Nick Sal's HubSpot Inbound Marketing and Consulting Blog

It’s a Business Blog Dummy! 7 FREE Killer Secrets to Writing Blog Titles that don’t mention Sex, Drugs, or Alcohol.

Posted by Dave Presher

Dec 10, 2012 11:45:00 AM

DavePresherPicWritten by Dave Presher, CEO & President of Involution Digital

80% of the time Hyperbole kills you, 20% of the time it makes you a superstar.  How do you know when to use it? The tried and true: If you don’t read this blog I will blow up your car to smithereens with you in it!  Or when do you use this common title: Change Your Life Forever with These 3 Easy Steps!  The first one works really well, wait until the SWAT TEAM arrives, have a video crew there and post it to Facebook, but alas probably bad for blogging.  Change Your Life Forever with These 3 Easy Steps...change it how?  Waste my time, lie to me, get a new girlfriend, make a billion dollars?  Basic math makes that a stupid title.  I am going to tell you in this blog what makes people really read a title (hint: it isn’t great research, that’s for the blog itself).  But I’ll get to that in a minute.   

So, what about the blog title:  Fast Cars, Women & Good Whiskey:  What do these have to do with Marketing?      

That’s one of our most read blogs titles!  I call my editor “Miss Manners” since she is darn near perfect and has the social sense I lack completely and disregard often.  So I thought she would reject the title, with a sweet note and a LOL.  But she went with it!  Then a top TV Executive BELO logowho works at BELO TV told me if I used a title like that again she would cancel her blog subscription.  Wow, somebody actually e-mailed me to tell me how wrong the title was?  Ponder, wonder....then the numbers came in and they were great, we had a hit!  So, how do you know when to use controversy, innuendo and double entendre to improve your title?  If you have read this far you probably don’t know yet; so here is what I recommend: keep reading.  (I don’t recommend arrogant comments like that unless you are a paid humorist, just saying.  But I’m not being paid for this article, but nonetheless, keep reading)!  

So if you were asked to write a blog and were suggested a title such as “Blog Titles - the most important part of the Blog: 5 Great Ways to Improve your Title!”

Then, if you drink - have a couple of shots, and if you don’t drink - start.  Because as I mentioned earlier - what makes people read a title isn’t great research, that should be included in the blog itself.  People read a blog first based on “reaction” words.  For example, using the word like “Sex” might peak someones interest to open your blog (good or bad).  So for example, here are some titles using Sex as the reaction word:  Sexy Titles:  Do you want your readers to scream “You’re the BEST” or “Not bad - next time will be better”!  It is better to have people who read your blog have some sort of reaction, rather than no reaction at all. 

I have an entertainment background, I’m not normal (my brothers call it borderline exceptional, with a big emphasis on borderline) and I naturally worry about the ratings.  Ratings in Television & Radio (how many people listened or watched).  In Blog titles it is how many people clicked on your blog and then actually read it.  Thanks to Hubspot we keep score and have good ratings and bad ratings.  But some our two biggest blogs (and they still get comments to this day) have been:  

  1. YouTube LogoAndrea Russett has over 50 MILLION YouTube Views.  Here are 7 Tips to Creating Compelling Videos!   
  2. Netflix:  World Internet TV of an Epic Failure.  7 Strategy Lessons CEO’s can learn and use Today! 

We used two things two make those have huge ratings.  We interviewed a powerful Social Media Celebrity with Angela and our Netflix article was picked up by some E-mags, so the titles were just that - Titles.  So don’t confuse content with Titles.  Content is the meat, Titles are the sauce and you need people to tune in first, before you can have a hit. They only tune in once!  Titles are how you reach people, content is what keeps them coming back. 

Let me share a Radio stunt that just started in Denver to open your mind to creative thought.  80% of people’s decisions are emotional, they rationalize them into being logical.  So relax, let go and listen to this hilarious true story.

marijuana leafAs you may or may not know Colorado completely legalized Marijuana in this years 2012 election.  Paige Neinbarer, who is a Marketing and Promotions Savant and wrote the Best Selling Book ‘The Encyclopedia of Radio Promotions’ just started an amazing stunt that is blowing up Facebook and Social Media and creating a real publicity explosion.  

