4 Resources to Help You Become Awesome at Creating Blog Titles

“Just because you have to be accurate doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make your title pop.” — Corey Eridon

by geralt
by geralt

We can improve our reach by spending more time on wording our blog titles. Going a step further: We need to improve the headlines on all online content we write.

narciso1
narciso1

Whether we write how-to or journal type blogs, newsletters, interviews, devotionals, emails, or any other online content, we can reach more people with attention-grabbing titles.

 

 

 

 Would you click on any of these? I’ve seen similar ones online.

by geralt
by geralt

How-to blog: My Thoughts on Writing
Journal blog: Opening Day
Newsletter: My Book Update
Interview: Interview with Drew Smith
Devotional: A Look at Ephesians
Email: Visit My Blog Today

None intrigues me enough to click.

Below are links and descriptions of 4 posts that will help you write awesome blog titles.

I believe their principles carry over for titling other online content. Also, note the bloggers’ titles tell us the benefit of reading their posts.

1.  74 Attention-Grabbing Blog Titles That Actually Work by Larry Kim

http://www.inc.com/larry-kim/74-attention-grabbing-blog-titles-that-actually-work.html

For those who find templates helpful Kim provides 74 in his post. I used #34 for this blog post title. He gives the statistic that 26% of Buzzfeed’s 60,000 top ariticles are “listicles,” e.g. 10 Tips… or 8 Reasons….

2.  10 Sure-Fire Title Formulas That Attract Readers by James Scherer

http://blog.wishpond.com/post/60276168559/10-sure-fire-blog-title-formulas-that-attract-readers

For Scherer’s 10 blog title formulas, he gives real-life examples plus three more examples in his “How you can do it:” sections. Here are a few of the types of blog titles Scherer discusses:

  1. “Cutting-edge information”
  2. “Using phrases like ‘need to know’”
  3. “Creating the curiosity gap”
by Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
by Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3.  Tips for Writing Blog Titles that Earn ReTweets by Jasmine Henry

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/tips-writing-blog-titles-earn-retweets

Henry shares a surprising finding that shows a great blog title is important for reasons other than grabbing readers. Many people will retweet links to titles on content they haven’t read.

Henry promotes these blog title characteristics: actionable, brief (70 character limit), clear, emphatic, intriguing, and keyword-oriented. She discusses each and gives examples.

4.  The Dark Science of Naming Your Post: Based on Studying 100 Blogs by Iris Shoor

http://www.startupmoon.com/the-dark-science-of-naming-your-post-based-on-studying-100-blogs/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I found this one through Jasmine Henry’s post. Shoor found in her study on tech related posts that “The post title has a huge impact on the numbers.” She talks about what words and phrases to use. Like the others, she advocates using numbers and goes into more depth in how to use them. Shoor also lists what doesn’t work. A surprise to her, and to me, was that including “you” or “how to” in the title seems to have no viral affect on posts.

Find out what makes a blog title work. Use this info to title all online content. Click to tweet.

What social media title grabbed you?

32 Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Book

“People are in such a hurry to launch their product or business that they seldom look at marketing from a bird’s eye view and they don’t create a systematic plan.” —Dave Ramsey

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve pursued many of these marketing activities for Calculated Risk. Decide which you have time for, would enjoy, and can afford.

For any of these ideas, search online for help on how to do the activities well and for testimonies on their effectiveness.

Marketing Ideas

 

1.  “About Content” – Update the content about you on all your social networks. Include interesting tidbits about your book.

2.  ACFW Fiction Finder – Check requirements to add your title to this American Christian Fiction Writers listing for people looking for fiction.

3.  Ads – Join multiple authors in magazine ads. Newspaper ads for author events. Some blogs will display your cover in sidebars.

4.  Amazon Author Central – Set up an account and author page.

Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5.  Announcements – Build email lists now. Send your promotion postcards to readers and libraries.

6.  Audience Analysis – Define your audience and where members gather. Join their online groups and build relationships.

7.  Blog – Post regularly. Display your book cover on the sidebar. Publish book-related posts around your release date. Guest-blog on others’ blogs.

8.  Blog Tours – Find bloggers willing to host you during a set period.

9.  Book Clubs – Include a website tab. Offer free bookplates to groups that discuss your book. Offer to attend meetings through phone or Skype.

10.  Book Launch Party – Plan a celebration at a local bookstore or a community center.

11.  Book Signing – Hand out bookmarks. Join multi-author signings.

12.  Book Trailer – Put your trailer on your website and other sites, such as Amazon’s Author Central.

13.  Drawings – Hold drawings for a book or basket of book-related items at book signings and local businesses.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

14.  Conferences – Offer books at the center’s bookstore. Leave book promotional materials on appropriate tables. Build relationships.

