Hey. You just met me... and this is crazy, but here's an email, so open it, maybe?
If you're a regular at DK then you've probably seen an email or two from "Sarah Burris, Daily Kos" that usually ends with "in solidarity" or "Keep fighting" depending on the email topic. One of the big projects I've been working on since I started at Daily Kos is in making sure the blog posts that you all write about are being seen by a larger audience.
Why? Because y'all write some pretty good stuff, and more people should read it.
Throughout every day at Daily Kos I monitor what is trending on Daily Kos. Often times these are obviously the front page diaries, but also the most recommended or rescued diaries, or blogs that you yourself have shared on your own social media or reddit and people are excited to read what you have to say.
What I do is take those top trending stories that have thousands of views and tons of "likes" on Facebook and I send them in a list to about 442,508 people.
If you'd like to get one of these emails because you don't already, then sign up here and you too can have the top trending stories on DK sent directly to your inbox.
Now the digital geeks out there might be interested in how I decide which link is first, second, and so on.
Once I find what is trending and popular I stick them all in a list in an email. Typically, 12 links to DK diaries. Sometimes for fun I'll throw on in what is the highest trending Facebook meme we've posted this week. Once I did a "Rick Roll" and linked to a story titled "Never gonna give you up, never gonna say goodbye," by Rick Astley. It ended up getting more clicks on it than the link right above it. It's like an "Easter Egg" for those who read to the bottom of the email!
Then we test which headline of which story is the most compelling. I send twelve 1% test emails out to about 4,000+ people each with a different headline at the top of the email and that same headline as the subject line. The one that gets opened the most wins the subject line battle and gets to be the first story on the list of the emails. The second most opened is the second story on the list and so on. Then I usually drop the least opened headlines from the list - and send it out to everyone.
That's when the real fun starts. If you posted a blog post the day before that did pretty well - I just sent 440,508 people to read your blog post. Some don't click, but most do, and the topic you wrote about just got the Sarah Burris, Daily Kos bump! BOOM!
The plea I send to you today is give your headlines some extra thought. I attended a training from Adam Mordecai founder of Upworthy 2 years ago and he said that if you spend an hour writing your blog post you should spend 30 minutes on your headline, 15 minutes on the first two sentences, and 15 minutes on the rest. Adam says to write 25 headlines, throw them away and write 25 more that are better. I generally just tell people write about 12 that don't suck. You know the difference. Look at some of the most popular headlines on our front page, or the ones on the Rec list. Sign up for my "what's trending" email and look at the headlines that are the most popular - and you'll have a good way to see what works.
And keep writing, reading, recommending, and engaging!
You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.