This could be one of your blog readers.
Are you unknowingly annoying your readers? Well, if you are making these 11 mistakes, you might be turning them off. Keep on reading…
Annoyed reader photo by Jonno Witts
1. Writing in gigantic blocks of text
Big text blogs are easy to get lost in. They also strain eyes and make reading difficult.
Because it’s hard to scan. Let alone read.
In fact, a study shows that only 16% of your readers read word-by-word. The rest mostly scan. So at least make it scannable.
I suggest keeping paragraphs 1 to 7 lines long. Then your readers would read your post relaxingly and enjoyably. Ahhhh…
2. Eye-straining text
No matter how good your writing may be, if you write in teeny weeny text, people are going to be annoyed and read with squinty winty eyes.
Or scan abruptly. Or not read at all.
Also, make sure the lines are not squeezed too tightly together, like…
This paragraph is an example of hard-to-read text, hard-to-read text, hard-to-read text. This paragraph is an example of hard-to-read text, which readers can’t stand and move on to the next. So, make reading easy so the poor eye can rest.
5 easy steps to make your text easy to read
1. Go to your theme’s CSS in your admin area. For WP users, go to the theme editor. Then, on the right, there’s a list of files. Make sure you are on style.css.
2. Find #content (the part of the blog post).
3. Add this line to the code. Below are the settings I use for my blog Gloson Blog, but you can customize it.
“15px” = text size.
“25px” = space between lines.
4. Customize the sizes (if you want). It’s important to consider the blog width, the blog post width, the sidebar width, and the design. Then update the code!
5. Clear-cache-reload (Ctrl + F5) your blog and check out your comfortable text. Aaaahhhh…..
If you need any help, just leave a comment and I’ll help out .
P.S. If you have the WP Super Cache plugin, go to another page to see the changes.
Photo by Daniel Y. Go
3. MR. ALLCAPS X. MARKS!!!!!!!!
To most people online, ALL CAPS IS SHOUTING and if used with exclamation marks, it’s EXTREMELY ANNOYING!!!!!! REALLY!!!!
It also looks unprofessional and is hard to read. So don’t write in all caps.
Of course, you can use it occasionally and appropriately if you want to emphasize a word.
Photo by toddheft
4. Where’s the about-me page?
Your readers have read an ammmmmmmmmmmmmazing blog post on your blog!
And now, they are heading to your about me page – They want to know more about the awesome guy who wrote it!
But if they discover that you don’t have an about-me page, they are going to get confused, frustrated and annoyed, especially loyal readers.
So, make sure you have an about me page. It makes the blog more personal!
Don’t forget to put up an image of you too! It really helps the readers to get to know you better and also builds your name and brand on the Internet.
5. Writing like a robot with no personality
Readers don’t like to read writing without personality. It feels as if you’re reading from a robot! Or even a impersonal “professional” commercial site!
Instead, write with your style and personality–who you are. That’s blogging. Readers love to read posts that are written for them and by you.
In other words, don’t ever write like Wikipedia (We don’t read their articles, unless we badly want a certain information, right? Their long paragraphs strainnnn eyes too! Arrgh!).
The cat photo? mis. tuh.-..purr. suhn. al. it. ee
And it’s taken by swanky
6. Reading…reading…reading…GAHH! Music!
Imagine you sitting at your computer then BANG! Music bursts out your speakers! Yikes! *Finds the stop button in panic!* Phew!
Music, especially autoplaying music, is extremely annoying to unsuspecting visitors.
I’ve read from many people that if they visit a blog with autoplaying music, they would leave immediately.
But if your blog really has to include music, just don’t set it to autoplay and you’ll be fine.
Photo by greggoconnell
7. Here an ad, there an ad, everywhere an ad ad
Advertising is really a very good way to monetize your blog!…if it is not overdone.
Too many advertising distract and annoy readers a lot, and they’re going to be turned off very quickly.
So, don’t fill your blog with too many or distracting ads (animated ones). Making money the smart way is much better than the “quick and easy” way.
