We are in the concluding part of the series on of 'article title tips' which I started a couple of weeks ago. In case you missed the past two issues, you should read them BEFORE going any further!
Let's see how far the article drags on this time :P
Here are some DO's and DON'Ts on writing article titles:
1. DON'T Use Special Characters: When you are writing article titles, avoid using any special characters such as @, #, &, etc. There are two reasons behind it:
a) Firstly, search engine bots cannot read special characters, so if you use them in your article title, you would make it quite difficult for these bots to rank your articles properly in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages)! And who do you think would suffer at the end? You, of course!
b) Secondly, the softwares used by most article directories don't support such special characters in article titles; if you use them, your article title would look awkward and incomprehensible! In case of article directories such as EzineArticles where each and every article is approved by a human editor, your article would obviously be rejected, unless of course, the editor happens to be sloshed with eggnog or vodka! ;)
In fact I would also suggest that you don’t use these characters even in your article body, or at most, use them sparingly!
2. DO Use Title Case: Which of the following title looks better to you?
"5 Tips to Generate Traffic"
"5 tips to generate traffic"
The second one doesn't even look like a title, or at best, seems to be an unprofessional title, even though the wording of both titles is same! If you want to come across as a professional and expert in your niche, begin by using title case when creating your article titles!
Essentially it means that you should capitalize all the important words of the article title and leave the subordinate words (usually prepositions and/or conjunctions) in lowercase.
Remember that just as titles in ALL CAPS don’t look in good taste, titles with all lowercase don't look professional either; at the end of the day, it is all about using a combination of both!
3. DON'T Use Long Titles: A good copywriter is he who can create the maximum effect with the minimal use of words, just as a good music composer would be able to compose thrilling music even with a few instruments! When it comes to article writing, it is no different either! But there is another and more important reason for using short titles.
When people read anything online, they usually tend to have short attention spans. Unless you have some breaking news to tell about Obama or Madonna, you have only a few seconds to attract their attention! Therefore, the shorter your article title is the better. Don’t use long titles or you will lull your readers to sleep even before they have read your article intro!
Just think about it: if I had used a title like: "What to Do and What Not to Do When Writing Your Article Title" for this issue, would you have even bothered to open and read it?
Obviously, creating a short, keyword-rich title is no easy task, but then again, why would anyone call you an expert writer if you don’t even have the expertise to craft a short, pithy and keyword-rich title?
Creating short titles comes easy for me since I am habitually a man of few words, NuttieZine articles being the only exception! :D However, if someone ever asks me to add a lot of fluff to anything, I would definitely fail him! :P
4. DON'T Spam with Keywords: Innumerable number of ebooks on article writing have probably mentioned this over and over again, but who cares! Some authors still believe that in order to receive decent search engine traffic, it is mandatory to stuff article titles with a lot of keywords! Nothing could be further from the truth!
If you take a look at some of the leading authority sites in non-internet marketing niches, you would notice that this is simply not true! Moreover, you already know that top article directories such as ezinearticles.com disapprove such articles because they look 'spammy'! Heck, they have rejected my articles even when I haven’t stuffed my article with keywords; wonder what they would do if I had actually done that! :D
More importantly, if you read the 'spammy' article title aloud, it just won’t sound good to your ears! The same holds true for your readers as well! For example, let's say that you are writing an article targeting two keywords: 'lose weight' and 'weight loss'. Read aloud the following two titles and tell me which of them sound better:
"Lose Weight: 5 Weight Loss Tips to Lose Weight"
"Lose Weight: 5 Weight Loss Tips"
"Weight Loss: 5 Tips to Lose Weight"
Personally I believe the second and third titles sound much better than the first; what do you think? ;)
Sometimes when your eyes fail you, it is a good idea to use and trust your ears :D
Do I need to say anything more?
5. DO keep rewriting your title: Don’t just sit lazy after you have come up with the first version of your article title. Brainstorm, brainstorm, and brainstorm; that way, you might be able to come up with better and more attractive article titles! Keep rewriting the title until you are satisfied!
Remember that very often you won’t get it all right at first, but if you keep rewriting the title, you will get it right eventually! A popular saying goes that a copywriter writes at least 200 headlines before selecting the best! I don't know how far this is true, but you certainly don't need to rewrite an article title 200 times! In fact I won't even bother to go beyond number "20". ;)
6. DON'T forget about what you have learned thus far: Finally, don't forget about what you have read regarding article title writing so far. In the past two Nuttiezine issues I have discussed several techniques you can use to come up with good article titles. Let's now do some 'recap'!
Here are the different types of titles you can use for your article:
a) A List of Tips
Example: "5 Tips to Do XXX"
Example: "How to Get Rid of Nuttie Guru" :D
c) Mysterious and Secretive:
"The Absolute Truth About…IM Gurus" :D
"The Secret to Making $300 Per Day the Lazy Way!"
"The Lazy Guy's Secret to Making $300 Per Day on Auto-Pilot!"
"Discover How to…"
""Find Out How to…"
"Learn How to…"
"The Death of Internet Marketing and Resurrection of B.S. Marketing" :D
f) Question (with call to action):
"Is Your Dog Driving You Crazy? 5 Ways to Tame Your Dog!"
g) Intriguing Question:
"Is FatLoss4Idiots Really a Legit Weight Loss Program?"
"Adwords Miracle: Is It Real or Scam?"
h) Humor (use with CAUTION):
"Top 5 Ways to Lose Traffic Hand Over Fist!" ;)
i) Negative titles:
"5 Things You Must NOT Do When Training Your Dog"
"DO Not Read This Unless You Want a Well-Trained Pup within the Next 2 Weeks!"
"Don’t Read This Unless You Want to Make $1,000 within the Next Week!"
And let’s not forget the ultimate golden rule – regardless of whichever method you follow to craft your title, it should always be well-targeted to the content of your article and should have your primary keywords!
For example, don’t say in your title that you are offering "5 Weight Loss Tips" when your article is merely a review of a weight loss product, and vice versa! Commonsense I know, but some authors still do it!
Last but not the least: Speak UP! Your voice counts! If you want to comment on this article, you may reply below!