Many elements go into having a successful blog post, however you choose to define what “successful” means in the context of blogging. Maybe you’re looking for people to sign up to your mailing list. Maybe you’re just trying to entice comments and social shares. Whatever the case may be, it starts by attracting traffic to your post so that people actually read it. You need eyeballs and the first barrier to entry is getting people to notice you at all.
You see, it doesn’t really how matter how great your actual blog post is if no one actually gets around to reading it. You might have a fantastic infographic on there with lots of well-researched information. You might an enlightening personal story that is funny and insightful. But if people don’t click, they’ll never see any of that. Before anything else, you need to have a great title that people will actually want to click.
How John Chows Killed Kenny
As I was making my way around the Internet, I stumbled across a creative tool to help you not only come up with post ideas, but it actually generates the potential blog post titles for you.
This Content Idea Generator isn’t logical and it’s not based on any sort of keyword research. Instead, you simply enter your chosen subject (they recommend entering it as a singular and not a plural) and it spits out a potential title for you.
For fun, I put “John Chow” as my subject of choice and it told me to write a blog post with the title “How John Chows Killed Kenny.” No, that doesn’t make any sense at all, but it is rather funny. He can be quite the bastard, after all. All kidding aside, this tool takes standard formulas for titles and adapts them to suit your subject.
Overcoming the Signal-to-Noise Ratio
You’ll likely recognize some of these kinds of blog post title formulas. While not all the ideas are actually useful, they can serve as a point of inspiration and you can launch into your own unique content as a result. Further experimentation with the tool yielded such titles as the following:
- How Selfies Can Help You Live a Better Life
- Internet Marketing in 8 Easy Steps
- What the Beatles Could Learn from Affiliates
- How to Build an Empire with WordPress
- 13 Reasons Social Media Is Sweeter than Christmas Morning
Several of these will place your tongue rather firmly into your cheek, but you can see how having a great title for your blog post can help to improve your chances of that post being read. A title like “Internet Marketing in 8 Easy Steps” is very clear in its objective and people who are interested in that content are more likely to read it than if it were titled “Sitting at My Computer.” Content matters, but titles are what people see first.
The Winning Formula for Click-Throughs
Is there a magic formula that will suddenly skyrocket traffic to your blog? Probably not, but you want to stack the odds in your favor. Leveraging the possibility of clickbait might feel a little underhanded at times. Get over it. And recognize that it’s not going to work every time.
Here on John Chow dot Com, I’ve written posts like “The Easiest Way to Syndicate Your Blog on Facebook and Twitter” and “How Making Money Online Is Like Competitive Street Fighter” using titles that are similar to the click-worthy templates using the title generator.
And that’s the thing: a title that is click-worthy is oftentimes even better than one that is keyword rich.