Article Title Power Hour

Whenever I hear a member ask me, “But Chris, what do I write about?” …I know it’s time to encourage them to block off an hour and do NOTHING but article title writing.

That’s today’s article writing tip: Invest an hour today writing nothing but article titles for an hour. Once done, prioritize.

It’s been said that the article title determines up to 95% of the success of your article (just like the headline of an ad), yet most people give just a smidgen of attention to their article titles.

A better strategy is to invest an hour or more per month coming up with 50, 75 or even 100 high quality article titles; and you may find that the article body almost feels like it writes itself because you’ve done the heavy lifting of coming up with the highest return portion of your soon to be written sets of articles.

Sources for article title ideas?

  • Using your EzineArticles Traffic Search Terms to identify how people are already finding your existing articles.
  • Re-worded magazine cover story titles from your niche.
  • Keyword & keyphrase research.
  • Print out these “My Next 10 Article Ideas” notepads to keep track of your ideas throughout the week.
  • Listen to a competitor’s webinar or teleseminar live /replay and think about how you’d spin their ideas with your unique viewpoint of your niche.
  • Use our free article templates to come up with article title ideas.

Do you have a favorite article title writing system or strategy? If so, share it with us below:

14 Comments »


1
terryweber writes:

FIRST FIVE WORDS GRAB ATTENTION!
The first five words of any and all meetings are the most important. When you write (it is, after all, a “meeting”) you have to make a memorable impression. Your headline is like raising your hand in class to get the teacher’s (audience’s) attention: “Hey look at me! I have something important to say!”

Comment provided April 20, 2009 at 7:24 AM

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2
Deb Gallardo writes:

Chris,

This article power writing hour is an excellent idea! I’ve found that if I craft a title that’s descriptive enough, anyone can tell what it’s about. And, as you say, the article *does* almost write itself when the title is crafted correctly.

Your sources for title ideas were helpful and inspired me to come up with more. Thanks for the article!

Deb Gallardo

Comment provided April 20, 2009 at 7:39 AM

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3
Dan Goodwin writes:

Good topic Chris.

I’ve found when you have a brainstorm of article titles, just writing loads down without thinking, editing or judging, you come up with some interesting and abstract new lines of thinking.

And sometimes a more quirky article title will grab a readers attention more than another “7 Top Tips” or “The 5 Biggest Mistakes…”

Also when you have a batch of titles around one theme or topic, it’s easier then writing the full articles in batches around one theme too, rather than every article having to be about a completely different topic.

All makes for more efficiency in your article writing, which makes it easier to increase your quality and quantity…

Comment provided April 20, 2009 at 11:14 AM

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4
terryweber writes:

Think First And Write Later

Years ago I learned a lesson about writing that has stayed with me down through the years. Perhaps what I learned then can help you now. Back then as an inexperienced advertising copywriter, here is how one of my bosses taught me to write.
At the time, I was trying to learn how to become an advertising sales letter copywriter. Each day, at my job, I would be given assignments to write one or more sales letters and attached to the assignment there was always an urgent due date ‚¬€ a deadline. So, each morning I sat down at my typewriter (this was before computers) and got to work typing the sales letter that was the most urgently needed. Of course, my circular file (the wastebasket) soon filled with crumpled sheets of paper that were my failed attempts to write the perfect sales letter I needed that day.

One day my boss, whose office was right next to mine, walked over to my doorway and said: “Terry, stop typing! Now listen to me. Here is the way I want you to work every day from now on:

First, lean back in your chair, and second, prop your feet up on that desk! Third, swing around and look out the window. Now, fourth, mentally, I want you to put on your thinking cap and, fifth, think about what you are going to write.‚¬ Then, still in all seriousness, but with a smile on his face, he continued: ‚¬“ If I hear that typewriter of yours clicking anytime between 9am and 3pm any day of the week from now on – you will be fired!

“Then,‚¬ he quietly continued: ‚¬“after you spend most of the day thinking you can put your feet on the floor, move to your typewriter, and spend your next hour writing. Believe me‚¬, he said ‚¬ that is the only way you can write the kind of sales letters I will approve! With a smile, he then asked: ‚¬“Why do I say this? Because, by the late afternoon, I know you will have thought the problem through and understand enough so what you write and hand to me for approval, will be very good!”
Of course, I did what he said and – It worked! I kept my job there and my writing (and thinking) got better and better each day. But, I have to say this: by the end of each day thereafter, as I dragged myself home, I was physically and mentally exhausted!

