Have you ever struggled thinking of a catchy headline for your blog post? I know I have. Whether it’s your own post or a guest post you are writing, the content can sometimes be easier than writing the title. For me, I often change the title numerous times before I actually publish the article.

It’s important to try and get the title right because it can be the deciding factor between a visitor to your site reading your post or clicking the back button. The content might be fantastic but if the title doesn’t grab them and draw them in, then they are never going to read all that fantastic content that you have spent hours writing.

Plus, when someone has searched for a topic in Google, and your post is sitting on page 1 in the midst of all the other posts, what is it that is going to make your article stand out from all the others?  Well,  it’s the attention grabbing title that is going to entice readers to come to your site?

Let’s put it this way, which of the following articles would you be more likely to read?

The Disadvantages of Drinking Coffee
OR

Warning…Coffee May Be Dangerous to Your Health
Or what about this one?

OR

7 Surefire Ways to Make Money Online Fast
And this one?

OR

Read Why this is Rated the #1 Cordless Drill

The 3 Golden Rules for Writing Blog Post Headlines

Okay, maybe they aren’t golden rules but I just wanted to get another catchy headline in this post. Still, these are important to remember when writing blog post titles:

Keep the title short but simple – You really want to try and keep it under 10 words but if it makes sense to go longer then go for it.
Ensure the title matches the content – It’s all very well trying to write a catchy title but if the content has nothing to do with the title then your visitors aren’t going to bother reading anything else on your site.
Keywords – Yes, keywords are still important so try and get a keyword or two in the title if possible. Just don’t overdo. Personally I prefer to write the title first without even thinking of keywords and only then do I think about trying to get a keyword in, but only if it sounds completely natural.

10 Attention Grabbing Headlines

Let’s take a look at some blog post titles that will grab your readers attention.

1. The Secrets of…

Starting a headline with the words “The Secrets of…” can’t help but grab someones attention.

Eg. Secrets of Making Money FastEg. The 7 Secrets of Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee

2. Did you know…?

Getting your readers curiosity peaked can entice them to read further, although you have to be careful that you don’t give away too much in the title.

Eg. Did You Know that Coffee is Actually Good for Your Health?Eg. Did You Know that 70 People Die Each Year from Shark Attacks?

3. Warning signs…

This one is always a good one for health articles but it can work for just about any niche.

Eg. 5 Warnings Signs That You Might Be Going DeafEg. 10 Warnings Signs That You Might Be Addicted to Coffee

4. How to instantly transform…

This sort of headline implies to the reader that if they read on, their problem (whatever that might be) will be solved quickly, and who doesn’t want that?

Eg. How to Instantly Transform Your Blog into an Authority SiteEg. How to Instantly Transform Your Life in 52 Easy Steps

5. Is it worth it?…

This headline can often work well for review sites. People don’t want to have to do the research and this sort of title implies that you have done the research for them.

Eg. Is Signing Up to Google Plus Worth it?Eg. Is Buying a $600 Coffee Maker Worth the Price?

6. Five minutes, 24 hours, 30 days…

This type of title just about always works. It lets the reader know that their problem can be solved in whatever time period you set.

Eg. 30 Days to a Healthier YouEg. The 5 Minute Plan to Changing Your Life

7. Should you be worried…?

Using fear and uncertainty can be a good way to grab your readers.

Eg. Should You Be Worried about 2012?Eg. Should You Be Worried about Drinking Too Much Coffee?

8. The World’s Best…

This can work well for a review site. I mean, who doesn’t want to know which is the best of the best.

Eg. The World’s Best Sports Cars and Where to Find ThemEg. The World’s Best Travel Destinations

9. Complete guide to…

This one is  definitely a winner, however you have to back it up with good solid content. You really can’t write a complete guide to anything in under 500 words.

