Writing Effective Blog Post Titles

Vaspers the Grate has an interesting experiment going looking at the last 5 titles on a variety of his favorite blogs. Steven writes:

‘I’m of the opinion that the title of your post is the most important text of the post.

If the post title is not good, many potential readers and RSS subscribers may just skip it. The post title is also vital for search engine optimization, and for grabbing the attention of blog surfers.’

The list of blogs he examines is a good one in itself (there are some great blogs there (not just because appears either).

I agree with Steven that the title of your post is crucial in a successful blog on a number of fronts:

  • SEO – search engines head straight to your title to determine what it is about and how to rank it.
  • Search Engine referrals – your title is usually what is listed in Search engines and is an opportunity to hook people in.
  • RSS referrals – people scan their News Aggregators looking for the posts that captivate and intrigue
  • Loyal Readers – Even those that bookmark your site and log on regularly to look at what you’re writing scan your page. Titles are attention grabbers that can pause their scanning and make them actually read what you have to say.

I know a lot of bloggers try to get quirky, cryptic and creative with their titles – I personally have nothing against this – but over the past two years have decided that it’s probably not the best way of attracting readers considering the above four points.

Rather I tend to go for a descriptive post that tells the reader what the post is about. I also aim to put the keywords I think people will be searching for for such a post in the title and make it as sharp and to the point as possible.

Of course rules are made to be broken – and the intriguing cryptic title can work from time to time – however if you use them too much you might just find your readers get frustrated with you and stop dropping by to see what that latest post is all about.

Adsense Gets a Redesign

The team at Adsense have been busy (as one can tell by my last few posts) – in addition to the icon and combination ads Blog Herald has notice a newly designed ‘Ad Settings’ page. In actual fact a little more digging reveals that they’ve redesigned most of their pages including the ‘search settings’ pages and ‘My Account’ pages.

Duncan speculates that it might be to help make room for new features. There could be something to this – although it could also just be a redesign and to increase usability as the settings pages were a little complicated.

Combination Adsense Ads Appearing

There are more reports today from Adsense publishers who are seeing combination ads with both ‘adlink’ ads and normal ‘text ads’ in the same adblock.

Quick Online tips talks about it here and Blog Logic here. Here are a couple of screen captures as examples of what people are noticing.

[Read more…]

Blog Pulse Trend Graphs

BlogPulse has developed clickable trend graphs that let you track what is being talked about in the blogosphere.

It would be handy for tracking a topic you’re blogging on. For example covering the story of the transition of Popes the following graph shows when the key moments were.

[Read more…]

Blogging about Products

Trevor Cook has an interesting post reflecting upon one of the most highly posts on his blog – a post about ‘Gmail Not Working’.

‘it leaves me wondering whether one of the best ways of boosting traffic is to write lots of stuff about products, good and bad.’

In a sense what Trevor has accidentally found with his post is the power of the long tail and his suggestion isn’t too far from the truth of what a lot of successful bloggers are doing with their posting about products. Take a look at Gizmodo and Engadget as to big examples – both are posting specifically about consumer electronic products – each post on a different one.

Whilst they don’t post something good and something bad about each product – their model of generating traffic is obviously very successful.

It reminds me of a post I wrote months ago about a study that found that products and brand names were among the most searched for terms on the internet.

28% of all Google searches were for product names and 9% were for brand names. I guess it makes sense that if you want to tap into this need of web surfers that you actually do blog about products and brands.

Google AdSense Blog?

AdMoolah wonders if Google might be getting ready to release an official Adsense blog. They write:

‘I recently discovered (via the JenSense Blog) that Google has a blog for AdWords advertisers at It made me wonder why they didn’t have a blog for AdSense publishers. So, I tried typing in, and I got a username/password dialog box. So something is there, we just can’t see it.’

This would definitely be a smart move by Good as I mentioned a week back.

Adsense Ads with Icons Appearing

There are reports in the past 24 hours that icons are beginning to appear in Adsense ads. The Hybrid Car Forums are one example as can be seen from the following screen capture of their ads.

It looks like this might be a new feature they are testing. I suspect that the theory is that icons will draw readers eyes to the ad and bring higher CTR.

Update: Jensense notes that the icons are the advertisers favicons and points to this discussion over at webmaster world.

ProBlogger throws a Sick Day

Please don’t expect anything too profound here today – I seem to have caught a stomach bud – it was a long night to say the least. I don’t know why but whenever I am sick I dream very vividly of ‘blogging going wrong’. Glad to log on this morning to see that everything seems ok though. I just wont be posting much unless I get second wind – back to bed for me.

The Six Figure Challenge

Gary has started another ‘challenge blog’ where he’s recording his journey to a Six Figure Income in 12 months (he’s inviting others to join him). It’s a similar concept to Nadav’s 12 weeks $100 a day challenge (a challenge that it looks like most of those who’ve joined up will probably not meet looking over the blogs who have joined).

It is an interesting challenge and one I have mixed feelings about. On the upside it is an amazing goal and one that is sure to motivate people.

On the downside, as someone who has been working on building a way of earning an income online for 20 months now (virtually full time for the past 6 months) – I wonder if the goal might be a little too high.

I’m a big believer in setting goals, and setting them high as a motivator, however I also think goals should be realistic – if they are not you run the risk of falling off the wagon after a few months. $100,000 over 12 months means $273 per day or $8333 per month. Whilst this sort of figure is reachable (probably in a year) one must keep in mind that for a total of $100,000 those are the figures that need to be reached every day/month – event the first one. Every day that $273 is not reached is a day you have to earn over that amount later to make up for it.

I don’t want to dampen Gary’s spirits and applaud his vision – just wonder if the figure might be a little too high if he’s starting from scratch.

Looking back over my own earning figures I see that it took me around 10 months to achieve the $100 per day mark on a regular basis and this was after putting ads on a blog that had already been going for a year.

I’m sure if I were starting all over again I could do it a little faster – but I’m not so sure I’d be on track for a six figure year in my first one.

Update: It seems that the link above has died in the past few hours. Not sure why.

What ProBloggers do on Holidays

Ever wonder what a problogger does while on holidays? Arieanna is posting about her and Ianiv’s holiday with her posts Mmmm Blog-zza and Can we say laptop?

I’m tempted to say that its sad – but truth be known it reminds me a lot of my last holiday to New Zealand when I caught up with two blogging buddies and spent most of the time blogging!

Sounds like fun – as long as you balance it with some real R&R.

Update: apologies to Tris for not mentioning him as the chef of the pizza!