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How to Give Your Article Curb Appeal
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  Little chocolate house 
  Originally uploaded by zyber

Have you ever been house hunting and the minute you laid eyes on the exterior of a particular house you knew that it was "the one"? 

I've known people who have actually put down offers on houses before even seeing the interior–the curb appeal was that good!

And when you're selling your house, there are certain things you do to make it so that when potential buyers pull into the driveway they fall in love before they even get out of the car. 

Maybe you didn't know this, but writing articles has a romantic, 'love at first' site element too.

It doesn't matter what you're writing about–the first thing a potential reader will see is your article's curb appeal, which is the article title.  

Think about it–after we submit our articles to the various online publishers, it is not a given that viewers will automatically be inspired to read our articles.  A viewer will often be looking through a number of article titles for something that is of interest to them, something that catches their attention, something that says, "Pssst–now this is something interesting!"

If our article title is not captivating enough, the reader will just turn around in the driveway before even having a look inside. So, what can we do to make the most of the one first impression that our articles get?

Copyblogger has an excellent post about how to write titles that work.

What is an article title that work? One that causes a reader to want to read your article.

There are certain formulas for writing article titles that consistently cause readers to skid to a halt and want to step over the threshold and into the body of your article. Copyblogger tells us about the types of article headlines that work:

1) No-frills, direct titles that go straight to the heart of the matter: Unplugging Electronics Saves 40% More Power

2) The indirect, subtle, curiosity tweaking headline

"An article might have the headline Fresh Bait Works Best and yet have nothing to do with fishing, because it’s actually about writing timely content that acts as link bait."

3) The self-explanatory news headline: My Exclusive Interview With Steve Jobs.

4) The How To headline (like the title of this post!)

5) The title that asks a question: Is It Time to Get an Outside-The-House Office?

6) The Command Headline with a strong action verb as the first word: Ditch Your Cell Phone!

7) The Reason Why title: 101 Reasons Why Your Blog Could Be Better

Great tips! I for one am addicted to the "How To" headlines and the list titles "7 Surefire Ways To…". Those two are my bread and butter, but seeing these other varieties of great types of titles makes me want to try something new!

What about you–Have you noticed any types of article titles that work better for you than others? Please share!


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29 Responses to “How to Give Your Article Curb Appeal”

  1. First, I would like to say that I love the look and the “feel” of your blog!

    I have always liked the Reason Why titles and the How To. They are somehow easiest to write and to produce interest.

    Cheers!

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Josip,

    Thanks so much!

    And I am addicted to the Reason Why and HowTo titles too. It seems like those types of titles never fail.

    Thanks for chiming in :-)

  3. Ruth Butler says:

    Thanks for the great tips. What an awesome site!

  4. Joan Adams says:

    Also this encourages me to watch titles on my blog and to add some pictures! I have plenty of pictures — why not show them off?
    and yes, i have to agree — easier to write How to’s and lists. Just starting to write my first articles. have written a couple of books – a work book and a book – and I have a blog or two. Now time to try article writing – your information is the clearest and most understandable. Thank you!

  5. Steve Shaw says:

    Hey Ruth, thanks so much :-)

  6. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Joan,

    Yes, these title tips work for blog posts too, and you’re right–the photos are like curb appeal as well. I didn’t think of that until you mentioned it!

    And thanks so much for your kind words!

  7. Jack says:

    Hi steve,

    I just checked some of the articles I have submitted to Ezinearticles and it looks like I have missed to boat entirely on building titles.
    Of the last ten submitted, there is only one “How To” and one “Reason Why”. Both uninspiring. The others don’t seem to jump off the page either.

    Thanks for the article. Every once in a while I need a kick in the pants to get me back on track.

    Jack

  8. Kitwana says:

    This is a great article. I’m definitely going to have to use the questioning title for some of my articles. Another type of article title that can be used is the “Useful Tips” title. An example would be: “7 Outsourcing Tips for Work At Home Moms”.

  9. Nick Makaryk says:

    Hi,
    Very good looking site with helpful information.
    Thanks Again,
    Nick Makaryk

  10. Connie says:

    I have noticed while looking at my article stats that the title really does make a BIG difference. I personally prefer the command title headline.

    Your Blog really is beautiful. Makes mine look depressing. I’ll have to work on it.

    I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

  11. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Jack,

    We all need a kick in the pants sometimes :-) It helps so much to be able to see what other folks are doing and then we’re like “Hey, I might want to try doing that too!”

    Thanks so much for chiming in!

  12. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Kitwana,

    Oh, that’s an excellent suggestion–people LOVE the list articles and also the useful tips ones. I am also intrigued by the question titles–I want to try more of those too!

  13. Steve Shaw says:

    Thank you, Nick!

  14. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Connie,

    The title is one area that all of us can experiment with and see how readers respond to different titles. You’re right–the Command Title is very…commanding! It has an attention getting element built into it, so it is definitely one to try.

    Thanks so much for your kind words about the blog :-) And thank you for chiming in!

  15. Love the article. You are so on the money. Great site!

  16. Steve Shaw says:

    Hey Susan,

    Thank you! I’m glad that you stopped by :-)

  17. Bob says:

    Controversy is another great way to get a reader to stop and read your article. One of our most successful articles was entitled, “Why Blogger is better than WordPress.” Another was entitled, “5 Reasons Why You Do Not Want A Free Weebly Website.” Controversy sells!

  18. Gary says:

    Thanks for the tips. I was able to write a few titles after reading this article.

    I agree Bob, controversy does sell and it catches my eye every time.

    I have gotten some good ideas here.

    Thanks guys

  19. Michael says:

    Steve, your products and your blog are soooo worthwhile. You have mastered the art of over-delivering. More of us need to work harder on this.

  20. Iyabo says:

    I finally understand a lot Steve. Thank you sooo much. The info overload ive been experiencing before discovering your site was about to turn me into a ‘nut’. I felt i was about to loose it. I came to your site 4 days ago, and you have BROUGHT ME BACK ON TRACK. Highly informative and encouraging.
    Found great tips worth so much to me.
    Watch out for me, here i come!!!!
    Thank you once again
    GodBless
    Iyabo

  21. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Michael,

    I’m so glad you’re getting good use out of the blog and SubmitYOURArticle.com–thanks so much for your feedback :-)

  22. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Iyabo,

    I’m very glad you’re encouraged–that’s encouraging to me! :-) Article Marketing is totally doable and you can get great results without over thinking things (although it’s always a temptation to do that!) Just stick with it and take it one step at time and you will be on the right track.

  23. David Flood says:

    Thanks for the information Steve. Keep up the good work. You are inspiring me to get writing. Finding enough hours in the day is the hard part for me.
    Thanks
    David :-)

  24. [...] How To Give Your Article Curb Appeal – explains why the article title is so important, and outlines 7 here ideas for creating titles that will catch a reader’s eye. [...]

  25. Karen Porter says:

    Great overview of powerful article headlines! This too often forgotten aspect of the article can make all the difference in great vs. almost nil readership. Thanks for sharing such helpful tips, Steve! (And thanks to all who chimed in as well ; )

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