The goal is always to capture the interest of the reader, to hook them and get them to read and share, but how do you pull that off? How do you make it concise and catchy, and if possible, informative and entertaining.
Here are 5 techniques that we use to create a blog title that is optimized for the web and for a person’s short attention span.
1. Don’t Give Away the Answer in the Title – Sustain the Surprise
Blog post titles should intrigue the potential reader and make them want to click to learn more about what’s revealed in the article text. It is important that the reader is compelled to read the article in order to get the answer.
2. Ask a Question and Promise an Answer
Putting a question in the title will increase the likelihood that the reader will want to read the article. Most people are naturally curious and are looking for solutions to their problems or answers to their questions.
3. Make it Positive, Negative or a How-To
If it is a negative title then the article should make the reader want to learn how to not do what the title says. An example is “Never Write a Boring Blog Post Again.” This title is inherently negative, but it informs the potential reader that there will be wisdom inside. A reader will look at this and wonder what they are doing wrong and how they can fix it. Some examples are: “Mistakes to avoid when X,” or “# pitfalls to avoid when.” In other words, how not to make a mistake, what not to forget, what to look at/consider. Here, it is important to avoid ambiguity or a non-committal tone.
4. Don’t Get Too Clever
Don’t write a title that the average person is going to overlook because they don’t understand the cleverness in it. Aim to make it something that is eye-catchy.
5. Psychology of Lists
Creating a list is a great tactic for an article title, as it demonstrates a length and provides the reader an expectation of the information that they will come away with. Research shows that odd numbers such as 7, 11, and 5, are more effective than even numbers, with the possible exception of 10. Why is it more believable if it’s an odd number? The psychology behind it is that if you have even number list items, then you just made one or two up in order to fill out the list. If you came up with seven, then there are probably just seven, which makes it more believable. Research has shown that when two sites with similar traffic put up similar articles, the odd numbered article will generate more traffic.
You should work to develop an understanding for what your readers are looking for, what they expect and what they want from your site. These techniques can be combined to create strong titles, but they must still be used in a way that is relevant to your subject matter and writing style. The article title is where you establish reader expectations of the post. Be sure to tailor it so that it coincides with the post.
What are the titles of your most popular articles? If you need help with blog title drafting, contact phoneBlogger today.
We’ve written several articles about using blogging and social media to foster Word of Mouth referrals.
Feel free to check them out at phoneBlogger.net/Blog.
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