Think like a reader
When you craft a title, hang that writer’s hat where you can find it when you need it, but think like a reader. Thousands of people are out there on the Internet searching for the information you have to offer them. The job of a good title is to capture their attention and get them reading.
The best way to do that is to take off your writer’s hat and climb into the heads of your intended audience.
Join the conversation
Think about this for a minute. We all carry on conversations with ourselves. We worry about the state of the economy and how we’ll make ends meet. What are we cooking for dinner tonight? Whose turn is it to pick up the kids after soccer practice? Did I lock the front door? Our minds are constantly abuzz with internal conversations, concerning things we care about.
Readers have these same conversations with themselves and if you want their attention, you must join their conversations. Seek resonance with your readers. When your title resonates, it joins ongoing conversations. You’re guaranteed to connect and get their undivided attention because your title addresses their concerns.
Suppose you (the reader) are a frequent flier and you came across this title: “What never…ever to eat on an airplane!” This title is one of the best headlines ever written for a direct mail package.
Now, this title was written before the Internet was born and doesn’t address the SEO issue, but it probably got your attention and stimulated your curiosity; especially if you’ve ever flown on an airplane.
If you were writing a piece on the subject of public speaking, you might come up with a title like this one: “How to overcome your fears of public speaking.” This title joins the conversation of someone searching for help, someone worried about the talk they are scheduled to give in the morning and there’s a good chance they’ll want to know more because you’ve struck a chord.
Reader resonance keeps you in tune
We’re writers, but never lose sight of the fact that we depend on readers. Think reader resonance. Climb into your reader’s mind when you craft your titles. When your title is in tune with how a reader thinks and searches, you have a much greater chance for search hits and a good title that will compel the reader to jump in and read your post. That’s the point after all….isn’t it?