How to Write Headlines that Will Help You Reach Introverts

How to Write Headlines that Will Help You Reach Introverts

How to Write Headlines that Will Help You Reach Introverts

Keep Your Promise

That’s not so difficult, is it? If you promise something with your headline, keep your word. Deliver what you’ve promised. So: no click-baity headlines for introverts. Instead, prove your point and show us what you mean.

Draw Us in

Draw Us in

Draw Us in

Don’t hit us over the head with your idea. Let us process all the parts of your proposition. Like most other things about introverts, we process more slowly, and perhaps more thoroughly, than others might. Luckily, we can take as much time as we need if we’re reading. By the way, here’s an article that you might like: Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media that Will Impress Your Friends.

 photo

Stop Talking

Seriously. Don’t talk so much. We like some silence, and that can help us as much as anything. If you’re writing headlines, keep them shorter and to the point.

light show photo

Don’t Use Lots of Useless Punctuation

Any headline with an exclamation point will probably get skipped over. Quotes and an ellipses? Probably not helpful, either. And if you use both an exclamation point and ellipses? Stop right there! Let’s not even start on all the ellipses abuse that’s happening right now. Note that the definition of an ellipses is the omission of a sentence from one or more words. It’s not to show others that your voice is trailing off. So stop abusing that poor ellipses! Now that deserves an exclamation point.

 photo

Use Humor

A little humor never hurt anybody, did it? Humor is one way to Revamp Your Social Media–when used sparingly. Light heartedness might even be part of your brand’s style. In which case it’s mandatory! Just kidding. Not really.

 photo

We Don’t Need Glitter

While we introverts do love cats, we don’t need as much glitter as extroverts do. And by the way, did you know that Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives? Probably written by an introvert, wouldn’t you say?

Keep it Brief and Inviting

Shorter headlines rock. And another thing? Don’t repeat the headline all over the place in each paragraph, even if it’s good for your SEO. That is annoying to everyone.

 photo

Accept That Headlines Are Limited

Sometimes even the best headline can’t convey a message accurately. So, in the body of your article or post, imagery or music may be able to express what the headline can’t. You can only say so much with words. Here’s an article that resonated with me: Introverts aren’t voiceless—they’re quietly powerful.

light show photo

What Type of Headline Draws You In?

Let me know! And tell me if you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Thank you.

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

This is one of those topics I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. Ok, here’s the deal. You need to think about what you write on your Pinterest pins as being searchable headlines. Because they are. Searchable, that is. After you read this post, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to write the text for your pins. I call it headline writing because it’s similar. For how to write other types of headlines, you might like this article, Headline Writing: 10 Reasons It’s a Pain in the Asterisk.

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

This is a thing that many marketers don’t get. Pinterest is a search engine. Pinterest does a lot of stuff that Google doesn’t. Here’s a fantastic article about Pinterest Search, by the way. So if you write “this is great,” or “hoo boy” on an otherwise great pin, nobody is going to find that pin. It could theoretically come across someone’s stream, but for the most part, it will be invisible.

How Do You Search?

How Do You Search?

How Do You Search?

Think about how you search. Get on Pinterest right now and do a search for “carnitas.” Now look at the guided search results. You can refine your search by adding the words “Mexican,” “Slow Cooker,” “Paleo,” etc. If your recipe includes all those terms already, why not include those words in your description?

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Here are some examples of bad, better, and best descriptions, using the carnitas example from the last paragraph:

Bad Headline: Yummy recipe!
Better Headline: Delicious Pork Carnitas Recipe!
Best: Mexican Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas – Super easy pulled pork recipe and an amazing way to get juicy, mouth-watering results!

You can see from your search on Carnitas that the top search results already have quite a few good search terms, plus a beautiful, vertical image.

Description Length

Don’t make the mistake a lot of people make and include only a character or a single word in your pin’s description. Add information that lets other pinners know what is behind the pin. Is there simply an image? Is there a full article about cruises to the Mediterranean? Some studies show that descriptions should be 200 characters long to be the most repinnable.

Best Words

Some words are better than other words for Pinterest. You may want to use your own keywords, if you know them, in your pinned blog posts. Take a look at Mashable’s article most popular searches, by country, for 2015. Can any of them be applied to what you pin? Your pin might not necessarily go viral, but you could get a few more repins by using better terms, even if those words aren’t about mason jars, cats, or DIY pallet projects!

Make Your Description Flow

Make Your Description Flow

Make Your Description Flow

Write in a concise, short sentence, if possible. If you must use a phrase, make sure it makes sense. For instance, if you’re pinning something from your own blog, describe what it’s about and why someone would want to click on the link.

Avoid Hashtags

When Pinterest first appeared on the scene, people used hashtags. Sometimes too many hashtags. Now Pinterest is moving away from hashtags, and if your post has too many hashtags, your pin could be labeled as spam.

