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Do You Want Your Articles to be Read? Do This

Remember the old riddle, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a noise?" If you write articles, ask yourself, "If I write a great article and no one reads it, does it still do its job?" The simple answer is: NO! You could be the best article writer, but if the title of your article is just a boring label it will not attract attention and all of your effort will go down the drain. TEST YOURSELF The next time you are waiting in line at the supermarket, read the article titles on the covers of the women's magazines and figure out what it is about them that attracts millions of sales each week. Which titles attract your attention and why? The best titles will always offer to solve a problem, tell the reader how to get something he or she wants. or warn of a big problem the reader might experience if they don't read the article. WHICH ARTICLE WOULD YOU RATHER READ? It is clear that the most important words any article writer will write are the ones in the title. In fact, the title of an article can either attract or repel readers.

Here are two sets of headlines to analyze: "Activities Kids Enjoy" OR "Give Your Kids A Summer To Remember" "Make Staying Healthy A Priority" OR "5 Symptoms You Can't Ignore" In each case, the titles refer to the same topic, but the second one conveys a benefit that the potential reader desires. They use the word "you" to make the appeal more personal. One appeals to a parent's desire to "give" to their children (emotional) and the other peaks curiosity and fear. Chances are, you would choose to read the second article titles over the first ones if they both popped up in a search engine. NO YAWNING ALLOWED The titles of your articles should invite further attention, not a yawn.

It may take a little more time to come up with an interesting and compelling title, but it is well worth your time. There are several ways to generate article titles that stand out from the crowd and get read. Here are a few examples: --Use numbers, such as "5 Steps to True Happiness" or "3 Good Reasons to Choose Fixed Insurance Over Variable." You don't have to limit number titles to list-style articles. Nearly any article can be broken up into a number of steps or reasons. --Create a play on words using a popular phrase. For example, an article about how to wash the outside of your second-floor windows might be titled "Don't Let Window Washing be a Pane in Your Neck." --Make your title a question: "Can You Really Make Money Online?" --Compare something to something else: "Why Apples are Just Like Oranges." --Fill in the blank: "How To (Blank)," "From (Blank) to (Blank)," or "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About (Blank)." REMEMBER THE BEST MEAL YOU EVER HAD, THEN WRITE When you write a great headline, it is like eating desert before dinner.

Your article is the meat, your resource box is the potatoes, but your headline is the promise of sweet things to come. Copyright Georganne Fiumara.


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