Writing Your Blog

In our previous post, How to Blog, we continued our series all about blogging by discussing some of the key things to remember when you start blogging.

In this post, we begin to get into the nitty gritty of blog writing, starting with your blog post titles.

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Writing Your Blog

One of the most important things to keep in mind when writing a blog is: You have seconds to capture the reader, and it’s very easy to lose them after the first paragraph.

Create a Great Title

Your blog needs a great title, and so do your blog posts. Whether it’s short and to the point, or long and quirky, your title has to grab the reader. Research shows that people’s decision to read an article is heavily dependent on the title of the article.[1] If you’ve read a newspaper or magazine lately (work with us here, GenY), you’re familiar with the concept. Chances are good you thumb through the periodical scanning the titles and headlines (and pictures — we’ll get to them later) until something looks good. Then you read the first paragraph and decide if you want to read more. If the article isn’t delivering what you want, you move on.

On the Web this process is multiplied a thousand-fold. If you’re lucky enough for your blog post to make it onto the front page of Google, its title must jump out as the prospective reader rapidly scans the search results. Remember: On the Web, every click is a commitment. You’re leaving the familiar comfort of the page you’re on to venture into the unknown, in the optimistic hope of finding something useful, entertaining, or informative. And if the article doesn’t deliver on the promise of the title, your reader is off to the next adventure.

Here are some title examples drawn from our own blogs. Which blog post title would you be more likely to read?

Boring Blog Title

Better Blog Title

I have lots of new Twitter followers What’s the deal with tons of ghost followers yesterday on Twitter?
Famous Quote About Energy What Edison Said About Energy
Branding is Changing The Future of Brands, or Yoda Was Right
The Advantages of Experience What’s Wrong with Young Guys?
Old People Don’t Understand Teens Twitter is for Old Fogies, Teen Says

We hope you prefer the titles in the right hand column.

Next up: Create a Great Lead for Your Blog

Writing Your Blog is the 146th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 379. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

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[1] Jack B. Haskins’ paper Title-Rating: A Method for Measuring Reading Interests and Predicting Readershipbit.ly/cfGcZl