I settled into my work week this morning, opened a few emails and got my weekly update from Buffer. I have to admit, like I normally do, I scanned the subject line to determine whether or not I had the time to read this now, and it caught my eye! “The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post:…” I was intrigued. How could a perfect blog be broken down into a simple systematic template?
I caved, I clicked the link, I read on. Once I’d landed at the article it didn’t take long for Buffer to lose me. Not because it was too difficult to read, or because I didn’t quite understand the message, but because the article presented a list, and like many lists, one item stood out the most.
1) Headline: the 6 words that count the most
It’s true, we’re all guilty of it, every day we see countless blogs, articles and news items on Twitter, Facebook and across the internet, the ones we read are often defined by the headlines. The article referred to Copybloggers 80/20 rule, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline but only 2 out of 10 will read your content. So, how do you go about converting those browsing headlines into those reading? How do you make the window shopper a customer?
What tricks or techniques do you use to catch a reader’s attention? Be sure to comment below and further the discussion!
It’s been well established that creating regular social media content can be the most difficult thing for some businesses. Having the time, staff power or content engaging enough to be deemed worthy of social media is challenging enough. In 2010 Heidi Cohen wrote “expanded use of social media marketing strategies will enhance overall performance.” This suggests that if a business can find the time and energy to leverage social media they will be ultimately successful.
With all that in mind, isn’t it time your titles worked for you? Buffer suggests that readers tend to absorb only the first and last three words of a headline. Now, I know what you’re thinking, writing a six word headline is difficult, and often times impossible, so how do you manage to have those six words count? Think about the links you’re most likely to click, what stands out? Numbers, adjectives, a bit of rationale and a catch all wrapped into a short little Google safe title goes a long way.
If Google truncates titles over 55-characters, it’s important to keep your title organized in a way that it meets all those criteria. See for yourself:
Above is what happens when you search ‘tips for writing blog titles’. Ironically enough, it’s my inspiration, the blog from Buffer, which is truncated because the title is too long. In a quick review of both titles we can find flaws. The first doesn’t necessarily pass the 6 word test, as scanning the first and last three words leaves something to be desired. While our blog from Buffer meets the 6 word test, despite the fact that the title is truncated.
Obviously, there are a number of tips and tricks to writing great headlines for your content.
How important is a headline to you? Do you think one of the other tips was more important? Let me know in the comments below!