Delivering on Your Article Title Promise

Your article title is more than just an accurate description about what the reader will find in your article body, as it’s a promise you make to build a trust relationship with your readership (prospective & current clients).

Today, reflect on how well you’ve been delivering on your article title promise(s):

  • Did you fulfill your readers expectations in the article body?
  • Did you answer the question you posed in your article title?
  • Does every paragraph of your article in some way relate to delivering on what you promised in the title?
  • Are you wasting the readers time by purposely baiting them with a juicy title and lots of filler in your article body?
  • Does your article GET TO THE POINT? (instead of rambling on and on and on?)
  • Are you an expert who delivers more value in the article body than you expect to receive in return?
  • Did you bite off more than you can deliver in your article title? Should you narrow your topic further?

Having a very smart article title is the key to hooking more readers, but the article title is only the envelope in your article marketing campaign. What’s inside your article envelopes will determine if the reader is satisfied enough to begin to understand and/or trust you. Violate that trust and you’ll have a reader who will feel cheated for having wasted his or her time with your article.

Additional reading on this topic:

How do you ensure that your articles deliver on the promise you made in your article titles?


Steve Martinez writes:

Chris, what do we have, 1, 2 or 3 seconds tops, to capture the readers attention with our article title. When I write any article, the title always starts as one thought or theme and is published with a final or revised title.

The final title reflects what is actually inside and will generate interest. It’s the most important part of getting an article published or read. I have a mental checklist of – what will get this article published and what is the true meaning or theme of the article.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 10:22 AM


Doran Roggio writes:

Good advice as usual Chris.

One way I like to do the articles to be sure I am giving what I promised is to:

1. Pose a few questions on the subject of the title to get the reader thinking along those lines more intently.

2. Answer the questions posed

3. Summarize with something for them to do that enables the reader to put into practice what was hinted they would know (accomplish) by the title.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 10:22 AM


Susan Scharfman writes:

To be honest Chris, I don’t know the answers to all of your questions, which makes me want to go back over each article to see whether I can at least score a majority. This is an excellent, though laborious, exercise. Maybe I’ll simply trouble-shoot ten or twenty. However, though the theme remains constant, I never come up with the title until I’ve completed the article because content tends to evolve during the process.


Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 10:38 AM


Chinmay Chakravarty writes:

The article title is of crucial importance for me. I spend lot of time finalising it. In fact, for me the beginning of anything needs a lot of attention.

At times I get a dazzling title and I never want to lose it. So I write the article body in view of the title and try to justify it fully.

Sometimes I write the article body first and have a brainstorming session to get the title right.

My goal is always to have a very interesting title for the readers and never to disappoint them later in the body too.

Well, I try my very best.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 11:32 AM



The title of an article is very important, because according to the keywords that we use it may have a good ranking on the search engines or not. The objectivity of the title is very important too ‚¬€ it has to describe precisely what we are talking about, because if we disappoint our reader once, he’s not going to follow our articles next time.
I think a good idea is to give the real title of an article only in the end, after writing it. I give a title when I start writing and in the end I usually change it, depending on the information or the advices I gave.
Many times we want to write about certain subject but when we start doing it, so many topics appear in our mind that we don’t know which ones we shall develop in the specific article we are writing at the time.
Ruth gave us a very good suggestion. If we see that we are changing subject and we start having many new ideas, we better keep them in a document for the next articles.
There is no point on misleading our readers, promising something in the title and giving another in the body. A juicy title that doesn’t correspond to the content can only irritate them.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 12:14 PM



Susan S,

I think it really comes down to whether or not you are an author who delivers on what you promise. Most authors either already know they deliver what they promise and to them, today’s newsletter didn’t apply to them. I suspect it doesn’t apply to you.

It’s important that newbie experts and those who write thin content get the *wake up* call today that the content quality bar is raising again as it does every month.

This whole issue probably applies more to a ‘marketer’ brain writer who over-hypes the title with really high quality copy writing and then they don’t have the genuine expertise to write the article.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 12:52 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

To deliver the promise of my article title, I always come up with the title first – then write from there. The entire body of my articles is just an expansion of the title.

I don’t write topic sentences (although that’s a good idea.) I just free write quickly through. It takes no longer than 10 minutes to generate between 250-400 words and that’s that … an article delivering on its promise.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 12:59 PM


D'Ann Laws writes:

I try not to cover too much material in one article.
Some subjects you could write a book, so I pick two or three main ideas and stay within those ideas. I may write on the subject again and use a different aspect.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 1:01 PM


Leslie West writes:

I agree the body must deliver value and the title must be a signpost. I do have a dislike for short articles. To me there is not a lot of content. Anyone that can write a short article and fulfill most of the “five paragraph style” is truly gifted.