8. Complicated, sophisticated commenting system
Don’t ever require commentators to login. No reader wants to go through all the effort to create an account for one single comment!
Mind-exploding Captchas are not a very smart way to prevent spam either. It drives away potential commentators more than it prevents spam.
Instead, install Askimet the spam exterminator. Mostly no spam gets past it.
If a blog requires people to login or enter a Captcha to comment, then it’s missing a lot of potential commentators.
Photo by mag3737
9. Really, really bad design
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” they say, but that’s the problem. Most people judge a blog by its design.
If your blog has a poor design, it will give new visitors a bad impression and it isn’t very nice to look at, anyway.
So, make sure
- typography easy to read
- navigation easy to find
- design doesn’t distract reader from content
- design doesn’t look like a website from the 90’s
- colors look cool .
And lastly, make sure your design never ever ever looks like this:
Ouch… my eyes hurt.
For some inspiration, here are 50 Beautiful and Amazing Blog Designs compiled by Smashing Magazine.
10. Snail loading speed… dot dot dot… *Yawns*
If your page takes 10+ seconds to appear, visitors lose patience and will click away before your page has even appeared.
To improve loading speed,
- reduce the number of posts on homepage
- reduce the number of images
- reduce the size of images
- reduce your coding
In conclusion, to improve loading speed a lot, remember the 3 R’s.
Reduce, Reduce, and Reduce.
To test loading speed, head over to Pingdom Tools. It gives a detailed breakdown on the loading speed of certain elements, so you know which one slows down the loading.
Here is one popular plugin to help boost your loading speed a lot > W3 Total Cache.
Photo by jpockele
11. Turn off comments, turn off readers
The blog community is made out of 2 things:
1. the blogger
So, if you turn off comments, you turn off readers.
Readers like to voice out their opinions on your blog. It’s where they can converse, discuss, and have their say.
So, don’t ever turn off comments! (Unless you have serious spam issues and have put your reason in the comments section.)
Photo by Marc Wathieu
Phew! That’s quite a list!
Don’t forget to share the things on blogs that annoy you in the comments below! If I think the point you shared is really annoying, I’ll include it here!
So, are you guilty of any of these?
Great Tips from Commentators (Thank you guys!)
Great tips! I would add that in addition to having an about me page, you should have some small blurb on your sidebar that describes you and your blog for new visitors so that people know what the overall gist of your site is.
Great post Gloson! But may I add:
Please don’t load your blog with so many ads that you have to scroll a full webpage to see the content
Awesome post man, these are some great pointers for anyone getting a blog started or needing to ‘spruce’ things up a bit.
I can’t tell you how many times I hate going to a blog that has an interesting title that loads sooo slowly.
Another thing that really annoys me is widgit overload! Too many widgits makes for a very busy page. Great Job!
“Android Tweeting” is a very easy, fun and fast way to tweet. The first thing to do is figure out which Twitter application to use. You may have to go through many applications to see what works for you, some will work up to a point until the next shiny object comes along. If you find it hard to choose, you can maximize your android tweeting experience by having two twitter applications and doing combo application tweeting. You can get what you need by alternating applications. (Yes, this method is for serious android Twitterholics) I have used Twidroid, Seemsic, Hootsuite, and I am now using Tweetcaster (the little birdie is so cute!)
The great thing about tweeting from your phone is that you get to tweet from almost anywhere and at anytime (trust me ANYWHERE …ANYTIME) Examples of such locations include: dinner cruise, dance clubs, while riding in back of brother’s bike, meetings, interviews, restaurants, bad dates, bed and yes, bath or shower (Disclaimer: No harm was ever done to androids while tweeting)
My friends think I am fast when tweeting from my android, yes I am a pro (modest)….but I also sometimes resort to shortcuts….yes, I’m an android Twitterholic that sometimes gets lazy. Shortcuts are the key to fast android tweeting. There are many shortcuts to make your android tweeting faster and better. One great shortcut is “Inserty“(a copy and paste application) with this application you add all your most used comments and tweet art and you can easily copy and paste at anytime by going to this application. I copy and paste all my “•**♥” for my tweets.
