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Challenges

#SITSClass: How To Create Clickable Blog Post Titles

By Sep 14, 2011 May 16th, 2012 15 Comments

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Hello team!  It’s Day 4 and Day 5 of our Problogger event today.  Yes, life unexpectedly got in the way of our Problogger post schedule yesterday, so you are getting two days for the price of one today.

Say it with me: YAY!

To get the latest on the daily activities and conversation, be sure to check out the discussion happening in The SITS Girls forum.  There is always plenty to catch up on!

Let’s dive in…

how to blog

Day 4: Understand The Blog As A Product

Each chapter of Problogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging is chock full of tips on how to write your pillar content, the importance of building your social media network, and how to develop your ideas folder. What I found most interesting about Day 4 is Problogger’s attention to blog post titles.

Here is the skinny on blog post titles: They are important. And not just a little bit important. Post titles are arguably one of the most important features of your site.

A reader makes a split second decision on whether to read your post based simply on the title. What’s more, if a reader decides to tweet, Facebook, Stumble, or use any host of social media tools to broadcast your post, what the world is essentially seeing is your blog post title and subsequently deciding whether or not to click.

A well-honed title can catch a reader’s attention, and, if you incorporate specific keywords, help search engines direct traffic to your content. A blog post title also works to set a reader’s expectations about what your article is about. If it sets the wrong expectation, you’re in trouble.

How to Write A Blog Post Title That Gets Noticed

The secret to writing a blog post title that will hook your readers is simple and involves three easy steps:

  1. Get to the point
  2. Use keywords
  3. Follow the formula

A bit more about each of these steps…

1) Get To The Point

Unless you are the Bloggess, whose humor is built around the off-the-wall and the unexpected, post titles that read something like, I like how the only thing they actually question here is that I probably wanted to “infect” the cobras before mailing them to people, doesn’t work, should be avoided. Not only does it confuse your readers, but Google and other search engines also can do nothing with it.

2) Use Keywords

Post titles are one of the easiest places to start incorporating SEO. Rather than being vague in your titles, start adding keywords and make the Google Keywords tool your best friend. Here is how is just a few quick steps.

3) Follow The Formula

If creativity is not strong suit, never fear! Here are a few sure fire formulas that will have you creating great post titles in no time flat. Simply fill in the brackets with the appropriate wording.

  • How To {blank} in {number} Of Steps
  • Want To Be Amazing At {blank}?  Here’s How
  • Quick AND Easy: {blank} Has Never Been So Simple
  • The Secret To {blank}
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About {blank}
  • Get More {blank} NOW
  • The Best {blank} Ever
  • Save Yourself {blank} Starting Today

Don’t get me wrong. We love us some Bloggess, but try to find your own way when it comes to creating post titles and definitely keep our three essential steps in mind!

how to blog

Day 5: Put Yourself Out There

(From Shelley at I’m Still Standing)

For Day 5, we are learning the importance of “putting yourself out there.” There is a lot of meat in today’s assignment surrounding creating your first posts from your pillar content, but what I want to concentrate on are two other key points.

1) Use Blog Comments To Generate Content Ideas

If you have an existing blog, then take a moment to look through some of your comments and interpret what you visitors are looking for.

If you are a brand new blogger and don’t have any real comments, then take some time to hop over to other blogs in your niche and take a look at comments to see what kind of information your target audience is looking for.

Jot down topic ideas that people seem to be craving – this is where you’d write down your ideas and drop them in your idea file. Before popping the ideas into your folder, take a few moments for mind mapping. You’ll find that you might have additional topic ideas, as well as another pillar series on your hands.

2) Research Audience Needs Using Social Media

Social media is not only great to get yourself out there and meet other people in your niche, but it is also a place to learn from others. Ask questions of your followers and listen to what they have to say. This strategy can be invaluable when developing content and post ideas.

I could spend hours upon hours doing this, as I love to connect with people. If you are like me, then you might want to set up a time limit and regulate yourself. ProBlogger suggests setting a timer, which I might just have to start doing!

Now hop over to the forum for our daily task.

More From Our Problogger Series

Get caught up on all of our posts in this series from Problogger:

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.

15 Comments

  • Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  • susan says:

    Thanks for the great tips–following the formula and using keyword will be very helpful.

  • Great tips. I’m glad this is a hobby for me and I’m not trying to buy groceries on money my blog produces or this could all get so overwhelming for me. So glad I found SITS.

  • This is such great information. I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to participate in the #SITSclass but I may just have to go back and see if I can catch up. Titles and SEO are my weakness – and I know it. I thought about being a rebel and just not worrying about it, but deep down I know I have to improve. I need to befriend Google keywords too.

  • Modern Gypsy says:

    Note to self: start using Google’s keywords tool more often!

    Great post.

  • Tracie says:

    Great tips!!

    I need to work on my titles really bad, so I am going to go check out the google keywords thing right now.

  • Michelle says:

    I was just talking to my b/f today about improving my post titles, then I got home & this was in my Inbox! There are some great tips here, thank you!

  • Thanks for the advice! I’ll put it to good use.

  • Stefanie says:

    LOVE the fill in the blank list! Will definitely reference it the next time I’m stuck for a title 🙂
    Tks!

  • Denise says:

    Coming up with a blog title is my biggest challenge with blogging, so thanks for the tips.. I’ll see if I it works for me.

    My only suggestion with the formula is just ask yourself if you would click on it. Blogs that are titled “the secret to …..” are the blogs I avoid.. or “best ….. ever” is also over-reaching.. they rarely deliver great content. So just be sure your content delivers on your post title.

  • I really like the fill in the blank tips! Very helpful. 🙂

  • I needed this reminder! Thanks!

  • Sometimes I think I do a pretty good job with my post titles. Other times, not so much.

  • Emily says:

    That fill-in-the-blank list will come in handy when my creativity fails me! This is a super helpful post! Sometimes SEO doesn’t have to be all that complicated!

  • Thank you so much for the tip on the Google Keywords tool. I just went back and reworded something in my first 50 words to include a couple of helpful keywords.

    I “sort of” know about SEO, but forget about it, because crafting an interesting read is my top priority.

    But, if nobody FINDS my good read, then that’s kind of a tragedy. So, it’s good to be aware of both!