After 365+ days in a row of publishing his daily vlogs on YouTube, content creator and Beme founder Casey Neistat has learned some valuable lessons about writing in a way that drives click-throughs, although that isn't his main motive. After recently earning the YouTuber of the Year award at the 2016 Webby Awards, Neistat continues to strive publish high-quality, interesting material that honestly earns viewers...and it seems to be working. Now nearing the 3M subscriber mark, his following on YouTube continues to grow exponentially.
I was interested in the writing portion of his work, so I asked him a few questions about what he's learned from his transition into publishing content daily, as well as what he thinks about during the titling process.
Driving Clicks With Interesting Titles
When he wraps the editing portion of his daily vlogs, Neistat spends a few moments considering what the most interesting aspect of the episode was--and then coming up with a few words that speak to that narrative. But he doesn't over think it. "Titling is 99% art 1% science," he said.
One of the biggest lessons Neistat has learned from writing and creating content so consistently is that emotion is a key component to driving up conversions. "Titles that convey emotion attract views. Dry, explanatory titles tend to repel the views," he said. "For example, 'My First Love' is far more intriguing than 'Flying to California.'" He also noted that honesty is important--and that titles should entice the viewers, not mislead them.
What's interesting is that when it comes to his vlog content, there isn't one specific tactic that appears to lend itself to a spike in click-throughs. Despite the viral success of some of his videos this past year and even some celebrity guest appearances, the popularity of content is more dictated by user interest rather than subject matter.
Key Takeaway from a Year of Writing Headlines
Neistat's key takeaway from writing interesting, engaging titles for his daily vlogs is a good reminder for all content creators--no matter the medium.
"Respect the audience. Viewers are smart and considerate. Be honest, make the title fun and interesting, but know that if the content doesn't live up to it, they'll be disappointed--and won't be coming back."
To study his headline strategies at work, check out the titles of his daily vlogs over on his YouTube channel.