Quietly Controversial

No. Such. Animal.

Total oxymoron (you know, like “jumbo shrimp” or “loose tights”).

I dare you to write a post with the intention of being quietly controversial!

And good luck.

I tried it once.  IT DIDN’T WORK (that’s a story I promise I’ll share with you at a later date).  So hold that thought.

Today I want to encourage you to head over to Newbie Lifeline and check out the Headline Blog Challenge Sheila Atwood is hosting.  Yes!  There are cool prizes being offered.

(By the way, this is not a lengthy, ongoing type of challenge. You will need to submit ONE headline and post — that’s it!)

Headlines are powerful.

Did the headline of this post make you at least a little bit curious?  Were you thinking, “What the heck is Melanie going to say about this strange combination of words?”

I hope so.  Because that was my goal.

You can craft the most wonderful posts imaginable.  But if your headlines don’t grab people by the lapels and pull them in to read on, you’re sunk.  Headlines are where the engagement with your audience begins.

Got an idea for a compelling headline?  A HOT headline?

Then get over to Sheila’s blog and read about how you can participate in her headline-writing challenge.

I’ll see you there!

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  • Hi Melanie,

    First time visiting your blog. Short and powerful. It’s definitely challenging creating hot titles. I tend to stick to keywords which can be rather boring. Once in a while, I’ll ask a question which people seem to enjoy, but I definitely think starting with a title is a must, then craft the rest of your article around the title. When I’m stuck, checking out other blogs, helps with generating titles too.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Janette

    • It’s a pleasure to meet you, Janette, and thanks for knocking on the door of Solo Mompreneur today!

      I’m with you — starting with a title is a must.

      I checked out your blog and I want to wish you tremendous success in the niche of direct sales. And, if I may, I’d like to recommend “Kim DeYoung” as someone you’d enjoy meeting. Kim has been in direct sales for years, she REALLY knows her stuff, and she’s a wonderful person to network with! If you like, take a peek here: http://bit.ly/MetroMom

      Melanie

  • Hello Melanie,
    I think a trap many of us fall into is to conscientiously write a good blog and then as an afterthought create a headline. From a marketing perspective, the headline is an important as the quality of the blog.
    Riley

    • Delighted to meet you, Riley, and thanks for knocking on my door.

      Aha! Sounds like you may know someone who’s fallen into that trap.

      I’ve commented on this issue before, but I always write my titles first. Actually, I’m pretty neurotic about it. I won’t write word one until I’ve settled in on a headline. And sometimes it takes me a whole day before I’m completely satisfied with it and can move on.

      You’re right about the marketing aspect. After all, if you’re unable to grab someone’s attention with your headlines, you’re toast!

      No fun marketing to an invisible target audience. 🙂

      Melanie

  • Hey Lynn!

    I was hoping you’d stop by and decide to check out the headline-writing contest. 🙂 I’m absolutely honored and thrilled Sheila asked me to be one of the three judges. I hope you’ll take some time to get to know her — she’s a gem.

    Glad you said “gather” — it’s a key strategy to getting better and better at writing headlines. I keep a running list of blog post titles that I add to all the time. Most of what’s on my list is a compilation and an accumulation of ideas I’ve ‘gathered’ from anywhere and everywhere.

    Thanks for the compliment, Lynn, and I think you’re a fantastic blogger! Appreciate you!

  • Good title Melanie! I so much agree with you on eye catching, want to click headlines. I must admit that I have a hard time with that. I love the way you write and are so witty with words.

    The more I communicate and write, and the more blog posts and articles I read, I have been thankful to gather wonderful ideas for verbiage. I will certainly run on over to check out Sheila’s blog – sounds like an really great idea.

  • Hi Maureen — loved the “sugar” video you posted today!

    Headlines are like wine that ages and improves over time. 🙂

    Just keep testing different ones to see which ones get the most attention from your readership (good place to start). And how would you like to have a “cheat sheet” of sorts? Yes?!

    Okay, you’ve twisted my arm. Here ya go and I love this free tool: http://www.aminstitute.com/headline/#

    Have tons of fun with it!

  • Hello Theresa!

    Glad to see you here (I owe you about four visits to your blog so don’t think I abandoned ship)!

    You’re not necessarily going about things ‘backward’. Every blogger has their preference. For me, it’s got to be WRITE THE HEADLINE FIRST. Could easily just be a quirkiness about me but I’ve got to be totally satisfied with the title of a blog post before I write word one. Otherwise, I literally become frozen in my tracks and can’t collect a thought if someone paid me! 🙂

    I love your headlines and posts. Will you be entering a (HOT) headline for the challenge? Hope so!

  • Melanie: you are right the headline did grab me and I need some work in this area. Thanks for the great recourse!

  • When I read ‘Quietly Controversial’, I thought to myself this will be good. (And I love a good oxymoron!) You know, I’ve always heard that you should start with the title of post. Why do I keep doing it backwards then?

    Glad to see you are judge on this challenge Melanie. Sheila has picked some great judges!

    ~Theresa

  • Hi Sheila,

    Backlinks, extra recognition, and fun … what could be better than THAT for bloggers?!

    You’re welcome for the shout out and I’m really looking forward to your challenge. 🙂

  • @Jen — Thanks for stopping by! Yes, the goal is to grab someone’s attention. I think we’re all pretty clear on that.

    But it takes a certain skill set, persistence, and some ‘testing’ and experimenting with different kinds of headlines till you can zero in on what’s going to catch the eye on your readers — your target audience.

  • Hey Melanine,

    Thanks for inviting your readers to join the challenge. Like you said it is easy and something they are doing to be doing any way. Might as well get the backlinks and extra recognition. Besides this is fun.

  • Great point! Gotta use attention grabbers! Thanks for sharing as well!

  • You got that right for sure, Roberta!

    “Online Visibility” is critical. If someone is not willing to put forth the effort to create a presence online, it won’t matter if they write award-winning headlines and posts! No one will see them.

    My BEST suggestion if someone is struggling to get noticed online is to grab this free 7-part e-course for an online visibility BOOST!! If you know anyone who needs help in this area, Roberta, please send them here: http://bit.ly/VisibilityBoost

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts — appreciate you!

  • Yes headlines count but you also need to be seen somewhere by someone for that headline to count so it is not only the headline that does it but it helps

  • The sad part, Lis, is I’m sure many bloggers have written noteworthy posts — fabulous ones even! — but with weak headlines, no eyes have ever set on them. No question about it. Headlines COUNT.

    Thanks for swinging by. Got an idea for a HOT headline? Check out Sheila’s challenge.

  • Melanie, you’re right on about this! If your headline is boring or lacking substance, readers will just pass you buy.