If I had to pass on just one important bit of information about making your blog a success today, I'd share this: your headline can make or break you.
Here are some points on how to craft a perfect headline that will attract Google, attract readers, and show the world you're a force to be reckoned with – from Liz Strauss of Successful and Outstanding Blog(gers) – a blog and conference well worth your attention, written by guest blogger Ali Abbas:
1. Write the headline first. Abbas considers your headline "a promise." While I agree with that, I am not sure you should do this. I write headlines first and go back and change them as often as not. It's not a science, it's a task. The goal is to attract readers – but first, you have to attract search engines. Here's a post on Copybloggger sharing power words to use in headlines.
2. Highlight the biggest benefit. Abbas wants you to tell me what you'll do for me – so, 5 Powerful Tips for Writing Irresistible Headlines is a great example. How about, "The Almight Headline!" Would you consider that a headline to attract you and offer the biggest benefit of this post?
Here's the last one I'll share from Abbas list, cause you should go to Liz's blog and read his post.
4. Don't try to be tricky. This one is tricky. Why can't you be creative with your headlines? I think you can. If you're not naturally creative, however, just stick with the facts, ma'am. How-tos are very popular because everyone wants to learn "how to" do something. Lists are popular because it's an easy way to absorb information. Less is more in a headline because if you get to wordy, it gets too long and you lose the reader's attention.
On Copyblogger's post, he shares headlines that are adequate but without the power words he's encouraging you to use:
Now, take a look at those same headlines with the power words stripped out
- 11 Tips for Better Writing
- Don’t Do This with Your Online Marketing
- My Life Story, and Why I Care so Much about Writing
- Why a Woman Changed Her Name to Make Everyone Think She Was a Man
- Five Grammar Tips Everyone Needs to Learn
- 5 Beliefs That Make It Harder to Write
I encourage you to visit his post to see which words he stripped out and learn why they were so powerful.
Creating blog headlines is an art, sometimes. Other times, it's just being smart. Regardless of how you do it, do it well.