Headline Influencers and Being Real (INFOGRAPHIC)

Being Real

Just recently I wrote a guest contribution for Crazy Egg’s blog, the Daily Egg, called The Dynamic Power of Headline Influencers.

I spent a lot of time researching, fostering a discussion on Quora, and putting together a little infographic (see below).  I cited industry professionals and thought leaders for their exemplary advice such as Brian Clark and Seth Godin.

In fact, I reached out to both of them to let them know about the article. Seth actually left a comment and Brian tweeted the article, so that was pretty awesome!

Seth left a concise and thoughtful comment that made me realize just how important it is to be real. This is the part that really struck a chord with me.

In regards to the part where I showed how Seth’s blog headlines differ from the long-preached number-infused headlines, Seth said, “My headlines have always been like this, because I write the blog for me, in a way I want to be proud of, not to game a system.”

That’s something we can all learn from.

Things that make us click on headlines

(other than the headline itself)

You already know what the most successful headlines are. And if you don’t, well, check out my “299 Ultimate Guides to Marketing Magic, Increasing ROI, and 400 Secrets to Unlocking Your Inner Blogger Power in just 5 seconds” (sadly, this does not exist :( )

If I created a “100 Places to get Free Photos” post and all I did was simply click “Publish” – nothing would happen. Literally, nothing. Even though the headline is “best practice” no one is ever going to see it. Ever.

Now, if I created a post like this (which I might) – it would be an awesome resource for thousands of people. To get people to click on it, I have to market and promote it – but you already knew that part.

How do we do that effectively? For starters…

  • Become an active Triberr member and get accepted into a few tribes. This will ensure at least 6-12 people on average share your content. And be sure to share theirs as well. Every other morning I pick 10-12 Triberr posts (usually those who share mine) and schedule them throughout the day.
  • Write guest blog posts on awesome blogs. This not only gives  you a chance to link to your awesome resource, but validates your knowledge to new communities (the blogs you’re writing for).
  • Pick specific sites and people to email or tweet at. Let them know about your awesome resource. Make sure it’s relevant though, since we have a “100 free photo resource” type of post, anyone who creates content online will find that useful. This gives us more than enough opportunities to build up an outreach list and submit our stuff.

Now that we’ve successfully marketed and promoted our article, we should consider what will impact whether people click on our headline (other than the headline itself).

Associated content: Basically, anything associated with (surrounding) the headline can influence our desire to click. This includes:

  • The person sharing it or the author/brand
  • Their Klout or community score
  • The number of current social shares
  • Images such as a thumbnail
  • The number of comments

Another type of associated content is known as preview-ability, described to me by Ian Greenleigh in a Quora discussion. An example of this is being able to see/read the first sentence or paragraph of an article. Think of tweets and facebook posts where we can expand a preview to see images and more text.

Headline Influencers [INFOGRAPHIC]

This infographic is the result of my research and Quora discussions, as an effort to show there is much more to the success of an article then simply using a “best practice” headline. It’s a combination of influence marketing, demographic research, effective medium strategy, promotion, and timely planning for relevance.

headline influencers

Embed code below – feel free to use and share with appropriate accreditation :)

I’d love to continue the discussion.

Please feel free to share your thoughts. I welcome honest comments, so if you disagree with anything, I’d be more than happy to get a discussion going.


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Jesse Aaron

I'm a blogger, homebrewer, and community manager. Aside from writing, I have a passion for music and design.

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