Always appreciative of retweets, I make sure to thank or return the favor, but at times I am too busy to do that. A great way to not forget who to thank or RT is to add the tweets to my favorites on Twitter. I just press the favorite option on Tweetcaster and in seconds I have favorited tweets to my RT “make a to do list.” It is so easy and fast to do. Once I thank or retweet my Twitter friends I go ahead and unfavorite the tweet.
It is also very easy to send a” bulk thank you tweet”. The trick to this technique is simple. Start with selecting the reply option of the retweet, then copying the username, go to the next tweet select the reply option and add the previous username to that tweet by pasting it. Repeat the step over again, copy both usernames and go to the next tweet then reply and add the two usernames by pasting and so on. A handy application for android tweeting is Google Translate. When every someone tweets me with a language I am not familiar with, I copy and paste the tweet to this application and within a couple of minutes I thank the person for the tweet.
A fun application for me is Shazam. I am always looking for new music and if I hear a song I don’t know, Shazam is a great way to tag it and of course you can just go to your android’s YouTube application and view the music video.
The favorite part about android tweeting is how quickly you can take a picture with your android and upload it to Twitpic (make sure you go to your setting on your Twitter application and choose either Twitpic or Tweetphoto) I took and uploaded all my pictures to Twitpic from my trip to NYC and the pictures turned out good.
There are many applications to try, that will maximize your android tweeting experience. Great for a mom who’s life revolves around her kids. Android tweeting can be done while cooking dinner, grocery shopping, laundry and of course the exciting event of matching socks! Once you get used to it, you will get faster and like most of my Twitter friends…most will never know you are android tweeting.
Do you have some good android Tweeting tips? Please share them in the comments.
Two of the most prominently used methods of internet marketing are pay per click advertising and search engine optimization. How do they compare? When should you use either? Knowing how to properly use each can make a big difference in your ROI and traffic results.
- Speed of results. As much as some extreme cases for SEO may be flaunted, on average search engine optimization takes a while to have full effect. This can be a few weeks, a few months, even as long as a year to get desired results. Pay per click on the other hand will have results within a day. If you're interested in getting immediate results with a marketing method, PPC is your choice. You'll find out what keywords are more effective much more quickly and can adjust them almost real-time. SEO is better used for a researched keyword list using keywords you know will have desired results.
- Cost, immediate and long-term. PPC is very fast to produce results. You pay for the amount of traffic you want. If the traffic that searches for those keywords or browses the sites you advertise on exists, you can potentially pay thousands of dollars a month. For SEO, you generally will pay a large amount up front to get initial SEO work done, then a monthly amount to continue the SEO services. (This varies heavily, depending on where you pay for your SEO services.) On average, this is a higher cost than PPC for the same markets. If your PPC costs are high for every cost per click, chances are your SEO costs will also be high, and the same for markets with lower competition – both PPC and SEO will have costs relevant with the market value, and SEO is usually a higher cost.
- Results, long term value. PPC is good because it can provide instant results, and you can get immediate return on investment. SEO will not produce results immediately, but the long term value is much higher. The traffic growth on a good SEO campaign is exponential, and growth for a PPC campaign (if any) is usually linear. The difference between an organic position on page 2, position 9 on page 1, and position 1 on page 1 is immensely different. For PPC, the response for difference in positions is quite different, but the it is not as large as those from organic results. SEO will cost more but will provide a bigger long term result, if the keywords being optimized for are quality ones.
Knowing these details, it's recommended that you use PPC to do keyword research fully and test which keywords convert best before pushing into SEO. That way your costs can be adjusted quickly for different keywords, and the commitment to SEO can be done with tested keywords that have verified results. This will save you large costs and help produce definite outcomes.
