My mantra is think like the Economist but write like the National Enquirer.
A headline must stop people in their tracks. In the world of multi tasking, multi media, multiple ways for people to be distracted, a title must absolutely grab peoples attention, stop them cold, dead in their tracks to bring 100% focus to the content you have created.
Drop the fact into their head that they must absolutely find out what is behind the title. For example when I used the title, “Will this cause the destruction of digg”, I knew it would tweak peoples curiosity. I am currently experimenting with a number of headline styles, using a variety of elements.
Although it may be the title that gets people to read the post, it’s the content of the post that motivates people to link.
The content must be presented in an inteligent, logical arguement, although can be counterintuitive to the title. Thus, whilst the title may seem like it presents a point of view, the content of the post can take it in a different direction.
Now let me state for the record, I am no expert at this. I have had some success and I am merely giving you my take on things. You decide if I know what I am talking about.
The more I get into social media optimisation the more I realise it’s about eliciting an emotional response. It’s seduction, pure and simple. Seduce with the title, then weave seductive prose and opinion to make the reader respond in an emotional way.
Postive or negative, the emotion type is irrelevant as long as there is one. Someone who hates what you write is just as likely to link to you as someone who loves your stuff.
“So how do I get on the front of Techmeme.com?”, You ask.
Well if I knew that I would be doing it every day.