The Survivalists Guide to Writing Blog Post Titles
I had just put down a wonderfully written book that kept me turning the pages due in no small part to the cleverly written chapter titles. Then I opened up my feed reader to catch up on some real estate blogs and *blech* uber-crappy blog titles cluttered the screen.
How’s a real estate blog to survive with dead titles?
Take a look at some of the titles found in my page turner:
“How To Become Immortal In One Easy Step”
“Why Knocking Up A Brazilian Woman Can Save Your Life”
“War, Genocide, And Other Real Estate Scams”
“Life Advice From The World’s Friendliest Nazi”
“A Cross-Dresser’s Guide To Combat”
There’s no one that can read those titles and not say “WTF is that all about?” and then proceed to read the article to find out. Heck, you’d go crazy if you didn’t read the article because your mind would keep spinning on it.
The Problem With Being Clever
The reason these headlines are so damn compelling is also their biggest problem. See, it’s the curiosity factor that makes these so effective.
On your blog, where folks are searching for specific information these titles don’t do much to tell your readers what they really stand to gain by reading. Those clever examples actually work best as email subject lines or sub-headlines in your blog posts.
For your actual blog post title, you’ll want to shed more light on topic specific benefits.
“5 Ways To ‘Systemize’ Your Blog”
“How To Improve Your Blog When You Have No Access To The Internet”
“13 Things I’ve Learned About Successful Blogging”
“Why StumbleUpon Sends More Traffic Than Digg”
“9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People”
Reading those titles, you get a clear picture of what’s discussed in the article. If someone’s looking for a specific bit of info, then these titles are still compelling but, more importantly, are actually helpful to your readers.
Clever is fun. Helpful is valuable.
Terrorized By Textbook Titles
Now, compare the previous titles with ones I found on Realtor blogs…
“Buying A Bank Foreclosure”
“Real Estate Market Report For May 2009”
“Best Time To Sell A Home”
“Open House: 123 Happy Street”
“When You’ll Need Money To Buy A Home”
Clearly, there’s a huge difference between these titles and the previous examples. While the previous sets of titles were compelling and pulled people in, this set of titles are about as boring and dry as *yawn* a textbook. No wonder so many real estate bloggers have a hard time connecting with readers.
Boring is death.
How Blog’s Survive
Here’s the thing: you may have some great content but if you aren’t selling it in your post title then you’re content isn’t helping anyone, especially you. If you want your blog to survive then you need to spend more time on your blog post titles.
What type of blog post titles are you most fond of as a writer? as a reader?
And if you have more examples of killer or crappy blog post titles, post them in the comments.
Oh, and since you just have to know “Why Knocking Up A Brazilian Woman Can Save Your Life” then you should check out the book Emergency by the ever-so-talented Neil Strauss about his quest to survive an an uncertain world.