So I did a little brainstorming for about 20 minutes and finally came up with a list of those words below (with examples from Problogger.net, dailyblogtips.com and Forbes.com).
1. Free. We really can’t deny that many of us are crazy over free stuff on the Web. The good news for most of us is that, there are so many of these “free” stuff – from free software to free music to free web hosting to free tutorials to free eBooks - on the Web. Nothing attracts me more than something that’s free. :-) Example: Free Blogger Templates (Problogger.net)
2. How-to / Tutorial. Do you believe in the power of How-to articles or Tutorials? I do. Much has been written about How-to articles and how effective they are at driving traffic to your site or blog. Probloggers like Darren Rowse (Problogger.net) and Daniel Scocco (dailyblogtips.com) have stressed the importance of an effective title, and there’s no doubt that having useful How-to articles or Tutorials can really help boost your traffic. Example: How to Make Money from Blogging (Problogger.net)
3. Top. Whenever I hear the word “top,” what usually comes to mind is Forbes.com. If you haven’t been to Forbes.com to check out their latest list of top whatever, then you’re missing a big piece of your online life. :-) I think that people are naturally curious about knowing who got the top spot, who came in second, what gets to be number 1, etc. (Maybe this also explains why so many people are obsessed with PageRank.) Example: Top 25 Blogs About Blogging (dailyblogtips.com) or The World's Top Earning Models (Forbes.com)
4. Beginner’s or Beginners. I believe that there are more novice Web users on the Web than there are pros. This is probably the reason why “beginner” articles are so popular. It’s because people, before they become experts, they first have to learn the basics; they first have to start as beginners. Getting “attacked” by weird-sounding technical words/terms can be very intimidating.
I can still remember the first time I ever went online. I would often go on “silent-panic” whenever I go inside internet cafés and find no icon of Netscape on the desktop. :-) At that time, I didn’t know any other Web browsers (I didn’t even know what “browsers” were) aside from Netscape. RIP: Netscape. :-) (Note: I’m not old) Example: Blogging Tips for Beginners (Problogger.net)
5. Guide / Step by step. People don’t want to get lost in the vast ocean of information found on the Web. Like search engines that guide us in finding the most relevant and useful information that we need, people also want articles that will be able to guide them perform a particular task correctly. Example: How to Find Advertisers for Your Website: The Ultimate Guide (dailyblogtips.com)
6. Secret. Humans are, by nature, curious creatures. This is probably the reason why “secret” is so powerful in drawing our attention. Example: A Secret to Finding New Subscribers for Your Blog (Problogger.net)
7. Simple / Basic or Basics. (This is somewhat similar to #4 – Beginners) Everyday, Web users get bombarded with tons of information on the Web. This causes the Law of Diminishing Returns to take place. Yes, things can get so complicated that sometimes we just wish for something simple, something comprehensible, something that won’t overload us with complex/technical stuff which our already info-overloaded heads can no longer process. Example: 50 Simple Ways to Get RSS Subscribers (dailyblogtips.com)
8. Tips. I’m not sure why “tip” articles get so much attention. But let me just give my 2 cents. Perhaps it’s because people want to know the “what’s in it for me?” of articles on the Web. We just want something that we can apply into our daily lives. Example: 10 Tips to Write Your Most Popular Post Ever (dailyblogtips.com)
9. List. Of course, list! Yes, we’ve all heard about Web users being “lazy readers,” and this is probably the reason why “lists” are so popular. Darren Rowse of Problogger.net has written a post about “lists” and why is it good for getting traffic to your blog. He wrote that lists are scannable, that they look neat, that they’re easy to link to, etc. Example: List of Ping Services (dailyblogtips.com)
So what’s in it for you and me?
Well, I guess, we can incorporate these words in the titles of our articles, or blog posts. :-) We can even put 2 or more of these words in one title. :-) Example: 7 Tips on Successful Blogging for Beginners.
Note: This post was primarily written for beginners (like me).