What is your blogging process? For most people, it starts with coming up with an idea for a blog post, refining the idea until they feel it’s a good one, coming up with a post title (at least a tentative one), and then writing the blog post itself. Some people decide on the title for their blog posts after they’ve completed writing the post itself.
And while it certainly remains true that great content is still king and that your blog posts still need to be great, having an excellent title for your blog posts can help stack the odds in your favor. For better or for worse, Internet users will judge your book by its cover. A blog post title needs to be enticing. It needs to be attractive. It needs to convince people to click on it right now, because they might not come back to read it later.
It would be impossible for me to write about every last tactic and strategy involved in concocting the perfect blog post title. There are too many variables involved and it depends on the exact content you are writing, as well as the audience you are addressing. Instead, we’re focusing on just one major influencing factor in getting readers to click: you.
No, I’m not talking about you, per se. I’m talking about the word “you.” You’d really be amazed how powerful those three little letters can be in encouraging someone to read your blog post. Maybe they come across it in their RSS reader. (Congratulations! You have a subscriber!). Maybe they see your post shared on social media or you’ve paid to have it promoted somewhere. Whatever the case may be, this potential reader might see nothing more than just the title to your blog post, so you’ve got to make it count.
Consider this title:
How to Lose 10 Pounds in Just 10 Days
There are some good things in there. The title is specific and descriptive, which is far better than if the title was just “How to Lose Weight.” It has numbers (people like numbers, even if they don’t admit it). And it’s clearly being instructional in nature. The reader has something to gain (or lose, as the case may be) by reading your post. But that’s not good enough.
How about this?
How I Lost 10 Pounds in Just 10 Days
The biggest problem with this title is that the potential reader has no obvious connection to it. Sorry, but no one cares how *I* lost 10 pounds. They want to know how *they* can lose 10 pounds. Internet users are very egocentric, even if they’re not willing to admit it.
Now, consider this:
How You Can Lose 10 Pounds in Just 10 Days
That’s much better and all it took was switching out the subject (“I”) for one that puts the reader (“You”) in the spotlight. This is relatable, specific and much more click-worthy. You implant a simple but powerful thought in the reader’s head. They start to think, “Wow. I can do this. Here are specific instructions that will apply directly to me.”
Depending on the content and the context, you may find the use of “you” to be even more powerful and profound when you use it in the form of a question:
Do You Want to Lose 10 Pounds in the Next 10 Days?
By wording your blog post title in this way, you are forcing the potential reader to answer the question. It puts them on the spot. Should they answer “no” in their heads (and they are actually interested in losing weight, in this example), then they have to live with that decision. Answering “no” and thus not reading your post makes them uncomfortable. Answering “yes” would result in a click. And that’s what you want.
Is including the word “you” in your blog post title going to guarantee a click? No. Is framing your title in the form of a question going to work all the time? No. And you shouldn’t be turning to this tactic for every blog post that you write either, but these two little tweaks should help to boost your click-thru rates on the right content promoted in the right way.
Are you going to make the change?