August 9, 2011

The big secret to getting people to read your blog

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3108/3150724610_e2b0f585e3_m.jpgChris AbrahamLong blog post short: please be as descriptive as possible when titling your blog posts. In today’s decontextualized world of walls, feeds, RSS, e-mail, diggs, reddits, Stumbles, tweets, and retweets, you need to attract your potential reader based only on the appeal of your title and nothing else, especially if you’re new to blogging and don’t happen to be Seth Godin.

Use up to the 70 characters that Google indexes for each post title but make sure the most important message of the title are nearer the beginning of the title. Don’t bury the lead in the post and don’t bury the lead in the title, either.

Tweetmeme and other sharing services chop off long titles, so while you can go long, keep your essentials right at the beginning.

A good title is a good habit — here’s why

Recently I wrote the post Blog so you can be taken completely out of context in which I discussed how essential it is to make sure each blog post you write needs to be completely self-contained and self-referential. Looking back, I notice I missed the most important part of every blog post: the blog title.

In 2011, with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, retweets, sharing, and RSS via Google Reader, all anyone ever sees is the title of whatever’s shared, especially if you’re not Beth Kanter, Kami Huyse, Seth Godin, CC Chapman, Shel Israel, Geoff Livingston, Richard Laermer, Olivier Blanchard, Christopher Penn, Chris Brogan or Brian Solis. If you’re one of these bloggers, your title is a little less important; however, your name may well be stripped by the confines of a 140-character world, so a good title is a good habit even for our hallowed celebrities since their personal brand doesn’t always move as fast as the share. Continue reading