Now that I’ve been blogging for one year, I feel I’ve earned the right to flout my way with words. I’ve read many of those SEO-oriented articles telling you to suck readers into your blog via “The Top Ten Ways to…” or “Three Reasons Your Business…” or even “A Surefire Solution to…” I’m not saying these strategies are wrong, but I think from a copywriting perspective, you can distinguish your blog posts far from the madding crowd.
Why not shake things up and craft blog post headlines that make people’s clicking or swiping index fingers twitch with anticipation? Here are some creative options for your future posts…
A Sense of Humor Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: By now, you’ve surmised that sly humor is my blog’s not-so-secret weapon of choice. I don’t get to inject much frivolity into my clients’ B2B copywriting projects, so this blog is my release valve. Why not use your humorous inclinations to attract readers to your blog posts? Here are some saplings I’m cultivating in the By All Writes greenhouse for spring and summer:
- The Midnight Networking Buffet Is Now Open on the Lido Deck…
- Dead Authors on Twitter – Rejected Tweets from Beyond the Grave
- Proper Business Etiquette in an Uncouth World – What Would Jane Do?
Play With Your Language, Not Your Angry Birds Star Wars App: While I cherish my decent command of the English language, there are so many other worlds and words to explore. There’s a great little book called A Certain “Je Ne Sais Quoi,” by Chloe Rhodes. In the book, the author lists and explains “the origin of foreign words used in English,” from A to Z. I’ve pulled out a few choice words or phrases for you and sprinkled them into some sample blog post headlines:
- How to Add Joie de Vivre to Your LinkedIn Account
- A Little Baksheesh Helps When Soothing Temperamental Clients
- The Secret Dolce Vita of an Indie Bakery’s Taste-Tester
Life Imitates Art, So Why Can’t Blogs Imitate Movies?: Like me, I’m sure many of you are fans of film. Some movies I can watch over and over again, even when those blasted commercials on Ovation or TBS disturb the film’s equilibrium (e.g., The Shawshank Redemption, Full Metal Jacket, Inglourious Basterds). Because movies tend to embed themselves into your mental collection, it’s fun to draw inspiration from your favorites when crafting blog post headlines. Here are some cinema-inspired headlines I’ve used and a few I’m contemplating for future online missives:
- “Whores in Ithaca?” (Hello Blogosphere)
- There’s No Crying in After-Hours Business Networking!
- “You’d Make a Wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts”
- Nobody Puts Baby in a (Networking) Corner!
- When Entrepreneurship Disappoints, It’s Time to “Wiggle Your Big Toe!”
When All Else Fails, Stir Up Some Controversy: I’m not sure how well I’ve mined this particular vein of headline gold just yet. I think I’ve made an attempt or two, but I haven’t yet gone The Full Monty. If you can grab a reader’s quicksilver attention with some words that challenge (or even tread upon) their delicate sensibility, why not? As long as your blog post content delivers on the provocative promise of your headline, don’t be afraid to experiment:
- The Reason Your Blog Is Sinking Faster Than a Lead Life Jacket
- If You’re an Email Blast Junkie, Please Stop Reading This Now!
- Why It’s Time to Hire a (Virtual) Assassin for Your Boss
If you’re a blogger, what types of headlines seem to attract the most readers or subscribers to your blog posts? Are there certain headline styles you avoid, and if so, why do you steer clear? “Go ahead, make my day” (and my blog)…
Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business writing, editing, and research company in Marlton, New Jersey. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her (email@example.com) for a no-obligation project quote today!
Great advice Lori! I agree that we get so caught up in our own SEO, we miss out on sizzling headlines. Maybe I should try, From Legally Blond to Million Dollar Party Girl, How To Play A Starring Role In Your BIz. Thanks for ending my Friday with a laugh.
Wow – it’s not every day a Million Dollar Party Girl drops by my blog! I’m glad you picked up a tip or two regarding blog post headlines. I am not an SEO hater, but I do think it’s possible to unite keywords and good copywriting into wedded headline bliss. Thanks for your online affection – it’s greatly appreciated.