Author: Erika Madden

101+ Popular Blog Title Templates That Work (Just Fill In The Blanks!)

  |   Blogging Tips   |   64 Comments

Finding great blog title ideas (and then writing one that is attention-grabbing and actually works in getting people to click) is hard! Instead of stressing, use these 101+ free blog title templates -- just fill in the blanks and voila: catchy headlines! (This post also comes with a printable booklet for free download!)

Tell me: how many times do you go to write a magnetic title for your blog post and instead come up with something so insufferably dull that it gives you honest-to-goodness nightmares?

(You get 'em, right? Those dreams where all you do all night is think about writing -- and re-writing -- the best gosh darn headline in the entire history of headlines?)

Well, whether or not writing blog titles keeps you tossing + turning all night like an scary-obsessive blogger (I wouldn't know anything about that, by the way), I think that, actually, it should.

Until you read this post and swipe all the foolproof, fill-in-the-blank headline formulas I listed for you, of course!

BUT until you do that, yes. Headline writing should preoccupy you, my friends.

Here's why:

8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy.

But on average, only 2 out of those 8 people will be interested enough to go on and read your post.

Your content could be mighty, remarkable, heroic -- more heroic than any other blog post for miles clicks around -- but if your blog title can't lure them in?

It just sits there.

Unread. Unappreciated. Unloved.

All that hard work, wasted.

As a blogger + someone who depends on blogging to help me make a living for my little kids and I, that depresses me. I'm sure it depresses you, too.

That's why, above everything else you do for a blog post, it's your job to make your headlines as click-worthy as possible.

But hey, I'd prefer this task didn't give you nightmares. Like other people I know. Ahem. That's why I did the work of surveying smart, popular blogs like Hubspot, Copyblogger, Inc., etc., and created over 100 fillable blog title templates based off their most effective, compelling headlines.

The blog title formulas are easy to customize no matter what...

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I Look Like an Imposter: An Open Letter Confessing My Secret Fears as an Online Entrepreneur

  |   Business Tips, Personal   |   100 Comments

Can we just admit it right now, please? Being a business owner is freaking SCARY. This blog post is for all the courageous biz heroes out there who are secretly scared to death: scared to get out of their introvert shell, scared of looking like a fraud, scared of burnout. You are not alone, and you should read this.

Dear Friends and Readers,

Do you ever want to write something terribly important to you, but no matter how many different ways you think about it, when you sit down to put words to the screen, you can't seem to make it sound like the mighty words living inside your brain?

That's where I am right now.

I suppose the only thing to do in these situations is to blurt it out and hope it doesn't come out sounding too ridiculous. Too rough around the edges. Too whatever.

(But you'll just have to forgive me if it does. ;))

So, for the lack of a better idea -- and, apparently, better composition skills -- that's what I'm going to do now.
...

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How to Avoid Client Regret: 9 Signs That You Should Pass on Work

  |   Business Tips   |   43 Comments

How do you avoid bad clients (and the resulting project headaches + lost income) when you're a freelancer or small business owner? There are some specific early warning signs you should look out for -- read the post to see what they are!

When I started doing graphic + web design work full-time as a freelancer, it never occurred to me that there was such a thing as "client regret."

Avoid bad clients? Nah. There's no such thing, right?!

Money, after all, is money.

(Oh yes, go on. Laugh at my naïveté. I won't be offended.)

Perhaps I can redeem myself by admitting that it didn't take me long to wake me up from my rose-colored world where business owner and client skipped merrily along down the path to glorious pastures of perfectly completed projects, timely payments, and goodwill toward all.

About my third or fourth client in, it was then that I realized: being selective when it comes to clientele is not only perfectly acceptable, it's an act of profound kindness. For yourself and your business, of course, but even for the other person (who deserves to work with somebody fitted toward their unique wants + personality).

We are all pretty good people. I firmly believe that. But not everyone is meant to work together, and not everyone is a fabulous client.

