Often we put a lot of effort into finding one perfect headline. We can spend ages crafting those perfect lines and trying to make this one headline that doesn’t descend into “bating and switch” , reflects the article and yet is impossible to resist. However, should we really just think about writing one perfect headline? Maybe we need to start thinking more about writing multiple headlines.
Think about Different Audiences
A key principle of marketing is address your writing to the person you want to reach. You might thinking this suggest that you should write the same thing and post it everywhere, but actually it’s a little more complicated than that. Sure your post should remain the same, after all it is for the same ideal person. However if you start to think of your shared blog posts like ads then you can see how it is worth changing them.
If you are sharing to a group of Christian Authors then maybe you want to emphasis how it applies to the life of a writer, if you are sharing to a group of pastors then think about how it applies to a pastor or how they have the same problem but in a different way. Here is an actually example, Imagine you have written a post about procrastination and you are sharing to two different groups, a group of christian authors and a group of church pastors. What problems do they face?
- authors need help to focus on and beat the resistance when starting to write part of a book.
- pastors need help to start planning their sermon this week.
That’s just a couple of examples but you can see how the issue is the same but they face it at a different point in time. By writing a different headline for different social media groups when you share it then it will reach that specific group better.
Think about the Characteristics of Different Social Networks
- Twitter is short
- Pinterest is more visual
- Google prefers longer form
These are real simplifications but with twitter you have a character limit so you need to keep it shorter, on Google you can have longer headlines (so why not add in the second part of a two part headline). Pinterest encourages beautiful typography and using images.
On top of this, if you are posting from a business account or blog profile then you are more likely to have people interested in what you want. You can sell the post in a different way. If it is your personal account then you need to address things in a different way. [Having said that people usually write headlines on a blog profile too formally and distant and could do with making them more personal.]
Changing multiple headlines after publishing
A really great trick I picked up on is to change your headlines after you have published. This way you can make a more time relevant (and news sensitive) headline when you first write an article and then you can change it to be more long term and seo friendly (just don’t change the URL).
Factors to consider for your titles
- the audience (demographic)
- the medium (social network you are posting on)
- current news events
- how people would search for it (SEO)
Do you use multiple headline?