Authority Website Income

How to Get 15x More Social Media Shares Without Even Having a Social Media Account

How do I get more social shares? Any strategy I have tried up to now has been either a major time sink or expensive and difficult to outsource. Because of that I do not have a Twitter or Facebook account I use to promote this website.

However, can I really just walk away from social media in 2013/2014?

What about social signals and their importance of rankings?

In this post I talk about how to win the game of social media, get more shares and not have to waste your valuable time playing it!

This post shows how 1 plugin can increase social shares by 15X!

Get The Plugin Here

Affiliate Links in this post to the plugin that I am using and recommending


Importance of Social Shares

Social signals are continuing to become a more important part of the Google algorithm and something that website owners should not ignore now or moving forward.

In the’s 2013 search engine ranking factors it was found that…

Social“Social signals, especially Google +1s and Facebook shares are highly correlated[With Search Engine Rankings].”

From – SEOMoz 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factory

So clearly I need a strategy, but most importantly I need an efficient low time investment strategy.

My Current 4 Step 1hr/month Social Media Strategy…

Keep reading to see how step #4 resulted in a 15x increase in social shares (real results and graphs shared below)

Here is my strategy…

  1. No Twitter or Facebook Account – 0 time spent
  2. Google Plus – Add people who email me and share posts(my own and others) once per week – 15minutes/week
  3. SocialShare Buttons on my Website to Make it Easy to Share
  4. Content Locker to Incentivize Social Media Shares on Posts

What is a Content Locker?

A content locker is a script that blocks avisitor from accessing some sort of content on a page until they perform a task (sign up, share a post, click a link etc)

This is an example of WPSharely’s Content Locker…

How Much Can a Content Locker Increase Your Social Shares by? (Case Study)

This is a WPSharely review and case study showing exactly how it performed over the last few months.

In order to see how effective WPSharely can be I have analyzed the last 22 posts on looking at…

  • PageViews
  • Tweets
  • Likes
  • Google +1’s
  • Comments
  • # of Tweets per 100 Page Views
  • # of Likes per 100 Page Views
  • # of Google +1’s per 100 Page Views
  • # of Comments per 100 Page Views

Social 2

Since some posts get a lot more traffic than others it would make sense they would get more shares, so… “normalizing” based on pageviews I can see by how much more a post using WPSharely gets in the way of social sharing love…

Social 1

Get WPSharely Yourself

What does this graph mean? If a post is using WPSharely it will receive 2-2.5 likes, tweets and G+1s each for every 100 pageviews!

If it isn’t using WPSharely a post will receive 0.1 likes, tweets and G+1s for every 100 pageviews.

This is an increase in Social Shares by 15 TIMES!

Social 3

Get WPSharely Today and Get More Social Shares on Your Next Post

 More Fun With Data…

Since I have collected the data it makes sense to do a few pivot tables and answer some more questions I have and hopefully you will find interesting…

For those of you that enjoy geeking out on Excel this is for you…

Which Type of Incentive Got The Best Results?

Social 4

Which type of incentive got the best results?

Hidden interesting information had the best results!

This I found interesting 😉 since I had spent a lot of money on creating a piece of software and also spent a lot of time finding useful information(list of expired domains) to put behind a content locker which performed worse.

The best performing WPSharely offer was simply hiding some interesting information.

Moving forward this just means I need to get creative about what kind of content I put in the Content Locker.

Did a Content Locker Anger my Readers?

I didn’t receive any complaints and based on the question below regarding user engagement I feel confident the benefit out ways any cost!

Did a Content Locker Increase or Decrease my User Engagement?

Looking at the number of comments per 100 pageviewswe can see if having a content locker on my post increased or decreased the number of comments I received(decent measure of user engagement)…

Social 5

Did a content locker increase or decrease my user engagement?

Actually using WPSharely resulted in a 30% increase in the number of comments per 100 visitors.

This is likely because the posts that I put the most effort into I also spent the time to structure a quality WPSharely giveaway. So this may just show that posts where I use WPSharely are 30% more interesting…still another 1470% (1500-30) social share increase is due to the content locker.

What did the Best Performing Posts Have in Common?



WP SharelyReview

  • Price:  $47.5 for a multi site License
  • Website:

Interview from Mike From Maine Episode 120

My Review…. 