As someone who is an avid link builder and search engine marketer, I spend half my day completely annoyed, wanting to pull all my eyelashes out. So many inexperienced link builders, more like spammers (just sayin), don’t know how to properly build links. Let’s go through a few of my link building pet peeves:
Dropping a link in a comment isn’t anything new, but what I hate most is when someone tries to drop dozens of links in one comment that don’t even apply to the post or site. Likely they’re comments placed by bots, but still. Come on people: linking to free porn videos on an eco-friendly blog 32 times is not going to do much for you. You really think you’re fooling anyone, especially a company worth billions like Google?
ESL Link Requests
“Dear Sirs, your site I find good. I like to procure link on site. Pay you for link. Thank you.” Wow, original right? Many are opposed to actually sending out link requests or paying for links, although they likely do it themselves. Whichever way you fall, it’s important to sound real and like you actually speak English when contacting sites and letting them know about a link you’d like to obtain on their site. Or heck, not even asking: just telling them about a great resource you found and letting them see for themselves whether or not it’s a great resource.
Outrageous Link Request Responses
“Why thank you for the link request. It’s people like you who degrade the internet and make it a hotbed for spammers. Go to hell you ***%#*@* *#$%^*&.” OR “Great resource you sent us. While we would like to link to your great content on our PR1 domain with 300 subscribers, it will cost you $1,000 a month. Our advertisers like our packages and we only place links on our site if you pay for them [up the nose].” There are always people on both ends of the spectrum, as is the case with link building. Those that hate link requests and proceed to tell you that you are the scum of the earth, or others who are trying to profit from something without actually understanding the value.
I wish I had a penny for every time I came across a site with hidden links, text or heading tags, or heck a hidden site! What were they thinking? Hiding anything from a visitor is just plain silly. Search engines can see it, so why on earth would you hide it from view? I know there are some components to a site that you want to hide, but text? Links? Headings? So annoying!
Link and Keyword Stuffing
Nothing grinds my gears more than seeing a page that is stuffed fuller than a turkey at Thanksgiving with juicy, delightful….links and keywords. “Keyword, link, keyword, filler text, keyword, link”. Not user friendly, and it makes my eyes hurt.
Massive Internal Links
Recently, I had a new client approach us to do some onsite SEO work. They literally had over 4,000 internal links to their homepage, many of which were linking using the words ‘click here’. And guess what? They weren’t even an eCommerce site! Ugh, talk about driving you crazy. But wowsas did their rankings increase when we fixed up their onsite issues.
What are some of the link building or SEO tactics you see that just grind your gears?
When you’re new to link building it’s easy to get discouraged. Getting links can be challenging work, fraught with failure, rejection, mistakes, and sometimes character assassinations. Just like politics. Someone can learn how to speak in public, fund raise and debate. But you cannot teach charisma, tenacity and integrity. Those qualities are simply instinctive. Well, we may have fewer babies and grandmas to kiss, but there are certain instinctual qualities that help with learning to build links. And over time those skills can be cultivated and honed. Sure, not every link builder will turn out to be a Superstar, but with the right training most people can learn to get quality links on a consistent basis. Here’s how.
It’s important to establish some ground rules for link builders. Make sure they know what kind of link building they are doing, and what kind of links they should be getting. Not because the link builder is stupid or a slippery character, but because certain things are just dangerous and a new link builder won’t know any better. You don’t want a new link builder to accidentally email http://www.mattcutts.com offering money or talking about Page Rank and getting links for rankings. Most people who are new to link building just don’t understand the mine field they are walking into and could easily set off a series of explosions which could rattle your entire business. Set boundaries; teach them to pay attention to details and instruct them as to where the really dangerous traps are, BEFORE they fall into one.
The best course of action is probably to provide a full scale education on the ins and outs of SEO and the function and risks of link building as a whole. But if that’s not possible, a specific set of rules is essential. And a little fear of God for breaking them never hurts either.