Eg. The Complete Guide to Making the Ultimate Cup of CoffeeEg. The Complete Step-by-Step Plan to Building a Better Blog

10. Sure-fire Ways to…

This is a favorite of mine. It implies certainty to the reader and works really well for any niche.

Eg. 10 Sure Fire Ways to Meet a Movie StarEg. 7 Sure Fire Ways to Get a GirlfriendEg. 5 Sure Fire Ways to Choose a Cordless Drill

If you aren’t familiar with mind mapping yet, perhaps it’s time to learn about it.

In short, mind mapping is a marvelous method of planning, thinking and discovering ideas, tasks, concepts, strategies and goals.

More specifically, mind mapping is a drawn diagram that you use to generate new ideas, structure your thoughts and the like. Taking a key concept placed in the middle, you diagram out words, ideas and tasks in a radiating circle. It really helps with the visualization process!

In a nutshell, it’s a way to utilize the right side of your brain (responsible for creativity) when planning stuff… and I’m talking about anything imaginable like Web sites, products, projects, services, to-do lists, concepts, . For some people (like me), it goes much faster than writing it down in lists, phrases or full sentences.

After doing some mind mapping, you will find that the big picture becomes much clearer to you, even down to the most minute detail. An additional use is that it’s good for a study aid, in working out organizational problems… or actually any issue.

It gives you freedom to think, not constricting you to any one method or linear way of planning. The freedom means, in my view, that you can come up with new and different ideas — ones that may not have come to you in any other way.

You simply write down a central idea. Then you think up other related ideas that radiate out from that center. As you put these additional thoughts down on paper, online or offline, I think you’ll find you will understand and remember all these points much better.

Another neat thing about mind mapping is that you can use your own personal symbols and designs to stand for whatever you want. Besides that, you can add colors, arrows and so on to your heart’s content. Get creative!

Offline, I personally like to use brown package paper of a decent size.

Online, I prefer professional software for my mind mapping endeavors… Mindjet’s MindManager.

Occasionally, though, I changed recently, however, as I found some really good free programs available.

To students I recommended (and still do) Freemind, an open source software. But I while ago I’ve found an online mind mapping application that’s really good — and from a German company! — called mindmeister.com. It’s free to sign up and create a handful of mind maps, and it has the standard features of the more sophisticated MindManager software you otherwise have to pay $$$ for.

As I said, this is really priceless for planning out Web sites, products, events… the list is endless! 🙂 You can brainstorm, strategize and plan in so much more dynamic ways.

This is good news for those of you who need that extra spark for your planning or brainstorming. And the Mindmeister Internet portal is excellent because you have your maps accessible anywhere in the world and can work on them whenever and wherever you want. (Plus, you can share them & collaborate with others.)

When I watch a movie, it’s hard not to draw parallels between it and Internet marketing. Watching Our Idiot Brother, I caught a number of great lessons for all types of marketers. So, what does Paul Rudd, also known as Phoebe Buffay’s boyfriend, have to teach you about being an awesome affiliate?

1. You’re going to fail.

“I try to do good, but it doesn’t always work out.”

It’s important to realize that you’re going to fail at Internet marketing… a lot. You’re going to get it wrong, your first few campaigns won’t make as much as you had hoped, you’re going to build a bad landing page, etc. Failing is a big part of being successful, especially for affiliates. In fact, most affiliates have extremely low success rates with campaigns. So, if you’re going to fail (and you are), just remember to fail fast so that you can get to the success.

2. Have fun with it.

“I have to get back to work on the tomion.”

At the end of the day, if you’re not doing something you love, you’re wasting your time. Affiliate marketers are entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs need passion. Do you want to invest 50 or 60 hours a week working on something you think is “meh”? Of course not. Be sure this is something you love so that you never have to “work” again.

3. People are going to think you’re an idiot.

“I just figured that since you sold it to a uniformed police officer, you must be stupid.”

