Blogging can be so much fun! I love it and I’ve actually been fortunate enough to make a job out of it. It’s great and can be very helpful in business, but it hasn’t always been easy.
It was especially tough when I was first getting started because I really didn’t have many readers at all.
And I really wanted readers.
So you can see the problem.
Do You Really Want Readers On Your Blog?
Let’s reduce bloggers down to just two groups of people. On the one hand is the group who just writes for themselves alone and really doesn’t care at all if or when anyone reads their blog.
On the other hand are the rest of us. We’re the ones who really do care if our blogs are read. We care for more reasons than we are even fully aware of. But the most common reasons are easy to recognize:
- I want to sell more of my product or service
- I want more people to subscribe to my email list
- I want to get my message out to a wider audience
- I want to get more traffic to my blog so I can sell advertising
These reasons all matter to me and if you’re building a blog as part of your Etsy shop marketing or even as a stand-alone business, they probably matter to you too.
You may not be trying to “sell” anything at all, but if you want more people to read your blog, then you’ll be well-served by post titles that sell!
Blog Post Titles are Insanely Important!
Now I’m not saying I do this at the level I should, but it has been said that you should spend as much time crafting a great title as you do writing your whole entire post!
It’s easy to see why. With the integration of social media and blogs advancing ever forward one thing remains constant: The title you write is republished seemingly everywhere!
- Google Search headlines
- RSS reader headlines
- Facebook Share/Post headlines
- Email subscription subject lines
- Tweets, pins, shares, etc.
- Links or mentions on other blogs to your post
- etc., etc., etc.
Your post title is one powerfully potent ingredient to a blog post that reaches people.
Your post title has one job:
- Convince the reader to read the first line of your content!
Get the reader to the first line with the headline and they are exponentially more likely to read the whole post. Draw them in with a great opening and then use good headlines throughout the post to really keep them engaged.
10 Tips That Will Help You Become An Endless Spring Of Purely Awesome Titles!
So enough of the “why’s” and on to the “how’s”!
I’ve made a short list of tried and true tips for creating great titles.
- Use a Number First – This post is an example. 10 Tips for _____, or 45 Ways to _______. Etc. This is kind of widespread advice…for a reason.
- Use Keywords – Using keywords that your reader might search for such as “How to Pick a Name for Your Etsy Shop” make good titles because the post title can match the search term. This is good SEO and it draws readers in because it clearly shows that the post will answer a question they have.
- Explain The Benefit – Similar to the above, the title should let readers know instantly that the post will provide them with something they need. An example might be: “Painting Kitchen Cabinets in Four Easy Steps“
- Share Privileged Information – I’m not talking about being the next WikiLeaks here. No real state secrets, though that would probably get clicks. (handcuff clicks, cell door latch clicks) I’m talking about titles like “The Secret of _________” or “5 Little Known Ways to __________”. We’re all looking for the secret key to make _______ easier, better, or more effective.
- Identify a Group of People – Everyone is part of groups. Identifying groups in your post title will draw in readers who are part of that group as well as readers who aren’t! People within the group are interested in their group and people outside the group want to know what the other group is doing worth mentioning. An example from a recent post here that was surprisingly popular in terms of traffic: Texas Etsy Sellers Rock!
- Information Everyone Has That I Don’t – Similar to the “secret” tip above, this is all about making the reader wonder if there is something shared here that they need to know about. An example might be “What Everyone Ought to Know About Baking A Cake”. Even though I’ve baked plenty of cakes, I would still click to see if there was a trick I was missing out on!
- Use Fun, Inspiring, Exciting, Pretty, Happy Words! - If your blog is related to your Etsy business, then you’ve probably got lots of happy things to blog about. Use words in your title that let the reader know that the post is going to make them feel good!
- Ask a Question – You can ask open ended questions such as “Where is Handmade’s Greatest Opportunity?” or more “yes-or-no” type questions such as “Can you Decorate Your Home For Christmas with $20?” Either way, readers are interested in the author’s perspective and the potential discussion that might be connected to such a post. Click.
- Create a Little Controversy or Fear – I don’t love this one, but I know it works. Using the example titles above, I might rephrase them to sound more controversial such as: “Where has Handmade Missed the Boat?” or “Commercial Christmas: Don’t Make a $500 Decorating Mistake!” My advice: use this with caution.
- Engage Name or Brand Recognition – If You can associate your post title with a major brand or personality, people are more likely to click through. If you sell Jewelry you might name a post “Why Oprah Needs my Newest Bracelet!” or “10 Reasons Etsy Jewelry Makes Tiffany’s Look Cheap”
Bonus Tip: Engage the readers sense of “no way!”. The last title above uses this in saying Tiffany Jewelry looks cheap. Most people who know anything about jewelry would say “no way!”. Click.
Don’t be afraid to mix them.
Always do your best to included keywords.
Make sure the post delivers on the title!
Have fun and keep writing. You may do this twenty, fifty, or a hundred times before you really start to get the results you want. But it will happen if you keep at it!
Have you seen any patterns on your blog? Do you have a favorite Post Title type you like to use? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
~Kim & Tim