Set specific goals
Along those lines, link builders also need goals. Clearly the purpose of any link builder’s day is to get links. But what kind of links? What level of quality? I can go out and score 50 directory links a day or 1,000 links across one site or a network of sites. But are those really the links we want? Beware of a goals structure which is purely numbers based. Emphasizing the ends without any attention to the means can (and often will) result in cheating, corner cutting and flat out bad decision making. Define good and bad links, and use measurements which reflect those characteristics.
Teaching link builders to understand links as a part of the “big picture” can help them become more invested in the process. Obtaining a specific number of links is somewhat gratifying, but seeing the positive effect links can have on a web site can be truly exciting. A link builder will find more satisfaction when the emphasis is placed on the larger goal as opposed to the micro-chasm of simply getting a certain number of links. There will be a greater sense of fulfillment and a stronger tendency to make the right choices.
Create a system
If you let a bunch of link builders loose on a stylistic free for all you will get erratic results at best. But by creating a system for getting links, you have a process to follow. And in using a process, you can gauge strengths and weaknesses, both within the system itself and the link builders. Each step of the system should be simple and easy to replicate. It’s also helpful if each part of the process can be examined on its own and tailored to suit each link builder’s individual style.
Templates in general are good, but humanized spam is bad. If your link builder is simply a human version of a robot, then it might be cheaper just to create an automated system to serve the same function. Auto-bots don’t require health care, lunch breaks or whine when the bathroom is out of paper towels. But they inevitably lack the judgment and insight that a humans bring to the process. And everyone who’s ever gotten an automated email knows that SPAM reads like SPAM no matter how may smiley emoticons you put in the message.
The other benefit to using human link builders is that they are unique, and will excel in different areas. By watching how a link builder meets their goals and performs various functions of a link building system you can begin to see where their talents lie. Whether the strength is in identifying what will get links, who will give links or even just exceptional hand to keyboard speed, recognizing each link builder’s talents can be a crucial part of the training process. When link builders are allowed to focus on their fortes and use some creativity, managers will usually discover a host of new ideas, new techniques and, of course, their future trainers.
Over time most people can develop a talent for link building. Most link builders will inevitably grow the gut reaction to just know when something is right or wrong, possible or impossible, a good idea or a bad one. Yes, those instincts themselves may be difficult to “train” in someone. But with rules, goals, a system and a focus on utilizing strengths where they naturally occur, you will create a staff that is eager to learn, produce, and excel at the art of getting links.
Twitter is an awesome example of how a basic idea can be evolved into something huge. Started as the way to tell the world "What you are doing", it now has hundreds of various uses.
This is how social media works: you start a social media project and people will make it into what it should be. There is no way to control that.
Various people have different opinions on how Twitter should be used. To my mind, it is up to everyone. I am not a big fan of Twitter ethics: if you don’t like someone, just don’t follow him!
That being said, everyone has the right to use Twitter the way he wants. Would you like to know which group of Twitter users you fall into?
Here’s a quiz I made (with Gerald’s help of course) that will help you define your Twitter user type.
You are highly encouraged to share your result in the comments. You can also Tweet your result, embed it to your blog or share on facebook. Good luck!
As blog commenting becomes more popular as a form of link building and traffic generation, there is a steady increase of those who are trying to abuse the blog commenting system. But as many comment abusers are starting to learn, with the increase in spam is an increase in systems (such as Akismet) designed to thwart their attempts. So commenting abusers are finding more creative ways to bypass these systems and look more legit.
Commenting Faux Pas
So how do bloggers determine which comments to keep and which ones to trash or mark as spam? Here are some major faux pas and red flags when it comes to commenting.
“Wow, what a great post. This is my first time to visit here, and I like everything so much that I have subscribed.”
Sounds like a great comment, right? It’s easy, especially for new bloggers or those who are struggling to get comments / subscribers to fall for this type of flattery. But the problem with this comment is that it could go with any post on pretty much any site.
