First of all, a raise of hands if you thought about blogs as soon as you read the post title. Chances are you did not.
On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your post title, and why it has a big impact on the effectiveness of the entire piece.
Chances are that you came here without wanting to read just another post about blogging and post titles. There are oh so many posts on the web, and this is one of the topics that have been written to death. Still, I want to tell you that there isn’t ONE single way of creating blog post titles (same rules apply to articles, though titles are usually smaller – usually less than 6 words). So go through this list and pick the title method that suits you best. But remember, there is a psychological imperative behind it, see if that helps you to decide better.
Use Numbers (As Prefix)
Numbers are catchy, this is a simple fact. If you prefix your post with numbers such as 6, 7, 10, 100; more people will flock in to read it.
Why? Simple! Numbers in a string of words are catchy, they are salient. There is simple psychology behind it. Consider this list below for 3 seconds:
12 Hello Numbers Table Billboard Vacation
What was the first thing you noticed? I bet it was the number. So use it, especially when you are offering tips. Don’t go overboard though; no one wants 100 steps to learn Salsa.
Use Year (As Suffix)
This is something that people won’t tell you, it works wonders.
Use Years as suffixes. These are catchy and keyword friendly. Quite often people are looking for the latest solutions. Your post title will direct the traffic to your site rather than the one that is missing the year.
The problem with these posts is that they can be restrictive within their lifespan. But if you plan them carefully, people will still come and read it in 2020.
If not, simply take down the post next year, rehash it with some updates, and Bob’s your uncle!
Every heard this expression:
We bring you this opportunity from our sponsors
We are excited to bring you this opportunity from our sponsors
Which one do you think is catchier? It is the second one (Hit yourself on the head if you thought it was teh first)! Use positive, influencing words such as exciting to lure in the reader to read more. Who doesn’t want to be excited? Other words you could use include:
Tips, Tricks, Attractive, Enticing, Proven, Quick, Guide, Complete……
Just take your pick.
I am in total awe of eHow in the way they have built up a web empire answering simple questions beginning with ‘How To’. Truth be told, this is what most people look for. Attractive and exciting blog post titles can be formulated easily if you follow the psychology behind this logic: People are lazy, they need quick fixes. How to gives them a step-by-step checklist.
You can do that with your posts too, especially if these posts list out methods or procedures that could help the reader with some problems they are facing. For example, you can say:
How To Succeed In The World Of Stock Market?
Do this at your own expense. Some people cannot handle criticism within comments of their posts. If you are one of them, please look elsewhere.
Interestingly, I have noticed many posts that give a negative title and turn it around in the article. It was a clever ploy.
A controversial topic is likely to become popular very quickly, going viral within days (if you suggest that Lochness monster exists – which it true!). Controversies attract detractors and people who agree with your opinions, so be prepared for some backlash. But it will definitely drive in some traffic.
This tip comes from experience. Long sentences (especially in titles) can be read better if they are broken up, and if they show a problem and a solution.
Consider the title of this post.
11 Ways To Write Attractive And Exciting (Blog) Post Titles: Tips & Tricks
I could have used Tips and Tricks just after 7, but using a semi-colon (:) would allow users to recognize a problem and a potential solution. This is what the users desire – a problem and a solution, so cater to this demand.
Use Caps For First Letter Of Every Word
Yet again, capital letters are catchy, easier to read and follow. Always (ALWAYS) use catchy letter in your post titles, they are a must.
I don’t know of many bloggers who don’t use this in their titles. The emphasis provided by CAPS can really hold people’s attention, and you need that.
Personal Titles Work Too
You are a human being, not a machine. Let your readers know this once in a while. Use personal pronouns (I, Me, My etc.) in your post to tell readers of your experiences with software, books, websites etc. For example:
See How I made $1,000,000 In 100 Days
Now I generally would not recommend this, but it won’t hurt. If you think up of a topic, say, freelancer pay, and want to make a post on it. Quickly go to Google Adwords and pick up some of the most searched keywords related to freelancer pay.
This strategy will allow you to attract visitors from Google and other search engines (also known as Organic Traffic).
Don’t Use Periods (Full Stops)
or Brackets ()
These are very off-putting. No reader would like to see them in a post title.
Periods represent end of sentence, and brackets () represent encapsulation – neither of these look good in a blog post title. As a matter of fact, a user is like to turn away more often than not after coming across post titles with periods and brackets (psychological)
So don’t use them.
Question Handles (?)
Quite obviously, a question handle cannot work in all circumstances, like for the title of this blog post. However, it can be used to good effect, especially if you want to involve your readers. For example:
Rent Or Buy: How Do You Decide?
Titles with question at the end attract users to comment and discuss a topic. This is less likely to work if you don’t have a strong following on your blog. Still, it should be used once in a while to mix things up.
I hope you enjoy reading this. Please share this on Twitter and Facebook, or even give it a Google +1. IF you would like to know more, drop a comment and I would be happy to elaborate!
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