How to Create Better Episode Titles Quickly and Easily

This is an abbreviated list of headline samples from the book “Writing Riches” by one of my favorite authors and podcaster's Ray Edwards. If you buy his book, buy some paper and pencil along with it.

This topic starts at 6:35

  1. The How To Headline (how to write headlines that will bring you more downloads)
  2. The Testimonial headline (I wish I had found Dave Jackson sooner – I could've save a lot of money)
  3. The Give Me headline (Give me 10 days, and I'll get your podcast into iTunes)
  4. The Reason Why Headline (The to 3 reasons people fail at launching a podcast – and how to over come them)
  5. The Probing Question Headline (Do you know the five things that cause people to unsubscribe podcasts?)
  6. The Dominant Emotion (Are you tired of putting out an episode and getting ZERO feedback?)
  7. The Command headline (Be the influencer that leads change in the world)
  8. The If-Then Headline (If you can upload a picture on Faceboook, then you can upload a media file your hosting).
  9. The Warning Headline (Is Soundcloud Going Out of Business?)

A headline grabs attention, draws listeners to press play, communicates the big idea, establishes credibility and joins the conversion that is already happening in your audience's head.

Common Mistakes That Podcaster's Make With Episode Titles

badtitlesThey put the phrase “Episode 123” at the BEGINNING of the headline. 

Nobody cares if you're on episode 6, 60, 600, or 6000. What they care about is how you are going to make them laugh, cry, think, groan, educate, or entertain them.

If you MUST do this (I understand it makes it easy to search on your website) put it at the end. You can see in the image to the left that you don't get to see what the title is because half of it is EPISODE XXX.

The worst offender of this is (unfortunately) the web based version of iTunes. It gives you very little room for your headline.

They Put Very Little Thought Into the Podcast Episode Title

This is the SECOND/THIRD thing people see when they find your listing (the first being your show artwork/Title of the Show). I know I am super guilty of waiting till I'd done recording the episode, editing, tagging it, listening to it “one more time,” and writing the blog post. You're tired, you're excited (maybe), but you are “this close” to being done and you just “throw anything in there” just so you can press publish.

If you think about it, from the 1890 to the 1940's they had paperboys who would shout out the headlines to entice people to purchase a paper and get the rest of the story. They weren't scream edition #417!

If the podcast title is bad, the podcast will not be heard. Unheard audio impacts no one. (a twist on a John Caples quote).

How To Write Good Podcast Episode Titles

Typically Headlines do one of the following:headline_resource_ebook300

  • Making a promise.
  • Drawing a picture.
  • Stating a fact.
  • Asking a question.

Try these steps

  1. Start with your audience. Cosmopolitan magazine knows their audience.
  2. Write your show notes first. Then write the title. Prime the pump that is your brain.
  3. Write several headlines. If you want to read them out loud.
  4. Pick the most important benefit and include that benefit in the headlines.
  5. Include the product or problem, or guest in the headlines
  6. Often email program like Mail Chimp have A/B testing tools so use two headlines and see which one gets more clicks.

Automate the Process

There are tools such as Headlinr and Freshtitle ($37) are two tools where you enter a subject and they spit out numerous examples of potential headlines/Episode titles. Freshtitle comes with Title Analyzer that rates your headlines and critiques this for you. The Yoast SEO plugin does something similar (and it's free). Headlinr is a browser extension (chrome only), and Fresh Title is software for the Mac or PC. If you're interested in knowing more about Headlines, sign up for my headline resource kit that has videos of these software titles as well as free ebooks and more.

Free Headline Guide

I've created guide to some of the best resources to help you create great headlines. These include free ebooks, Demos of headline automation tools, and some of the best blog posts by Headline experts (I did all the Google for you). Click here to get the guide.

Because of My Podcast: Jim Collison is a Microsoft MVP

2:30 – this topic begins at the 2:30 mark

I host Ask the Podcast Coach every Saturday at 10:30 AM with Jim Collison from theaverageguy.tv. It's quite a hoot! We both love to talk  podcasting. Last week Jim shared the story of how he became a Microsoft MVP, and it turns out it's because of his podcast.

Do you have something that wouldn't have happened except for your podcast? Share your story and get some added exposure and be heard on this show (I might turn these into a book next year). Contact me.

Google Play Discussion Continues

Steve Stewart chimes in on last week's episode about Google play. He is SUPER HAPPY that the #1 search tool is going to promote his show FOR FREE. As for the terms of service, they are there to cover Google's butt in the event someone gets stupid.

Libsyn Launches new WordPress Plugin

32:25

If you are someone who has been using PowerPress for a while, then do NOT switch. Here is the demo video

Podcast Rewind

This topic begins at 30:05

Ideas for Podcasting Episode 5 Dave Jackson Interview

Podcastonomics Episode 5 – Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting

 

About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
1 comment on “How to Create Better Episode Titles Quickly and Easily
  1. re: episode numbers

    IMO, the big thing about episode numbers is for the convenience of the user. It’s a UX issue! So, while I understand the limited space and headline attraction, I’d still prefer an out-front episode number. I’d just keep it as brief as possible… ie: 001 Title

    Yes, that ‘wastes’ 4 character spots, but in terms of UX, is well worth it.

    re: Google Play & TOS

    Yes, No Agenda was creating drama (as they often do.. if you don’t understand that about them, you’ll often be mislead! They are still a great resource for people with critical thinking capabilities)… but that doesn’t mean the threat isn’t real. See my response to the last SoP episode.

    Re: plugins and WordPress

    You ***HAVE*** to test!!! Any plugin addition or update can make other aspects of your site (or plugins) not work properly. I do this for a living, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a routine plugin update break the entire site. That’s why I do this stuff in a development environment, and THEN make the changes in production.

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