Mar 06

How to jazz up your title.

Titles of articles are almost as important as the article itself.  A poorly titled article might never get read. A mistitled article will frustrate the reader. A vague title will never get found in the mountain of information that is the Internet.

5 Great Titles

One of the best titles is the “list”.  For example:

  • 5 Reasons to Love Carlyle District
  • 7 Things You Should Know About Alexandria, VA
  • 9 Ways To Walk Backwards

Below you’ll find 5 more ways to title your article.

Tantalize and titillate.

Another strategy is to create titles that people really want to click on.  Think about what the evening news, or morning shows say just before a break and turn that into a headline.  Examples:

  • Things you might be surprised to learn about West End Alexandria — People love surprises.
  • Secrets of Burke — People love secrets.
  • Shocking news about Vienna home sales — You’d better deliver a shock if you promise one.
  • Hidden benefits about Mclean — Sort like the secrets above

People like “easy”, “fast and free”, secrets, surprises.  You’d be surprised how fast and easy these titles can be.

Educate and Inform.

Rather than promising secrets and surprises your title can promise to inform or educate.  For example:

  • Valuable information about Arlington Ridge
  • A primer to Falls Church
  • Learn more about the Bromptons

Just ask.

Sometimes all you have to do is just ask:

  • Why Old Town?
  • What is the Beltway?
  • Where is Williamsburg in Arlington VA?
  • Why not Centreville?
  • How to buy a house in Crystal City.

Questions are a great way to title an article. Just make sure the article actually answers the question you ask.

Guess the Google.

Bing, Google and Yahoo have spoiled us rotten. We’ve come to expect that any inane thing that pops in our heads is only a few keystrokes away thanks to search engines. Fortunately, our site spidered regularly by multiple search engines.  But search engines need help.  So one of the best ways to title an article is to anticipates something very specific that someone might actually type into Google.

For example someone might type, “What is like at Belmont Bay in Woodbridge?” or they might type “Townhouses (at) Belmont Bay.”  People search for weird and unexpected things and I have the search logs to prove it.

General information is easy to find on the Internet. Specific information is more difficult to find and is more valuable.  Try to provide your reader with very specific information about very specific little things.

What can I buy in PLACE for $XXX?

Select  a new listing and write an article about that “type” of home.  Not the property itself, but the type of property.

  • What can I buy in Belle View for less than $200k?
  • How much is a 2 bedroom townhouse in 22307?

 

 

Mar 01

Adding listings to your post

Ultimately our blog is about real estate. We want to provide useful information about real estate, neighborhoods and hang-outs in Northern Virginia so we can sell homes. The more homes we sell, the more we can afford to pay bloggers. (That’s a hint.)

Once you have demonstrated the ability to master some of the most basic blogging tips, we will offer to let you add listings to your posts. Adding listings is easy.

 

 

Here’s what used to add listings to your post.

On this screen you add criteria to select listings.

Pick listings that are relevant to your article. Then select some features. Under options experiment with various formats.  To see what your listings will look like “preview” rather than publish your article.

Mar 01

Adding a link to your post

Every post you write should include one or two links (also called hyperlinks) to relevant material in one of our sites. We most often like to link to towns/cities/communities, but we also like links to schools, zipcodes, condos and subdivisions. You can find a list of pages here on our our sitemap. A sitemap is a list of pages found in our site.  We are also affiliated with a number of sites and the easy way to find those pages is to use the search bar found at the top of every page of our site.

screenshot

Most pages have a "local search" tool. Use it to find links.

Use the sitemap or the search bar to find the URL (also called “the address”) you want to put in your hyperlink. Then copy the address, and then highlight text in your document where you want to insert the hyperlink. Just above the screen to enter text in your posting is a formatting bar.  One of the formatting options is a button that looks like a chain.  That icon represents a chain “link” or a link.  With the text you want to link highlighted click the link button and then insert the address or URL.  Close the pop-up and then publish your work.  Now, view your article and click on your link to see if it actually works as you intended.

link button

the link button

 

In addition to the above method, the link tool itself will allow you to search for related links to easily insert them.

screenshot

Click the triangle to open the drop down, then enter search criteria in the text box.

Click on either picture to see a larger image.