In this day and age where life flickers in 140 characters or less, chances are no one is going to read your blog posts…or mine.

Additionally, many social media mediums – such as Twitter – may not have metrics installed to monitor the effectiveness of a mention. Thus, links to blog posts or websites are helpful. The following are some tips on making effective blog post titles!

1. Content is king – make sure that your content is catered for your target audience. Sometimes I write the content first, then come up with a catchy title afterward, but that’s not always suggested.

2. Solve a problem, give advice, provide value – if the post brings relevance to an issue faced by your readers, then it will be many more times compelling. A snappy title of such would start like “How To…”

3. Lists – this blog post title is an example, “8 Ways To Write Effective Blog Post Titles”. When there is a list, such as “Top 10 Ways To…” there is structure. No one is in for a surprise.

When readers find it an achievable goal, they can see the light at the end of the tunnel before even trekking down it. My previous blog post regarding “4 Reasons Why The Wedding Industry Is Changing” is another example.

4. Keep it simple and direct – get to the point with adequate information (avoid being flowery, poetic, creative or cryptic). For good examples, visit your local mall and see how stores get your attention in short spurts – “Entire Store 40% Off”

5. Make comparisons – readers always enjoy reading different perspectives on what the writer perceives as “better” or “best.” For example, my post on “Blogging vs. Twitter vs. Facebook”.

6. Do not oversell – if the content does not reflect the title (even if compelling), then readers are very likely to defect and potentially never to return, unsubscribe from a mailing list, unfollow on Twitter and unsubscribe from Facebook.

7. Personalize it – let your personal flair shine through (i.e.: Jane and Jack are Like Rabbits – Carrot Themed Wedding) rather than using conventional titles (i.e.: Wedding: Jane and Jack).

8. Powerful words (mostly adjectives) – use words such as secrets, free, easy, sexy, handy and etc. are always catchy for readers. Watch some late night infomercials!

Case Studies

I tested a variety of ways to write titles and monitored the percentage of people who open my email blasts. Whenever I use the aforementioned, I am almost certain that my open rate is average 15% higher…that’s a lot! In retrospect, I feel bad for some of my “sacrificed” posts that did not receive its due attention.

One that I highly recommend reading is my post on indelible impressions, “Girl in the Green Scarf“. If I rewrote it, it could have been titled something like “3 Ways to Make Sure Your Clients Think of You FIRST”, right?

Learn From Others

Sometimes, I subscribe to various companies via email – Anthropologie being one of them – because I like to see how they title their email blasts. If they compel me to open it, then they did a good job! I then break it down and try to execute it in my own work.

Another good source is Guy Kawasaki on Twitter. He posts about random news and uses provoking sentences to encourage further reading. Check out some of them below.

Thoughts?

I did not give many blog post title examples for photographers. I am a firm believer of proactive thinking because if you can think of it on your own, you will own the knowledge. However, a discussion via comments below is equally affirming. How will you use this knowledge?

Flying on a jet plane,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. Activia is evil. I ate some because it was featured on “Big Bang Theory” this week and it was such a terrible idea… My stomach is still rumbling as I compose this blog post on my plane to Denver. Do you see my dedication to Tofurious readers? :o)

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