Did you see what I did there? Total, cheesy, off-the-charts linkbait… and it worked. You're here because I wrote a blog post title in a specific way. This is the key strategy on sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed and they've drawn millions of readers by adjusting their post titles to have just 2 key elements… curiosity and emotion.
- Curiosity – by mentioning 2 items, your mind is begins to wonder and the temptation to click through is just too much.
- Emotion – I carefully used the term popularity in the post title. Who doesn't wish for their blog to be popular?
These 2 elements in a post title are ridiculously successful but you have to use them with extreme caution. I'm already weary of the sites I mentioned above. While they often have irresistible content, I don't find value in them and often lose valuable minutes browsing pictures of cats or watching tear-jerking stories. Note: I didn't link to those sites for fear of losing your attention for the next 45 minutes.
Does that mean that you should avoid the tactic? No… but I do think you need to keep the titles from going over the top and deliver just what you said you would. I find that many of the sites that utilize these tactics simply don't meet the expectation of the title. Tone it down a few notches and you'll find it a fantastic strategy.
So… let's say you're a photographer and you have a post on 8 tips for taking photos. Instead of the standard ol' 8 Tips blog post, you could write a post like Do These 8 Simple Steps Before Taking Your Next Picture and You'll be Amazed at the Results. Curiosity (what steps?) and emotion (amazed!).
Perhaps it's not something as illustrious as taking a photo. Maybe it's checking your tires! You were going to write about tips from professional mechanics. Instead… The Professional Secrets of Extending Tire Life Without Sacrificing Safety. The post can still be about maintaining air pressure and rotating your tires… but you can transform the conversation by tapping into curiosity (secrets?) and emotion (safety!).
Don't take my word for it. Give it a shot on your next series of blog posts. If you can increase click-through rates, your articles will be seen more, shared more, and will lead to additional business. Go explode in popularity!