Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blog post titles that win readers

When devising a title for your blog post keep it short and descriptive. "Catchy" is always fun, but "short and descriptive" will win more readers. I f you can pull off all three, that's even better.

We live in an impatient world. It may not seem fair, but in most cases, your title is all you have to draw people's attention to your post. We make decisions instantly, so you need a title for your blog post that will grab the reader's attention instantly. Here are some traits of good titles:

1. Short: Keep the title as short as possible. A short title will be easier to tweet on Twitter or announce on Facebook. And, a short title is easier to read at a glance.

2. Specific: Don't generalize. If your blog post is about the Mississippi River, don't title it "Waterways of America." Be as specific as possible with the nouns you use.

3. Numbers: Using numbers in the title is often eye-catching. For example, a good title for this blog post might have been, "5 ways to improve the titles of your blog posts." The "5 Ways" tells the reader that the article is going to be short and specific. And, there's an added advantage of putting a number at the front of the title of your blog post. Numerals in titles are usually listed first in an alphabetical list of blog post titles.

4. Inviting: Don't go for shock value in your titles and don't use overstatements in your titles. I'm not sure about everyone else, but I don't like it when the title exaggerates the content of an article. In fact, I end up feeling cheated somehow and might avoid that author in the future.

5. Catchy. As I stated earlier, catchy is okay as long as the title clearly tells the reader the topic of the blog post.

That's it. Get going and write some good titles. And, of course, feel free to share tips of your own for writing good titles.

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