Everyone is going to think you’re an idiot. Your best friends, your family, the guy you carpool with on Tuesdays – everyone. Who works a 40 hour week and then voluntarily spends time doing work when they get home? Idiots. Conversely, who quits the security of a big company to venture out on their own? Who decides they want to work harder and longer just to be their own boss? Idiots, idiots.

Some of the brightest minds were considered idiots in their time too.

4. Find an unconditional support system.

“I can’t just kick him out… he’s family.”

Being an affiliate is awesome! You can work from your PJs, you can set your own hours, you can do things your own way – it rocks. Sometimes, however, it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be hard when your first big campaign slows to a halt and there are a few weeks where you don’t earn a penny. For this reason, you want to be sure you have an unconditional support system that always has your back. Think family, friends and industry experts.

5. Live in your own world.

“I love my brother, but still, he doesn’t live in the adult world.”

Remember when you were in high school and there was the guy that spent all his time playing World of Warcraft in his parents’ basement? Or when you met that girl who genuinely thought unicorns and leprechauns were real? They were living in their own little worlds and most affiliates do too. Once you get started, it’s hard to transition back from spending hours reading blogs, going to conferences, staying up until 3 a.m. researching keywords, etc.

Have you seen Our Idiot Brother? Do you think it had real value for Internet marketers?

The call to action (CTA) is the most important part of a website. It’s what turns visitors into cash. So, before you write the copy for your next so-so CTA, take a look at these 9 tips. Take advantage of them and you’ll be increasing conversions in no time at all.

1. Use active words.
You see active words all the time. Think of all the action words you see in ads: buy, subscribe, download, register, call, etc. Why are they there? Because they inspire people to act, just as their name suggests.

2. Keep it short.
Notice that all of my tips here are short. They are to the point and do not have any unnecessary words. Use this philosophy in all of your calls to action. If you want to capture attention, don’t write a novel.

3. Use simple words.
Resist the urge to use complex words and sentence structures. If there is a smaller, more simple word to use, use it. The average person doesn’t read at a high level. Simple words have high conversion rates.

4. Convey urgency.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you could do today, right? Wrong. Everyone puts things off until tomorrow. Your job is to ensure that your call to action isn’t one of them. Convey “now or never”!

5. Use buzzwords.
They might sound cheap and overused, but they work. Think of all the buzzwords you read each day: unique, innovative, award winning, exclusive, solution, leading, etc. Don’t count them out.

6. Avoid spam signals.
There’s a thin line that you need to learn to toe. Avoid any language or punctuation that will send up red spam flags. For example, avoid the use of “!!!” or “!?!”

7. Use numbers.
It seems like everyone is creating lists these days, right? Right. That’s because lists involve numbers, which are more appealing to the human eye than words. Notice the number in the title of this post.

8. Advertise the value.
You can sell anything to anyone when you know this trick: promote the value. It sounds simple, but it’s overlooked. Put yourself in their shoes and focus on what’s in it for them. Show them the value right away!

9. Be specific.
Did you know that you miss out on leads because your CTA isn’t specific enough? They want to know exactly what is going to happen when they click through. Explain the specifics of what you want them to do and what will happen after.

Are you already using some of these tips? Which tips have worked best for you?

Think back to when you first tried your hand at affiliate marketing. What was your first campaign? Was it a success? The fact of the matter is that new affiliates make tons of mistakes. Heck, even affiliates who have been in the game for years make mistakes. There are two very common, very dangerous affiliate mistakes that shine above the rest though.

It’s natural, especially when you’re new to the game, to want to move on and multiply. If things aren’t working out, you’ll want to try a different offer, a different niche. If things are going great, you’ll want to expand and build campaign after campaign.

The problem here is that most campaigns aren’t successful from the get-go. It usually takes quite a while to perfect a campaign and really make it work for you. While it’s important to fail fast to succeed fast, you want to make sure you’re not in too much of a rush. Like all things in life, it’s about balance.

