I have two thoughts on numbered headlines. I know they are all the rage in the blogging world, so I thought I’d address both the good and bad in them. One one hand, I think they are a great way to grab readers’ attention, but on the other hand, I think they often over promise and under deliver. So without further ado, here is the good and bad of numbered headlines.
1.) Numbered headlines are easy to scan
This can be so important when blogging. The way information is shared on a blog is much different than any other medium. There are so many blogs out there, and you have to give the option of scanning so readers can figure out if what you are writing about really is worth their time.
2.) Numbered headlines help organize thoughts
When writing a blog post it can be extremely easy to ramble on and on and on. But if your points are numbered, then it automatically organizes your thoughts. Whenever I write numbered blog posts, I write the main points first (the part that gets numbered) and then go back to add the rest.
3.) People like reading headlines with numbers in them
Quite frankly, the entire reason you write blog posts is to get others to read them, so why not use a tactic that has proven to work? I am sure there is some psychology behind it, but blog posts with numbered headlines really do get more traffic. Why not take advantage of that?
1.) It can be very hard to deliver on your promises
So I wrote a blog post titled: 6 Ways To Alleviate The Pressure of Being Awesome. The value in the post was some people are so scared of social media that they won’t even dip a toe into it. But they need to get over that fear and go for it. I gave 6 ways to re-think social media in order to understand it’s better to try it and fail then never to try it. I hope I succeeded in my task ( I even interviewed a therapist about it), but perhaps I didn’t. I promised 6 ways to help take off the pressure, but what if none of those 6 ways worked for one of my readers? Then I didn’t deliver. There is always the risk of promising in a headline and not delivering.
2.) You can end up writing reasons that don’t make sense
If you’re determined to write a blog post that gives 7 ways buying your product will rock your customer’s world, but you can only think of 6, then you may compromise what you’re trying to say in order to get a headline. I do not condone this. I started out this blog post with 7 reasons to write and not write headlines with numbers, but I quickly found out I did not have 7 reasons, so I adjusted. 7 seems to be most headlines’ favorite number, but if you’re a slave to a number, your blog post will suffer.
3.) It can get boring
I try not to write number headlines too often because I think it’s really important to keep posts interesting and varied. Those bloggers whose every post starts with a number may get a lot of daily traffic from them, but eventually, in my opinion, people will start knowing what to expect and quickly lose interest. Keep your headlines varied and your topics varied and only bring out the numbers when it really makes sense.
That’s my take on the pros and cons of numbered headlines. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think numbered headlines. Are you like me, and more likely to read headlines with numbers in them? Are you like me and also find them to be a bit of a bully? Let me know your thoughts.
Welcome to the second post in this week’s series all about blogging.
If you want your blog to support your business and bring you revenue and customers, you need a blog that is reliable, interesting, and helpful.
Your blog is one of the best and more important business-generating tools in your stockpile. So understanding how to blog well can be a real asset to your marketing plans.
One of the best ways to learn how to blog better is to read blogs about blogging. However, the truth is the niche of blogging about blogging is oversaturated and can be an awfully scary place to try to navigate.
It is possible to spend the next fifty years reading articles on how to blog better. And here I am adding to that over-saturation. However, this post is simple a compilation of all the posts I have read and found helpful and thoughtful. I am not going to add my own thoughts to this, but I hope that these posts written by the leaders in their field bring you as much help as they brought me.
This post was written by Annabel Candy, of Get In the Hotspot. It was published on Copyblogger on April 20, 2010.
It’s a broad overview of what many of the most successful bloggers out there do in order to be successful. We all want to be successful, right?
This post was written by Chris Borgan on December 4, 2008.
It’s a list of 40 ways to blog better, and written in very short, very concise rules. Just to give you an idea of how easy these are to digest, his first rule is: Brevity rules. Can you say it briefly?
This post was written by Jay Baerl on May 19, 2009.
This is a meat and potatoes post. It goes over the main factors that go into blogging from headline to photos.
This post was written by Michael Aagaard on December 8, 2009.
It is a very zen way to think about blogging and it uses different terminology which may resonate more than posts that use mostly jargon.
This post was written by Rick Burnes on October 27, 2008.
This feels like one of those lists couples are supposed to go over together before getting married. Not everything is totally applicable right now, but eventually it will be. Make sure you’re planning for the future.
This post was written by Lisa Barone on July 26, 2010.
I like this post because it makes you sit back and think why you like other blogs and how you can apply those lessons to yourself. Plus she makes some really good points.
This post was written by Brian Clark on July 30, 2006. It’s an oldie but a goodie.
I talked about this post yesterday too. The truth is headlines really do matter, and this post has some great tips for those who find it difficult to draw people in via headlines.
I hope these posts are of some help when thinking about how to blog better. Understanding the craft of blogging and how it can bring in business and recognition is a skill worth learning. What are some of your favorite articles? Do you have anyone I didn’t mention that you swear by when it comes to learning about blogging?