Read these B2B technology post headlines and tell me what you think:
- Retention Rates for CPE Campaign Blow Away CPI Campaign, Rival Organic
- System Update: Improved Management of Your Lists
- Here’s what POTUS had to Say About Our Product
- Cloud-Based Company Plans Big Expansion
- Our Product Now Integrates with ACME Products for SMS-based Email Capture
- User Stories – Part 1, 2, 3
Now, I did modify a few of them to remove product or peoples’ names, but otherwise the headlines are exactly as listed on the business blogs of some technology companies right now. Would you click through to read the article if you saw any of them? I’m not sure I would.
Writing headlines is not easy. Professional writers struggle with it daily. Some even spend hours on the headline for a single article! While I don’t recommend that approach, I do recommend that you take some time to write your headlines, and don’t just dash off something that you think will be okay. It won’t.
Writing headlines is an art.
Let me say that again:
Writing headlines is an art.
In fact, it’s the #1 Way to Build Traffic to your blog, according to Copyblogger.
Before you worry that you need to go out and hire a Headline Writing Specialist, or turn yourself into Don Draper from Mad Men, here are a few tips that you can use to create better headlines for your B2B tech blog.
Problem: Your headlines are too factual, just stating the subject of the post
Solution: Sure, you want the topic of the post to be in the headline, but you also want to get the reader to click on it to read more. Use one of these three headline types to transform it into something you’d click:
- Ride on someone’s coattails: Is there a name, a product, or an event that’s captured the world’s attention right now? Use it in your headline. If there’s a major sporting event going on right now, like the Olympics, one of the example headlines I quoted at the start of this article would become, “Cloud-Based Company Plans to Be Bigger than the Olympics”.
- Point out mistakes: This one’s been in use for years by the master copywriters, and there’s a reason why they still work. They are classics…plus we love to see others fail, right? Reworking another example headline: “Do You Make the Same 5 Mistakes POTUS Does?”
- Give them instructions: We all love the How To article, so give one of them a try on your business blog, but have a little fun with it. For example, “How to Capture Email Addresses from your Teenager’s Smartphone”.
Problem: You overuse the same type of headline type
Solution: I scrolled through one tech company’s blog yesterday and found 4 posts in a row that started with “5 Ways to…” A How To post is great, however you should vary them so your readers don’t get bored. How about trying a headline that:
- Promises to solve a major problem for prospects. “Stop Acting Like a Circus Clown and Manage Your Subscribers Like a Pro” or “Take Charge of Your [Problem] Today”
- Lets readers in on a secret. “The Shocking Truth about Creating your SMS Email List”
- Threatens your readers. “How Safe is Your Data from Hackers?”
Problem: The only posts you publish are about your press releases.
Solution: Create a quick article about the major news IN your press release, and then link out to it. Presumably you have a section on your site for News, so there’s no reason to duplicate it on your blog. BUT, you can use the blog to point to the News section. So create a headline that gets readers to click over there:
- If your release is about enhancements to your product, try “The Zen of [Product action]”. “The Zen of Headline Writing”, “The Zen of Editorial Calendars”, “The Zen of Increasing your Email List”. You get the idea.
- If you’ve just released a brand new product, try “How to End Your [Unruly Problem]”, or “[Your CEO’s name] Top 10 Tips for [Main Product benefit]”
There you have it, some tips to get your B2B technology blog more readers with better headlines. That wasn’t so bad, was it?