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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How Will You Get Someone To Share Your Link?

I want this blog post to go viral and I will need your help. Perhaps after reading this you will feel inspired to help me, for that is what book marketing is all about – making connections, asking for help, and aiding one another. Just tell me what I need to do in exchange for your help.

Everyone is trying to use social media to launch their books.  But what is the secret sauce for getting others to willingly be soldiers in your war? What will motivate others to retweet, post, or share our messages and links with their pool of followers, friends, family, and fans? Why should they go out on a limb for you, especially if you are a stranger? Why would they waste their time or risk looking stupid for sharing something that may not go over well with others? How will you even get them to look at, let alone be interested in, your blog posts, videos, or podcasts?

Even though it is relatively quick and effortless to forward a link to others -- and it costs nothing – the sender’s reputation is on the line. You are not sending political content to a distribution list that includes your boss or business colleagues, are you? You won’t send porn to people who also attend church with you, right?  You have to filter out what you like and then what you think is appropriate to share.

Most people will do something when they believe it is in their best interests. Do you have enough of an incentive to get them to share your link? What currency will speak to them and win them over?

Consider the following:

·         Will you pay them?
·         Will you trade something of value with them?
·         Will you beg them and hope they act out of pity?
·         Do you think you can guilt them into sending it out?
·         Do they owe you a favor?
·         Are they invested in wanting to impress you?

You certainly have to have great content and it needs to be sent to people who: a) would appreciate it and b) would have the right people to send it to.  You will have to ask people – implore them – to post and share your stuff. You will need to tell them why they have an incentive to share it and you must convince them it is worthy of being shared. Determine what benefit people will gain by viewing your links or content and then express it to the people you are sending it to. Let them know they will laugh their ass off or that they will be shocked or that they will learn a secret, discover a truth, or just get to gawk at photos or videos of attractive people, famous people, or newsmakers. There must be a prize in your box of Cracker Jacks – otherwise you are just left with stale candy.

What else will get others to share your stuff?

·         They may actually believe in your message and want to support your cause. They are altruistic.
·         It’s a family member or friend and you make them feel obligated to share it.
·         It is a business colleague and you tell them it is in their best interest to share it.
·         Someone finds the content really moving, funny, rewarding, informative, etc.
·         You declare the content to be  of  the utmost importance.
·         It is timely and relevant to what is in the news.
·         Tell them the content ties into what that person loves, believes in, or does for a living.
·         They find the visuals so arresting or the words so poetic.
·         They want to make fun of it or you.
·         You blackmailed them.
·         You lied to them, mislead them, or did a bait and switch.
·         They hate your message and want to argue against it.
·         They are convinced you are a somebody heading off to become a viral king and want to buy in early and feel first or special by sharing it.
·         Your content has a strong emotional pull on them.
·         It features push-button content: religion, politics, sex, celebrities.

Still, people won’t share something if they think it:

·         Conflicts with their careers.
·         Disagrees with their core values.
·         Is not put together well.
·         Will embarrass them if they share it.
·         Contains language that is profane and inappropriate for their followers.
·         Showcases images that are too graphic and filled with violence, racism, or something deemed offensive by the recipient.
·         Violates the law in some way.

So  I  pose the question to you: What will it take to share this blog post with others and to tell them about my blog? Please share this with others (beg) – you’ll feel good for doing it (guilt) – and it will come back to benefit you (may be bullshit, but why not appeal to the greed within you)?  I promise that by sharing this you will make a lot of money (lie, maybe).

Tweet it, post it, blog it, Facebook it, share it… Why? Because I said so. Oh, wait, that only works with my two young kids. Sometimes.

Have You Seen This Past Week’s Posts?

21 Reasons Why People might Buy Your Book 

You Can Use Crowdfunding On Your Next Book -- Turn Your Idea Into A Business

Using Video To Market An Author, Book, Or Publisher

How Promoters, Authors & Publishers Get Others to Say YES

The Necessity Of Fiction

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.


  1. Good post, Brian. Some very insightful suggestions. Not sure if I'd try some of them, like blackmailing or making fun of blogs, but for some it just may work though they would most certainly lose their audience faster than gain it.

  2. I think you're right about somethings. I know I need to be a bit more controversial on my blog or maybe not. It's not my nature to stir up trouble. :( I know that's a good thing but not so good for getting comments and link shares.

    I'd like to subscribe to your blog by rss but there isn't an option that I see, nor a place to follow you on twitter. You might want to add those.

  3. I did share - because I wanted to - but Diana is right - you need a facebook and twitter link from here. I don't like RSS feeds and am not fond of my email getting tons of blog updates - I follow more on facebook when people post links there -and if they are particularly good - I will "share".

