STICKIED: How to Get People to Read Your Post & Respond


Staff member
Oct 9, 2012
I noticed over in General a user (Virgin101) has a thread he started in July that hasn't received feedback. He's bumped it a number of times but it hasn't caught on. In the thread, he asks why it hasn't caught on. Here's the thread:

Lets share - building up your repertoire (don't post unless you've an e.g)

In any new thread, there are two major elements to focus on:

  • Title
  • Body

Each of these has its own rules. Let's cover them quick.


The title is what people see in the board and what makes them decide to click it or not. It also sets the impression they have coming into the post. A good title makes guys click and want to read what's inside. A GREAT title makes the reader excited about the topic and want to comment on the thread before he even clicks ("Ooh yeah, I've been waiting for something on this topic! I have my own thoughts to share!").

Let's look at Virgin101's topic:

Lets share - building up your repertoire (don't post unless you've an e.g)
It sounds like it's going to be helpful to the reader ("building up your repertoire"), so that's good. But I don't really know what repertoire I'm going to build when I click on this post. Which is bad. The foggier your title is, the less likely it is to receive many clicks. And the more likely it is to get guys who click on it already ready to dismiss the topic.

The "don't post unless you've an e.g." is negative/exclusionary, which is quite harmful for engagement. If you must have something like this, write in the positive - "Please post EXAMPLES!" - rather than the negative - "Don't post unless you have examples." I'll tell you myself, I usually never, ever share anything or respond to negative posts telling me not to do anything unless X - those sorts of titles just come across demanding or entitled or whatever, and I want nothing to do with them. You are probably having this effect on a lot of people if you use exclusionary titles.

The title is also confusing; I know what "e.g." is, I use it all the time, but I'm so used to seeing "don't post unless you're a master seducer!" type titles I automatically assume that's what this is. It took me a while to figure out Virgin101 wanted examples here, and the longer it takes someone to figure out what you mean the less excited he is for the post and the less he wants to click on it and respond.

After reading the post, I discovered this post was actually about learning to recognize easily missed signals. It's actually a really excellent topic, but there's no way to know that's what this post is about from the title.

[EDIT: after rereading the post, I discovered it is not about missed signals you kicked yourself over. Actually, I'm not sure what the post is about. Nothing against Virgin101; often you'll start off less-clear as a writer and get clearer with time. Or maybe I was just too hurried a reader. Though often you want to make your content clear enough that even if a guy is hurried, he still gets the gist of it. Anyway, I'm going to keep this thread the way it is, because it's more about giving guys tools to write better titles and body content that increases their threads' engagement]

If I was going to retitle this post, I'd title it something like this:

What Green Lights from Girls Have You Totally Missed?
Or maybe like this:

Repository: BIG Signs Girls Give You that Go Right Over Your Head?
Or perhaps like this:

What are the BIGGEST Signs Girls Have Given You... but You Missed Completely?
From titles like these, I know what the thread is about, I know it's focused on asking ME for MY experiences, and the thread avoids the whole demanding/exclusionary feel of the "don't post unless you X" meme I see some guys use (don't post unless you have examples, don't post unless you are Chase or Franco, don't post unless you're an mPUA with 1200 lays, etc.). You will get more of what you want by telling people what you want than you will by telling people what you do NOT want.

Make sure your titles are clear. Include what they are about in them. Make them stand out.


The body content also meanders more than it needs to.

I'm probably not one to complain about this much, but in general: the more concise, info-packed, and to-the-point your content is, the more your readers will like it, the more they'll engage with it, and the more and better responses you'll get.

The biggest problem with the body content in Virgin101's post is how abstract most of it is. As a general rule, the more abstract your content, the harder it will be for most people to grasp, and the lower the engagement you'll receive. If you want more engagement, be more concrete. This is HARDER for you (because you have to get out of the abstract and into the concrete), but it is EASIER for the reader.

Let me give you an example (and get concrete).

Let's say you're writing a post on the value of moving fast. And you say:

You need to move fast with women. If you don't move fast with women, they'll get disappointed or some other guy might steal them. Or attraction expires and they're just gone after that. If you move too slow, you'll get a lot fewer girls.
Okay, that's... okay. But no one's going go to get sucked into that. But what if you made it concrete?

Now you say:

You've got to move faster with women. If you sit and talk with a girl well past the point where she scoots over closer to you, and starts to touch you, and laughs at everything you say, and volunteers tons of info about herself, it's too long. As soon as you pass this point, you need to escalate the courtship. Move her to the next step. That might mean you move her somewhere else. That might mean you change venues with her ("Let's ditch this bar and go grab some food"). That might mean you invite her home ("Tell you what, let's go grab some drinks and watch a movie").

You don't want to be the guy she throws every signal in the book at, but you just sit there and talk to her because you keep telling yourself, "I have to get her even MORE into me, and then she will DEFINITELY do what I ask her to!" She's already signalling you, bub. It's time to get a move on... before it's too late. You're not going to get her more into you by waiting; only more frustrated.
Much more engaging, right? It's no longer abstract; it's concrete. You can picture it in your head; you've probably been there before. We talk about both what to do and what not to. It's very clear.

Another aspect of good body writing is focus on the reader.

Just like girls want to talk about themselves and hear about themselves, readers want to talk about and hear about THEMselves.

Readers may care about you a bit. Sometimes it's interesting. But many of the most engaging threads are focused on the reader.

If you want a repository of easily missed signals from readers, you'll want to make it short, sweet, and to the point:

All right guys, we've all had girls give us big green lights that flew right by our heads, and we didn't even notice until later and kicked ourselves over them. I've noticed a lot of times these green lights recur again and again with other girls... so wanted to start a thread that could serve as a repository of signs like this it's easy to miss.

What green lights have girls given YOU that you kicked yourself later for missing?

Here are two of mine:

  • [EXAMPLE 1]
  • [EXAMPLE 2]
That's all you need. It's simple, it's clear what the post is about, and it keeps the focus on the reader. It also highlights that the nature of the thread is to collect signals guys have missed / experiences they've had, without being exclusionary (which, again, risks coming off demanding or entitled - doesn't matter if that isn't how you intended it, people often take things too seriously or the wrong way over text, with no voice tone / inflection / body language).

So, I hope this helpful.

Hope it gets you more engagement with your posts.

Just remember:

Title should be clear, descriptive, and accurately let a reader know what to expect inside the thread (what the thread is about).

Body should be clear, concise, and keep the focus on the reader (unless it's a field report, or a description of a problem specific to the poster).

Happy posting,