As we have seen in the previous post in this series (Writing and Publishing Articles To Generate Website Traffic), your title is key and has a very important function.
Here are some examples. Note how you will want to quantify as much as possible:
How To __________ In ____________
How To Increase Your Profits With 100% In 30 Days
How To Break Away from Debt In 4 Simple Steps
The Top X Ways To ____________
The Top 5 Ways To Lose 5 Pounds in a Week
The Top 10 Ways To Knock 5 Strokes Off Your Next Round of Golf
____ Little Known Tips for _______________
10 Little Known Tips for Training Your Puppy
3 Little Known Tips To Save Gas
Photo credit: caterina
Well, you got the picture. Just to illustrate how it works.
I’m not a copywriter, so there are much better examples available. Here’s a great selection:
Note: If you’re really interested in copy writing and headlines, you also sign up for the newsletters or feeds at the resources below.
- How to Write Magnetic Headlines. Brian Clark shows he’s a master at this.
- Write Magnetic Headlines With These 7 Tips by another copy writing master, Michel Fortin.
- Bencivenga Bullets, more specifically bullet 25, but you have to sign up here to read them. Please, do yourself that favor, it’s a goldmine!
One final remark about titles: when somebody is surfing an article directory, they’re coming across your article title alongside lots of others.
It’s rather like the Yellow Pages, one of the most competitive places to advertise. Why? Because your prospects see your advertisements right beside your rivals’.
You absolutely NEED to surpass the clutter. Your title should be about your prospect’s wants, needs and desires. It had better be about the individual reading the article, not the article itself.
This gets even more vital when a newsletter publisher searching for content is surfing an article directory. After all, which do you believe will fetch you more exposure: a reader surfing articles or a publisher with a subscriber list of 100,000 who releases your article?
Here’s an example how to attract special attention: Why ‘New’ and ‘Knew’ Create Intensely Powerful Headlines. I used this for the title of this post.
Try this yourself, it’s a great example of ‘thinking outside the box’.
Ok, on with our article.
Your first paragraph has the function to keep your visitors reading. Your opening paragraph draws them into the main body of your article, so you make it intriguing and some kind of an extension of your title.
A few effective ways to keep that attention going are to:
– Ask a question
– Paint an emotional picture
– Present an overview
– Set the stage with a story, anecdote, or quote
– Present a problem
– Reveal an interesting or startling fact
Apply tested formulas. As in a sales letter, tested formulas boost readership and reaction to articles too.
- Before and After – I was poor, now I’m rich. I was a hack, now I’m a scratch golfer. I was fat, now I’m thin.
- Frequently asked questions – Include some great ones, but leave some out to be placed on your website. Be sure to let them know in your resource box at the end of the article that there are more at your site.
- Problem-Agitate-Solution – You present a problem, then agitate it further. Finally the solution is hinted at towards the end of the article (with an incentive for them to go to your website to get the full picture).
- Useful, but Incomplete – Give just enough information to entice them, but leave them wanting more (which your website will provide).
Establish yourself as the authority, but don’t be patronising. You want to come across as an expert on the theme, without being a “know-it-all” or self-important. Don’t forget these are real people reading your article and they can smell from a distance if you’re arrogant or superior.
NEVER ever underestimate the intelligence of your readers.
If you appall them, you’ve lost them. Of course the same applies to tasteless or offensive remarks. When in doubt, leave them out.
Ok, let’s stop here and save the article resource box for the next message.
Meanwhile, post your comments here.
Did I forget some things that are important to you?
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