You’re blogging. You’re excited about blogging. Now you want people to read your blog.
For a lot of people, the title is the last thing they think about. But if you want your post to get syndicated through Twitter, Facebook and every other social channel, it’s the first, best and only hook you have. So what are some good ways to write an engaging title?
There are a lot of great moments in Newspaper Headline history, and it’s tempting to model yourself after that. But the blog title is a little different. This isn’t a definitive list, but should provide some useful guidance.
5 Blog Post Title Tips
1) Put a number in it: Like “5 Tips for Winning Blog Post Titles.” If you were looking for an article with 99 tips on this subject, you probably didn’t open this. But if you were looking for a concise, easy-to-remember list, you probably clicked on the link.
2) Clearly describe what you wrote about (aka use keywords): Your post title isn’t the place for your inner existentialist to come out. If this post was entitled, “The Magic Online Breadcrumbs,” I’m guessing you would have zoomed on by.
3) Keep it short: You want people to forward this through Twitter, so you don’t want to bogart all of their valuable 140 characters. You wan them to copy and paste your title, not summarize it. Would you be willing to forward a title like, “Insightful Ways to Write Blog Post Titles that Deliver New and Recurring Visitors to Your Web Site”?
4) See what other people are doing: As I was looking at other people who have written clever titles about this topic, here were a couple that caught my eye:
A Guide to Writing Great Blog Post Titles (from Brick Marketing)
How to Write a Good Blog Post Title (from an Affiliate expert)
10 Tips for Writing Killer Blog Post Titles (from Compendium)
Why an Insanely Compelling Blog Post Title Matters
5) Be compelling and interesting: I know, that is like saying, “Write better.” But the truth of the matter is you can look at a title and decide if it’s a powerful lead to your story. Action verbs can help, and so can positive words, like “Winning.”
There’s a balance to all this. The difference between writing newspaper headlines and blog headlines is that people already have the newspaper in their hand. Meanwhile, that blog title is doing the work of the paperboy and the story. But keeping it short, direct, on point, action-oriented and positive will get you pretty far down the road.