When I read several short articles (250 – 400) I usually come away feeling like a string of firecrackers have gone off. I enjoy seeing the content as well as, the authors skill in weaving the ideas together.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 2:16 PM



You are right Leslie, a too short article doesn’t say anything! It’s obvious that the writer didn’t have what to say but he/she had to make us read his/her poor article so that he/she could tell us we shall buy his/her product in the end.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 3:16 PM


Josh Spaulding writes:

Great point Christopher. The title is one of the most important factors in getting your article found so it should be written in a way that the SE’s will like it. But, it should always be any Authors main goal to write the title very accurately and to the point.

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 3:39 PM


Diane Dutton writes:

Well Chris, If I don’t feel like reading past the first sentence, then the article is too wordy or technical, usually to show that the writer is smart. My goal is to give the reader the point fast and direct. So, don’t tell me how to build the watch, just tell me what time it is. That’s the way I write.
My title is direct, and surely not politically correct. The article then presents the issue and the solution. The reading public is not here to read War and Peace.!
I love your site!

Comment provided June 15, 2007 at 8:57 PM


Jan A Meyer writes:

When I write an article, the message is the most important faccet. I usually write my article body first and then develop a title. It does sometimes happen that you dream up a title or come accross one on your daily wanderings, but this is and should be the exception, rather than the rule.
I Think one should really have something to convey to your readers before you start to write. Once you are happy with your message, then only must one develop a title that will draw readers attention – a title like very short ad!

Comment provided June 16, 2007 at 1:26 AM


Hannah writes:

An article headline is like an advertisement: The headline should get the prospect/reader’s interest. many believe that you sell your product only with your headline.

However, you should be able to back up your headline with good content. If you don’t keep your reader interested, you will lose him after the first paragraph. Your content should provide a solution to the problem the prospect has. Only when he sees that you know what you are talking about, will he decide on further action.

If you don’t offer what the prospect wants, there would ne no further action. As simple as that. It is therefore of the utmost importance for your business that you capture his attention and keep his interest.

Comment provided June 16, 2007 at 2:59 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Article Marketing Tactics and Misuse of Trickery in Titles Discussed

Interesting dialogue indeed.

You know many people feel it is okay to embellish “titles of articles” because the evening news does it every day.

“Late Breaking News – New startling information in the Natalie Holloway unsolved murder mystery”

Then the media baits you into watching 7 minutes of commercials and two more un-related news segments where they cut of the interviewees mid-sentence, then they tell you something you already know, do not care about or is simply irrelevant.

The print media is just as bad. So much “fluff” and leading embellishment that it has trained most in the society to act and write like that. Of course it has also trained people to become numb to the news and leery of purported trickery in article titling. Using such tricks and tactics often works, but a stupid person may not be your target market, so article marketers should be thinking here.

Additionally, if you trick your good potential clientele they will be somewhat upset, although some marketers use this to lure them further and further, as their desire grows to seek the real information, then they pitch them with an offer: “buy this information” click here to buy, with a low price of $19.99 and throw in free ginzu knives? These are all tactics of the get-rich-quick crowds.

I would certianly like to here thoughts on my comments? Agree, disagree, have a solution? Think on it.

Comment provided June 16, 2007 at 8:33 PM



Hi Lance! You woke me up with your comment, while I was asleep on the computer. Fortunately, because it was not a good pillow!
I noticed you are always trying to help Chris in his arduous mission to educate article writers. With your comment you are explaining why he wrote about the juicy titles that have nothing to do with the article’s content.
It can really only be applied to marketers. Regular writers usually don’t use this tactic, which I think is in fact a mistake. Ezine readers are not like TV watchers. If they don’t like the article they started to read, they simply stop reading it; they don’t need to wait its end in order to watch their favourite series, like they wait the end of the commercials that interrupt programs and movies.

Comment provided June 16, 2007 at 9:54 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Whereas most article writers do not use this tactic (I concur), their book editors or publishers often do overdo the titles in order to sell books, or at least push the ‚¬“socially acceptable‚¬ limit too often. Although my comment was not about ‚¬“internet surfer‚¬ article reader behavior and I agree with you.

To your comment I would say that even an underwhelmed reader who does not like an article will ‚¬“click a link out‚¬ perhaps a slight percentage of the time rather than hitting the back button on their browser. The Internet Marketer will often have an enticing byline to get them to do just that.

Writers of article, who are not engaged in marketing, might be trying to convince someone of their opinion or trying to get them to do something else, thus in a way some of these writers are in fact marketing – no, not a consulting job, product or service, but rather an idea, opinion, trend or concept. Of course, none of that side discussion is the intent of my comment, but I would like your opinion on this diverted issue.

My original comments are that some article marketers imitate other media and consider it business as usual think that it is ‚¬“okay‚¬ when in actuality it is somewhat pathetic. Article marketers often mimic what they observe on the Internet, in print, on the radio or on TV or perhaps a combination.

Yes, I agree that Chris has a challenge educating the some 50,000 plus article authors out there with many more coming on board each and every day; not an easy job at all. What are your thoughts about these thoughts?