Of course, there’s the opposite approach. That is, sticking to one or two campaigns for too long. Whether or not they’re profitable for you is irrelevant. Putting all of your eggs in one basket, regardless of the industry, is not a good idea. What if one of those campaigns takes a nosedive?

Remember, affiliate marketing is not a perfect science. It’s true that most affiliates have seen the majority of their success from approximately 10% of their campaigns, but that other 90% is important. You have to try new things and experiment if you want to reap the rewards.

Plus, this is not a predictable industry (for the most part). There are ups and downs, ups and downs, ups and downs. What happens if you’re only running two campaigns and they’re both going down at once?

The moral here is to find a happy medium between too many campaigns and too few campaigns. Leaning too far in one direction could mean the difference between affiliate success and affiliate failure. Often, it is hard for new affiliates to master this delicate balancing act, which is the real barrier to entry in Internet marketing.

This data is based on sending 30 million emails.

Keep in mind these are not spammers. These are well branded e-commerce or service oriented companies using an enterprise solution.

I just want to be clear on that. These companies combined have a email rate spam report rate of .0006. But that is also very low because they are emailing their existing database of clients as well as new clients interested in their services or products.

Ok with that said I have put together the following stats. Again please keep in mind these are mostly “value add” emails.

People open and click on the most emails between 9am and 11:30am CST on weeknights and 7pm to 10pm CST on the weekends.People open and click on the most emails on Mondays. People make buying decisions from emails received on Thursdays (they clicked on a link and made a purchase). The average time someone takes to make a buying decision from a email is 4 days. The average time of day people make a purchase 7pm to 10:30pm CST. The longest we have seen for someone to purchase a product or service from a email we have sent is 6 months (since we started the company). Shorter subject lines get higher percentage rates.  1 word subject lines scoring the highest. Capitals on every word in the subject line have a 25% less open rate then subjects with every word in lowercase.

The first feeling that comes to mind when you mention the term ‘email marketing’ usually is not positive. With technology constantly developing newer and newer ways to communicate via the internet, some feel that the bland, mundane tasks of email marketing are behind us. Wrong! Even though the world of marketing is constantly changing, email remains a viable way in which to communicate with subscribers about virtually anything. Best of all, you can revamp the process to make it easier, more creative and therefore more appealing to your subscribers. We will discuss a few strategies you can use to deploy this type of success.

Gigantic Potential

The fact is that more people are connected to one another through email than through any other outlet – including Facebook. Email has remained the bridge between “old” and “new”; for those who do not wish to make a phone call but do not want to use social networking, email is a vital component of communication and business. Backing up this assumption is the fact that over 70% of all internet users check their email more than five times per day. While some bloggers, webmasters and businesses are worried about pinging search engines with updates on their site, others are striving to build a line of communication through the most tried and true medium currently on the web.

Personal Preference

Most web users still state that email is the preferred form of communication when it comes to day-to-day business and notifications. Facebook and other social networks may have allowed users to find lost friends and new acquaintances, but people still prefer a more personal form of communication that is generally achieved via email. Another statistic shows that nearly 4 out of 5 people prefer to receive commercial communication via email as opposed to Facebook or other methods – this number alone should seriously make you re-think a strategy that is currently neglecting email marketing.

Effective Reach

We all may think that email marketing is hit or miss; this is true to some extent. However, it is more effective than taking out advertisements or pinging search engines with content in terms of the % of people who read or follow-through on the email. Data shows that nearly 70 percent of people have purchased an item or service within the past twelve months as a result of an email they received. While you certainly will not be buying email lists to accomplish this, this should still give you confidence in maintaining and improving the communication you have with your existing subscriber base.

Conclusion

While many have labelled email as an old, ineffective means of communication, the data shows us that people still prefer email to newer social interaction and do in fact respond to those messages. You can even use email marketing as a way to encourage your subscribers to connect with your brand through platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. If you are willing to accept this and re-commit yourself to expanding and improving your email marketing program, you will be successful.

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