Denver’s New Radio Station, Pot 107.1, Playing only Dope Hits. 

It’s really a Top 40 station.  The point of the stunt is to get people to listen to it, listen more often to it, remember it and create free Marketing.  Guess what?  It worked.  It really is a genius publicity stunt.  It is topical, has a point, is easy to understand and creates “buzz” in the marketplace. Now that’s a Winning Title!

So, I have been teasing you a bit about these 7 secret tips to writing blog titles - and let me tell you why.  It was to tease, or build anticipation, increase interest, develop a real character, entertain, develop a narrative - all things great writers do.  They entertain and educate and the title is the BIG TEASE.  You need to totally understand the 80/20 rule.  But let’s get down to business now. 

Here are 7 Secrets to writing Blog Titles:  

  1. Narrow Focus Equals Broad Results.  Your title has to mean something to your audience.  Art is when it means something to your current audience and has a broader appeal.  It’s hard to do, and it’s pretty easy to say that your blog is about X and will help you do X, it’s much harder to come up with a title that attracts a new audience and appeals to your current audience.  But that’s your job!  
  2. Put it in the Toaster.  There is Right Brain and Left Brain Thought.  One side is analysis and one side creates.  Your creative powers work without thinking.  Tell them what you want, pop it in the toaster and stop thinking about it. So decide on a topic or even write a blog and the title will hit you in the eye when you least expect it.  (Try to write it down right away).  
  3. Have a Great Editor.  It’s important to have an editor who knows how to encourage your best work and in my case, also translate my Pidgin English into actual readable Prose.  
  4. Use the 80/20 rule.  This rule is about Teasing.  You need to give away 80% of what you are going to write about and leave 20% for them to need to click through to read.  For example on Television, for the news, you might here; “Huge Storm Arriving Tonight, An Emergency Alert has been Issued stay tuned to find out When and Where!  “Do you have a Credit Card from CITI and you have Health Insurance than you are 100 times more likely to be a victim of Identity Theft.  Stay with us and we will show you how to protect yourself.”  You get my drift.  
  5. Don’t Be Boring: Be Entertaining and Educational.  Tough stuff, but push yourself and be willing to take risks. Don’t just Google it, Imagine it!  
  6. The Worst Response is No Response.  In the past when I have had to let a TV Anchorman or Radio Announcer go, the worst thing I could’ve imagined was getting no complaints, because then nobody cared.  You have to touch peoples emotions!  Use words and titles that create a reaction.  
  7. Use a different Medium or Genre to inspire your Title.  John Dillinger (for you Gen X, Y, and Z’ers) is a famous American Bank Robber and a movie Johnny Depp starred in that inspired the blog title for Fast Cars, Fast Women and Good Whiskey.  Try Romance, Pulp, Social, TV...anything but the same thing everybody else is doing.

The Bottom Line:  Be entertaining, use words that create an emotion for the reader, and enjoy writing.  Then do your research and write your blog!   

Involution Digital asked Nick Salvatoriello 5 Important Questions on Inbound Marketing that Everyone Should Want to know the Answer to.  Sign up for our blog HERE to receive his post which will be live on our blog site on December 13.  

Involution Digital LogoInvolution Digital has staff dedicated to writing content.  If you need help with creating compelling content, please contact us today.  We’d love to chat!  

About the Author: 

Dave Presher is the CEO & President of Involution Digital, a leader in the field of broadcast media for over 25 years and has been a trailblazer in the field of digital media for the last 10 years. He is an award winning executive and has served senior roles in Television, Radio, Professional Sports and Digital Media, including working for Cox Communications, Belo and CBS to name a few. Involution Digital provides trendsetting Content that educates, informs, converts and entertains. Our creative cuts about the clutter to mystify and impress, dazzle and delight.  Involution Digital helps individuals and companies grow their business through a variety of Digital, Social and Traditional Media and we GUARANTEE results.  To learn more about Involution Digital visit:  www.InvolutionDigital.com

Involution Digital…Where Traditional Media Meets All Things Digital.

Topics: Writing Blog Titles, Facebook, most read blog titles, andrea russet, YouTube Views, Social Media, Paige Neinbarer, involution digital