Pinterest Image Sizes

No post about Pinterest would be complete without a discussion on pin size. You might have a fabulous description with keywords, but a lousy picture. Don’t do that! Here’s a good article on pin sizes. That said, the longer, skinnier pins do the best on Pinterest.

Study Your Own Pins

Study Your Own Pins! The pin above has been repinned nearly 7,000 times.

Study Your Own Pins

Which of your own pins has been popular? For instance, the pin above continues to be repinned one year after it was pinned! Can you tell why? Repeat what you did with that pin, if possible!

 

 

Insomnia: A Social Media Manager’s Battle

Insomnia: A Social Media Manager's Battle

Insomnia: A Social Media Manager’s Battle

Social media managers often get insomnia. I read about it one time on Mashable. I was sleepy, but I think that’s where it was. We worry about getting online traffic, clicks, and a whole host of other ridiculous things, such as the following.

The Ridonculous Headline

We worry about silly things like headlines. You’ve all heard that the headline is the most important part of writing an article or blog post. It needs to be catchy, but not linkbait. You want people to click on that link and then dive into the blog post. You might want to read about why headline writing is such a pain in the asterisk.

Forgetting

With social media, there’s always more to do. One more tweet to write, one more person to talk to, one more half-baked task to implement. So while you’re trying to sleep, there’s always a little voice saying “what did you forget to do?”

The Stupid Call to Action

As if writing a decent Facebook post isn’t hard enough, there’s always that stupid call to action. Sometimes it’s implied, but usually not. It can be a question, such as “tell me what you would do,” “do you agree?” “Tell us! Yes or No.” Sometimes it’s a button to subscribe or sign up for a newsletter. Hubspot has some terrific call to action examples, by the way.

The Ludicrous Return on Investment

If you track everything carefully and use your analytics, you can figure out where you’re getting the most return on investment (ROI). But with social media, it’s more like your audience gets warmed up before making a sale. Could you track where every single customer comes from?

The Image

The Image

The Compelling Image

Is the image captivating enough? Does it tell a story? Is it boring? Again, without sliding over into linkbait, the image has to ride that fine edge between captivating and linkbait. Will your audience lean in to see what’s happening in the image? Line, color, and texture all need to work together.

Timing

Timing is another preposterous thing to consider. If you post too early, no one will be awake (except the other insomniacs who haven’t been to bed yet. Post too late and only the zombies and creatures of the night will see it. Then again, you don’t want to do what everyone else does! That late night post just might get picked up and go viral! It could happen!

What if No One Shows up to the Twitter Chat?

What if No One Shows up to the Twitter Chat?

What If There’s a Chat and No One Shows Up?

Akin to “if a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there…”. You tweet out carefully crafted questions and nobody answers. Tick-tock, Tick-tock, Tick-tock. Crickets. Getting those first few people to join your chat can take forever. Meantime, you have to keep plugging away, and whistling a happy tune.

Scheduling Versus Being Online Live

Scheduling Versus Being Online Live

Scheduling Versus Being Online Live

Do you wait around for someone to respond to your tweet? Or do you post, go away, and come back three days later? That’s the dilemma right there. Of course, the more you’re online, the better your chances are of making a good contact. And as my buddy, Bridget Willard says, “Relationships are long-term investments.”

What Dopey Things Keep You Up At Night?

What Dopey Things Keep You Up At Night?

What Dopey Things Keep You Up At Night?

Leave me a ridiculous comment!

 

 

 

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it’s a Pain in the Asterisk*

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it's a Pain in the Asterisk

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it’s a Pain in the Asterisk

You have a perfect topic for your next blog post. You go out and take a million beautiful photos, all photoshopped and sized just right for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest cross-posting. Then you suddenly realize: you don’t have a headline! Has this ever happened to you? Here’s why headline writing is so tough!

Everybody Says to Spend More Time on Headlines

Your headline is the first thing people see. In fact, some people will retweet or report that snazzy article of yours without even reading it. Not convinced by me? Read these articles, then (Copyblogger says to spend 50% of your time writing the headline):

So there’s a lot of pressure to come up with something grand.

A Good Headline Can Help Your Post Go Viral

A Good Headline Can Help Your Post Go Viral

A Good Headline Can Create a Viral Post

If you haven’t read my When Posts Go Viral: Four Lessons, you might want to take a look. A controversial headline (for instance, Is it Time to Quit Facebook?) can spark people’s emotions and cause a small or large furor. Again, no pressure (just kidding!).

Headline Writing: Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Headline Writing: Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Like a good tweet, a good headline needs to have all the right elements. It can’t be too short or too long. The important words need to be near the beginning of the headline. And you need to include “power words,” like “secret” and “magic.” And so on. Is that not a pain in the asterisk?

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Every blogger wants traffic, right? When that post you wrote explodes all over the Interwebs, your blog gets a boost, you get more followers, and that 15 minutes of fame will follow you from platform to platform. So that’s another reason you have to get it right.

