May 7, 2008

5 Strategies for Creating Killer Blog Titles

Filed under: Blogging Tips -- Jennifer Slegg @ 11:21am

Writing a killer blog title can make or break a blog entry. Yes, if you have two identical blog posts, one with a fantastic title and the other with a boring one, the one with the best title will get more traffic and has significantly higher chances of getting submitted to social sites. So now that you know why they are so important, here is how you can make your own titles into killer blog titles that will make everyone want to click on it and read whatever it is you wrote.

What makes a killer title?
Have a look at sites such as Digg. All the front page posts have well written titles, titles that are meant to arouse interest in whatever the article is about. Now take a look at Fark.com. While those are a little longer, they are written with humor and designed so that people cannot resist from clicking on the link.

Capture attention
Your blog post must be well written enough so that people want to read more about what you have said. You need to not only be able to engage the reader, but make it irresistible for people who have an interest in the topic area – and hopefully interesting enough for people who aren’t in the topic area to want to click too. There have been many cases where I have clicked on something on Digg – even things I am not even remotely interested in – simply because I couldn’t help but click because the headline was that good.

Deliver the promise
Anyone can write a Digg-worthy title, but nothing will get it buried faster than not delivering on what the headline promised. Think of it as false advertising — how ticked off would you be to discover that 52″ plasma TV you paid for was actually a cheap 14″ dorm room TV? Well, people will be just as ticked off at you when they expect something entirely different from what your article actually delivered.

Keywords, keywords, keywords
Yes, those pesky search engines love keywords. But since users search for those keywords, you want to make sure that your title has the pertinent keywords in it without going overboard. Instead, make sure your title also reflects what people would search for to find the content offered in the article. That said, don’t go overboard to the point of sounding spammy. On the other hand, don’t go overboard on the fluffy language so no one knows that the blog entry is about at all.

Avoiding duplication
If you tend to write articles around the same content area, make sure that you don’t have too many similarly titled blog posts. So mix them up a bit so that people don’t see the next blog title on the same subject and simply assume that it is the same one they just read.

Avoid naming similar to other’s popular blog post
So your competitor just wrote a blog post that hit the front page of Digg and got blogged seemingly everywhere. And ironically, you have a blog post on the exact same thing — or, more likely, you wrote your own version that you believe is 100x better than your competitors. But the same with duplicating your own blog entry titles, you need to avoid doing the same here. So name it something completely different to increase its odds of hitting front pages because people will tend to not vote or submit it if it seems to be exactly what they voted for two days ago. Or best yet, keep your killer blog title and entry and wait a couple of months before publishing it, when everyone would have long forgotten your competitor’s version on the same thing.

Many will argue that the title of your blog is the most important part of any blog entry, and you should spending time on creating a title that is as perfect as it can be. Because a well written title – so long as it has decent quality content to back it up – will do wonders for the success of your blog overall.

5 Responses to “5 Strategies for Creating Killer Blog Titles”

  1. 1
    Michelle

    Something I learned in J-school was verbs. Readers respond well to headlines/blog post titles with verbs. And odd numbers, for some reason, or at least numbers with odd digits (like 9 or 52)… but that tends to be something that pays off more on magazine covers…

  2. 2
    migacz

    why should i take care of readers?

  3. 3
    John

    Why blog, if not to BE read? Why take care of readers, indeed!

    If you don’t care about your readers, then you aren’t really blogging, you have an on-line diary…so make it private, or get out your pen and bedazzled little notebook-with-a-lock and hide it under your mattress…Otherwise, you DO have to care somewhat about your readers: give them something personal, or your spin on the news, or somehow different than every other blog. Blogging implies writing FOR somebody – your mother, your aunt, friends and family, or perhaps you’re trying to influence people’s opinions about something. And this does mean you have to write well, and write strong headlines, and give a damn about your readers, even if only a little bit. Or only your mother will keep reading your blog…

  4. 4
    Duckeldannys Money Blog

    thank you for this useful tips

  5. 5
    julynation

    by the way, what template are you using? I want to use it on one of my blogs