3 Tips to Title Your Blog Post and Draw Readers In

Tuesday, December 06, 2016
You've heard time and again from articles, blog posts, and conference speakers that titles do matter, and you've probably spent countless hours coming up with titles for your prose. Here's another point to consider about titles: the titles of your blog posts DO MATTER too. I feel like they are even more important than for an article or book, especially if you are tweeting and Facebook posting about your blog to draw more traffic. I have been WOW!'s social media manager for years as well as blogging for the Muffin. I also have my own blog and have done guest posts on several sites around the blogosphere. Your title needs to tell readers what you're writing about--cute and clever doesn't work well for a blog post.

Here are three tips to help you create a good title to draw readers to your blog and keep them coming back:

1. Put a number in your title (if that works for your post):
All of my titles do not have numbers because that doesn't fit every type of post I write. But if I'm giving tips or making "points", then I number them, and I place that number in my blog post title. Why? Think about yourself when you're on the Internet. It's usually a different mindset and even a different physical place than when you're curled up with a magazine or book. You want information and you want it quickly. As soon as you read "three" tips, you most likely think: I can handle this. I will read this and find three tips. Next time I write a blog post, I can follow at least one. 

Think about how often you're drawn to click a link on Facebook or Twitter when you see something like: "5 Tips to Make Christmas Shopping Easier" or "4 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store" or "7 Agents to Send Your Work to Now"

2. Explain Exactly What the Blog Post Will Contain
This is pretty simple to do when you write a blog post like this one (see my above title for an example) or any of the ones that I just mentioned in the above point. When you're writing to inform, it's easy to come up with a blog title that tells readers what you're explaining. But how about when you're writing an inspirational or entertaining blog post? You still have to explain what the post concerns.

It's much harder--I agree. But to draw the most readers in, you must figure something out. When I was writing all those posts about how I wasn't writing and how hard divorce is, I could have used titles like I would for essays: "Coming From a Dark Place" or "In the Brain of  a Non-Writer". Instead though, I tried to consider someone clicking on WOW!'s blog from our home page or receiving the post emailed to them. Readers want to immediately know what the post is about: "Why I Haven't Written for 3 Months"  or "Writer's Block Has Taken Over My Brain" give a clearer picture about the content.

3. Think About How Your Title Will Draw Readers From Social Media
This point is especially important if you have your blog posts set up to go directly to Twitter and Facebook on publication. Depending on your settings, your title and link to the post are probably what appear on social media. If your title is vague, it will not make readers click on your link unless they are your biggest fan or your mom. Even if you don't have a set-up where posts go directly to social media, a good title will make it easier and quicker for you to create a meaningful tweet or Facebook post.

I usually create a title, write my post, and then go back and revisit my title to see if I've accomplished all three of these tips. Try these for a few weeks and see if your blogging life is a little bit easier for you and your readers. Stay tuned for my next post (in about a week) about the first paragraph of your blog post.

Margo L. Dill is the social media manager for WOW! Women on Writing as well as a long-time blogger for the Muffin. Check out her books and her own blog at http://www.margoldill.com

keyboard photo by orangeacid on Flickr.com


Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--Your tips made me look at a couple of post titles that haven't been published yet. Thanks. I hardly ever put a number in one, like you suggested, but it sure makes sense.


Marcia Peterson said...

Great tips, Margo! Your experience with social media gives you a perspective that we can learn from.

Margo Dill said...

Thanks, ladies. Lately, I've also been paying attention to the types of things I click on from FB and Twitter, and trying to copy those. It's all a learning experience.

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