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Forum Moderators: lawman
joined:Apr 13, 2002
Cast a Wider Net: Be General
Work on Your Titles
The Meat and Potatoes
Let's talk about what goes inside your post:
Anybody else care to add to this list?
My estimation that the success of a post is 75% due to a quality title.
(funny, I find 75% of the success in SEO is due to a good title too. ;) isn't that funny!)
The moral is to study study study what it takes to make a good post and a good page title.
Give your title laser focus on technical questions
The best way to get informed help on a technical questions is to zero in as much as possible on the detail, right in the title. You're much more likely to attract a reader who has input for the exact same issue. General titles, or "teaser" titles tend to get lower responses.
For instance: "Code doesn't work in Netscape" -- no good.
"Forms inside a <td> break table layout in Netscape" -- the laser is focused.
It also helps to explain what you've already checked, fixes you tried that didn't work, etc. It saves others from spending posts just to pull important details into the thread.
Build your post as if you were building a page for the search engines. Don't be afraid to use some style too!
Agree that titles are 75% of the equation. Want to practice your SEO skills? WebmasterWorld is a great place to start. You can post a topic today and it will most like be in the top ten in Google in the next 24-36 hours. But, only if the title is optimized.
If you write a lengthy post: Be humble. Remember that even if you write about a topic where you have your fair share of insight there will most likely be members who know more about it than you do. Never write for vanity's sake. Some members may not be able to see that that's what you're doing, but others will. And they won't like it.
In line with Troels' (hoping I remembered to spell that right) comment.. relax in your opening post, and especially in your responses to replies.
A little levity goes a long way, and simple courtesy and friendliness goes even further to encouraging people to help you/engage in discussion.
Much of the time a lot of what we discuss here is theory and opinion... no-one wants to be knocked down for adding their interpretation or offering their opinion.
Great post, btw. :)
LOL, just read it seconds after doing a post in CSS, I've done three edits already ;)
mine is another vote that the Technical Forums are different in there it's harder to actually start a discussion, as mostly folks are there for answers. In which case as Ted says the titles have to be much more focused.
I have something to add to your "meat and potatoes" section:
The good news about WebmasterWorld is that if you're thinking about something and want to talk about it, chances are good that others are thinking about it and have already posted about it. Do some searching, read old threads, and make sure that everything you need to know isn't already right here waiting for you!
Then, if you're ready to post ...
Come up with a question that has never been asked here before (good luck) or better yet, try a new spin on an old question.
Members who have been around longer sometimes get fatigued by seeing the same topics and questions over and over. And if you read enough at WebmasterWorld, you'll notice that some topics surface much more often than others.
And let these questions be part of your guide as you post.
To add... if you have done your homework first and done some reading, it doesn't hurt to note that. If your question is similar to previous ones, referring to them can help you clarify how your situation differs and improve the relevance of replies you receive.
Yes, yes, I know what's wrong with my suggestion:
1. You can't. It's other people who decide your reputation.
2. It's too late. If you are trying to start a new thread it is of little use for you to know what you should have done half a year ago.
Still I believe that my suggestion has validity. After all part of my reason for visiting this thread in the first place was that martinibuster had started it. He has made his user name into a quality brand.
If you want other people to read the threads that you start it is no bad idea trying to do the same.
Hmm... Perhaps I'd better get started.