Believe me when I say digging ditches all day long would have been much easier work! Obviously, the lesson I learned back then was this: thinking is the hard work that makes writing easy!

So, the next time you need to write something or solve an important problem, perhaps you should put on one of my imaginary thinking caps, see for yourself how it can serve as a practical reminder that will force you to focus all of your attention on the fact that you need to think first and write later.

Terry L. Weber

Comment provided April 20, 2009 at 11:22 AM

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5
Edward writes:

Here’s a great strategy that will serve you well. Go to amazon.com. Search for book titles in your area of expertise. For example, I teach piano and am always looking for good titles to write about it.

So what do I do? I search for Watercolor instruction books and up comes hundreds of titles I can adapt to my own offering. Pretty cool huh?

Comment provided April 20, 2009 at 12:10 PM

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6

And another idea:

Did you know today’s blog entry was actually inspired by a tweet I did last week?
http://twitter.com/EzineArticles/status/1541986011

It received the most Re-Tweets and that’s how I determined that this was going to be today’s blog entry.

When your articles get ReTweeted, track and watch that ‘traction’ for inspiration about similar article titles you could write about.

Comment provided April 20, 2009 at 1:16 PM

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7
Lance Winslow writes:

I would like to say that I totally 100% agree with this blog post. In fact, not only is the success of an article 95% the title, but I believe that Writing the Title, a good one is nearly 50% of the work;

http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Percentage-of-Writing-an-Article-is-Coming-Up-with-a-Title-and-Idea?&id=471042

Please, re-read this blog post and really, really think about it. Try it, exactly like it states, spend 1 hour only thinking of writing titles, write out the questions that your customers ask, see if those might be good titles. Really spend some time on this, it will make you both a better writer and a more successful online article marketer, I am very very serious about this point.

Comment provided April 20, 2009 at 8:32 PM

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8
Geoff writes:

A title with the opening words `How To…` can often grab a reader`s attention. Also, a title which is a question often gets a reader thinking.

Comment provided April 21, 2009 at 10:30 AM

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9
Lance Winslow writes:

Dear Ezine Article Authors,

Geoff is absolutely right about the “How to” in online article titles, and this is such a good point. Indeed, let’s talk about some of the other great words to put in titles, not many are as great as “How to” but these are also good:

Now
Success
First
Complete
Transform
Overcome
Free
Money
Profit
Risk-Free
Biggest
Best
Better
Larger
Most
Exciting
Seconds
Minutes
Weeks
Days
Months
Speed
Faster
Secret
Steps
Key
Ways

Now, before you go an plaster all these words around and between your carefully chosen “Keywords” let me remind you that you MUST make good on the article title; in other words you must live up to your boastful title. If you do that with integrity, honest and ethicality, you will find loyal readers and higher click rates, so Please consider all this.

Sincerely,

Lance Winslow

Comment provided April 21, 2009 at 8:31 PM

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10
terryweber writes:

HOW TO WRITE: ONE, TWO, THREE

1. Problem

2. Solution

3. Call To Action

Comment provided April 22, 2009 at 4:54 AM

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11
Elisabeth Kuhn writes:

I like the “formula” keyword — how to…
or: keywords — 5 steps…

etc.

and yes, I usually do it the other way round, but I think I’ll give the “title first” method a whirl!

Comment provided April 22, 2009 at 12:05 PM

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12
Cherry writes:

Great thread with lots of ideas to get the juices going when inspiration is running dry.

I find that I alternate between 7 tips or How To style titles and some with a more unusual attention grabbing feel. On the whole the former seem to do better – but maybe I just need to make the latter a bit sexier!

I certainly find that if I have a good title it inspires me to write, so I will certainly try Chris’s idea of brainstorming titles.

Cherry
Your Career Change Guide
how-to-change-careers.com

Comment provided April 22, 2009 at 2:28 PM

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13
Maneet Puri writes:

Hi Chris,

This is a interesting one and yes this technique of yours works well. One might writing good articles which are ful of information but of the title does not give the crux of what the article is all about then the visitor might not read it or my lose interest.

This technique of yours as helped me, thanks,

~Maneet

Comment provided April 24, 2009 at 6:44 AM

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14
Leo Llonch writes:

If you write in a personal or journal, you have a wealth of content and title ideas for writing articles, blogs entries…etc. I have eight notebooks full of material which is relevant to my niche but I am not stopping there. Thanks for your insights Chris.

Leo Llonch

Comment provided June 10, 2009 at 3:36 PM

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