Post by Carol Bryant
Resolutions, absolutions, and conclusions are three topics many bloggers are writing about this time of year. The New Year is upon us, the dietary discretions tempt us, and the passing of 365 days is about to take hold.
Headlines tell a story but is it always necessary to write a headline with SEO in mind? Well, sometimes yes and sometimes, no.
Headlines do help capture a reader to go farther and read to at least the first sentence, so yes, write a first line that draws someone into your prose. A headline that will engage your followers, draw traffic to your blog or website and help differentiate your post from the millions of others swimming in the blogosphere is one of the keys to unlocking blog success.
Here are seven blog headline tips to engage readers and keep them coming back for more:
Make A Promise You Can Deliver: How disappointed are you when a headline is attractive but the content is less than stellar? Don’t promise me “Eight Surefire Ways to Housetrain a Puppy” unless you can deliver on it from the very first sentence.
First Sentence Oooh Ahh Moment: If you fish (though I do not), that rush of adrenaline that comes with a tug on the other end of the line is purely golden. When trying to reel the catch in, disappointment sets in when there is all slack and nary a reward. Catch your reader hook, line, and sinker and keep them on the line with the first sentence.
Take a Hint from a Magazine Cover: When standing in line at the grocery store, I am frequently lured into the headline on a magazine. “How I Lost 10 Pounds Without Dieting,” “Dog Breeds That Love Cuddling,” and so on: This is the stuff that costs me $2.29 or more. Be original, snappy, unique, and make me want to see what’s on the inside, or in the case of a pet blogger: Wanting to read more of the post.
Be a Lemon: Seriously, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. One word drew readers in and in doing so, revolutionized the part of the “Mad Men” era. Have you seen the Volkswagen “Lemon” ad from the 60’s? Be direct and remember that sometimes less is more. http://www.visualnews.com/2013/09/03/20-best-volkswagen-ads-1960s-campaign/
Ask a Question: Is it true what they say about pet bloggers? You bet your bottom biscuit I’d click on that headline and how many of you would do the same?
Be Funny and Punny (within reason): I love humor and one of my favorite humorous pet bloggers is BlogPaws Community member, My Brown Newfies. Her titles draw me in frequently, and Jennifer Costello never fails to deliver. There is something about “slobber bomb” in a title that just makes me want to click through.
Go for the Gut and Spice it Up: Debate and/or controversy stirs the pot. Many of us read the edgier posts just to see what’s racing through people’s minds. If you’ve got a valid argument to substantiate with opinion and/or fact, showcase it with a headline hook.
Do you write your blog title before the post or after you’ve finished? What works best for you in terms of a headlines? Let us know in the comments below.