Blog Post Headline Tips You Can Learn from My Mistakes
This is one of those situations where you get to benefit from an experience I went through so hopefully, the same thing doesn’t happen to you.
It Started Off Well
Earlier this week I came up with what I thought was a really good idea for a post. As I continued to work with it, I thought it might even be one that could really take off. Not that I don’t want and aim for that with other posts, but there are some that have a little more built in potential than others and this one was that kind at least to me.
What I Thought Could Happen
As you may know, one of the potential ways to get extra attention in the ever noisy online world, is to mention a “celebrity”. Cool, I had that. It was Guy Kawasaki. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Guy, in a nutshell, he used to do marketing for Apple (yes, that one) and is now known the world over in his own right as a marketing expert.
Another element of a share-worthy, potentially viral blog post is to have some controversy. I had that too. The premise of the post was that I was going to dare to disagree with Guy. Granted, I consider myself knowledgeable in some areas of marketing, but in no way at his level, so to say I disagree with him is very much the student arguing/debating with the teacher.
So far so good as long as my argument was sound, which I truly believed it was, I had the potential for something that might spread like wildfire for at least a little while.
Except it didn’t.
Why There Was Fizzle Instead of Flame
Well, the first reason is there are no guarantees in marketing. Even if you do all the stuff that’s in your control really well, or the “right” way, there are other circumstances at play that effect the game too. However, turns out, I didn’t do at least one thing right in that list of elements I could control.
I Messed Up My Headline
Even though it was fairly strong and attention grabbing for readers, when I shared it on LinkedIn it got cut off.
It was supposed to read: Social Media Advice from Guy Kawasaki I Believe Small Business Owners Should Ignore.
However, in the LinkedIn group discussions it came out: Social Media Advice from Guy Kawasaki Small Business Owners…
Nooooo!!!!! (Insert dramatic, slow-mo TV commercial effect here)
Even though it was only missing a couple of words, that blank spot pretty much negated the impact of the entire headline. To most, it probably indicated yet another article recommending Guy Kawasaki’s advice. Potentially clickable, but certainly not out of the ordinary compelling.
1. It was one of those situations where to a big extent the problem was I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Most of us realize that Twitter has a limit, but to be honest, I hadn’t thought about LinkedIn’s link share area and that it has limitations too. Since a lot of my website traffic is coming from LinkedIn right now, to not have the post optimized there hurt the potential for sparking a lot of sharing.
2. The other thing I didn’t realize was that when you share a discussion post that starts out as an update on your home page, if you put something in by way of introduction it does not follow through. Even though I share to groups at least twice a week, I didn’t realize that either.
Even though I would have liked different results, the ones I got still serve a purpose. That’s marketing. You do your best to be as informed as possible, try, succeed or fail, learn and then do it again or try something else.
And tomorrow you do it all again.
Your turn: Have you been caught by not knowing what you didn’t know? Got a story we might learn from?
Know someone who could also learn from my mistakes? Please sharing using those cute little buttons down below.