Step Four: Choose Your Method for Creating Titles
Great –you’ve got your topics! Now it’s time to turn those topics into titles. There are two main ways you can accomplish this:
Freestyle Title Creation
Go down your topic list one by one, and create a simple title from scratch for each topic. Remember, just like with content, it rarely comes together perfectly the first time. Just get it started and create rough draft titles. This is a great way to get your creative juices flowing.
Keep going down your list and refine as you go. You’ll find it gets easier as you get used to creating titles from scratch.
But, is there a way to guarantee success? There is… and it’s easier than you think!
Choose Proven Title Formulas
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic formula that made your content more interesting and useful to your readers?
Guess what –there is! These specific formulas have been proven successful time and time again and they make it even easier for you to write content that rocks. Let’s look at three of the best title formulas you can use:
Formula 1: The Top XX
Lists are popular, easy to create and fun to read – the trifecta of an ideal content post! While you don’t want to rely too heavily on this type of post, it is a great way to structure your information and provide real value to your reader. Make your title exciting and don’t be afraid to have a little fun.
Example Title: “5 Simple Ways to Ramp Up Your Email Opt-Ins”
Formula 2: The How To
This is perhaps the easiest post to write and offers your readers plenty of value – you’re showing them how to do something. Craft your title around what you want to teach and why they need to know this information.
Example Title: “Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Improve Your Lead Nurturing Process”
Formula 3: The “Expert Advice”
We love to have our problems solved for us, and hopefully, in the easiest way possible. It’s simply natural for us to seek advice and solutions. Find out what your audience needs, or their pain points and answer their questions.
Use a poll or solicit opinions from your readers on problems they want to have solved. Write your post and title around these issues. Shape your title around the problem and offer the solution.
Example Title: “Worried About Not Getting Enough Vitamins? 5 Foods That Fight Nutrition Deficiencies.”
Step Six: Invite Others to Review, Collaborate and Refine Titles
Most truly great content is the result of multiple rounds of edits and revisions by multiple people. The same is true for titles! It can be incredibly helpful to have at least one other set of eyes review your title before assigning them out to writers or publishing content online.
The Title Review Process
The title review process doesn’t have to be complicated.
First, identify your title reviewer (or team of reviewers.) Then, each time your primary title creator writes a new batch of titles, he/she can simply send them to the review team and ask them to suggest changes, or new and improved titles.
While this process does take a little bit longer than simply writing titles and publishing them, the end result will be worth it. Instead of a hurriedly written title, you’re going to have the foundation for a well-thought-out title that will capture attention, and provoke interest, feedback and a discussion with your readers.
Great! You’ve made it this far. But before you rush to get started….
Now that you’ve refined your titles and you’re happy with them –there’s one more thing you can do to ensure your success.
Before you assign them to your writers and get them written –put them on your editorial calendar!
What is an Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is used to help you plan out when you want to have content written, when you want it published on your site and when you plan to promote each title. It’s an organization tool that you and your team can rely on to help you stay on schedule and organize your content production process more effectively.
While you can create content without the benefit of an editorial calendar, it can be incredibly useful to use one.
Why do I need an Editorial Calendar?
Let’s look at a few benefits… The Benefits of Using an Editorial Calendar
- Helps you plan and organize your content schedule
- Helps you avoid the stress of constantly being under the gun for new content
- Gives you a visual way to see your content schedule, rather than just a list of titles on paper
- Helps you plan out seasonal content
Many companies rely on spreadsheets to create their editorial calendars, but this can be time-consuming and cumbersome to keep up-to-date. There are other online tools and applications that provide calendars to help you get organized and some offer sharing capabilities with your team. However, few will integrate directly into your system for producing content from start to finish.
Of course, that’s why we are partial to the calendar we’ve integrated into our Zerys system. We designed it for the unique needs that go with the content production process and we believe that it is the most powerful and comprehensive solution for content marketers out there.