23 September 2008

How to Create a Killing Blog Post Title?


There are some many ways to improve your blog in terms of readability, search ability, attractiveness, organization, and so on, that the newbie blogger feels completely overwhelmed with amount of the available information and massive recommendations, sometimes controversial. Little-by-little, you start developing your own style, adopting some recommendations completely, rejecting others, and modifying the remaining group to accommodate your strategic goals, aesthetic and ethical views, and personal common sense. For me, it is probably time to seek improvement of my blog titles.

Hendry Lee is offering 10 templates on how to create killer titles for your blog posts that nobody could resist but got interested in the post content. Definitely, that does not present the complete solution. You cannot fit all your posts in one of the offered schematic forms. However, these templates give you overview of the killer titles generation approach. In many cases, you can use them “as is”, but be sure not overdoing that, following the internal voice of your personal common sense.

  1. How to ____
This is at the top of the list for a reason. It is simple yet very effective. It can be used almost for any technical (and not only) post.

Example: How to Win Friends and Influence People.
This is the title of Dale Carnegie’s book. It includes double benefits within a single title, which works extremely well.

  1. ____ Proven Strategies to ____
Fill the first blank with a number. This title works because it is specific. It also promises something in the content the readers can find and use. The effectiveness of the title, of course, depends on the benefit you include in the second blank space.

Example: 7 Proven Strategies to Save on Tax.

  1. Here’s a Way to _____ That Has Never Failed Yet!
This one is taken from an email subject line that generated a staggering 60% open rate. It works for sales copy and it can be used for blog post title too.

Example: Here’s a Way to Lose Weight That Has Never Failed Yet!

  1. Do You Make These Mistakes in ____?
Maxwell Sackheim wrote this headline. It became a legendary 40-year control ad. Many copywriters believe this is because of the headline.

What’s account for its stunning success? It is the word these.

Combining these and mistakes intrigue the audience to continue reading and find out what these mistakes are. Including the answers in the copy or content is important as well.

Example: Do You Make These Mistakes in Designing a Web Site?

  1. (Attention: ____,) Don’t ____ Until You Read This
In the first blank, you insert your target audience. Insert something desirable in the second blank space. The impact is much like the fourth title template above but with a qualifier. You may create a second variation by omitting the Attention: ____,” part.

Example: Attention: Newbie Blogger, Don’t Quit Your Job Until You Read This.

  1. Who Else Wants to ____ (in ____)?
Social proof is a powerful and effective psychological trigger to influence your audience to make a decision (like in buying a product). This same headline and title template has been overused in certain niche because it works. The second blank adds specificity into the title, usually a phrase that shows the readers how they could benefit by reading on.

Example: Who Else Wants to Drive 10,000 Unique Visitors to Their Blog in Two Hours?

  1. Need a ____?
A simple formula that identifies an unfulfilled desire the readers want to achieve. You can also rephrase the question to make it a problem instead of desire. Using this title template allows the readers to resonate with it immediately, even if they scroll down the page quickly.

Example: Need a Marketing Makeover?

  1. Stress Free ____
Insert a challenging problem the reader wants to remedy immediately. Something easy that fixes a problem without a lot of struggle is always appealing. You can also rephrase the title to include a desire instead of problem.

Example: Stress Free Ways to Improve Your Productivity

  1. Make ____ Work for You
This template promises to solve or fulfill something. In the previous template above, you emphasize on the benefit of the solution (stress free) but this one focuses on getting the problem solved (finally).

Example: Make Real Estate Investing Work for You.

  1. The Secret to ____ (is Simply ____)
Everyone wants to know a secret. It immediately puts him/her in the loop. Make sure you have something important and exclusive in the blog post though. Another twist is to immediately tell there is no secret at all to stress the simplicity of the solution, sort of a hidden benefit.

Example: The Secret of Selling Your Product on eBay

There is one more point: it is good to include one or two important keywords from those you target, but do not duplicate the same name in labels and keywords as you use in your title, as it might be considered rude by the Search Engines.

As you see, I have chosen for the title just one of the offered templates. However, you can do your home exercise and easily apply each of the offered templates to our topic of discussion. And remember, that title is just starter. If your blog post content does not match the striking title, or it is just boring, you lost it, as you could not keep your visitor at your virtual home for more than couple of seconds.

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