Picture"Father Figure carving on Mouissac Cathedral" image by Ruth Temple (RuTemple)
My latest DeHaan Services article, "Ideas for Fathers Day 2013 in Toronto", suggests readers choose between two music festivals in Toronto that end on the Fathers' Day weekend.

Of course, readers could attend both free events and use the money saved to buy a simple Fathers' Day gift.

One Fatherly Writing Tip

While writing the publicity notes for this Fathers' Day article, I realized that I had missed the opportunity to use one of the popular tools in the web writer's kit.

I made amends by employing that tool in this Weebly article. Can you recognize it now, before I explain this writing tip?

Many online articles, and even print magazine articles in bygone years, include a number in the title.

"Top Ten" or "97 Ways" are typical leaders in titles. Online articles usually stick with a dozen or fewer. No-one wants to read a lengthy list from a web site.

Magazines could hope that readers would recognize the value of a long and comprehensive list.

No matter the size of the number, the value is that the reader recognizes a promise that the article will cover that many points, and then reach a conclusion. There's no fear that the article will be continued over multiple sessions. With short lists in online articles, there's no feeling of intimidation. (You only need to remember a handful of "weird tricks"; how often have you seen that phrase in an online ad)?

You don't need to use that approach in every article, unless you really want to build a reputation as that "simple six" guy.

Nonetheless, I missed out on my first chance to stick a number into the title of this primary article. (I have done this before in DeHaan Services; both "Three Themes for Doors Open Toronto 2012" and "Three Outdoor Carol Events in Dec. 2012 in Eastern Toronto" were viewed by several readers on June 3, 2013).

Shortly after writing this article, I wrote another in DeHaan Services with a number leading off the title. "8 Fun or Charity Fitness Events in Toronto on June 9, 2013" had to cover a lot of ground. In fact, these are not the only eight events that I've publicized for that same weekend.

So sometimes I heed my own writing tips; today this article's title says that I wrote about two music events in Toronto for the 2013 Fathers' Day weekend.

Following my own Writing Tip

Picture"Urban Canadian Flags at HBC" by PinkMoose (Anthony Easton)
Since reporting on this writing tip, I've actually followed my own advice!

These Canadian flags illustrate yesterday's "A Dozen Venues for Canada Day 2013 Events in Toronto".

The day before, I'd written "Eleven Free Toronto GTA Fireworks Displays for Canada Day 2013". I think this garnered my highest readership for one DeHaan Services article in one day.

Last week highlighted "One Free Friday for the 2013 TD Toronto Jazz Festival".

I certainly have not completely shifted to numerology for my articles. The "2013 Redpath Waterfront Festival in Toronto" has the year, but not the number of things to do on Queen's Quay for this event.

On June 27, I used a number that was far too large for effective SEO in publicizing my Decoded Science article, The Drake Equation Estimated the Scope of the SETI Project“. I used "The Equation that Launched 3.4 Million Hosts": much too large to attract a numero-phile.

Finally for these examples, on July 4 I wrote "Five Free Toronto Events for July 6-7, 2013". That was a case of "hurry before it's too late", as you can see by the publication date. I'd hoped to write at least four separate articles, since any relationships among them only come in pairs. Also, there's something for SEO if you can put the actual event into the article's title. Nonetheless, it's attracting some readers on Friday the 5th, so perhaps that's a good sign.

Thanks for reading this lengthy writing tip based originally on my 2013 Fathers' Day article.

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    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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