As an avid Twitter user, I’ve seen first-hand just how blog post titles have grown in importance. The ability to feed your blog posts to your Twitter stream and your readers’ passion to share your posts with their followers, have escalated the value I place on writing my post titles.
I don’t want you to miss out on this benefit, so here are some tactics I’ve refined over the past year.
Title Tactic #1 – Your Post Title Says It All
When your blog post title clearly explains the content of the post, you improve the chances that others will tweet and re-tweet your blog post. Take a look at this recent example:
I could have used a more cryptic title–one that enticed a user to click on the link, but Twitter users are extremely busy and extremely ADD. You’ve got just a split second to capture their attention. In addition, more people are using Twitter as a bookmarking solution–so they’ll tweet your post without actually having read it, but with the intent to do so later.
By including the key details in your post title, you increase the chances that Twitter users will share it–after all, it doesn’t require any effort on their part to explain the content of the post.
Title Tactic #2 – OK, Maybe You Should Be Cryptic
Let’s say you have a post that’s kinda boring. Or perhaps you’ve written about a topic that umpteen gazilion other bloggers have already covered. How do you get Twitter users to read your post? The answer is to dangle something so cryptic, so enticing, that the reader just has to check out the post. Here’s an example:
Title Tactic #3 – Short & Sweet Results in a Tweet!
You want someone to tweet your latest blog post? Make sure the post title is short enough that the user can include it, and throw in their own comment or endorsement. Long post titles might let you get multiple keywords included, but remember that on Twitter, each character count is valuable.
Title Tactic #4 – Use Trending Keywords
Now that Twitter’s interface includes “Trending Topics” you should look for ways to include those terms in your post title. Now, I’m not suggesting you shoehorn “Susan Boyle” into your post about technology start-ups, but do include relevant keywords. If you’ve just written about Google Wave, include that exact phrase in your post title–it’s a trending topic, so you might just get a few extra clicks.
Title Tactic #5 – Use a URL Shortening Service
OK, this tip is not strictly about your post title, but you’ll get a lot of insight from using a URL shortening service. How? Many of these services include stats on the number of times your link was clicked or shared. Use that information to A/B test your post titles. What tends to work better for your Twitter followers? Intriguing post titles or comprehensive ones?
Title Tactic #6 – What’s Your Tip?
There are a few more tactics for building Twitter-optimized blog post titles, but I’m interested to hear what you’ve learned. Any tips you’d like to share?