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Slap On A Lackluster Title: How To Sabotage Your Article Marketing #7
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failed job interview
Originally uploaded by Which Witch

This is Part 7 in the 10 part series How To Sabotage Your Article Marketing…And What To Do About It!

You are submitting articles consistently. [check!]

You are writing articles that serve your readers and please publishers.[check!]

Your resource box is sticky and lures readers to your site. [check!]

You've created some really superb content in your articles. [check!] 

Yay for you :-) , but what if you're not getting as much traffic from your articles to your website as you would like?  

Whenever someone asks me what one thing they can do to take things up a notch with their articles, I've got just 2 words for them:


Imagine you're going to a job interview.

You may be extremely qualified, inventive, creative, a real team player, but if you do not present yourself in such a way that you stick out from the other applicants, you'll just be looked over.

In a way, every article that you write has to pass a job interview–it will be judged from the outside first, and a reader's first impression will determine whether they want to take a closer look. 

With your articles, your title is your first opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

The truth is that you can have an absolutely breathtaking article and an enticing and irresistible resource box, but it your title is totally ho-hum, then you won't see the traffic you're looking for.


Because think about it–when a person is looking at an article directory, they are usually searching for a particular topic. When they click a particular category on a directory, a long list of article titles will pop up containing several articles that are on similar topics. (And the same is true of someone who finds your article via a Google search)

Now, it's true–some of the articles in the list are better written than others. Some are more insightful and more helpful. Some have a more alluring offer in their resource box. Some are leading back to websites that offer tons more helpful information.

But what determines which article the person looks at? He won't click through to look at each and every one of them–there are too many of them!

He has to make his decision about which articles to read by just scanning a list of titles.  

Now, imagine that your article is in that list of articles that the person is scanning–with the titles you've been using, will your article stand out enough to grab a reader's attention?

If you've been crafting lackluster titles or if you just feel like you're in a rut with your titles, here are some ideas for creating titles that will catch a reader's eye:

1) Any "How To" title.

"How To" articles are HOT–the reason why someone is reading your article is because they are searching for the solution to a problem or the answer to a question.

In your title, use the words "How To" and tell them what you'll be showing them how to do. For example: How To Make Artisan Chocolates or How To Grow Heirloom Roses. 

2) Any "Top 7" or "Top 5" or "Top 10" list.

You get the idea. It could be any number in your list (although for some reason 3, 5, 7, and 10 seem to be the most attention grabbing numbers). 

For example, "The Top 5 Beach Vacations Destinations", "The Top 10 Misconceptions People Have About The Self-Employed", "The Top 7 Ways To Do More In Less Time". 

3) The curiosity tweaking title.

Check out this title: "The #1 Very Simple Tweak You Can Make to Your Articles for Maximum RESULTS!".

That title tweaks the reader's interest because:

a) I've haven't told them exactly what the #1 thing is–they're left wondering!

b) I've also told the reader that it's simple–simple solutions are attractive. 

c) I've also told the reader what the benefit is–to maximize your article marketing results.

d) And by putting a #1 in there, I've conveyed that this info in the article is crucial–if there's anything you need to know to maximize your results, it's this thing I talk about in my article. 

4) The controversial title.

One of our readers, Bob, from The Recognized Expert, left this comment for us:

"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!"

I agree! Now, when I say "controversy" I'm talking about a title that brings about an emotional reaction in a reader where they say, "I totally disagree!" or something like that.

For example, the blog platform WordPress has oodles of die hard fans who would be aghast to see someone saying that Blogger is better than WordPress. They would say "Are you kidding me? There is no competition there at all!"

And I bet you they would click that article title just to see what sort of argument the author could come up with for promoting Blogger over WordPress.

5) The title that asks a question.

Momentum plays a big role in article marketing. First, you need the momentum of your title to lead the reader into reading your full article. Then you need the roll your momentum from your article into your resource box where your resource box is customized to fit the topic of your article. Then your resource box needs momentum to catapult folks from your article to your website–there needs to be something to inspire them to click through!

With your article titles having a question in your title is a great way to start the ball of momentum rolling. You want your question to be phrased in such a way that the reader actually starts wondering what the answer to the question is. For example, "Is It Time To Get An Outside-The-House Office?" 

When the reader see that question they start to wonder, "Hmmm, is it time? How could I tell if it was time for me to get an outside the house office? Maybe this article will give me some criteria."

6) The command title.

For example, "Ditch Your Cell Phone!" or "Start Making Your Own Baby Food!" This is another way to get the ball of momentum rolling on into your article, because the title implies that within the article you will tell the reason why someone would follow your command, and how to accomplish the command. There is also an urgency to command titles.

7) The "reason why" title and "steps" titles.

For example, "5 Reasons Why You Haven't Taken A Vacation Recently", or "25 Reasons Why You Don't Need To Worry On Your Wedding Day". Obviously the "reaso
n why" title is closely related to the list title–for some reason it's easier to read an article that has numbered items.

I've also heard that if you have steps in your title and article, such as "7 Steps To Take Your Desk From Cluttered to Organized", that it is very hard for human beings to just read a few of the steps. There is something in us that finds it unsettling to read only 3 of the 7 steps–if you're listing 7 steps, most folks will want to read through them all. This is why any time you insert a numbered list in your article you are leading folks through your article, and you have a better chance of them reading everything you have to say.

Many of you probably have other tricks for coming up with cool titles–please share! 

Related Resources:

The #1 Very Simple Tweak You Can Make to Your Articles for Maximum RESULTS! 

How To Give Your Article Curb Appeal 

How To Appropriately Use Your Keywords In Your Article Titles 

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"

5 Responses to “Slap On A Lackluster Title: How To Sabotage Your Article Marketing #7”

  1. Darren says:

    thanks for these article improvements

  2. Lynda says:


    This is a really helpful article – thanks. I’ve finally made ‘expert’ status with EzineArticles, but I still haven’t quite mastered the titles thing. I especially like the way you use examples to clarify what you are saying; they really do help me understand better.

    All the best


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