As someone who is new to social media, and knowing that many agency new business people are in the same boat learning how to blog for their agency, I thought that a recent post in ProBlogger by Darren Rowse might be helpful to bring to your attention. I’ve boiled it down, so if you want more you can read the full post here.
- Communicate a Benefit – A title should tell readers something that they’ll ‘get’ by reading your post.
- Create Controversy or Debate – Not suitable for every post title but there’s nothing like Debate to get people checking out a post.
- Ask a Question – In my experience posts with questions in the titles tend to get read more than others – they also are better at stimulating comments from readers.
- Personalize Titles – For example: using ‘you’ in your post title (and post) can have a real impact and take a post from the realm of ‘theory’ into a more personal post.
- Use Keywords – Keywords that signal to readers and search engines what your post is about can help draw in significant traffic if you use them well.
- Use Power Words – Not all words are created equal – some evoke a powerful response in readers – words like ‘free’, ’stunning’, ‘discover’, ‘warning’, ’secrets’, ‘easy’ etc all work well in my experience of blogging.
- Make Claims and Promises – as long as you can back them up in your post – a big claim or promise can get someone’s attention.
- Humor Titles – be careful with this one – funny can work great but it can also leave your readers very confused if it’s too cryptic…. or if it’s just not funny.
- Run it by Your Blog Buddy – I have a couple of fellow bloggers that I regularly ping with an instant message to bounce ideas off when it comes to titles. The quick conversation that follows improves the title considerably.
- Consider Title Updates – Updating post titles after they’re published if it is clear that they are just not working.
- Write for Readers First and Search Engines Second – It’s possible to have a post that ranks really well in Google but that is so poorly worded that even though it ranks #1 nobody will click on it – keep readers as your #1 priority.
- Keep it Simple – There are times to be a little ‘clever’ but more often than not it is a title that clearly gives the topic and communicates a benefit of reading the post that will get clicked on most.
- Learn what Works and Repeat it – The more posts you write on your blog the more you’ll begin to learn about what works and what doesn’t work.
- Don’t Oversell Your Post – The temptation with blog posts is to make them so compelling and have such a big promise that they go beyond what the post itself can deliver. Dont’.
- Numbers and Lists – Tried and True – The title that tells readers how many points you’ve made has something about it that just seems to connect and compel people to click them.
Well-written titles should help your posts be found by the marketers you want to know you. Good luck and let me know how what else works for you?