You Can’t Outsource It

Everybody has outsourced everything. I’m surprised we don’t remove our own hair and ship it to the Philippines (no disrespect to anyone in the Philippines–it’s just something I’d prefer to do myself). But if you want your post to be in your own words, then you have to do the work yourself.

Pain Points: Sisyphus, via Beth Scupham

Pain Points: Sisyphus, via Beth Scupham

Pain Points

Your audience experiences pain, just as you experience pain when you try to write a headline. So you want that headline to draw your reader in. The headline has to be magnetic enough so people will want to read it. It might be fun to write, but if it’s not fun to read? Fuhgetaboutit!

I'm Trying to Think But Nothing Happens!

I’m Trying to Think But Nothing Happens!

You Thought You Were Done

You outlined that article, got your topic sentences down, have all kinds of good images, and now you have to come up with a headline? Are you kidding?

The World is A Noisy Place

The world is getting noisier, and more crowded. The Internet has more people competing for the same space. So your headline has to be the juicy, juicy hamburger, and not the bun! It has to stand out.

Headline Writing: Your Headline is the Juicy Meat, Not the Bun

Headline Writing: Your Headline is the Juicy Meat, Not the Bun

When You Try to Think, Nothing Happens

You can only come up with one-word headlines, or headlines that don’t make sense. If you think they’re boring, what will your readers think?

Always keep one eye open. You never know who's lurking.

Always keep one eye open. You never know who’s lurking.

You Come Up with a Perfect Headline and Someone Steals it

It’s not a very good feeling, is it? But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then is stealing even more flattering? I don’t think so.

*And you know what that asterisk really stands for, right?

 

 

 

What I’ve Learned from 100 Blog Posts

What I've Learned from 100 Blog Posts

What I’ve Learned from 100 Blog Posts

If you’ve been reading my blog, first of all, let me say how much I appreciate you. I am very blessed that I’ve gotten so many comments, and learned so much from all of you, out there reading these words. Because I’d heard all kinds of horror stories about people blogging for YEARS and never getting one. Single. Comment. I’ve been lucky enough to have extremely engaged readers and comments on nearly every post.

Now that I’ve written 100 posts, here’s some stuff I’ve learned. By the way, thanks for the inspiration to Randy Clark and his What We’ve Learned From 300 Posts.

Use Beautiful Images

Images are one of the most important aspects of a blog. Some people, I’m convinced, don’t read at all, but skim the headings and look at the pretty pictures. So I make an effort to use Flickr’s Creative Commons or my own photos whenever possible. Maybe in the future, blogs won’t even have words, just images. When I began, I stuck to the formula of two photos per post, but now sometimes use more.

Mistakes Were Made

I once made the mistake of using someone’s photo and got a “takedown notice.” Since then, I make sure to check in Creative Commons by using the Advanced Search and only using those available for commercial use so that doesn’t happen again! Wow. That was embarrassing.

Secret Killer Aliens from Outer Space!

Headlines matter. A lot. And stacking the important (read: SEO-centric) words towards the beginning of the headline is important. For instance, rather than saying “Most Important Hashtags on Twitter,” say “Twitter: Important Hashtags.” And shorter is better on headlines, too, for ranking. Not that every headline has to follow a formula, but it’s something I’m more aware of now. I learned about the SEO-centric headlines from friend Pam Aungst Marketing.

WordCamp!

Going to WordCamp provides inspiration and inspiration is the juice that keeps your blogging engine fueled. So I highly recommend finding a WordCamp and attending. I’ve gone to both WordCamp Orange County and WordCamp San Francisco (the mother ship!). And each time have made numerous new friends, as well as meeting online friends like Peter Woolvett and Ruby Rusine!

My Secret Weapon

My Secret Friend

My Secret Friend

Yes, I have an editor friend. See? There she is behind that tree. She promised me I could take her picture–and she didn’t really lie. She is a real person, and she has helped me when I’ve painted myself into a grammatical corner many times. She doesn’t help me with every single post, but you can definitely tell when she does help. Because those posts make a whole lot more sense (and also contain more references to clowns)! Also: subject-verb agreement For The Win!

Syndication

My blog is syndicated on Business to Community, sometimes appears in Yahoo Small Business! and Women of Technology. That has helped with traffic and probably brought me more followers and fans.

Don’t Worry That You Won’t Have Topics

I’m convinced that writing has helped me with my listening skills. Now I’m always listening for the question that someone might have. Many posts are inspired by my followers or fans. And I’ve been surprised at how many friends I’ve made among other bloggers, too. It’s a little community.

Unexpected Results

Blogging has helped me to go to cool places in my own imagination. I very often start writing and don’t know where a post is going. Some of my favorite posts have come out of times when I really didn’t feel like writing, but forced myself. What do you get out of blogging? Do you have a secret friend who encourages you to write about clowns?

 

 

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed