If you’re trying to succeed online today and you’re not blogging, you need to start immediately. It may sound direct and perhaps a little drastic, but the reality is blogging is a fantastic way to enhance any other activities you’re carrying out.
The reason behind this is both consumers and search engines alike enjoy fresh, unique content that’s provided on a frequent basis. From a search engine’s point of view, it showcases that you’re happy to engage with your audience and from a consumer’s point of view, it gives them the belief that you’re looking to interact with them and offers an insight into your thoughts, knowledge and experience.
But as anyone whose ever sat down to write a blog post will no doubt be aware, it’s harder than you’re likely to first think. In theory, it’s just a matter of putting together at least a couple of hundred words. Perhaps throw in a few links and an image and you’ve got yourself a great post, right?
Well, that’s how it might work on a broad level, but you can come into so many obstacles that you can end up with more than a mild headache.
And what many find most difficult is not the actual writing of the main content or finding a suitable image, but creating a title that’s going to be attractive and engaging.
So how do you do this?
Describe your content in one sentence
Some people try to be clever with their titles. Others try to be humorous. Whilst both types of titles can be effective, they can also both be so easy to get wrong.
As such, it’s always best to go down the route of simply describing your content as best as you can, starting off by doing so in one sentence. This one sentence is unlikely to end up being your title, but as a title should give the reader an overview of what it is they’re about to read, it will act as a great starting point.
Understand what works with titles
Just as there is with sales and marketing, there are some words and phrases that work with blog post titles. Two prime examples are to start with ‘How To’ or ‘5 Steps To’, both of which grab the readers’ attention as they are made aware they’re going to read something that will instantly help them in some fashion.
It’s important to understand that all of your blog posts shouldn’t start with these titles and variety is key, but there’s absolutely no reason why the majority of your posts can’t have similar-styled titles – they work, so why not capitalise on this regularly?
Short and sweet always wins
Once you’ve described your content in one sentence and added a phrase that works to it, you then need to ensure it’s as concise and as succinct as it can possibly be, without jeopardising the actual message.
In an ideal world, a title should be no longer than 70 characters, as this is the maximum number that will display in the meta title in the search engines. As such, it’s recommended you strongly try and create a title that falls within this bracket.
However, this isn’t the only reason – the shorter the title is, the less the reader has to read. If a reader has to read a title made up of 30 words, there’s a chance they’ll get confused and click away rather than clicking through to the content. If it’s a dozen or so words, however, it’s much more manageable and they should instantly be made aware of what it is they’re about to read.
Writing blog posts is more complex than most people first realise and one of the most complicated aspects is creating a title that works. People should read it and want to click through to the post in full – and by following the advice in this post, that’s exactly the type of title you should be able to create time and time again.
Image: John Taylor (Flickr)