Please welcome Frances Flynn Thorsen, a widely published writer and blogger with new digs at a soon-to-be-announced sister blog to The Zebra Blog. In this article she shares five tips on crafting seductive titles for your blog posts.
A seductive title says, “Touch me. Click me.” A blog post title is an invitation to share your thoughts and ideas about something that matters to the reader. A blogger’s choice about a headline makes the difference between turning a website visitor into a reader or a quick escape artist.
1. Be original – build trust with your readers.
If you have been blogging for any length of time you have read lots of posts about writing blog titles. Lots of those articles contain the same tips – create a list, use keyword rich titles, use titles that communicate a benefit, use words like “tips” and “secret” to draw interest. If you are an established blog veteran who is familiar with my work, you know I don’t recycle other writers’ works. You clicked the title of this post because you know I have a good track record for original thought. You know that I will deliver “5 New Tips” as promised. It’s easy to spot a blog post that rehashes and recycles other bloggers’ work. When you borrow another blogger’s idea, use quotation marks, acknowledge the writer, and offer a link. Commit to original content – your reward is your readers’ trust.
2. Look to your favorite trainers for inspiration.
Real estate blogs give consumers a chance to learn about real estate from the masters. Videos, Webinars, and presentations on Slideshare and other corners of the Web offer bloggers the chance to be the new real estate teachers online. Offline, real estate speakers and trainers are some of the most clever headline writers in the industry. Some of the best headlines in the business are titles of classes. Here are some excellent titles of classes and blog posts from national real estate teachers and trainers:
There is Justice in Foreclosure Land – Len Elder and Theresa Barnabei (Tucson) are vibrant, popular trainers and their titles reflect their creativity. The titles they choose for blog posts and classes mirrors the creative energy they deliver in person. Less creative minds would succumb to titles like “Foreclosures.”
When Web 2.0 and Article 12 Collide – Marcie Roggow (Sioux City, SD) is the best in the business when it comes to training Realtors® about the Realtor® Code of Ethics. Marcie’s titles reflect the original thought she brings to the table and earns her the respect of students and real estate industry leaders across the country. I cannot imagine her selecting a title like, “Code of Ethics” or “Keep Your License.”
3. Leave BORING headlines at the door and don’t look back!
Boring is the flavor du jour at most real estate blogs. Douse your self limiting beliefs that some topics are just plain boring and there is nothing you can do about it. Fair housing is an excellent example of a blog post topic that is the subject of more boring posts than anything else I know. A boring title portends boring content. I have taken three classes titled “Fair Housing” and each time the class was as boring as the title. Fair housing law has elegant legal construct that is a cornerstone of real estate practice. I offer a CE class in Arizona titled, “HUD Homes for Sale – Consumer Outreach 3.0” that embodies a fair housing message at the same time it shares techniques about connecting with real estate buyers using a blend of traditional marketing and Web 2.0. At its core, the class is a fair housing class.
4. Use a Thesaurus.
Consider the first draft of your title and ask yourself, “How can I improve this?” Consider replacements for verbs and adjectives to create a “hooky” title. When I open my Chrome browser my favorite synonym finder appears in one of the 10 tabs that appear. I never close it. There are some fancy mind-mapping thesaurus products popular with the younger set. Pick one, install it, and use it daily. Exercising your vocabulary is as important to a successful blog as physical exercise is to cardiovascular health.
5. Strike an emotional chord.
Use a word in the title that triggers a shift in how the reader feels. You may make a reader smile, or you may ignite anger or fear. The bottom line is connecting with the reader on a fundamental level about a subject that matters. Follow through with a blog post that is true to the message in the headline.
Frances is the author of two books, HUD Homes For Sale — A Complete Buyer’s Guide and HUD Homes For Sale — A Sales and Marketing Guide For Real Estate Agents. Frances and Denise Lones of The Lones Group are Co-Founders of the Government Home Sale Professional™ certification program for real estate agents.