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How To Write a Good Title – Draw Your Reader In All the Way To Your Link!
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I was looking through a course catalog for a community college recently, and there were tons of classes under a variety of topics. Each class was represented by a title and a short description, and based on just that information each student decides whether he or she wants to take the class.

That’s an awful lot like looking through a list of articles at an article directory, isn’t it? It’s also like looking through a list of search results in Google or one of the other search engines.

All you see is the title and the short description, and you need to decide whether to click through to read the full article based on just those two things.

In the class catalog, one in particular really captured my imagination and intrigued me enough to:

1 – be interested in it for myself (even though I wasn’t looking at classes for myself)
2 – tell others about it
3 – keep me thinking about it for the past few weeks

It was the title that initially caught my attention…

Here it is:

Be Empowered! Eat Chocolate with Breakfast

This was a class offered in the Literature, Reading and Writing department. I read the title initially and did a double take. “What did that just say?” I thought.

Eating chocolate with breakfast is empowering? I would really like any excuse to eat chocolate with breakfast, so if there is someone out there recommending the practice, I’m all ears.

The short description was equally as intriguing:

Inspiring and entertaining, the methods taught in this class will demonstrate how the metaphorical chocolate of life can empower you and increase your compassion and courage.

My first thought after reading the short description was a little disappointment– “So the class isn’t literally about eating chocolate for breakfast? Oh.”

But the title stuck with me, and my curiosity kept me thinking about it. If I was a student at this school, I might have to sign up for this one!

Your title will be what makes the reader choose your article over someone else’s.

I tell you all this because it reminds me how crucially important the title of your article is.

I want to point something out to you:

You can write a breathtakingly beautiful article full of insightful observations. You can have an article that flawlessly teaches the reader how to do something absolutely essential, something that will really improve the reader’s life once applied.

You can have all of this, but if your title is lackluster, boring, or not descriptive enough, then chances are that readers will overlook your article in favor of another that does have a captivating title, even if that article is not as well written.

You might be thinking, “That’s not fair! I slaved over my article, and a reader will choose to read someone else’s just because the title wasn’t that great?”

Sorry, unfortunately that’s true. Â The quality is what gets the article published in the first place, and the quality holds a person’s attention once he starts reading the article, but it is really the title that ropes a person into the reading the article in the first place.

The good news is that if your article is already high quality, then it just takes a little bit more time and energy to come up with a captivating title. Using that title from the class schedule I told you about, here are some things we can we learn about creating captivating titles:

  1. The title has to grab the reader’s attention or curiosity in some way.
  2. Make a title that really reflects what the article is about, even if it’s in a creative way, like in the class title I told you about.
  3. Tell the benefit that the reader will get from reading your article. In the title I told you about, there were actually two benefits. The first was that you would be empowered, and the second was that you could do so by eating chocolate for breakfast. This title went above and beyond on the benefits, but try to at least include one benefit in your title.
  4. The example title I shared was very action oriented, and you may wish to experiment with that in your own titles. The first part was an enthusiastic command “Be empowered!”. The second part was another command “Eat chocolate with breakfast” So, it was very forceful, and that may have been what caught my attention (other than the plea to eat more chocolate).

When we do article marketing, our end goal is to get more traffic to our websites. What’s a really easy thing that you can do to increase the people viewing your articles, and therefore the number of potential people reading your resource box and clicking the link to your website?

Simply work on writing better article titles. Try it with your next article!

Question for you:

Have you seen any great titles lately? If so, please share them in the comments–we can all learn from them!

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"

4 Responses to “How To Write a Good Title – Draw Your Reader In All the Way To Your Link!”

  1. I get ideas for articles from many sources, When an idea hits me and grabs my interest I look at Google Keyword Tool for searches that internet users are quering the web fo that are relevant to my subject. The title of the article thus incorporates appropriate keywords for SEO, link building or online reputation management. There are two aspects I found interesting in this post and they are (i) the creativity of the title can attract and (ii) include the benefit in the title to attract. Great tips. i will try both in my next article rather than relying on my staid approach. Thanks

  2. I’m writing articles on the benefits of walking for the 50+ seniors. I tell them of benefits that they will get if they did have a number of conditions.

    Should my titles be on a different subject, as you suggest in the article “How To Write a Good Title”? I have written the articles on the 50+ generations and all the benefits that they will get from walking if they have developed various health conditions.

    Frank Ferrari

  3. Steve Shaw says:

    @Vincent Sandford: Hi Vincent,

    Yes, it’s a helpful reminder for all of us who use keyword research to “inspire” our titles that we also need to capture the attention of real humans and not just search engines. It takes a bit of thought and experimentation. It’s a constant “work in progress” for me too.

    It’s a great idea to do what you do though–getting an idea and then using keyword research to help you generate a SEO friendly title.

  4. Steve Shaw says:

    @Frank Ferrari: Hi Frank,

    Thanks for your question. If your website is about the benefits of walking for 50+ seniors, then you’re writing on the right topic.

    And if walking for 50+ seniors is your topic, then your titles should reflect that topic. So, your titles should clearly indicate that you’re writing for members of the 50+ generation who have certain ailments and what the benefit of walking would be for them.

    I really wasn’t meaning to say that your title should not tell what your subject is–quite the contrary. Your title should grab the attention of people who are interested in your subject.

    You can do that with straightforward titles that clearly state a benefit, and you can have other ones that are more creative. It really is important to grab a reader’s attention with the title, but it’s no use grabbing the attention of someone who is not interested in your topic. So there’s a bit of a line to walk. The title should always reflect what the article is about.

    Hope that helps!

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