You know from the 80/20 Rule of Headlines that the best way to get your writing read is to improve your headline. It can be a bitter pill to swallow when you realize that most people, even among those who subscribe to your blog, are not reading every post, but it’s not just you — it happens to us all.
So what was it about the headline of this post that got you to read this far?
Well, it’s not only that the headline makes a promise to deliver unique and useful information to my audience of bloggers. It’s also the way that it makes that promise.
The headline is very specific.
While certainly not the only method for writing good blog post titles, just about any headline can be made better by being as specific as you possibly can. Specificity increases credibility because specific details are simply more believable than broad assertions. Plus, a specific headline conveys more valuable information to a potential reader, which acts to draw them magnetically into the content.
Here are a few examples of ultra-specific headlines:
- How I Made $19,931.42 Last Month With Google AdSense
- In This Free 10 Chapter, 123 Page Ebook You’ll Learn…
- Eleven Secret Techniques That Make Bloggers Money
- Lose 36 Pounds in Only 7 Weeks
- How to Shave 5 Strokes Off Your Golf Score in 3 Days
Of course, the single most important rule of ultra-specific headlines is that you need to be able to back up your assertions. And as I’ve done before, I break the rule in order to make the point (which is the true joy of writing a copywriting blog).
While I’m positive that being more specific in your post titles will increase the number of people who read your post, I have no earthly idea what the actual percentage will be for you. There are way too many variables involved.
So I really should have said:
How to Get More Readers for Every Blog Post Your Write
But that’s simply not as good a headline.
UPDATE: I had forgotten all about this Marketing Experiments test that showed that an optimized headline increased website conversion rates by 73%. This means that not only did overall readership of the content rise, but 73% more people took the requested action, due only to a modified headline. In the first case study, the winning headline simply used a specific dollar amount!
So 53% is likely too low just for increased readership. My apologies for underestimating.
For more on writing great headlines, check out the Magnetic Headlines series on Copyblogger.
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