Comments from the Same IP
“Angie | this domain.com | email@example.com | 126.96.36.199 | Blah blah blah blah blah…”
“Tera | that domain.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 188.8.131.52 | Blah blah blah blah blah…”
“Tom | other domain.com | email@example.com | 184.108.40.206 | Blah blah blah blah blah…”
Many blog systems allow blog owners to view the IP address of their commenters. If several comments come in using different names, different emails, different websites, but the same IP address, this is going to be a huge tipoff that the comments are all spam.
“Social media is a really nice way to generate traffic. And YouTube is the best (in our opinion) means to do it. Maybe this is because one has to invest some time and efforts in making a video, so one naturally tends to make a video which is REALLY interesting for people. It’s much easier to “tweet” something, so more often than not one “tweets” rather “something about nothing” (at the same time – unfortunatlly!! – spamming the internet).”
“I’m happy to see more and more of my favorite charities on Facebook and even on Twitter sometime. I do whatever I can to help by sharing their FB messages and retweeting their tweets.”
“I have had a facebook for a long time but it was just recently that I began using it again actively. I also created a fan page and as of now is on the building and growing process. I know i have yet more to learn regarding using facebook to its full potential and advantage. It is my first time to hear about facebook insight. Will definitely be giving it a try. Thanks for sharing.”
“Social media is a really nice way to generate traffic. I’m happy to see more and more of my favorite charities on Facebook and even on Twitter sometime. I have had a facebook for a long time but it was just recently that I began using it again actively. Thanks for sharing.”
A new trend in spam commenting is taking bits and pieces of approved comments and sewing them together into a “unique” new comment. If the blog owner is in tune with their reader’s responses, they will get a feeling of deja vu which will tip them off if they have received a copied comment.
When I first made the decision to consolidate all of my various and many email accounts over to gmail, I was initially very frustrated with the fact that Google’s gmail only allows you to create a plain text email signature. I was seriously like what the ****?! #GoogleFail!
This was a real issue for me because I have been using a nice flashy html signature for many years.
However this was only an issue until I stumbled upon a post Ann Smarty had written back in 2008 titled SEO Consultant’s Email Signature – What’s Your Tactic? One of the commentators in the post mentioned a cool firefox plugin for easily creating email signatures.
Once you have the plugin installed, as you can see from the screenshot below, the WYSIWYG editor is very simple, straight forward and easy to use. You can easily switch between visual and html mode, as well as add your blog’s RSS feed, IM ID’s and all of your social networks along with their icons.
Other Key features
- Easily switch between email signature (business & personal)
- Easy to use WYSIWYG editor (switch between visual & html mode)
- Ability to add your blog’s RSS feed
- Automatically insert signature into webmail Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo mail, Hotmail etc
- Easily include instant messaging ID’s & icons
- Ability to link to all of your social profiles (48 different options)
- Easily add an image or logo
- Quick preview
For those of you that haven’t received an email from me yet, here is what my current email signature created with wisestamp looks like.
Wisestamp has a nice gallery of email signatures where you can see some additional examples for inspiration.
Add a nice RSS subscribe button to your signature using feedburner
Feedburner has a very neat RSS email signature widget. Here are the simple steps. Login to your feedburner account, click on your feed, click on publicize, click on email signature.
Now you will have several options to customize the look and feel. Once you have it the way you like, select (just give me the code) from the drop down menu and you can just paste this into the html editor for wisestamp.
Do you have any cool email signature tips? Please let us know about them in the comments.
SEO Copywriting is typically not a difficult skill to master. Provided that you have some grasp of how keywords function in your writing and write well without grammatical mistakes, you can usually be sure that the search engine optimization of your writing has already been taken care of for you. However, there are ways that you can take your SEO content to the next level.
- Think About the Man AND the Machine. Do not make the mistake of assuming that only the crawlers need to like your SEO Copywriting. You can write pages that earn you a very high rank on Google but, if visitors do not enjoy reading it, they will likely not trust the content or link back to it.
