It’s been said that an article’s title determines up to 95% of the overall success of the article.
Like a successful ad tag-line, an attention-getting title truly can make the difference between an article getting read many times over and that same exact article failing to generate any interest.
Surprisingly, many people don’t give more than a few seconds of attention to each of their titles.
They focus so intently on the article itself that they don’t take the time to shape the title or give it one last look before submission. Then they wonder why so few people were intrigued enough to click and read the entire article.
Most often, what we prescribe to those people is to invest an hour or more a month coming up with high quality article titles. Once you complete the heavy lifting of generating the attention-getting titles, it’s almost like the article body writes itself.
To get started, follow these Rules of an Article Title Power Hour:
- Eliminate Distractions Beforehand
- Open a New Word Processor Document or Have Plenty of Blank Paper Handy
- Write Nothing But Titles for 1 Hour
- Every Title May Not Be a “Hit,” But Write Every One Down
- Once Done, Prioritize
Just setting up these rules alone may not be enough to get momentum in your title writing session, so here are some tips to actually writing those titles:
- Focus on Benefit-Oriented Keywords – Use the title to convey the benefit a reader can expect from your article. Give them a positive reason to read on. The titles that stand out as being the most beneficial are the ones that get the most attention.
- Pay Attention to First 3-5 Words – Most search engines give heavier weight to the first 3-5 words in the title and a lower priority to the rest. The title should read well AND have focused keywords in the first several words to have the greatest impact.
- Consult Your Personal Journal – If you’re stuck, take a look inside of your journal to generate ideas. Regular journaling can help you remember all sorts of different article ideas that come directly from your own experiences.
- Use Previously Completed Keyword and Keyphrase Research – Digging into keyword research before doing this exercise can help you find a direction to your writing.
- Position Titles Along the Long Tail – Find a balance of keywords along the long tail.
The last key step is to remember to revisit your title once you’ve finished the first draft of the article. Think about whether the title still describes the article in the best way possible. If not, you may have to refocus the title on the article’s subject.
Start using this exercise today and you’ll be on your way to turning your article writing strategy into a well-oiled machine.
Have any other strategies for coming up with new article titles? Leave them in the comments section below.