What I Like

  • Results (15x more social shares!)
  • Easy to use and set up
  • The time delay feature is great
  • Ability to have a content locker on different pages all generating shares for a different post is very effective at increasing shares on a targeted post
  • Works on all sites I have used it on with no technical issues
  • Good videos and tutorials on the members page

 What Could Be Improved

  • Takes 5 minutes to set up each one (it is easy and don’t know how to make it faster but still an extra 5 minutes every post)
  • Customer support response time takes 1-2 days and contacting Shane directly is difficult
    • I simply contacted to test response time with a few relevant questions and it took a little while to get back to me (24hrs is my expected response time and it was over that)
  • Tracking, this is probably my biggest feature request, I would like to be able to see how many shares each WPSharely Generated especially on posts where there are 2 distinct Sharely Locks active (like this one)

 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of WPSharely

  • Include image in your Sharely Lock
  • Offer something really useful
    • Custom tool (excel file)
    • List of resources
    • List of researched information (High PR expired domain name)
    • Bonus Video
  • Don’t simply offer a PDF download of the post is NOT really useful
  • Hidden key information works the best!
  • If you have an opt-in bribe add a time delayed Sharely Lock to its download page and get an opt-in plus a social share!

Social 3

Get WPSharely Today and Get More Social Shares on Your Next Post


About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

Matthew Allen says November 18, 2013

Very interesting post Jon. Apparently not interesting enough to hide any of your findings behind the content locker?! haha Wouldn’t that be ironic, to hide the interesting information that tells you that interesting information is the best to hide!

I’ve been playing with a plugin that does something similar, it blurs content until the user shares – but it doesn’t have nearly as much functionality or customization optionas available as WP Sharely. Your review here really helps…

Also, I really like your new header logo!

    Matthew Allen says November 18, 2013

    Ooops! Nevermind. I see which part is behind the content locker now.. I’ll share it to find out!

      Jon says November 18, 2013

      I was going for a little irony here 🙂

Jason says November 18, 2013

Cool, so thats the plugin you’ve been using.
Looking at the URLs in the stats you’ve only been using it on this blog. Have you considered trying it out on your niche sites?
Thanks for sharing Jon!

    Jon says November 18, 2013

    I have used it on some niche sites and had success with sites where I offered a large table to download for scholarships to apply to.

    It needs to be something solid behind the Sharely to make it worthwhile though and it needs to be in a niche where the audience is familiar with using social media.

Quinn says November 18, 2013

Great share Jon! I can see how hiding key information can work really well – Everyone wants the candy! I guess the next step you could do is to outsource following the people who tweet you. They might then follow you back. You could also “favourite” their tweets as another way of saying thanks. What do you think?

    Jon says November 18, 2013

    Hey Quinn, that is true I could and probably should be at least doing that and following the people that tweet to build up a small following as a base in case I ever decide to invest more time in social media.

Don Shelton says November 18, 2013

This was going to be my next question to you – what plugin you were using to force social to get information, so kudos for your mind-reading abilities. I’m not a particular fan of social media (perhaps the biggest waste of time modern humans engage in), but used sparingly it has some benefits. I was dreading, though, incorporating extensive social schemes into SEO. It’s clear, however, Google et al are going to push us in that direction. As a reader this is mildly irritating, but as as long as the information is valuable I can consider a +1 as the cost of the information to be reasonable tip to the publisher. Overall, I agree it’s the best approach currently to the growing social aspects to the search algorithms for publishers.

    Jon says November 18, 2013

    Thanks Don, I think we come from a similar spot in regards to our thoughts on social. Thanks for the comment.

Phil says November 18, 2013

Hey Jon,

as long as the hidden content is of high quality I think this is a great tactic to use. If one of your readers has a huge following this could really drive traffic to a blog. How much traffic do you get from social media?

    Jon says November 18, 2013

    Hey Phil, I agree about the content needing to be of high quality. Regarding traffic social makes up about 10-15% of my traffic however when my most successful post got some social traction it went up to about 30-40% being social referral. Quality of social traffic from an opt-in stand point was lower but I haven’t really dived into that enough to say by how much.

Patrick says November 18, 2013

Thanks Jon for sharing. The analitical results are quite counter-intuitive, but they make perfect sense. I have only one doubt… How the conent blocker influence the web-crawlers? P.

    Jon says November 18, 2013

    Hi Patrick search engines can see behind the content locker by looking at the page source. However, I don’t know if there are any other impacts. I would not put an entire blog post behind a content locker.

Leo @Newbiesup says November 18, 2013

Hi Jon,
Great article and plugin. But do you know any free plugins that have the simple function to lock content as wpsharely? $45 is a little pricey to me currently. lol


    Jon says November 20, 2013

    Hi Leo, I don’t know of any…I looked around briefly and tried a couple but they just looked crappy. There is a blurry link or something similar that is free that a couple people use. If you find one be sure to mention it here and I will update the post to let other people know.

Mike From Maine says November 19, 2013

Jon, thanks for the interview share…much appreciated.

