Authors thrive on reader feedback

As an author and a blogger one of the things I love most is reader feedback. It is nice to have someone comment on your work. After all who doesn’t like a compliment? (OK – all reader feedback isn’t positive, but you take the good with the bad.)

Blog

At the end of most blog posts is a place for readers to comment about the post. It is awesome when someone mentions they not only liked the post but learned something. It could be as simple as “Good advice. Thank you.” Or they can add their own experience or story. This happens most often for me when I write about parenting (every Monday).

Recently, I also received an email from a mom who read my blog about Lexie’s birth. It was nice to connect with someone who had a child with similar medical conditions. In fact, it inspired two additional posts. One ran on Monday about Situs Inversus and an Interrupted IVC, and another will run in a week and a half about Polysplenia.

Books

The best compliment you can give an author is to write an honest review of their book. But in lieu of that, I also love to receive email messages from readers. I love when they tell me what they loved about the book and how they couldn’t put it down.

Recently, I had one reader say that her love for cats drew her to my short story, The Search. She loved it so much that she went on to read my trilogy. Another reader even suggested I do a follow-up  trilogy or at least one more book with those characters. (And I am now considering doing just that because I too love them and have an idea for a new adventure, but that will have to be after my current work in progress.)

But you don’t have to email an author or do a review to show your support. Even sending out a tweet about the book or passing along one of my tweets is greatly appreciated. So if you don’t normally write reviews or have never considered emailing an author, I encourage you to do that. You just might make someone’s day.

Crafting better post titles to draw in more readers

I wrote about Triberr recently and since every day I log in and approve the other blog topics I tweet about, I see quite a few blog post titles. And sorry Triberr tribe mates but I see some really bad ones.

Your blog post’s title is basically your headline for your post. It needs to draw the reader in.  Just like choosing an awesome book cover for your book can make the difference whether someone picks up or clicks on your book, so it is with your post title. Your headline is the equivalent of your cover for your book. Making it enticing will ensure that readers will read your post. Write a boring, complicated or confusing title and it doesn’t matter what you’ve written in the post – very few people will ever read it.

Now while I got the idea for this blog subject by looking at my Triberr feed, your post title matters not only because it appears there but other social media sites, as links from other bloggers, in RSS feeds, search engine results and on your own archive pages. Don’t just assume followers of your blog will see this title. Write it with other readers in mind.

Decent/Good titles

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How to Craft Post Titles that Draw Readers Into Your Blog

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Why I didn’t hire a proofreader for my novel (mine)

Bad/Need work titles

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Quote of the Week – Oct. 31 (mine)

These bad examples don’t tell the reader what the blog is about. Nothing about them draws you in or would make someone want to click on them. Now as you note, I listed my title for my Quote of the Week under bad/need work titles. I happen to label each weekly post the same thing just like on Fridays when I list “Featured Author: Your name here” as the title to my post. I do this for consistency and for ease of titling them posts. I leave the other three days to write better headlines to draw in the readers.

Now a few tips to help you out when designing your own post titles.

Length

Your best bet is to keep your headline short and simple. Not only is this easier to read and comprehend but also many search engines only show about 65 characters so if you have a long title all of it won’t appear in the search results.

While only a handful of words (think 10 words or less), these are the most powerful words that you will write because most of your readers will decide whether to read your post based on these words. If your current headlines are 10 words in length or more, have a look at how you could cut these down to make them more powerful and to the point.

Let the reader know what is in it for them.

When crafting your title, consider what benefit your readers will get out of reading this post. Are you giving them tips? Offering them something for free? Of course using the word “free” in your headlines is a proven method of getting people to take notice.

  • 6 ways to improve your writing
  • How to double your blog traffic
  • Free this week only – The Search (a short story)

Writing good headlines and titles is a skill bloggers need to learn. So take the time to write the best title with your target audience in mind and you will increase your blog traffic.