  4. If you can convince your children to share your posts, you are a far more convincing salesman than I am... My teens, hmm.
    You have me thinking, what makes me share others work-
    1. they play nice online
    2. I loved the work
    3. they have similar core values, I felt their creative process relates to my time and my world
    4. I think it will provide something good to similar souls
    5. they hold something: beautiful, wierd, unique, positive, learning, caring, even dark or frightening but true

    I won't share for $

    Diana is right where is your twitter name? Can you make the share buttons larger?


  6. Hi Brian,

    I have to be out the door and on my way soon, but took the time to post the link to your blog on the facebook page for the local writers group I belong to. I'll probably post it another place or two when I'm not in a rush.

  7. Hi Brian, from LinkedIn! Thanks for alerting me to your blog. I just subscribed!

  8. Hi, Brian. Is there some way we can tweet this or facebook it? I can copy the link. Yeah, I'll do that.


  9. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the email! I enjoyed this post. I've tweeted, Facebooked and Google+.

    For me to share content it needs to be informative and humor gets me every time! In recent months I've been turned off by a newsletter that is informative at the beginning and then try to sell you something through affiliate marketing. It drives me nuts.

    All the best,

  10. I tweeted it so your ploy worked. I will usually share a link if I feel the info can be useful to others.

  11. Good post. I shared the link on Google+ and LinkedIn. I also followed your blog and added it to "My Blog List" on The Chaotic Reader ( Reciprocity is another good reason for someone to share your link. ;-)

  12. Brian,
    I shared on fb (she wrote hopefully).
    Good post. Getting help from kiddies is tough, and guilt doesn't work.

  13. Brian, I also shared this post on both Facebook and Twitter. I also became a follower. I hope you will come over to my blog and do the same.:) I believe the best way to get anyone to do anything for you in the book field is to offer them a place to talk about their book! As an author I love being on other people's blogs and talking about my book and writing. So switching blogs is a great way to do that. See my recent post:

  14. One thing you don't mention. How do you feel about following people back? If I become a follower, will you do the same for me? That's always a problem for me. I end up receiving so many newsletters I have to unsubscribe to them. How do you deal with that? I'm going to share this post now on Twitter and Facebook.

  15. Good post. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

  16. Well, you got me. I learned three lessons from you today, and I shared them in a post about your blog where, of course, I shared your link!

    For some reason, Blogger keeps insisting on showing me as "anonymous," so I'll sign my own name:

    Dianna Graveman (

    1. But of course, this time it didn't...ah, technology.

  17. Hey Brian, I signed up!

    First, I clicked on and read your blog simply because I feel beholden to you for your encouragement and for interviewing me on one of your earlier blogs - and I'm the type who'll always try to pay back a kindness. You know, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours?

    But, I enjoyed what you had to say here and so I'll Tweet it and put it on my facebook author page. Hope it goes viral for you!

    Truly, Julie

  18. Hi Brian, I signed up. Thanks for sending me the message. I couldn't find where to follow but found it out a couple minutes.
    I have been checking in every now and then.
    Thanks for interviewing me... I haven't seen it posted yet... did I miss it?

    I'll keep you updated on my book, ok?

  19. Brian,
    I like your post and I like how you think. I, for one, have finally found the secret of successfully selling books--at least for me. In order to sell a book the author needs to first sell him/herself. since I've got a working blog--which I have always hated, and am suporting other blogs, using sites like Linked In to interact and make long lasting friends, my sales are increasing--as in these places writers support each other. It's a lot of work and takes time but it works.

  20. I've subscribed - But you really need more social network connections here for us to follow and more options in commenting from non blogger sites. I wanted to put my URL in for example, but cannot. Forgive me entering it here instead.

    You seem to be writing interesting and informative posts so I'm glad to subscribe and will be back. Looking forward to seeing around too. :)

    1. I agree Shah - a bit difficult to follow without email submission.

  21. I have read time and again that you can not rely on friends to help out on the re-posts and have found it to be true. It is not because they don't want to help you out it is because they are frozen as to what to do. I know I need to send out an email to my friends to guide them to a place where they can purchase my books on line and fear they will be afraid to use a credit card or register for anything.

    Many do not have the tech savvy needed to understand the way social media works. I rely on strangers and always have. Those angels haven't let me down yet.


  22. check it out:

  23. If you want people to share your posts, you should have links for Facebook and Twitter so that all I have to do is click a button to share it. Making things easy for your reader should be a priority.

    This is one reason why I don't like blogspot blogs. I'm considering moving mine to WordPress.

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  25. If you want people to share your posts, you should have links for Facebook and Twitter so that all I have to do is click a button to share it. Making things easy for your reader should be a priority.

    This is one reason why I don't like blogspot blogs. I'm considering moving my poetry blog to WordPress, where I have my main blog.

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