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On Writing Effective Blog Post Titles

Here are the titles of the 30 most-clicked RKG blog feed items over the last two plus years.

  1. When “Statistically Significant” Isn’t
  2. Yahoo’s Steve Souder: How $20 Can Speed…
  3. New Video: Save Time On Your PPC Projec…
  4. Web Secrets from 1925: Prioritizing for…
  5. Search Tip: Watch Your Match Types
  6. Tips for Selling High-Ticket Items via …
  7. Fred Reichheld Discusses the Importance…
  8. Free alternatives to Webex, Camtasia, e…
  9. PPC Bid Management: Requirement #3, The…
  10. What 37Signals “Getting Real” Can Teach…
  11. Limitations of Google’s Ad Preview Tool…
  12. Great HR Phone Screen Question: What Sk…
  13. Vat19: Online Retailing via SKU-level v…
  14. June 2008 Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Paid…
  15. The Perils Of Computer Generated Keywor…
  16. PPC Copy Changes Can Hurt You
  17. Google’s AdWords Preview Tool
  18. The Best Book For Learning Mathematical…
  19. “Yang” Befuddled By Google’s Lack Of Tr…
  20. Tips For Using WordPress As A Content M…
  21. IRCE Affiliate Rant: Did I go too far?
  22. Search Engines From The Engineering Per…
  23. You Can Put The Button in The Right Pla…
  24. More: WordPress As A Web Content Manage…
  25. Social Networking Is Not A Business — B…
  26. Tune Your Site Search to Sell: June Mu…
  27. Effective Websites: Forwarding Email As…
  28. RSS Is About Content, Not Presentation
  29. 45 Ways Ideas For Web Marketing For Onl…
  30. May 08 Paid Search Share Steady, Google…

Sorry for all those ellipses. This is a scrape from Feedburner via the Feed Stats -> Item Use -> Show Stats For All Time screen, and FB truncates titles on that page. (Anyone know how to export such FB reports cleanly?)

The list is skewed towards newer posts: our subscriber counts have been growing, so more recent posts have had the advantage of more potential readers.

These 30 may or may not be our best posts, whatever “best” means. These are the top 30 post titles which enticed subscribers to read further.

Note you still get a sense of each post even from these truncated titles. I don’t think that is an accident. I’d suggest “left-loaded” titles have a better shot at engaging folks blitzing through their feed readers. Ditto titles containing proper nouns and numbers, and titles which entice or promise.

Also worth mentioning that the Feedburner Top Items report is quite different from the Top Pages report. Top Pages indicates which pages pull natural search traffic. Top Items indicates what interests our subscribers, and is thus more interesting to us.

Thank you for reading rkgblog!

tops

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  • Alan Rimm-Kaufman
    Alan Rimm-Kaufman founded the Rimm-Kaufman Group...
  • Comments
    5 Responses to “On Writing Effective Blog Post Titles”
    1. Router Bench says:

      Very Interesting subject, I am currently researching various things including copy and titles. Please explain what you mean by left loaded titles. This is something that currently confuses me.

    2. Most important words first.

      Not unlike optimizing a HTML TITLE tag for SEO.

    3. Router Bench says:

      Ahh so, Ok I get it. But don’t you think that titles that are self aggrandizing or exaggerate the subject can also be more effective. I was looking at Youtube earlier, studying titles on the videos that had more than 30 000 views and must say that I was surprised by the popularity of some despite poor videos and or poor headlines.

      Please mail me your details, I would like to interview you for another of my blogs. The subject has much merit. Skype or messenger would be great. Do you Twitter, I would like to follow you.

    4. Yes, a dash of sensationalism can help, but going too far and writing titles only for link-baiting value doesn’t feel good to us.

      See Alberto Gonzales’ Secret: Viacom, Angelina Jolie, and YouTube for more about going too far with titles.

    5. consultoria says:

      It’s kind of hard to find a patterned way of creating good posts, I think experience, knowing trends, using viral and social roads and loving what you’re creating is just the perfecto combination.