What Copyblogger Hasn’t Told You About Writing Real Estate Blog Headlines

Many bloggers are under the false impression that it is what their posts contain that will attract readers.

Although this is true to some degree, it is really the headline that is most effective in the search engines and in the minds of your next visitor.

Bloggers are in the business of headline writing –
fail to understand that,
and fail to attract the readership your hard work deserves.

Consider the audience you are reaching.

New-York-Post-Headline

Internet users are scanning large amounts of content, looking for something that either meets their needs, or catches their attention.

Your articles will appear in the following locations:

Inbox (email RSS subscribers)
RSS Feed Reader (Bloglines, Netvibes, GoogleReader, etc.)
Social Bookmarking Sites (Digg, reddit, RealEstateVoices.com)
Social Networks (ActiveRain, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
Search Engines (Google, Google and Goolge)

Is all cases, you are competing to be noticed.  A poor headline will render your article invisible.

Brian Clark of Copyblogger has said nearly all that can be said about writing and formulating effective headlines.  Nonetheless, after absorbing all I can from his efforts, I have a headline writing formula that I share with our students as template model for developing headlines that get noticed.

Emotion – Make your audience feel something they can relate to.

Emotion can be brought out in several ways:

Extreme words: best, most, never, crucial, perfect
Emotional words: scary, sad, mean, fun
Playful words: secret, hidden, unknown, forgotten, exciting…
Curiosities: celebrities, well knowns, news items, buzz words…
-Use something attention grabbing

The Bad: Interest Rates Are Unpredictable
The Good: The 4 Crucial Reasons You Don’t Want To Wait On Interest Rates

Call To Action – What am I going to take away from this article?  Don’t hide it in the body.

A poor headline will render your article invisible.

Improve on something
Teach something
Overcome something
Uncover something
-Just offer something

The Bad: The Real Estate Loan Broken Down
The Good: 5 Simple Solutions To Getting Organized For A Real Estate Loan

Keywords – Make sure you are being found for terms that match your focus.

Work your focus into your titles
The Title is the most weighted element in your articles search engine success
Search engines aren’t going to give you credit for keywords, unless you include them

The Bad: Friends Don’t Let Friends Pay 6%
The Good: Friends Don’t Let Friends Pay 6% In Real Estate Commissions

Description – Bring it all together, and lay it all out there.

Tell the whole story in a sentence
Avoid confusion with description
Avoid assumptions; your audience shouldn’t have to guess what your writing about

The Bad: The Real Estate Transaction Is Not That Difficult
The Good: Exactly Why The Real Estate Transaction Process Is Easier Than Getting A Tattoo.
The environment in which your headlines appear, and the impatience with which they are glanced, demands that you grab your audience by the collar and force them to notice you.  Otherwise, something else will get their attention, and you lose.

Bonus

Make your headlines look like headlines that are important, but not obnoxious.

Avoid using all CAPS and avoid writing in lower case.  Think magazine headlines: They Look Like This.