Blog post titles that capture a reader’s attention, make strong claims, and solve problems should get lots of clicks, shares, and retweets.
Blogging is an important part of any good social media marketing campaign. While writing great blog content — see “Write Better Blog Posts, Pyramid Style,” my previous article on that topic — is the key to engaging readers and building lasting relationships, it is the blog title that will attract readers to that content.
Blog titles need to encourage clicks, get retweets and shares, and stand out on a page full of search engine results.
1. Attract Attention
Attention grabbing titles tend to challenge norms and expectations or otherwise seem provocative. Consider a recent blog post from REI titled “Black Girls RUN!: The Fight Against Obesity Is Getting Its Legs.”
The title is attention grabbing because it references race, which is often a topic that retailers avoid.
Another example of attention attracting blog post titles comes from Mashable, which published a post called, “Damn You Auto Correct Founder Picks 12 Funniest Texts Ever.” The post is about 12 funny auto correct errors as recounted by Jillian Madison, who actually has a blog called, “Damn You Auto Correct.” The appearance of what might be consider bad language in the title along with the association with auto correct, make this post very sharable. It received more than 5,000 tweets, at least 2,000 retweets, 300 Google +1s, almost 600 shares on LinkedIn, and more than 700 references on StumbleUpon.
While a retailer might not want to use the word — damn — or similar, there are lessons here about the kind of titles that get noticed.
2. Make Strong Claims
Blog titles that make strong claims can also attract readers.
Dan Zarrella, who is a self-described social media scientist, gets a lot of credit for a blog post title he wrote in July 2011. The post, “Infographic: 5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get More ReTweets,” makes a very strong claim about getting retweets.
The post itself has had more than 10,700 tweets on Twitter and has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Another positive example of making a claim in a blog title can be found on a recent post from the Garmin blog titled “With gas prices spiking, here’s how your Garmin can help you save at the pump.” A post that promises to save money should have a strong appeal.
When writing a blog post title, consider what kinds of positive claims can be made and supported with the blog content.
3. Solve Problems
Consumers have issues, or rather they have needs, problems, and challenges that retail blog content can help to solve.
Writing blog posts that solve problems or take on challenges — and therefore, composing blog titles that address problem solving — can be a great way to get more clicks.
These sorts of blog titles will often include words like “How to,” “Tips,” “Ways,” or similar.
Consider, as an example, this recent blog title from the Lion Brand Yarn blog: “5 Podcasts on How to De-Stress & Get Motivated When Knitting or Crocheting,” The title promises to solve problems around stress and motivation.
Another post on the Lion Brand Yarn blog, “7 Tips for Teaching Kids How to Knit or Crochet,” addresses the problem of teaching knitting or crocheting to kids.
4. Consider Search Engine Queries
Blog titles should help a post get found on search engine results pages.
While it is important that blog content and blog titles be written to engage readers, it is also worthwhile considering how those readers might be searching on Google or Bing.
For example, a blog title like “How to build a robot” or “How to make cherry pie” should perform well in light of similar search queries.
A well-written blog title should help generate clicks, shares, and retweets, and potentially get more readers. To help write better blog posts, seeks to attract attention, make strong claims, solve problems, and match the kind of language a reader might use in a search query.