Want Better Clicks? Write A Better Title
So, in recent months, I’ve kicked up my own Medium account where I discuss dating, social skills, and more. In those couple of months, I’ve noticed something about my work. While I may have put in time and effort on some articles I was really passionate about, not many of them gained traction. Others were just random passing glances that took off.
I still have no idea how some of my articles didn’t take off, but I do know that there is a little bit more to the story that I could have improved. I’m talking, of course, about the title. If you are new to the content game, you might think that people will read your writing or watch your video “just because.”
As it turns out, this is not the case. The most important part of your content is not your call to action, nor is it the content itself. If you want people to read your goods or click your link, you better be a damn good title writer.
Why Does The Title Matter So Much?
To illustrate this, i’m going to use an allegory. Imagine that you have two blind dates set up on the same night, and that they both have to convince you to pick one over the other. One date, Date A, dolls herself up and has gotten a designer outfit on. The other date, Date B, looks hungover and just puked on her plate. Which would you date?
If you’re normal, you would pick Date A. Why? Because Date A gave you a better first impression. Your title is going to be the first impression that an article or video will make. It’s what hooks the viewer, and what ensures that viewers actually choose to read what you have to say.
How Do You Make A Good Title?
Oh, I wish there was a formula that could work to give you a clear, clean-cut method. There isn’t. Some titles break all the rules, but rock. Others follow them and get zero traction. These tips helped me:
- Keep it simple. Studies show that there is an optimal title length for articles. It’s usually between 7 to 20 words.
- Be honest about what’s going on in your article. Nothing will destroy your readership faster than saying you’ll promise something shocking then just giving a minor update on someone who became a school teacher.
- Offer benefits to your reader. If you are in tech or in home improvement, this is a must. Mention that it’s a how-to article. Explain how it’s better than others. For example: “How To Make Mashed Potatoes In Under 6 Minutes.”
- Make it a title that resonates with your reader. I did this when I wrote about how women are dropping out of the dating scene. It currently has 22,000 reads or so.
- Don’t be afraid to use words that shock people. I’ve mentioned a story about a murder hit list as a way to broach the topic of racism recently. It got eyes on the story and helped me get my content distributed.
- Tease people to read more. Get them curious. Make them wonder what you have to say about the topic.
So, What Now?
My last bit of advice is to be open to help and to have a content buddy. One thing that I’ve found worked out well is to throw three titles in a document and ask my husband which one he’d be most interested in reading. It may sound silly, but it works!