Tips for Writing Great Headlines
Writing great headlines is good SEO. Not only does it help search engines index your blog better with more keyword-rich titles and headers, it also attracts people to reading your posts. This is especially effective in those instances where users read your blog from RSS feed readers, and the blog post title is the only thing they see.
Top writers like Copyblogger‘s Brain Clark would usually suggest that you write bold, attention-grabbing headlines. This drives people to dig deeper into your content.
When writing your blog post title, be specific enough to describe the content of your article. Instead of saying “Writing Tips for Bloggers,” you could perhaps say “How to Use Headlines to Attract Readrs.” Or maybe instead of saying “Gadgets to buy this summer,” you can say “Top five netbooks under $300.” Making it more specific will appeal to a user’s imagination. There are thousands of writing tips out there. There are dozens and dozens of gadget blogs offering reviews. And a user will probably just navigate out of your RSS feed page or blog homepage if they don’t get interested enough.
Most good headlines and titles are in the form of a statement. However, if you want to get your reader’s interest even more, ask them a question. This helps give the feeling that you are encouraging interaction and contributions among your readers. This makes them feel important. And in turn, you gain an advantage by actually passing on to the readers some of the responsibility in content-generation. Instead of sayin “Top places to spend the summer vacation,” You can post an entry that asks “Where are you spending your summer vacation?” Then in a few paragraphs tell your readers what your summer vacation plans are. At the end, direct the question at them again. Publish, then sit back, relax, and wait for comments to come in.
Promise something exciting
Most linkbait writers know how to formulate their headlines such that it would attract much attention in social bookmarking sites. They sometimes make outrageous claims or very exciting propositions. This doesn’t necessarily have to be too outrageous, but at least make it exciting. Instead of saying “Download free software here,” you can say “How to save thosuands of dollars with these free software.” Or instead of saying “Apple launches new MacBook,” you can say “Why Apple’s OS X Tiger Blows Vista Away.”
Of course, you shouldn’t neglect to write good content, because great content is the foundation of a good blog. However, headlines help people find great content, and drive readers to your blog. Good headlines also make your blog post ready for social bookmarkers, because sites like Digg.com and delicious.com usually get the contents of theattribute automatically when you post a link. Learn to write a good title, and write your blog post around it.