If I have to rate myself for copywriting skills, I would give myself a 3 out of 10! Anyways, in my article writing career I have found that some things work better than others when it comes to article titles!
There are so many things to be said about writing good article titles that any single article on the subject wouldn't be enough. So please take it only as a 'starter-edition', rather than a comprehensive guide. More tips might follow soon :)
Now, so far as writing article title is concerned, I usually write it after finishing the article body, as I mentioned in one my earlier NuttieZine issues. When I started out, I would freak out a lot on titles, but later I realized that this was just a plain waste of time.
So nowadays I write the main content first since that is the toughest of all jobs ;) After that, I can think of a suitable title to fit the article! I have found that this way it is much easier for me!
With that said, let me tell you about some of the types of article titles you can use in your article marketing campaigns:
1. Ask a question: This is a pretty common tactic to get a decent number of clicks to your articles. The more intriguing the question is, the better for you!
But how about putting a question and a call to action side by side? That works even better! For example, consider the following two titles:
"Sick and Tired of Your Boss?"
"Sick and Tired of Your Boss? 5 Tips to Fire Your Boss!"
Which one looks more appealing to you? I think the answer is as transparent as pure water! :D
2. Use numbers instead of words: If you are offering a list of tips in your article, consider using a number instead of words. For example, I have found that:
"Top 5 Ways to Train Your Dog"
works better than:
"Top Five Ways to Train Your Dog"
You would think that there is no difference between the two titles, and you are right. But I guess the human brain is more attracted to numbers than words. Why else do you think that the WSOs with three or four digits (such as $4,000) get the most views and sales? There IS a reason behind it! ;)
3. Freaky Titles: If you see an article with a title like 'The Death of Article Marketing', I bet you would click to visit it! The article body might be after all a blatant promo about the author's latest 'secret money-making tool' rather than article marketing, but the fact remains that such freaky titles DO work!
Come up with a title which stirs the hornet's net and shocks the people, and you are a success! I don’t use this technique though; not my way of doing business ;)
4. Secrets: It is no 'secret' that secrets (excuse me the pun) make and have continued to make smoking hot article titles from the time immemorial! Your article may or may not contain any 'secret' after all, but this word has tremendous money-pulling power! You only need to look at the WSO forum to see what I mean!
Some of the hottest threads out there contain words like 'secret', 'loophole' or 'trick'. People love access to something 'special' which no one is aware of!
It is another matter that most of these 'secrets' are hardly secrets; if these marketers were honest, they wouldn't deny the fact that a secret is something which is known to only ONE individual or a small group of people at most!
And most of the marketing ebooks which are sold under the garb of 'secrets;' are either rudimentary marketing basics or advanced marketing strategies and techniques, but are in no way secrets!
Just because you or I don’t know about something doesn't qualify it as a 'secret'. A secret is something which is limited to the knowledge of only a few persons, all belonging to the same group or having the same connection!
And to be honest, if anyone really knows a secret way of making a million per month, why would he shoot himself in the foot by making his 'secret' known to his competitors? ;)
5. Negativity: Tell people what NOT to do, and they will click! Surprisingly, negativity sells quite well, both as article titles and salesletter headlines! For example, titles such as '5 Things You Must NOT Do When Training Your Dog', or 'Don’t Make These 5 Article Marketing Mistakes Unless You Don't Mind Losing Money!' would make good crowd-pullers :)
6. Deceptive titles: I already told you how freaky titles could help you pull a huge number of click-thrus no matter how bad your article content is (the aftermath may not be as pleasant as the beginning, but here we are just concerned about coming up with good article titles, aren’t we?)! I also told you that negative titles sell equally well! Have you ever tried to combine the two?
'Do NOT Click Here or You Will Become a Rich Jerk!'
"DO Not Read This or You Would Have a Well-Trained Pup within the Next 2 Weeks!'
You would think that people won’t click on these titles, but they WOULD! Myself I have never used such titles in articles, but a few marketers do use them from time to time. And from my experience in the Warrior Forum I know they work pretty well!
When I launched Nuttiezine for the first time in August 2007 (back then it was called NutieViralizer by the way) I had only two subscribers! Naturally I was feeling a bit down!
One day, while browsing the Warrior Forum I came across the signature of Michael Sylvester and his freaky 'DO Not Click here' signature. I was well aware of the fact that Michael uses unconventional marketing strategies which are nonetheless effective, so I decided to try it out! I created a similar signature called 'Do Not Click Here! It Sucks!' and linked it to Nuttiezine!
After that I began to post like crazy on the forum. Within the next couple of weeks I had almost 20 subscribers! I noticed in Statcounter that the visitors to my newsletter subscription page during that period were all from the Warrior Forum!
That is the only experience that I have with such 'intriguing' titles. I later took down the signature to make way for my WSO ads, but considering the fact that this signature worked so well in such short a time, you could imagine how many more subscribers I would have gotten had I left it intact.
Oh well, I am almost thinking about reinstating it back there! ;)
And the NuttieZine subscription page is no less intriguing and negative, and there IS a reason why it is like that, but that is a story for another day ;)
7. Use targeted titles: You maybe are wondering why I left this piece of advice for the end. Had I mentioned it at the beginning, you might not have read the whole piece assuming that it is all 'cookie-cutter' stuff; moreover, it is more related to article marketing in general than hardcore copywriting!
Regardless of whatever titles you want to adopt for your article, make sure that the title is well targeted to the content of your article. The late American President Abraham Lincoln had once said: " You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time"; believe it or not, this is a freaking truth!
When people feel deceived by your article title they would start hitting the 'Back' button of their browsers. As more and more people do this, the bounce rate for your content site would increase, and eventually you might lose that coveted position in Google that people die for!
So make sure that your title is expressive of your article content. In essence, the title should be enough to arouse a sense of curiosity in the mind of the visitor but at the same time must NOT giveaway all the information!
Oh man, I thought that at least this time I would have a shorter article, but I have dragged it well almost for more than 4 pages! Umm, maybe next time I would have better luck! :D
Hopefully you don’t mind reading my long articles! ;) As always, I look forward to your comments :D