’t answered by just reading the title. For example, a title like “What Happened When This Autistic Boy Met a Wounded Veteran Will Leave You in Tears” leaves people wondering what really happened when that autistic boy met that wounded veteran. To find the answer, they’ll have to read the article.
Also, a story with a subject like that one is almost certain to get some likes.
A Picture Really Is Worth a Thousand Words
If you want to tell a great story but don’t want to write a novel, one of the best ways to convey your message is with the aid of visuals.
Start by looking for royalty-free images that complement your content. If you have an account with a stock photo company, you can use one of those images. If you don’t, you can grab a royalty free image by doing a Google Image Search or Bing Image Search for images that are labeled for “reuse with modification.” You don’t want to run afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in your effort to get more likes.
Images make your content more enjoyable and easier to read. They’re like a window that lets in fresh air and sheds a little more light on the subject.
A Video Is Worth a Million Words
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million words.
Search around YouTube for video content that complements what you’ve written. If you can find an awesome video that offers further explanation about what your content, include it in the post.
It’s often the case that people respond better to visual instruction than written instruction.
Now Go Get Some Likes!
One of the most overlooked ways to get social proof for your brand is with the aid of WordPress.com likes. If you have a blog on WordPress.com and you’re looking to increase your engagement, encourage your readers to click that “Like” button. You’ll appear more popular and generate some buzz.