Sean D'Souza at Copyblogger calls them "a few measly words." I like to refer to it as "Thesaurus surfing." Either way, Sean offers up a couple of fantastic examples of how adding a target and some adjectives to your article titles can go a long way toward tightening up your content and enticing readers to click through and follow you along for the literary ride.

What makes Sean's post a little different is that he's not just pushing title changes for the sake of gaining more clickthrus. We're not talking about a link-baitey "here's how to get a bunch of clicks to a random article" type of post. Instead, Sean's aiming to help you understand how putting some serious thought into your article title will also make you put some serious thought into the content. Fleshing out the expectations for your readers will also flesh out your expectations as a writer.

And it's a simple process.

Sean explains:

Let's start off by taking a random topic...

So let's take a topic such as: Why article writing is the key.

But the key to what?

Most writers leave out the core detail. They miss out telling you where the article is going in the first instance. And these writers don't leave out the core detail on purpose.

They just don't realize the importance of the core detail. And the core detail should usually contain what we'd loosely call a target.

A target is simply who or what are we speaking about?

Let's me demonstrate what I mean, by doing a little addition.

So instead of: Why article writing is the key...

We say: Why article writing is the key to getting strategic alliances.

He goes on to give some excellent examples of how adding an adjective to describe the target or goal makes an article title look even more enticing. Sean wraps it up with some powerful advice. (And when I say that I mean: if you weren't already convinced he was right, here's the thing that will do it.) you can plainly see, they're three completely different articles, going in three completely different directions. But when you have a vague headline, it's almost impossible to keep the content of the article focused. When you have a specific headline, it's darned impossible to go off track.

Sometimes, a writer's worst enemy is themselves. We worry about covering every angle instead of realizing we can cover another angle the next time we write. Why put out one average article when you could follow Sean's advice, tighten up your title and turn out three (or more) excellent and highly focused articles?

March 28, 2008

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.


Hello Jen,

My name is Eddie. i went through and read your blogs about how you created a one month project. I was extremely impressed by your excellent results. Your an a great example to the community and to all out there that feel you need money to make money.

I wanted to ask for some advice from you. I would like to do a similar project and the proceeds are to help my aging father and mother, my daughter, my step daughter and my unborn child coming in September 2008. I lost my business and i am the sole provider for my entire family and the way the economy is doing i can use a bit of help right about now.

I did right a credit repair manual. I got this idea from my previous business where i use to help people with credit fraud and credit restoration.

I know that your advice can provide me with knowledge of how i can start my own project to help feed my family.

Thank you very much, God Bless You.


Very good article. We like the term "thesaurus surfing". Definitely makes sense!

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