15.  Contests – Enter respected contests. Winners can add “award-winning author” to their bio. Runner-ups can mention that fact.

16.  Consignments – Approach local gift shops to sell your books on consignment.

17.  Email Addresses – Collect them on drawing entry forms or in your guestbook at author events. Ask participants to subscribe to your newsletter.

18.  Endorsements – Include them on your website’s Book Page, promotional materials, press releases, and author pages.

19.  Excerpts – Choose book excerpts for your website, interviews, and speaking events.

20.  Facebook Author Page – Post regularly. Share book news.

by MrMagic
by MrMagic

21.  Festivals, Fairs, and Craft Shows – Set up a book table and chat with people.

22. Goodreads – Hold book giveaways. Participate in Goodreads groups.

23.  Influencers – Gather people to read your advance reader copies, write honest reviews, and promote your book on their social networks.

24.  Interviews – Obtain interviews on blogs, websites, and other media.

Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

25. Library Events – Contact local libraries and plan fun meet-the-author events.

26.  Newsletter – Produce a newsletter periodically with content exclusively for subscribers.

27.  Press Release – Send releases to local newspapers and the content to library and bookstore coordinators for your events.

28.  Promotional Materials – Order bookmarks, business cards, postcards, posters, car magnets, banners, and book-related giveaways.

29.  Reviewers – Request book reviews from bloggers and professionals who write reviews.

30.  Speaking Engagements – Prepare talks to use for various types of events.

31.  Virtual Parties – Host an online party with book-related blurbs and giveaways.

32.  Website – Maintain a quality, updated website.

Peruse these marketing ideas & start promoting your upcoming book now. Click to tweet.

Add to the list. What are other marketing ideas?

Calculated Risk by Zoe M. McCarthyHere’s a plug for a marketing idea my publisher is doing: 

For the entire season of Lent, all e-books in the Pelican Book Group store are free. Yes, free–all e-books in the catalogue–from 18 Feb to 2 April. Calculated Risk is included in this promotion.

The Best Way to Prepare to Speak at Live Author Events

“Creating a personal catalog of stories associated with various emotions is a useful resource.” — Nancy Duarte

 

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’re an introvert like I am, you may dread people asking you questions at live author events. You may wonder what you could possibly say at these functions that would interest readers. You may not be gifted in pulling together concise, yet witty, answers in the presence of—gasp!—people.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here’s what I learned was THE best activity that helped me in live events for Calculated Risk.

In prep for live author events, obtain as many guest interviews on others’ blogs as you can. Click to tweet.

Why?

1.  You’ll receive a full gamete of possible questions. So, you’ll encounter few surprises at live events.

Some blog interviewers request you choose a certain number of questions to answer from a myriad of questions. They’ll list the possible questions under such categories as: your book; your writing journey; your writing preferences; you as a writer; and you as a person.

2.  You can formulate your answers in the quiet of your writing space. You can write and rewrite them until they’re concise and witty.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3.  You’ll write the answers over and over for all your guest blog interviews. Some blogs want short answers. Some want long chatty answers. Every time you prepare your answers for a guest post, you’re learning the best way to answer questions. The answers are becoming ingrained in your brain. You feel more and more comfortable with the questions.

For example, after ten or so blog interviews you’ll now know the silliest, the most exotic, and the gutsiest thing you’ve ever done. Questions about these are commonly asked. If you’d never thought to identify these oddest moments in your life, you’d probably get flustered or silent at a live event when asked such questions. But now, after scanning your life for these moments off stage, you’re ready for that kind of question.

4.  You can keep all your guest blog interviews’ questions and answers handy in one place so you can review your answers in preparing for the live event.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to get invited for blog guest interviews.

  1. Join email and other social media author loops. I belong to my agent’s yahoo group, my publisher’s author group, and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) main and regional groups. Request for guest bloggers come up on these loops all the time when bloggers are filling their interview schedules.
  1. Visit blogs that do interviews and contact the owners with a request to be interviewed.
  1. Apply to writing organizations and magazines for spotlights they offer in their publications. I applied for a spotlight on ACFW and received a spot January 12.                                        

Obtaining author interviews on blogs is easy when you belong to writer groups. Click to tweet.

What are the most unusual questions you’ve seen asked in interviews? Share them with us so we can add them to our cache of get-ready questions.