Write titles that get opened and read - Strategies and Tips that Work!

The title of a post matters.  Its aim is to grab people’s attention and get them to open the post.  A great title will get people excited before they even read the article.  A great title will even get you shares on social from people that haven’t even read the post.

When it comes to titles on The Excel Club, I have found a strategy that works well for long term traffic and I have found a strategy that works well for short term traffic

Check out my traffic.  This is the 1st Aug until 14th Sept.  in the first few weeks the traffic is rather level, a little more than 500 visits a day, dipping over the weekends.  Then we have a spike at the end of August and a spike this week.

So how did I create those spike and drive extra traffic?

Well the spikes are down to short term strategy titles. But the long term strategy is just as important.

Initially I didn’t have a strategy.  I noticed certain things worked for different types of traffic and from this have created a strategy that you can easily adopt.

So, I will share with you my tried and tested strategies and then I will give you some tips on writing titles.

Long term titles strategy

Long term title strategy brings continuous traffic over longer more sustained periods of time.  They are often not the most catchy titles, but more practical.   ‘How to’ type articles do amazing in this strategy.  Titles such as ‘How to do X’ aim solve a particular pain point and are highly searched.

From my own stats, the traffic on these posts can be very good quality traffic.  The titles tend to focus on long tail keywords, and if the content also delivers, the user stays longer and maybe even explores more of my content.  This makes the ranking on those pages improve over time.

I have been publishing many of these type of titles.  They allow for long form detailed content, which is beneficial for SEO.  These are great for cornerstone content   I attribute my steadily growing traffic to articles with a long term title strategy.

Short Term title strategy

Lists, emotions, urgency, amazement.  Titles that use these get opened.  They get shares and they get likes. But they tend have a short life span.  They will create a spike in your traffic and fade off into the abyss of online content in no time.

These titles tend to focus on one keyword.  They use words to make the reader feel something by playing on an emotion, or making the reader feel like they will miss out if they don’t read it.


Check out the spikes in the chart. Traffic was more than double these days.  Every week I promote a new posts.  These were posts I promoted with a short term strategy. The article the created a spike in traffic in August was:

3 Excel Hacks you need to know

Lists posts are awesome when it comes to driving traffic. People like to scan content and 3 is short, the reader is expecting some quick helps. “ Hacks” shortcuts, ah this will make life easier. That’s instant gratification.

The second article I went out on a limb with.  There is a fine line when it comes to clickbait titles and I stood very close to that line with this one.  

These Excel Tricks make the Ordinary User look like a Data Wizard

What keeps that title apart from a clickbait title is the fact that the content delivers real tricks that previously only people with great data and excel knowledge could do.  However its very borderline.

The only keywords used in those titles is Excel and Data.  There is no way these titles could rank for such general words when they are popular searches.  Therefore the traffic they drive tend to be short term.  I have also found some of this traffic it is of lesser quality and the bounce rate tends to be slightly higher.  

Steem is a little different

It appears to me that the audience on steem is a little different to that of web2.  They tend to be slightly media and advertising immune.  Titles such as the above short-term titles strategies don’t tend to get more shares or votes.  Both of the above were posted to steem via steempress.  This one is still live if you want to take a visit.  With the 7-day pay-out window, it’s easy to see if a post spikes in payment, votes or resteems.  Neither of these posts performed any better that long term title posts.

When it comes to title strategy on steem, without having traffic stats, all I can go on is votes and resteems.  Therefore, I don’t know how well long tail keyword titles do in terms of search rankings.  However, if the content delivers, I will take it the traffic and rankings increase over time.

Tips for writing titles that get opened and read

Always deliver on the content. Make sure you give the reader what you said you would give them.  If you promise 3 tips, give 3 tips.  If you promise to explain how to do something, then show them.  Set an expectation and deliver.

Use keywords, but don’t overdo it.

Keep it short and simple.

Use the 4 C’s. Be Clear, be Concise, be Compelling and be Credible.

Use the 4 U’s.  Useful, Urgent, Unique, Ultra specific

Try asking questions in your titles.  For example, “Did you miss this free ticket to steemfest?” 

Try using the word “You” within the title.

Numbers and percentages to title are proven to increase opens.  An example could be “Tips to increase opens by 1500%”

Use a verb, it lets the reader know you are going to help them accomplish something

How are you at writing titles?  Do you have any tips you can share that have worked for you?  Please do share them in the comments below.

Comments 17

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14.09.2019 12:01

@paulag, Long Term Titles and Short Term Titles you've distributed the knowledge effectively and hope that this knowledge and experience will help who wants to attract more traffic. Keep up the good work and stay blessed.

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14.09.2019 12:14

thanks, i so want to encourage those that want to blog to improve and grow, i hope this helps

14.09.2019 14:35

Welcome and good wishes from my side.

16.09.2019 09:38

I just simply forget the best way to attract people by create a trigger tittle😂 just because I've been falling to many silly articles and videos because of the tittle😊 .. so I'll take your advice on unique and ultra something next time. Thanks @paulag ... always love reading your tips and tricks posts💙

14.09.2019 12:38

@cicisaja thanks for visiting...I so think you should consider a wordpress blog and using steempress. with the same content, I think you could do rather well without missing out on the steem experience

14.09.2019 14:36

Thanks for the suggestion Paula, I forgot the password to my wp blog😂 and It will be hard if doing it with mobile phone too. I've been thinking about it since last year. Still need to find the right topic that I'm best at too.

14.09.2019 15:18

well I love reading about you!!!

14.09.2019 17:42

The 4Cs is really helpful. No claikbaiting.😊

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14.09.2019 13:40

tools of the trade, the 4 c's

14.09.2019 14:36

I had never considered a couple of these. Given the importance these days of gaining attention, this will be even more important. Thanks for sharing!

Posted using Partiko iOS

14.09.2019 16:31

you are most welcome @newageinv, thanks for stopping by, I'm glad you found this valuable

14.09.2019 17:43

This actually has nothing to do with your current post.

I bookmarked a post of yours last year, about making the most of SBI and the $1 peg using the internal market. Being that it was a Dtube video, Now that I need the info... I can't access it.

Would it be at all possible for you to give me a quick rundown on how to make the most of them both being below a dollar?

14.09.2019 23:26

Hi @paulag!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 6.559 which ranks you at #158 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 116 contributions, your post is ranked at #94.

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  • Try to work on user engagement: the more people that interact with you via the comments, the higher your UA score!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

14.09.2019 23:41

Thank you so much for participating in the Partiko Delegation Plan Round 1! We really appreciate your support! As part of the delegation benefits, we just gave you a 3.00% upvote! Together, let’s change the world!

15.09.2019 08:31

Personally, titles really kill me... I am just bad at it and won't change (unfortunately, my amount of energy is limited)...

However, people reading me do not do it for the title, so ... ;)

15.09.2019 15:01