It's been said by direct response advertisers that the headline of an add does 80% (or more) of the work. And while headlines might not carry such a huge weight in content, one thing is for sure: without a good title, very few people will find and read what you’re publishing on your blog.
Many sales writers spend as much time coming up with a good headline as they do writing their entire ad or sales letter! While you probably don't want to do that for you own content, most of us could stand to spend a little extra time on our titles
Spend five or ten minutes writing down titles for your new article or blog post then come back after an hour or (better yet) the next day. If this sounds boring, you can always go “old school” and use a pen and legal pad (it's actually more fun than it sounds—especially if you're used to starting at a screen all day).
Be sure your inbound marketing titles are working the way they should by using these tips.
Borrow from Direct Marketing
Many content writers turn their nose up at the kind of formula headlines used by direct marketing sales writers. But there is a good reason that these types of headlines have been in use for over 100 years: they work.
You don't have to make your own titles as outrageous or over-the-top as some sales writers do. Instead, just use the formula as a template upon which to put your own unique spin or idea.
Ironically enough, title formulas can actually help you free up your creativity. Once your brain has the basic format for the way you want to title your article, it can quit concerning itself so much with that, and instead spend energy on making the title unique.
The book Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples has a wealth of headline formulas for any content marketer to borrow.
Put a Number in Your Title—And Deliver in Your Article Body
Some bloggers love using numbered lists, while others think it's a chore. One thing is for certain, though: Titles like “7 Reasons You're Gaining Weight,” and “3 Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance” will almost always outperform titles like “Why You're Gaining Weight,” and “How to Lower Your Car Insurance.”
One reason for this is the promise of specific information, something concrete and immediately usable. To list a number of reasons or tips, implies concrete, specific information (as opposed to an article that might just go on and on and on about a subject—you know the type!)
Numbered titles create curiosity—always great for getting people click on that link and read that content!
Write Down Titles that Capture Your Attention
When you see a title that you think is especially intriguing or interesting, write it down—especially if it tempted you to click on a link! The best thing to do with these titles you have written down is to keep them all in the same text file or document, then pull them out whenever you need a new title. While you should never steal or use someone's title wholecloth (it's not exactly plagiarism, but it's not exactly good to do, either), this kind of file (known as a “swipe file”) will help you come up with good titles of your own.
Do you remember any content titles that made you click through from social media? Share your ideas below!
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