If you’ve read my ‘How to Write an Irresistible About Page‘ and ‘How to Write a Dazzling Blog Post‘ articles; you’ll have already be on your way to creating content that shines head and shoulders above your competition. The next challenge is to lead your prospective audience to your stuff (not necessarily as easy as it sounds).
During the early stages of your site getting off the ground, you’ll feel like you have to do a fair amount of legwork to get all your hard work noticed. As you become established and develop a reader base; much of this hard work will be done on your behalf by your loyal followers. All you then have to concentrate on is making certain you equip them with something they can share.
The titles of your posts/articles/features/pages (whatever you like to name them) are your secret weapon. It’s all very well to be clever and witty when titling your work; but to get those people from scanning their Twitter feed into your web, what you have to do is throw that style of thinking out and think Tweetable.
So what is the quick fix?
Choose two of your posts that didn’t perform as you had expected they might. What do we mean by perform? Well, this of course depends on your success criteria. Lack of performance may be measured by any of the following:
- A low retweet count
- Not as many page views as you had expected
- A lack of commenting compared to other posts
Transforming the title of these articles can reveal them from their current position as the hidden gems of your site.
Quick Fix Action Point #1:
With two under-performing posts identified, scribble down the titles as they appear now before considering the points below
In simple terms your titles should:
1. Leave the reader in no doubt about what your content is offering
Are you offering a solution? Answering a commonly asked question? Providing inspirational material? Don’t be shy, state the benefit you are offering your readers in that title. No need to hide your light under a bushel here; it’s all about showing what you got. You may only have one single split second to capture somebody scanning past a link to your latest offering. Help make it easy for them and let your content jump in their face. Think flashing neon lights. Seriously.
How to…. 7 Tops Tips that WILL….. A Beginners Guide to…. are all examples of titles that show clear benefits to the reader before they even identify the topic.
Quick Fix Action Point #2:
Scan each post in turn and write down the KEY benefit each post will offer to the reader.
2. Be short and snappy
I don’t mean be rude… I mean keep it short.
For SEO purposes you have 70 characters to play with (including the name of your site). If you really can’t keep it within that limit, you can tailor the appearance of your SEO titles; But… you must keep in mind that all important 140 twitter character count. Even if you’re not interested in Twitter (Really? Come on….), if you’re writing decent material people WILL tweet and retweet (RT) it.
Here’s the Twitter maths:
Tweet capacity = 140 characters
Twitter username max length = 15 characters
If someone re-tweets your own tweet (or that of another twitter bod) you have to allow room fora username to appear in addition to the ‘RT’ and two spaces. This leaves you with 121 characters to play with – use them wisely!
Quick Fix Action Point #3:
Ensure your titles are NO LONGER than 121 characters long
As it says on the tin. These blog titles are all very well but if you draw people in with something that sounds like it is going to benefit them and then disappoint by not delivering? You will discover the fastest way to commit blogging suicide.
We’re all busy people with a million other inspiration blogs to read, twitter followers to engage with and articles of our own to write. You have one click to cement a relationship with your reader and if you fail to connect by over promising and under delivering, you’re going about things the wrong way.
Quick Fix Action Point #4:
Ask yourself this question at the end of the writing process:
Will my readers feel I have delivered the goods offered in my title?
As time goes on and you become more settled into the style you are carving for yourself and your business with your blog writing, you’ll find yourself conducting this process naturally. In the meantime, it’s all about training and conditioning.
Taking action on the above points can transform a previously under-perfoming article into a traffic-magnet. Free traffic? Yes please