Creating original content on your blog on a weekly basis is the only way to be effective on social media. This content gives you something of value to share with your followers. But once you’ve created the content, you have to write a title that works, says Amanda Patterson.
At Writers Write, we understand the importance of writing great headlines. If you don’t take time to learn this skill, you will not be able to increase your blog post views. If people don’t visit your blog, they will not be aware of how much you have to offer and your sales will suffer because of this.
As David Ogilvy says, ‘On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.’
Here are seven invaluable tips I’ve learnt from writing blog post titles:
- Use adjectives and adverbs. They add colour, create images and a sense of urgency. They also tempt readers to click on your link. Examples: 30 Ultimately Effective Social Media Tools For Writers, Five Incredibly Simple Ways to Help Writers Show and Not Tell
- Use numbers. This is the best advice I could ever give anyone. Begin your blog post title with a number. Readers never get tired of it. It tells your followers exactly how much they have to read. Examples: 21Social Media Don’ts, 45 ways to avoid using the word ‘very’
- Use time. People like frameworks and deadlines. If you tell them how to do something in 10 minutes or 30 days, the task seems manageable. Examples: How To Plot A Perfect Scene In 10 Minutes, How to plan your blogging week in less than 15 minutes
- Use ‘How to’, When to’, ‘What’ and ‘Why’. There is a reason that self-help books are popular. Most people want to learn how or when to do things, or they want to learn why something happens. These words are also frequently used in searches. Examples: How to write a one-page synopsis, What watching Disney (and Pixar) taught me about writing suspense
- Make sure your title delivers. If you are going to promise 155 Words to Describe an Author’s Tone, you had better have 155 words that do just that. If you are going to promise Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language, you must make sure that you deliver detailed examples that really will help them.
- If you’re going to be cryptic, be clever. If you are going to catch someone’s attention with an intriguing title, make sure that it’s not too odd and that it has something to do with the post. If your headline is confusing or awkward, they won’t continue reading. If you are not too clever, it can be effective. Example: The Locked Room – A simple way to test your plot
- Ask questions. Ask questions that may be of interest to your followers. Every blog on this site is about reading or writing, so we know that our questions will have to be about these topics. Examples: Is Genre a Straitjacket? Heroes and Anti-Heroes – What’s the difference?
Sometimes, you may want to keep your title short and focused. If your title conveys your meaning in the shortest possible space, it is an effective title. You could use this type of title when you are being more matter of fact. Examples: The Myth of Writer’s Block, The Importance of Inciting Moments.
You can mix these tips up and use more than one of them in your titles. Many of the examples use three of more in one title. Take time on your headlines to make an impact on the web.
Amanda Patterson is the founder of Writers Write. Join Writers Write for The Social Brand, a social media workshop.
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.