Fifteen years ago blogs were little more than online diaries, often with a readership which consisted of your family and a few friends. Now they are a thriving industry, some with a readership of millions.
Many popular blogs are run by one or more avid writers, who enjoy their craft and lovingly pour their heart and soul into each and every article. But while their love of writing may be the main motivation behind their blogging, most writers would prefer not to live the life of a struggling artist. There are thousands of dollars to be made through online ads, sponsorship and other means, but the best earning opportunities are preserved for the sites with the biggest readership.
It would be nice to think that writing engaging and highly interesting content is enough to rack up the pageviews. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. The Internet is overloaded with information and web surfers are fickle. Your article could be the blogging equivalent of ‘War and Peace’, but if you don’t give people the motivation to click on the link then no one will ever know.
So how do you make a web link look appealing? You give your blog post an amazing title! With billions of online pages, your articles are likely to be appearing alongside hundreds of websites with similar content. If somebody else has written a more attention grabbing headline, they are getting most of the clicks (along with the potential revenue you could have earned). It is the Internet equivalent of “my book has a better cover than yours”.
If this revelation has made you wonder exactly how much money your dull blog post titles has cost you, don’t worry. A good blog post title takes a little more thought and consideration than a mediocre one, but there are some easy principles you can follow. Here are some of the best ways to get people clicking.
Make Your Title Relatable
If this article was simply called “How To Write Better Blog Titles” it probably wouldn’t have caught your eye. Who cares about blog post titles? Your post content is amazing! Your titles are probably fine anyway. The article is obviously not aimed at you.
However, the title of this post makes the bold claim that your titles are losing you money. Money is something which everyone can relate to, and anyone with the tiniest concern that they are losing out on potential revenue is going to check out the link.
In addition to this, the title promises that this article can help you to improve that. It sows the seed of panic, then hooks readers in with a solution. Suddenly that link on a dull topic becomes something which is both relevant and important to the reader.
Be A Little Bit Provocative
Want a blog post to go viral and bring in lots of revenue? Give it a title which provokes an emotional response in the reader.
This article doesn’t just say that a badly worded post title can lead to a loss of earnings. It says that “you” are losing money, and insinuates that it is because your titles are, quite frankly, boring. It feels just enough like a personal attack to elicit a click.
This is not the only way to be provocative, of course. Titles which express an opinion which goes against the accepted norm are also likely to provoke either curiosity or get people riled up. People love to put their own view across, so giving them a reason to chime in makes effective click bait.
Phrase It Like A Question
This point ties in slightly with “make your title relatable”. If you phrase your blog post title like a question, it immediately makes the reader more engaged. Take this headline, for example:
“Social Media Is Good For Business”
A person might be interested enough to click the link, or their brain might be distracted by that celebrity gossip headline instead. This title would be far more effective:
“Could Social Media Take Your Business To The Next Level?”
It works better because we are conditioned to respond to a question. A person reads the title and thinks “I don’t know, could it?”. Then they click through to the article to find out the answer.
So next time you write the best blog post the Internet has ever seen, pause for a moment before you submit it. Take a look at the title you have given it and ask if it really is good enough. If you wouldn’t click on the link, try making the title more relatable to the reader or chuck in a little controversy. You will see your pageviews (and earnings) rocket.