The title of your next post is the main factor that people use to determine whether they’ll read your next post. This is true in most places that people are going to stumble upon your post whether it be on a search engine, in an RSS feed, on a social media site, in a link from another blog etc.
A great title will draw people into the post and give them reason to read it.
A bad title will more often than not be ignored, glossed over and mean a post goes unread.
As a result – bloggers need to spend at least a few minutes thinking specifically about the post title before publishing. Without it all the effort that you put into your actual post could be wasted.
Tips to write effective posts
Much has been written on the topic of writing great blog post titles and I’ll link to some great resources below – but here are a few strategies and tips that I’ve found useful.
- 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.