Friday, March 5, 2010

The Title Of Your Blog Post Just Got More Important Than Ever

The Internet marketing landscape is changing.

It's changing at a pace that nobody would have imagined just a year ago.

Networks that used to drive traffic simply aren't. 

The focus of the tech community over the past year (and more) has been real-time.

There's is a lot of good there ... and also some serious drawbacks.

Then there are those 'pipes'.  You know, those imported (and in some cases exported) posts you see in your Facebook, Twitter, and other feeds. 

Since the advent of Friendfeed, I've counted over 50 'significant' networks where you can pull and push your content, and content from others.

Note: Exercise a little caution here ... If you 'share' too much, there's a good chance people will block you, unfollow you or whatever YOUR network of choice calls it.

A few days ago, I was called out on Google Buzz for importing my Twitter feed.  The young lady that made the call was right.  For me, they're two separate worlds. It was a bad fit in my case ... and I promptly turned it off.

So what's with the headline about headlines Charlie?

We're living in a sea of blogs and websites, not to mention major portals and others, that want your pageviews.  Some want them pretty badly to remain economically viable.

Assuming you want people to read your stuff and you're not just creating a blog for technical or other reasons, it's important to recognize (and embrace) change.

Headlines (SEO aside for the moment) have always been important.  If you work hard (or just make sense?), aggregators will include you.  You may actually get a play on voting sites (Digg, Mixx, StumbleUpon, others) without asking someone to post your piece (which, in reality, is really what happens in MANY cases).

Regardless, you want those eyeballs. 

Not tomorrow .... today.
I've been sharing my Google Reader picks a few times daily for a long time, as many others do. 

In my case, there are two reasons: (1) If I don't have time to post here, you can always find some fresh stuff the the Google Shared feeds in the right column ... even subscribe to the whole thing if you wish .... (2) There  are a lot of hard working bloggers out there that deliver value.  They deserve to be read, recognized and watched. If my shares gets them a few page views, well, hopefully they'll keep on writing.

Enter Google Buzz.  With the wholesale adoption of Google Buzz because of it's launch within Gmail, it is already a platform.  That platform is tied directly to Google Reader, where I've seen a five-fold increase in followers since Buzz launched.

Now, I not only have some excellent, fun and interesting feeds to look at in the morning (and sometimes evening ...) but I also have many of yours.  Some say it's out of control.  It's not, and easily tweaked whenever you feel like it.

You don't have to sensationalize your headline.  While MANY in the mainstream (and not so mainstream) use this vehicle to gain viewers, it's just not my style. 

What you DO want is for people to click and read what you wrote. Simple premise right?

Whether it's an aggregator, a re-tweet, an import to Facebook (or wherever), your title makes it MUCH easier for people to find what they want to read, especially now that all of these networks are interlacing and even more so, with the 'here now, gone in a few minutes' world of real-time.

What prompted this post is that there are some really brilliant bloggers out there that don't write topical titles (or worse).  I don't know if they're simply jaded and assume everyone already knows who they are and read them every day or what.

Those days are over.

Most people have x amount of time in a day for the Internet and if you lose their interest, you'll have to gain it back.

As far as I'm concerned, there are probably hundreds of blogging rockstars out there that I'd love to be reading, and maybe sharing. 

Make my discovery easier.  Use a good, solid title in your next post.

I'm pretty sure someone will share it.

It just works.