First, let me admit that I called this post Terrible Titles to catch your attention. It’s not really about ALL terrible titles. It’s about terrible blog post titles, in specific. However, calling it Terrible Blog and Post Titles doesn’t sound as good or grab the reader’s attention as well as Terrible Titles – so, of course, it won out.
And that’s how it works. Choosing a title for a blog post is exactly the same as writing a headline for a newspaper. The object is to get the reader to stop and read the article, not to tell the reader what the story is about, except in a very general way.
As many of you know, I recently published Blog & Tweet, an informal guide to blogging and tweeting. I’m noting several things I missed for what may turn out to be Volume Two and this subject is definitely going to be the first subject.
I see titles for blog posts everyday that just make me cringe. About 50% of them are too long, tell too much, don’t tell enough, have too many hashtags in them, have the same title over and over with only a number change, etc.
Remember to keep it simple and catchy. Don’t clutter it up. Don’t repeat the title (the reader becomes immune to your blog this way). Don’t tell them too much. If it’s not something of interest to them, force them to your page to find out. That may sound tough-minded and that’s because it is. You have to think like a newspaper editor on this one. “How do I get them to buy the paper?” The answer is: With great headlines and an eye-catching front page. “How to I keep them buying the newspaper?” And the answer is…with great content.
So, here are a few examples of great blog post titles from this week alone. Each one makes you wonder what’s inside the box.
life in the fish bowl by Erica Lucke
The Sleeper Awakens by Jack Durkish
The Importance of Thumbs by Gilly Fraser
The Girls’ Guide to Dating Zombies by Frederick Lee
Blog titles are similar. The difference is that the title of your blog is going to stay with you a long time. Choose carefully. Make sure it reflects what you have to say or the character of what you think your posts will be about. If you don’t know yet, then pick something catchy but all encompassing.
Okay, I’m off my soapbox.