- Get Rid of the Fluff.Whenever you complete a sentence, ask yourself what value it gives to the reader. Of course, introductions will have some expository information. However, the remainder of your SEO Copywriting should be good solid facts and information.
- Dense Keywords – Not Saturated Keywords. Your main keyword should be situated at the beginning of your article, in the majority of paragraphs in your main body and relatively close to the end. Do not try to overuse keywords in your article. Total keyword saturation should be around 2-3%.
- Bringing Words Out With Accents. Save your bold, italic and underlined words for keywords. This will bring keywords not only to the attention of your readers, but to the attention of search engines. However, using these techniques too often, especially when the words are not keywords, can have a detrimental effect on your SEO Copywriting.
- Content is King, Lists are Emperors. Today’s Internet readers love lists. If your article cannot be a list, be sure to include a few within your article. Lists are a great way to squeeze some keywords economically into content and are easy to scan.
- Frames = Mistakes. It’s very simple. Do not use frames. They will destroy your content and likely prevent it from being recognized properly by search engines. Enough said.
- Keep HTML Code Simple. HTML code is a simple tool to help you keep your content organized. However, stick to simple HTML codes when creating content. Paragraph, header and list tags as well as a few strong tags on keywords are all that are needed with good SEO Copywriting.
This is a guest post by Corry Cummings, who enjoys internet marketing and content writing. He runs a custom content creation business.
What’s the most important factor that determines whether your press release gets read by an editor or thrown away? It’s the headline. With editors and journalists receiving hundreds of press releases each day, they typically scan over the headlines to determine which ones seem interesting enough to read fully.
With that in mind, your goal is to write a powerful headline that sucks cynical editors and journalists in, making them want to learn more about your story. This gives your press release the best chance of getting picked up, earning your company valuable coverage.
Here are some tips to write better press release headlines.
- Strive for being clear rather than clever—Don’t write your headline to impress other writers by showing how “clever” you are. Editors are only concerned with trying to figure out what your story is about. Your press release headline should clearly reflect what’s covered in the body of your press release. Focus on answering as many of the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions in your headline as possible.
Here’s a little test you can run to determine if your headline is clear enough or not. Send just the headline to several friends. Ask them to describe what they think the rest of the story is about. If they can’t make a decent guess, it’s probably time to rewrite your headline.
- Make sure the headline is accurate—Don’t try to trick editors into reading your press release by misleading them in your headline. A misleading headline might grab their attention for a moment, but it will lead to them getting upset when they find out you’ve duped them. This will cause you to lose all credibility, and it will burn any potential relationships you have with the media.
- Ditch the hype—Sure, the goal of press release distribution is to build brand awareness and to create a buzz around your brand. However, that doesn’t mean you should treat your press release like an advertisement for your products and services. It’s not. So, your headline shouldn’t sound like Billy Mays (RIP) wrote it. By all means, be interesting, but above all else, be factual and straightforward.
- Lists work—There’s no denying it: List headlines just work. You see them on blogs, magazine covers, and in newspapers. The reasons lists work are because they clearly describe what the story is about, are easy to scan through quickly, and can create controversy and debate.
So, when you’re thinking of an angle for your press release, try to find a way to structure it in list form. I think you’ll find it gets a lot more attention than most other headline formats.
- Keep it short—If you can’t get the main idea across in about 10 words or less, you don’t have a good enough grasp on what your message really is. Remember, the reporters and editors you’re sending your press release to are in a hurry. They’ll likely only give you a few seconds of their attention, so you need to get your message across quickly. Focus on creating concise headlines that clearly deliver your message. Write several different versions of your headline to find the perfect combination of brevity and clarity.
- Include the targeted keyword—Never forget the importance of optimizing your press release. The search engines tend to favor press releases, giving them high rankings for the targeted keywords. Always try to get your main keyword in the headline, and whenever possible, place it toward the front of the headline.
Do you use press releases to spread the word about your business? How have your press release marketing efforts helped your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: press release samples