Friday, April 17, 2009
Better post titles work, and here's the proof
Yesterday was the best traffic day ever for this blog. And it wasn't even close.
Prior to yesterday, the highest traffic this blog had ever received in one day was 1,508 visitors. On Thursday, the blog welcomed 3,821 visitors. The reason why is because yesterday's post Six reasons why no one likes you online turned out to be wildly popular. To everyone that read the post, thank you.
But here's a bit of what went on 'behind the scenes' in crafting that post, and hopefully you can learn from what I did.
As I have been blogging about for years here, I suck when it comes to writing post titles. As I was writing my Six reasons... post late Wednesday, I lamented on Twitter that I was having trouble coming up with a solid title for the post. I knew that I wanted to write a post based loosely on the points I had raised in my Building Online Community session at OMBC last week. I didn't want to cover the reasons HOW to build online community as I did in the session, but instead cover some reasons why many companies see their community-building efforts fail.
So my first draft title for the post was the incredibly lame 'Building Community Online'. And I knew that title sucked, but wasn't sure how to improve it. I started talking to Tim Jackson about this on Twitter, and decided that I needed to read Copyblogger to get some ideas on improving the post's title.
After reading Brian's section on writing Magnetic Headlines, I changed the title from the blah 'Building Community Online', to the more interesting 'Six reasons why no one likes you online'. Now I don't think the post title alone was the reason for the traffic spike, I think the post itself was pretty good. But many people would have never read the post, if they hadn't been intrigued by the improved post title. I think now that Twitter is where so many people are finding interesting sites/blogs to read, that a compelling post title becomes even more important.
And to that point, the Six reasons... post has been retweeted 231 times as of writing this post.
So thanks to Brian for saving my post title. If you want to improve your writing, reading Copyblogger is a great way to do so!
UPDATE: Some people are asking how I knew how many RTs the post had. BackType has added in the ability to track this (as well as comments to the post and on other social sites) by clicking here. Just pop in the post's URL. Really great feature they have added!