    Jon says November 20, 2013

    No problem Mike!

Joe says November 19, 2013

Cool tool! I kind of surprised that there aren’t many other alternatives (or at least I didn’t see them).

I’m curious about how much social sharing affects rankings compared to other types say link building. You seem to have a knack for numbers and figures would be interesting to see that.

Also speaking of link building, a thought came to mind regarding your table on GOOD vs. GREAT expired domains. Do you know how much of a difference between getting links from good exp. domains vs. great expired domains. Say linked to the same site, would you have an idea of a ratio or some sort of comparison on their effects?

    Jon says November 20, 2013

    Hey Joe…interesting questions…it would be fun to get my hands on enough data to be able to answer that(and have the time to sift through it). Based on the data I have now I doubt I would really be able to get a meaningful answer…buy I could try one night.

Mark says November 19, 2013

Hi Jon

A question about Expired Domains if you don’t mind.

I’ve noticed that the expired domains I buy, even though they have links (and I ping the lings with indexification), the websites maintain a PR of N/A (not zero) even after 4+ months from putting the website up on a hosting account and posting 5+ pieces of content.

I realize that Google is not updating it’s toolbar PR at the moment, but all the money niche sites (not expired domains) that I’ve launched more than 2 months ago already have a PR zero, none of them remained at a PR “N/A”. Does the fact that the expired domains maintain an N/A PR mean that the websites are not passing any value at all, because Google does not even count the links pointing towards it?

    Jon says November 20, 2013

    Hey Mark…you are probably best off to just ignore PR completely. SEOMoz metrics and Majestic SEO metrics are a better representation of the sites quality. If you are concerned a site was penalized by Google check if it is indexed and ranking for its website name or its exact title. If it isn’t indexed (after it has been developed +1 week) or it isn’t ranking for its exact title than it may have been penalized and therefore not likely being counted by Google. But don’t worry about PR.

      Mark says November 20, 2013

      Thanks for the reply. My worry was that Google may have started to ignore links to websites that have been expired for a while (2-3 years), because it seems odd to me that my other money websites to which I actively build links have their toolbar PR changed from N/A to Zero after a month or two tops, while all the expired domains remain at N/A. But if you say this isn’t something to worry about as long as the site appears in the index, then I believe you 🙂 Thanks again.

Elena says November 26, 2013

I run multiple niche/authority sites for different audiences. Some are for the Italian market, others are in English and address the international public.
I’have found that this technique works with some short of audience, but not with others. A lot also depends on the kind of reputation you have in the field.
You are sharing great insights, but what works in one case not necessary works all the time.
So, testing, testing and..boring testing is always a must!
Thank you for the great post!

Justin Cooke says December 1, 2013

Hey Jon,

It’s interesting to see the difference between posts that used the locker and posts that don’t, normalized via 100 views. I’d wondered how that strategy was working for you and it seems to be working well.

I hate to be the first, but I did want to tell you that I really don’t dig your hiding content behind social shares. I’m selective on the content I choose to share (with respect to those that follow our stuff) and forcing me to do so to see details makes me not want to do it at all.

I was considering using something like this on our site, but my feelings about what you’re doing over here have kept me from pulling the trigger, honestly.

I don’t think it’s sketchy/scammy or anything, just a bit forced. (Similar to using a Welcome Gate) I’m really wondering if others have felt this way and just not said anything?

Anyway, thanks for the post! (The parts I could read, anyway….grrr) 🙂

    Jon says December 1, 2013

    I hear you Justin hopefully you letting me know the downside will have others share as well. I won’t ever hide the main point of a post behind a Content Locker… ie what is the best x? share to find out. But based on the success it has had for me bringing in new traffic and the limited downside that I have heard at least I plan to stick with it when I can use it appropriately.

    Hopefully this will inspire others to share their thoughts and I would reconsider if enough people said it negatively affected their benefit of the site.

    Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.

Stefan Russel says January 29, 2014

Hi Jon

Excellent post and definitely something I will try out on our blog.

Just one thing, I had get to the comments before I realized that there actually were some hidden content in this post as well. Based on Matthews comment it looks like I weren’t the only one missing it. When I look at it again I can see you have made some effort to make it stand out, but for some reason I missed it.

It might be an idea to try to make it stand out even more – make the header above it a H1 or go crazy with the background colour inside the box. The ladder might not be pretty, but in my experience it can work wonders.

Just an idea to some A/B testing.

Once again, thank you for an inspirational post


Fernando Biz says September 24, 2014

Great share of the plugin, I knew this before but never really got it myself for any of my blogs. But I think as WordPress trainer I will surely need to have this plugin plunged on my main sites where I published every week. Thanks for sharing.

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