"Sounds reasonable," you say. "But how do I spot a bad client before they BECOME a bad client and I have to see the job through to the bitter, smothering end?"

That's a hard thing to recognize at first, which is why I've compiled the following 9 early warning signs (gleaned from my own experiences in the wild wild west that is solo business ownership). I've also included a couple of word-for-word scripts you can use to say "no" to potential work that exhibits these -- or any other -- red flags.

Before you take on a new client, run through this list first. It helps!
...

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The 39 Essential Customer Service Quotes for Online Entrepreneurs + Creatives

  |   Business Tips, Customer Service   |   1 Comment

The essential customer service quotes for online entrepreneurs and creative business owners. Inspiring and eye-opening, these quotes will transform how you run your business. Click to read + bookmark.

If there's one thing that applies to all of us hardworking, persevering, only-slightly-insane business owners who deal with clients and customers on a daily basis, it's most certainly this:

We all need inspiration.

An intoxicating dose of it.

We need her in order to fend off the lurking boogeyman all biz owners fear in their deepest bones (you may have heard of him -- he goes by Burnout).

We need her in order to improve.

We need her so that we can deliver our best.

(Which is recognized by all to be The Business Without Excuses, Grumbling, or Customer-Shaming.)

I know just how desperately we need inspiration because I need it, too. Without it I get tired. Maybe even a bit lazy.

You feel me, don't you?

It's why in this post today I'm specifically sharing with you those motivational customer service quotes that inspire me in my own business. (You know how I feel about customer service and being delightful online; it's something I strive for personally and believe in...

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The “Secret” Trick to Delivering Consistent Customer Service as an Online Business Owner

  |   Business Tips, Customer Service   |   9 Comments

The "secret" to consistent customer service online! This trick is used by big politicians + successful companies to wow their customers EVERY time -- and it's ideal for busy solo business owners, too! Implement it and you'll be faster + better at giving people the customer experience they hope for with your biz.

When I was a Journalism major back in college, I did something unspeakable.

I decided I wanted to work in the White House.

(I blame it all on Allison Janney and The West Wing. She made political work look like an irresistible adventure.)

This slight detour in my education landed me a coveted internship for one of the U.S. Senators for my state. Among a collection of rather mundane duties (checking the mail, collecting press clippings, gossiping with the chief of staff's assistant), I was responsible for one extraordinary thing:

Responding to hundreds of constituent letters.

In the Senator's name.

How did I do this? I could put a sentence together as well as anybody (or so I thought), but something as significant as a politician's official correspondence would not be left to chance.

These letters also had to be written quickly; there was no time to agonize over tone, massage adjectives, and then recruit a higher-up to edit for accuracy + political correctness.

The trick? A script database. A big one.
...

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Delight: The Digital Biz Owner’s Guide To Creating A Pro Client + Customer Service Plan (A Workbook)

  |   Business Tips, Customer Service, E-Books, Reputation   |   9 Comments

The complete guide to creating a customer service plan for your small business. Delight: The Digital Biz Owner's Guide To Creating A Pro Client + Customer Service Plan is for creative business owners, freelancers, Etsy shop owners, and entrepreneurs who want to get more clients + buyers + forever fans by delivering heroic service.

A long time ago (32 weeks, to be exact) in places far away (that would be Twitter, Instagram, + Facebook), I posed a question.

It went a little like this:

Screenshot 2015-10-27 14.12.34

After a lot of studious tallying by candlelight into the wee hours of the morning (not really), the answer was resoundingly clear.

"Create #2!" the masses cried.

It was a happy day, as you might imagine. (Oh, if all our future business plans could be so obvious.) But today? Oh today, my friends, is even happier.

That's because Delight: The Digital Biz Owner's Guide To Creating A Pro Client + Customer Service Plan is finally here. (And I can't wait for you to see it.)

What are the details of this one-of-a-kind workbook? Let me show you:
...

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