Most authors are wasting their time producing quality articles that will never get read. 95% of a books success is based around the title of the book. Therefore if we just make the title catchy then our work will finally be read, right?
However, having a catchy title is an important part of title writing, so lets get that right first.
Lets look at it this way. A sentence like this will sink into the background, even though it is just as important as the next sentence to my point. If I put a word like KILLER! or MURDER! into a sentence, they stand out. If someone is looking over your shoulder and see this they will think you are a psycho. Which is exactly my point, there are certain things that get peoples attention.
I have been thinking about things that grab my attention and here are four:
People love when other people are wrong.. they will be all over your blog to see just how wrong you really are. Bam you have their attention then you turn your wrong statement into something entertaining or informative and before they know it they have read to the bottom and want more.
People love people who are right, especially when they are looking for help. If you can establish that you are right then people will want to read more. Implying you are right is as easy as using numbers ("7 ways to..", "5 people who", "90% of..."), by telling people 'how to' do something and by knowing something they don't know ("Secrets about.." "5 People you should know.."). This works in the title but to maximize your return readers you must back this up with quality content.
People are always want a laugh. People also want to be the people who give other people laughs.. If they can be the start of the funny message that went around the office then you just made their day. Just the hope of being that guy keeps people on youtube all day. For example your headline could read.. "Crazy Spam Emails: What the Arabian Princes Think."
Whether you are right or wrong, if you accuse someone, are threatening or scare people you will get noticed. Think of Kanye West "George Bush doesn't care about black people" bam, right or wrong he has your attention.
The big secret:
It's not just about how catchy the title is. Yes that is true for regular books. That's because when someone walks into a book shop and they are browsing, catchy titles hold their attention longer. On the internet however the key to getting your articles noticed is search engine popularity. Keywords are very important to any search engine and your title must include them.
Little known fact!
The first 3-5 words in a title are THE MOST important words in getting search engine attention and high rankings. Most titles waste these first few words on "how to write a..." or "the top 7 ways to" or "5 things you should..." when these first few words should be your keywords. Instead of "5 sure fire ways to get a free lunch" try "Free Lunch: 5 sure fire ways to not pay" and you will get surprising results.
Also don't use any symbols that search engines struggle with such as commas, brackets etc.
Follow these key tips and your reward will be massive amounts of traffic to your article and blog from the search engines that love your titles!
For more tips on building traffic to your site see http://timscullin.com/category/traffic
About the author: Tim Scullin broke his neck in November 2009 in 6 places and will have a full recovery, but during the recovery time he has dived into the black hole that is web marketing. Now back in action he is keen to share his knowledge to help you build your online empire as he builds his. Check out his blog http://www.timscullin.com and add him on twitter http://twitter.com/teeskie
By: Tim Scullin