Do you know how to write a powerful title? One of the hardest things for new writers to write is a great title. Sometimes writing an article can be easier than writing the title which will sell it. I remember when I first started writing, I came up with what I thought were imaginative titles – titles which made web users want to read the article because it kept them guessing.
I told myself that if (in the title) I didn’t explain to the potential reader what the article was all about he/she would want to read it to find out. Big mistake! And don’t worry, I’ve learned my lesson.
People on the web are so bombarded by articles to read, they become over stimulated. They’re looking for certain things and have no time for the read-to-find-out strategies I formally employed. You have to show them that they’re getting exactly what they’re looking for and the way to do this is through your title. Here are some ways to show you just how to write a powerful title. Don’t allow your potential reader to click past your post. Make them stop and take notice of you!
How to write a powerful title
Research your niche
Research your niche to know exactly what people are looking for. Use Google Keyword tool to find popular searches in your topic. Once you know what they’re looking for, you can write topics to fill the need and any gaps that may exist. Researching is also a fantastic way to get ideas about articles you may want to write.
Once you find your titles, keep a record of them in a notebook or spreadsheet. You will forget them if you don’t. Based on your search, you can also make a quick list of keywords you want to use with each title (but don’t keyword-stuff). Great titles lead to great inspiration for even greater articles.
Write your titles for humans
I know us writers have been well trained to think of SEO as we write. This is all well and good, but search engines don’t search for titles and articles, people do. Think of them when you write your title, think of what they’ll be typing into their browser as they search and try to mimic this as closely as possible.
And while you’re thinking of this, be as brief and as descriptive as possible. I know, we did say that titles can be the most difficult thing to write!
Use an active voice when writing your title
For example, ‘How powerful titles are written’ is expressed in a passive voice, while ‘How to write a powerful title’ is an active voice. Passive voices are for boring topics and maybe college theses. Online articles need to show action, enthusiasm and power. You only get this effect with active voice titles. Active voices are concise and transparent. They encourage and motivate. They involve a direct person doing a particular action. This is what web writing thrives on. Use only active voices for your titles, or you and your article will be left behind in a cloud of virtual internet dust.
Use proper grammar and spelling in your titles
If you were looking for a particular item on the web and you came across a title with a misspelling or with an ‘I’ which was not capitalised, would you click on it? The answer is no, and neither would your potential readers.
Don’t write your titles as though you’re texting. You’ve spent too long on your article, and on thinking about your powerful, call-to-action title than to let it and yourself down with bad spelling or punctuation.
While on the subject, sometimes apostrophes and other punctuation like question marks and exclamation marks don’t convert well on certain browsers or pages. Therefore it’s best to leave these out of your titles if at all possible. It would be a shame for your fantastic title to be spoilt with a ‘*amps&pos’ where your apostrophe should be.
Be careful about the length of your title
Including spaces and punctuation, your title should be about 70 characters or some of it will get lost in your url and in searches. Make sure that your power words or key phrases appear within the first few words.
Some examples of article titles that will get read more easily
Readers like to know – on average how many points they’re getting in an article. This is why titles like, ‘Five Ways to…’ or ‘Ten Tips on…’ work very well.
Readers are searching for things they don’t know. They come to your article to learn something they didn’t know or hadn’t thought of before. They’re not looking for run-of- the-mill pieces that tell them things they are already versed on. This is why titles like, ‘The Secret to…’ or ‘The Key to…’ make them feel you’re disclosing quality information.
Readers also like things being made easy for them. In this case, words like, ‘simple’, ‘easy’, ‘quick’ and ‘effective’ work well in titles to show them they’re getting something priceless that they can apply to their lives today, easily.
The whole point of searching on the Internet is to answer questions. This is why ‘How To…’ articles work so well. In addition, they’re easy to write and follow a definite formula that web users have grown to expect. You can’t go wrong with ‘How to’ articles.
Do you have a process you follow when it comes to writing titles? How do you create powerful titles for your articles and do you find them difficult to write? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below and give us your take on writing titles for articles. Please also share, ‘How To Write A Powerful Title’ on your social networking sites. Thank you.
Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author and prolific blogger. She shows writers and others how to build confidence at her blog, ‘How To Build Confidence’. If you need a shot of confidence to boost your title-writing stamina, visit her blog. You’ll be hooked on confidence!