“Headines are powerful and often underestimated,” say Doug Karr and Chantelle Flannery in Corporate Blogging for Dummies. The authors go even further, adding the statement that “Headlines are the most important part of your blog post.” I’m not sure I totally agree on titles’ “most important” status, but, in any case, I’ve decided to focus this week’s Say It For You posts to creating more effective blog post titles.
The title of a blog post, to be sure, is the first thing a search engine “Spider” reads, and the first thing to catch readers’ eyes as well. To generate the all-important “click” bringing readers “inside” to the blog content, the title must be more than keyword phrase-rich – it must engage interest and curiosity.
Two of the “ten sure-fire headline formulas that work” offered by Karr and Flannery are:
- The Secret of…..(“Share inside knowledge and translate it into a benefit for the reader,” advise the authors)
- Here’s a Quick Way to… (“People love quick and easy when it comes to solving a nagging problem”, explain the authors.)
As a business blogging trainer, one caution I’d like to insert here comes from leadership website achievedstrategies.com where Shawn Murphy advises his readers: Stop making people wrong, explaining how much energy is wasted holding on to “being right”. How does this play into business blogging? Ted Demopoulis of Blogging for Business suggests referring to other online resources, listing different viewpoints and tips from others, and then clarifying your own position. I think what Demopoulis means is that, in your business blog, you want to come across as knowledgeable, without appearing to be a know-it-all.
The blog title can help set exactly the right tone. “Four different views on giving children an allowance” is more welcoming a title than, say, “The best approach to giving children an allowance.” With four different views, readers feel they are being invited to validate their own views (and being given the chance prove themselves right, not wrong!).
Giving readers a virtual “pat on the back” in your blog post accomplishes two goals:
- Showcasing your knowledge of thought trends related to your field
- Clarifying your own special expertise and “slant”.
“Good for you, seeking out information!” is your pat-on-the back message to readers. “You’ve arrived at the right site – Come on in!”