The Minimalists Guide to Writing Great Blog Post Titles

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We now know getting started with blogging is not difficult at all if you take 3 simple steps. But the next question is, how do I get people to read my blog posts? And that’s where your blog post titles come in.
According to industry experts, on average 8 out of 10 people will read your headline. Only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your blog post. The biggest factor influencing whether your post post gets read (and shared) is your blog post title.
How much time should you spend on your titles? One of the top copywriters online, Jon Morrow, estimates for every blog post he writes, he spends at least 20% of his time crafting the title. Just like Abraham Lincoln said he would spend the majority of time sharpening his axe, we need to focus on our blog post titles.
But I’m not a writer. How am I suppose to come up with great titles?
This is a very common and legitimate concern. Luckily, learning how to put great titles together is easier than you think.
As we mentioned before, simply use your customer questions as your blog post titles. As Matt Cutts, head of Google’s WebSpam team, says, “Think of what a user is going to type.” This is especially true as people are using voice search more and more.
Formulas, just like recipes, are proven and easy to repeat. They allow people with limited skill to create very good results.
For example, I’m not very good at cooking. I often say, only half jokingly, that the only family members willing to eat my cooking are myself and my dog. But that’s only true if I don’t follow a recipe.
If I follow a recipe I can whip up a meal that everyone in my house will eat. Sure, it might not be a world-class meal, but it’s pretty darn good. And there’s nothing magical about this. I just have to learn from the pros and replicate what they’ve done.
The same holds true for headlines. The BEST resource I’ve found for learning how to write great headlines is Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks (which is free). While I offer some tips from here, I highly recommend his ebook (and his blog).
So let’s look 10 of my favorites via Jon and Copyblogger.
  • Who Else Wants ________ ? (You fill in the blank with something you know your audience wants/needs)
  • The Secret of ________ (You fill in the blank with something you know your audience wants/needs)
  • Here is a method that’s helping _______ to ________ (the first blank is generally your audience or a subsection of our audience. Fill in the second blank with something your audiences want/need)
  • Little known ways to ______________ (You fill in the blank with something you know your audience wants/needs)
  • Get rid of (name a problem your audience has) once and for all
  • Here’s a quick way to ____________ (name a problem your audience wants help solving)
  • _______________(Do something) like ____________(a world-class leader) e.g. Be creative like Leonardo DaVinci
  • How to build a ______ you can be proud of (fill in the blank with something your audience wants to do or accomplish)
  • What everyone ought to know about _______________ (something important to your audience)
  • A final idea is to use a list to share a certain number of tips. For example, 9 ways to grow your business online
Jon’s book has 52 proven, time tested formulas so if you’re looking to learn more, get his ebook.
Review your list of customer questions and try to create at least 10 new blog post titles from them. This will get you ready for my next post where I’ll talk about meta descriptions and why they are so important to getting our posts read.
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