Writing a blog is a great way to express your opinions and share your stories with friends and family. If this is your goal, please continue to use whatever titles you want in your blog. If you have chosen to monetize your blog then you can’t treat it like a hobby – you need great articles and they need great titles!
The title should aim to catch the reader’s attention and also describe what they are going to read. Remember, there are almost 100,000 blogs being started each day so your titles need to have that little extra to be noticed. Stand out and get creative.
The Top [Insert Number Here] List
One of the best ways to catch a reader’s attention is to turn your article into a Top something List. I’ve read that the best numbers are 7 and 12 but I think that 10 is still in the running. One of my most visited articles is called Top Ten Comments That Work In Any Situation. It had a lot of successful visits from DIGG and that’s mainly due to the title. Why does it work? Let me ask you another question: why do student prefer to read Cliff Notes? It’s the easy way to get the information into your brain without dedicating a whole lot of time to reading. Maybe you can even understand the entire article from just reading the points…even better!
Ask A Question
Using a question is a powerful way to attract the attention of a reader because it makes them wonder what the answer is and almost forces them to visit the site. In my article, How Often Should A Blog Stay On Topic?, I used the question-type title to bait the reader in. Which title do you think is better; the previous question or A Blogger Should Stay On Topic 75% Of The Time. Does the question title work? I think so. If I asked you: What the one thing that a blogger can do to totally destroy their traffic? Wouldn’t you visit to make sure you never did it?
Make A Bold Statement
This method creates an interesting motivator for a reader to visit. I was reading some articles online one day and I came upon on about buying real estate vs investing in the stock market. It was a well written, yet totally false article. I could have created a title that said, Why I disagree with the Motley Fool website, but I chose to go with a little more energy. I created a response called Thanks For The Bad Advice Fools. Much better, don’t you think?
Nothing drives people to action more than a strong statement that either agrees or disagrees with their opinion. While you don’t need to have a politically motivated blog or try to intentionally rile someone up, a good title that builds a little controversial suspense will work wonders for your visitors. I wrote an article called, The End Of Google AdSense? where I addressed some recent high profile AdSense publishers who dropped their Google Ads. Although the article itself did not take an extreme position on the subject, the title obviously sets the tone for the story.
Helpful or Instructional
This title works a little better in SEO than in something like DIGG. When someone is looking for an interesting piece of news or industry happening to read, they will rarely read an instructional piece. That being said, it you’re going to be successful over the long run, you need to attract a steady stream of new readers. Call it niche marketing if you want but creating a title like my, Using Articles To Drive Free Traffic To Your Blog post will attract a reader who is interested in a number of topics.
Vague with Power
If you want to post about something but it doesn’t fit with any of the other techniques, you can ad strength with a vague yet powerful title. There are hundreds of power words that you can use to add a little oomph to the title. In my post on increasing your brand awareness, I used the title Ignite Your Brand With A Favicon to not only advertise a way to Power your brand but also an instructional post about using a favicon on your site. This post also had a lot of visitors from a few of the social bookmark sites. As you can see in this title, it doesn’t take much to make a fairly routine how-to-guide into a much more interesting article.
Humor with Flare
People like to laugh. For that reason, these types of articles will give you some great traffic. I wrote about an early blogging blunder I made in What Not To Do On A Tuesday Night. This article earned me a fair amount of traffic (as a new blogger I was very excited) because people were interested in what funny event happened to me. The title is almost a question in that it creates the suspense, but it’s obvious from the matter-of-fact way I mention it that it’s humorous. I think it’s a great title but it was a lousy Tuesday!
If you can utilize one or more of these techniques in each of your articles, you will not only have more success in places like DIGG and del.icio.us but you will increase your chances of having people read your article from your RSS feed. The best titles will integrate two or more of the techniques to create more power and stand out from the crowd!
Remember, it’s your content that keeps the readers visiting but it’s the titles that get them there in the first place!
If you enjoyed this post, consider subscribing to my full feed RSS.