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The first indicator of an engaging Blog post

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Generating quality content needs skill, research and time. And there are countless informative and high quality articles submitted on the internet every hour that are not read as much as they should. Often, they are lost under the mountain for fresh content that pile on them. Established writers have repeatedly highlighted the criticality of a hard-hitting and compelling title that can generate the initial interest in your Blog post. Whether you retain the visitor to read your piece till the end depends on the merit of your content, and is a different question.

Creating engaging articles on trending topics on a regular basis can be challenging. The entire creative chain starting from the quality of information you share, accuracy of data, the layout of presentation and its visual appeal involves great effort. And yet, often your readers do not go so far as to appreciate your efforts because they don’t find the title tempting enough. Perhaps it is time we gave more importance to the title as the first indicator of an engaging Blog post.

Have you ever thought of this fact that why some writers tickle your imagination while others fail to create a lasting impression? The credit goes to the writing prowess of a prolific writer. In a noisy world, a nicely composed article might not be enough to attract readers, be it a newsletter feature, blog entry, a press release or a chapter of a book. Among the several tricks to invite and engage a reader, a catchy headline plays a key role. 8 out of 10 readers get attracted to news title before they actually click to go through the content. Needless to say, a lot of thought should go behind deciding on the right title for your article or blog post. One way of knowing if your title is good enough is to judge as a reader - before publishing the blog post, ask yourself if you would care to read on seeing the blog headline, or seek feedback.

So, how to write a catchy title for your content? Or to be more precise, how to write compelling article headings that increase your CTR? A combination of elements together make up a winning title, which includes a well researched pattern of keywords, interesting adjectives and trigger words or power words. Let us look at some of the lesser known tricks that can help us create a captivating article headline.

To get cracking, writing a blog title in present tense makes a lot of sense as that is known to generate an amount of interest in the readers about an ongoing development rather than something that happened in the past. (Like any generalization, of course, there are exceptions to this practice too.)

Similarly, usage of active voice is recommended over a title composed in a passive voice.

Introducing keywords in the headline allows us to create relevance as well as increases chances of search engine optimization.

A well chosen title allows the readers to form a perception of what they can expect from the passage over the next few minutes. A lot of writers manipulate the readers into reading the posts by using some adjectives, terms and phrases that generate interest, curiosity so readers are more likely to open the link/ click to read more. Various studies show that the below list of words and phrases can give you maximum conversion when included in a title.

• Fit in power words: These words allow you to get into the mind of your readers. What your readers call for and what interests them. Before you incorporate power words, make sure that it sounds relevant to your content. Action words motivate your readers to continue reading. Let’s have a look at 3 persuasive power words suggested by Gregory Ciotti, the lead content strategist for Help Scout that can zest up a tired or a bored reader right away!

    1) Instantly

    2) Free

    3) New

These persuasive words are perfect for headlines, call-to-action and opening sentences and paragraphs. Words like these provoke our mid-brain activity and motivate for immediate gratification.

As per David Ogilvy, the most preferred wizard in advertising industry, suggests 10 influential words that can get you started.

    1) Now

    2) Amazing

    3) Remarkable

    4) Quick

    5) Hurry

    6) Revolutionary

    7) Introducing

    8) Miracle

    9) Easy

    10) Wanted

Making and saving money are the factors behind which we all are running. Legendary copywriter Gary Halbert once quoted, “If you want people to buy something, stomp on their greed glands until they bleed.” If you scan some really praiseworthy copy, you’ll definitely find a lot of these power words in them. By using these power words you can tantalize your reader’s desires:

    1) Best

    2) Discount

    3) Bonanza

    4) Cheap

    5) Greatest

    6) Gift

    7) Massive

    8) Profit

    9) Inexpensive

    10) Treasure

Now have a look at few “make you feel safe’’ words. According to Jon Morrow, author of boost blog traffic, here’s a list of 10 safety words that arouse a feeling of security and create a wonderful effect on the readers.

    1) Authentic

    2) Best-selling

    3) Guaranteed

    4) Certified

    5) No Risk

    6) Unconditional

    7) Proven

    8) Verify

    9) Official

    10) Lifetime

These adjectives/ terms/ words can play a role to excite your readers to read on, and they have been found to work positively on a reader’s psyche.

Now what else can we pay attention to while drafting a compelling headline for your passage? Lets see.

• Make use of numbers: If you make an assessment you’ll notice that 90% of the magazines at the magazine store use numerals in their titles. It’s a must-have for copywriters. Though there is no set format, generally, digits can catch readers attention. The human brain has an affinity toward checklists. We have a propensity to list our important daily chores and work according to that. Digital representation simplifies things for the reader. Besides, introducing digits in a title allows a reader to allocate an approximate time he/she might take to read your topic. Example: 10 quick social media tips to improve your business.

• Ask a question: We humans are by nature curious and we have differing opinions. Turning a title into a thought provoking question appears appealing to most readers. Make sure it’s an open-ended question that opens up several avenues for discussion including inviting thoughts from readers. Questioning is a classic way to grab attention of your readers as it appears more like a conversation. You not only attract visitors to your blog but at the same time people share views, feedback and experiences. As Jessica Black (marketing manager at contently) puts it - numbers in title can fetch you 36% more clicks. That said, remember to do justice to your blog by adequately addressing the issue raised in your blog title.

• A bit negativity: We all have a natural tendency towards “negativity bias” which signifies that contents, articles and titles with a darker end grab highest human attention. Example: 8 techniques that would make your SEO strategy a complete fail. These topics are compelling because they tell us what NOT to do, against the general trend advising us on what to do. Be mindful not to overuse this style to avoid getting stamped as a blogger who is a bummer.

• Focus on profit: Readers are curious to know what’s in the blog that can benefit him/her. Try to resolve that query in the headline and get your blog visitors reading your posts. Example: 5 unique ways to make twitter to update your facebook status or 8 verified ways to boost website conversion by 25%. A benefit driven title can inform readers what to anticipate from the write-up. A recent study of Marketing Profs showed that benefits driven title can enhance up to 28% of the conversion rate of your blog.

These tips are aimed to help you review your blog titles to make them more click-worthy. Reading helps us discover newer ways of grabbing attention, mostly based on our own experiences. What style did they follow? Which titles earned them maximum click throughs? The title of your blog post creates the first impression on your readers. They are either curious about what you have to say, or ignore and more on. Few styles like “How to”, “Best and Worst”, “Facts, figures and stats”, “List” and “Predictions and Trends” are popular styles of framing a blog title. Even under pressure of deadline, devoting extra attention to write a title that would compel the audience to click is an investment you will not regret.

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