A title is a promise. The title tells readers exactly what they can expect from a blog and how reading it would benefit them. While there are many elements to a good blog post, the most impactful is probably the title. According to CopyBlogger, while 80% of people will read headline copy, only 20% will read the rest. Clearly, there’s a lot to be gained from putting some extra time into your title. Here are some of the angles copywriters and marketers use to create more tantalizing blog titles to snag more readers.
Choose a Target
“5 Tips Every Copywriter Should Know”
Single out a group of people from your audience, and speak directly to them. If you’re a copywriter, you’re probably pretty curious about what tips you should know after reading the title above. Maybe you already know them (and won’t you feel reaffirmed?), but maybe there’s something else for you to get in on. You’ll never know unless you click….
Explain the Hows
“How to Write the Perfect Blog Post”
There is almost no explanation more attractive than simple, step-by-step instructions to hold your hand through a difficult or unfamiliar process. In the Age of Information, knowledge is never more than a few keystrokes away, and for many, the Internet is the first place they turn to when they need help. This type of title is also appealing because it implies that this is an authoritative post, an important quality for information-seekers.
Explain the How-Nots
“10 Social Media Mistakes that Will Kill Your Marketing Campaign”
Partly this technique preys on people’s insecurities (“Am I doing this, too?”), but they also like to know they can rest assured that they’re in the right. In the content, you can counter the negativity by providing useful advice for avoiding the issues you mention. Just as people want to know how to do something, they also want to know about common failings and how to prevent them.
“7 Shocking Reasons You Should Start Blogging Today”
The irresistible appeal of lists stems from their clarity. You know exactly what you will be getting after reading a title like that. Even just skimming the post may give you the information you’re so curious about. A 2008 study found that people only read 28% of the average webpage (about 600 words). Attention spans are a waning thing, and the predictable structure of list blogs can carry a lot of weight.
“Statistics Show More Facebook Friends Means Higher Stress”
People like to know that they are getting authoritative information when they read articles. Let readers know you’re sharing facts by using statistical data or hinting at a study in the title. Even if you give away the main finding in the title, people will still be curious about how it was arrived at (and if it really applies to them).
“How You Can Start Ranking #1 in the SERPs Tomorrow”
Big promises can create major interest. Make a statement that seems too good to be true (or too outrageous to be believed) and it will capture some attention. Just be ready to back up your claim. An over-the-top title with content that delivers will keep readers coming back. Fall flat, though, and it’s a dent in your reputation.
“5 SEO Techniques You’re Not Using”
This type of title calls out a challenge to readers. It’s dramatic and right in their faces. The style can be provocative without being insulting as long as you provide solid, thoughtful reasoning for your position.
“Why You Shouldn’t Submit Your Sitemap to Search Engines”
The goal here is to spark conversation by making a statement contrary to standard practices or thought. A flurry of activity on your post can help your content go viral, particularly if comments are linked to social media. Similar to being confrontational, though, make sure that you have good reasoning behind your position or you could be inviting the wrath of the Internet.
What title strategies have you found gain the most attention?
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