You’ve been working hard on your blog: you put thought and effort into your About page, your site title and tagline, and you’ve even picked a great blog name. You sweat your photography. You read and re-read your drafts to make sure they’re just perfect.
With millions of posts published every day, how do you make sure your work stands out in the crowd? Crafting strong post headlines is one way to snag reader attention, pique interest, attract followers, and earn repeat visits.
Here are a few ideas to think about as you write titles for your posts:
What’s the second most important part of your blog post after the headline?
The introduction, of course.
Imagine just how disappointed you’d be after spending an insane amount of time to come up with a killer title for your post, only to lose readers within the first paragraph or two. A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like getting stuck on a roller-coaster ride seconds after it starting.
So, here are five easy ways to open your post that will capture the reader’s imagination and make them want to read more.
Sometimes I like to pretend I’m a photographer. Mostly with other people’s cameras. And the results are oftentimes… not as bad as you’d expect.
I do not research the subject, I do not take classes, I do not read about photography, I do not actively aim to become better.
Yet, somehow, I am becoming better with each photograph I take.
And I wondered why.
Here’s an odd fact about me: I am an artist. I have been writing for fourteen years now. I love art. I love artists. And beautiful art has made me cry far more often than real life ever did.
This belief of mine works for me in all artistic fields. I don’t feel much pressure, just the desire to have fun, to enjoy myself, to take part in the ritual of creation.
I see beauty and I want to capture it, recreate it, change it, share it with the world.
It’s not the knowledge, you see, but rather the skill. And I believe that it’s not what we acquire but who we become that influences our results.
It’s all about mindset.
“It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar
Yeah, knowing the techniques and being a great storyteller matters, but it all comes down to self-confidence.
If you honestly believe that you’re a great blogger, you’re going to write a killer blog post on a napkin, or if you think of yourself as a great photographer, you’ll make do with a three year old smartphone. The same way folks who are into fitness find a way to exercise, even if they’re stranded on a tropical island with only two coconuts and a volleyball.
I am pretty sure you’re thinking something along the lines of, “It’s easy for you to say this, but I do not have any followers.”
Let me ask you a question: how do you define success as a blogger? Who told you that you have to have a certain number of followers or that you have to earn a living out of it in order to call yourself successful?
What if there was a new consensus regarding success as a blogger: you must punch the damn keys and do your very best to produce great work, even if you have 0 followers. Especially if you have 0.
If you have 50, you’re already a blogging god.
Gary Vee talks a lot about Macro and Micro levels. He’s stated that he did a lot of interviews that got 50-60 views long before being on CNN and becoming a big social media star.
And I believe this is the kind of attitude most bloggers simply lack.
In other words, some people get excited to write their best content even when no one is reading them, while others are secretly waiting for some day when they’ll be Internet famous to write their best ideas into existence.
That’s about it.
There was this post on Tumblr about a woman who had lost a lot of weight. She then noticed her husband was more affectionate towards her, and this made her sad, because she thought it was all about her looks. Then she noticed how people acted differently around her: joked more, were kinder…
It took her a while to figure things out: it was her who had changed. From the moment she first looked herself in the mirror to when she went to sleep, she felt different. She was happier, more alive, more confident. Smiled more. Wore different clothes. Her attitude towards herself was different, and thus the attitude of others.
People were simply reacting to the way she perceived herself.
If you believe nothing else of my posts, if you take just one thing, let it be this:
Mindset is everything.
If you have the right mindset, if you are self-confident, self-reliant, fueled from within, clear in your intentions and purpose, free from outcome, social pressure, or setbacks, then you will turn those 20-30 followers into thousands, even more, in no time.
That’s why the advice is to write for yourself. Write the kind of content that you’d love to read, because you must enjoy yourself while doing it, and not because someone else likes to read it (or needs to or would pay good money to).
Do you know why we make jokes? Say or do stuff we find funny?
Most people would assume it’s because you want to make others laugh. It’s not. You make jokes because you find them funny, because saying that one-liner out loud makes you feel good. It elevates your own mood, and that’s the only goal.
The same goes for blogging. Develop the kind of mindset that enjoys the art of blogging:
Looking for inspiration anywhere you can find it
Siting at the desk to write.
Having a schedule
Interacting with fellow bloggers
Reading other blogs
The numbers game is going to mess with your head
When I first started blogging in April 2012, I was unstoppable. I’d blog every single day, even though I got 2-3 likes per post, some twenty odd views a day.
It didn’t matter.
I knew success was just a matter of time. Luck, also, but I knew that the harder I worked, the luckier I’d get.
But the thing is that the more followers I got, the more I lost track of the importance of just one reader.
My words became diluted somehow. I lost a great deal of clarity.
What do a hundred thousand people want to read? What do they care about? They come from some 200 countries, they speak vastly different languages, have different customs…
Blogging is all about two people: me and you.
That’s it. I write what I want, because I enjoy writing, because this is my passion, and because I want to do this until they throw dirt on top of me, and you, the one reader, the person who is reading these blog posts, who comments, who takes the time to like the content, or share it, or print it out…
If you can get excited about the act of writing a blog post, and then get even more excited with every single like, comment, or follow, then you’ll be successful as a blogger.
If not, there’s no knowledge, technique, trick or tip that will help you become successful.
Tomorrow an e-mail will be sent out to almost a thousand people.
It will contain the following:
an exclusive blog post
tips and tricks about blogging
the best content shared on The Art of Blogging in March 2020
If you want to receive this e-mail, then you can subscribe to the newsletter here.
Also, there’s a paid version of this newsletter.
It’s five bucks a month or fifty bucks per year.
What do you get for that kind of money?
You will receive exclusive content delivered to you every Friday (4 blog posts per month). Tutorials, tips and tricks, and strategies that are going to help you take your blog to the next level.
So, yeah, 5$ per month gets you four exclusive blog posts.
And the feeling of satisfaction that you’ve helped by supporting us and showing us that you totally love us.
When it comes to sharing your content (and reaching more people) one of the best strategies you can employ is by republishing your content on other platforms.
These platforms already have people interested in what you have to say, and you can bring that traffic back to your blog – growing your online influence in the process.
Consider Medium, one of the most popular content platforms around, with over 90 million unique monthly readers.
Once you’ve signed up for an account, Medium’s algorithms hand-pick and deliver content via email based on your interests and behavior. The email contains posts selected by Medium staff, posts from publications that you follow, and posts most recommended by the people you follow.
The most common question I get from fellow bloggers is, “How do I get more readers?”
Honestly, I’d like to tell you that building a community around your blog is as simple as writing great content, the truth is that growing a blog is a bit more nuanced than that.
Getting more readers for your writing takes a lot of dedication, time, and energy.
It’s not just about content, but also about community.
The strategies I’m sharing with you are the culmination of 8 years of trial and error growing my blogs to over 180,000 engaged readers. These are proven tactics that I still put into practice myself — and cost little more than time, hard work, and a bit of creativity.
Without further delay, let’s get into the best strategies on how to grow an audience for your blog in 2020.
First published more than 70 years ago, Dale Carnegie’s guide on people skills entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence People” contains wisdom that is mostly true to this very day, because human nature, for better or worse, does not change much over time.