Comment provided June 17, 2007 at 2:15 AM


Diane Dutton writes:

Good morning Lance and all.

In all of the pubilcity programs I have attended to gain attention to my book, the producers in print media, TV and radio are looking for a good HOOK.

So, it makes sense that those writing articles who have written a book would lean toward a good HOOK for the title of the article.

The true measure of the article is the article itself. Once a writer is seen to be a statistician or a watch builder, writing the next version of War and Peace, the reader will know, I don’t think I want to waste my time with this one, even if the title is entertaining.

Quality will work – really!

Comment provided June 17, 2007 at 7:52 AM



Hi Chris, Lance, Dianne and everyone!
I guess Chris was trying to show to every author that if he or she doesn’t write about what is promised in the title, no matter which his or her intentions may be, the reader will simply lose his or her confidence.
Chris was trying to explain to those that imagine that it’s a good idea to make someone read his or her article, even though it is not what it was supposed to be according to the juicy title it has, that the reader will not do what these authors want. This tactic is wrong and doesn’t have good results.
Writers or marketers that imagine that their readers will forget what they wanted to read from the beginning and will follow their ideas instead of looking for what they really wanted to learn are misunderstanding the readers’ behaviour. The reader is not a child that can easily be misled. If you don’t give to the reader what he or she wants, he or she won’t accept what you are offering him or her instead of what he or she really wants.
I have a direct contact with my customers when I sell them the clothes I have in my store, for 15 years now. It is a waste of time to try to convince someone to buy something they don’t want to. It’s hard even to convince them to buy what they really want from you, because there is too much competition. A good marketer is the one that gives to his customer what he wants and much more, that goes well with what he wants. You can’t go against the customer’s desire. This is a silly tactic that doesn’t work.
Now I would like to talk about the importance of the title, because I want to help Chris is his arduous mission, because now I’m part of this Ezine and I want it to be always in the top as much as they do. This Ezine depends on the writers and marketers that send here their articles and they depend on the customers that will buy their products through the publicity they have thanks to this Ezine. We all are partners here, because we all want this Ezine to be in the top, so that we’ll be in the top with it and this way sell our products. There is too much competition in the Internet, as well as everywhere in our world. So, we have to be the best!
I hope I can help the marketers and the writers that don’t know how to write an article like Chris, Lance and many others are trying to do.
The title is very important and we must respect our readers and give them in the title a short description of the content of our article. We must be sincere and make our readers like what we do for them. This is the only way they’ll accept everything we are offering them.
In your title don’t try to put too many keywords, because this way it won’t have a good ranking among many others that are more specific. Don’t try to cover too much in a title only in order to have many keywords there. If you are talking about something be loyal to your subject and give to your article a specific title that won’t confuse your readers and that will have a clear possibility to have a good ranking in its category. If in your article you are talking about many topics all together, it doesn’t mean that your title has to be that complex. Be specific and easy to understand. Be objective and focus on your goal.

Comment provided June 17, 2007 at 11:57 AM


Denis Bonneau writes:

I have found thus far that I can cover the points you’ve mentioned by writing the article before tackling the title. For me, writing the title first only puts a halt on my creativity by creating a sort of writer’s tunnel vision or bias.

My best articles seem to follow a consistent path in that the original idea, or at least the approach, changes during the writing process. This is because I don’t have a bias toward supporting a prewritten title.

I have however, mistakenly made my titles too short. I wrote one article entitled ‚¬“Regrettable‚¬ on that really gave no clue as to the content. For an established columnist this would not be an issue, but as a beginner in publishing I need something for the reader to latch onto. Even though I’m not writing for profit I still like to acquire as many readers as possible. Live and learn.

Denis Bonneau

Comment provided June 17, 2007 at 10:19 PM


Alan Hocking writes:

Although I’m still very new to article writing I see it as an extension to my sales training classes. I think of the subject I want to teach first, then write the content and then give it a title based on the content subject. Of course my title has to be a grabber but my aim is not just to get my article read from top to bottom. It is also to get the reader interested enough in my teachings to want to click on my resource box and read more of my articles on my own web site. Is that not what article writing is all about?

Comment provided June 18, 2007 at 2:55 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Good call Denis, I totally agree. Know the subject, but wait to complete the title after you have completed the finished article. I cannot tell you how many times I have written a title and the article ended up on a different sub-topic of the subject. Of course then I still came back to write another article using the original idea that prompted the original title in the first place.

Comment provided June 18, 2007 at 3:57 AM


Nancy Lowery writes:

I can only comment on the stats I have seen as a result of choosing the right title – and I guess I operate backwards as the title usually comes to me as a result of a topic I wish to capture. I’ve found titles that complete a thought rather than a single word seem to attract more attention. For Example an article titled Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove attracted almost 300% more viewings than an article simply titled Patterns, and that pattern is consistent as I continue to add articles.

Comment provided August 10, 2007 at 10:37 AM


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