How to Write Great Copy – Part One

by Alex Simmonds June 18th, 2012 

great-content

So you have written a killer article that you know your readers and people interested in your niche will love, but the only problem you then have is how to get it in front of as many people as possible. How can you get readers for your content? Apart from the content itself and the SEO related to the page and site, there is one thing that helps your article more than any other element: the title.

When you start out writing an article always remember that the title is the very first element people will see, either on the page or in the search engines. And it is their interest in that title that will encourage people whether to click through or read on, or not. In a nutshell, your title is the bait and if it is not tempting enough you will have wasted your time on the article. Here are seven different title types that will tempt people into reading your article:

The Teaser: A classic marketing technique, 'the teaser' involves letting the reader think they are about to be let into a little known secret, or some kind of privileged information that very few people have access to. Usually this will involve using phrases such as 'revealed for the first time', 'little known', rarely talked about' or 'secret' in the title and article description, to encourage curiosity and get your visitors to read further.

The Shocker: Another marketing classic is to shock people into reading your article. Normally this is done by positing a title that challenges the status quo or one that contradicts the accepted opinion of most people. What you are trying to do is prompt an emotional response, whether that be good or bad, angry or sad and which makes them want to look for additional information within the body of the article. The article will then either reaffirm what they already believe, which will please them, or they will want to disagree with the article and look for faults in it.

The Instructions: One of the most popular kinds of title for the purposes of pulling in readers is the title that answers a question. The search engines are filled with people asking questions: 'How Do I Grow an Avocado Plant?, 'How Do I Juggle Six Balls?', 'How Do I Get More Readers for My Blog?'. If you write articles that answer questions related to your niche, then make sure the titles are a direct response to those questions.

The Ratings: Use a title that includes a numbered countdown or best of and you will attract readers in large numbers. People like easy to process formats such as 'The Best Things to See in New York,' 'The Top Ten Super-foods for a Longer Life', or Top Five Ways to Attract Readers to Your Blog.' This ease of organization and grading appeals to the preference for a lot of internet users for compact bite-size parcels of information.

The Probe: Engage your readers with simple questions. This is a writing technique that leads your readers into the article by promising an answer to the question the title has posed. Questions such as 'Are you Worried About Being Google Slapped?' or 'Are you Wondering How to Get a Six Pack by Playing Computer Games?' will draw in someone who wants to know the answer.

The Assertion: This is an old-school attention-grabbing style of title that demands the reader looks at the article. Surprisingly, it is quite effective. 'Stop Wasting Money on Super-foods and Read This!' or 'Read This Now If You Want to Live to Be a 100!' seem like they would annoy people or put them off, but actually the give people confidence and compel them to read the article.

Combine any of these types of titles with a well-written article and you will very quickly see an increase in your readership.

If you liked this you might enjoy 5 keyword research steps for winning blog post titles

Alex Simmonds

Alex Simmonds is a journalist and copywriter living in the UK. He specialises in writing content for sites and SEO copywriting.

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2 Responses to “How to Write Great Copy – Part One”

  1. Jon says:

    Haha these are great. I'm an engineer at heart and typically end up titling my articles as accurately as possible. I can definitely see the value in captivating titles!

  2. [...] part one of this series about writing great copy for your site, we looked at how to best get people's [...]