Leveraging the List Post – Massive Increase in Shares on a Freelance Writing Blog

Bamidele's Case Study

We’ve seen before that if you give people a nudge towards sharing your content, it can make a big difference. You can get more shares for almost any kind of content, using even the most basic methods.

But what if you get all the parts right? What if the content, the sharing incentive and the audience fit together just right? Possibly, you could get 3,000 visitors to a new post (in just 3 days) and hit 200+ social shares, like Bamidele Onibalusi did…

Read on to see one of our best case studies yet.

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The Numbers

OniWriters in Charge is a blog for freelance writers, run by Bamidele Onibalusi. He managed to create a profitable freelance writing business for himself before turning 20, so it’s clear that he’s a very smart guy. In light of that, it’s not a surprise to see that he managed to find a way to get amazingly good results with WP Sharely, as soon as he started using it.

You can take a look at the post he used Sharely on, here: 45+ Websites that Pay You to Contribute and Article

Here are the numbers from this post, compared to the top 5 most popular posts on his blog:

Platfom: Avg. Shares: Sharely Shares: Improvement:
Tweets 2.4 117 x49
Likes 3.6 114 x31
Google +1s 23.5 28 x1.2
Total Shares 29.2 226 x8.9

Oh, and that’s just three days after he published the post.

Post Analysis

There are three factors that contribute to the success of this post:

Factor 1: List Format

It’s well known that list-based posts enjoy high popularity online. They’re easy to skim through, they contain a clear promise and they usually make for catchy titles, as well.

For these same reasons, list-based post are also highly shareable. “Top 10 Ways to Do X” and similar titles are short, to the point and attractive. It’s the perfect material for a tweet or other social share.

Additionally, it’s a long post. It’s not just a couple of tips, but an extensively researched list of valuable resources. Writing long content has been shown to come with many benefits.

Factor 2: Clever Sharing Incentive

The post in this case study is not only a list post, it’s also very extensive. It’s the kind of resource you’d want to keep, so you can reference it later on. When you think about it, a blog post is not necessarily the best format for a resource list like this.

That’s where Bamidele’s sharing incentive comes in. In return for tweets, Facebook likes and Google +1s, he offers downloadable PDF and spreadsheet versions of the list. Adding the downloadables increases the value of the post and it makes for the perfect sharing “bribe”. Readers are offered an unexpected bonus and they can unlock it in just a few seconds.

Check the comments in the post and you can see that the reactions are very positive.

Factor 3: Proven Content

Even before he ever published this post, Bamidele knew that it would probably do well.


Because it’s a follow-up to his previous most popular post: 30 Websites that Pay You to Contribute an Article.

The topic itself was already a proven winner with his readers, so it made sense to expand on that. And it’s also a very clever move to use Sharely on this specific post. Sharely isn’t necessarily a tool made for using on every post you create. It’s ideal for creating a specific share bribe to offer in conjunction with a specific piece of content.

Think of it as a “social media campaign” that you deploy strategically. Bamidele knew the topic was popular and knew that his readers wanted more. Combine that with good content and a great sharing bribe and you’ve got a winner (as you can see in this example).


In the end, the first “websites that pay” post on WritersInCharge brought in about 2,000 visitors in the first month after it was published and reached a total of 88 shares across Twitter, Facebook and Google+, over the span of two years. The new post brought in 3,000 visitors and generated more than 200 shares in the first three days.

To apply these ideas to your own site, ask yourself:

  • Do you have popular content that you could write a follow-up for? Or expand and renew?
  • Can you present some of this content in a list format?
  • Can you add a simple but highly desirable incentive to give your visitors a nudge towards sharing your content?

Apply the same steps and you might just be amazed at the results you can achieve.

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