Monday, November 23, 2015

Keys to Choosing Blog Post Titles that Work

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I spend a lot of time sharing other bloggers’ posts with my social media network. But spend even more time passing over valuable posts because my followers would have no idea what the post was about. So today I want to give you the basics of titling blog posts.

I pay a lot of attention to my blog post titles, and I often spend almost as much time composing them as I do writing an entire post.

They are that important!
It’s also important that your blog post titles contains your keyword phrase AND you use your blog title in the first fifty or so words of your post. 
  • The first thing to consider is that your readers will evaluate your post's content based on the title. When a title is misleading or even ambiguous, the reader can walk away feeling cheated.
  • The second thing to consider is the blog title in regard to social media. Think beyond those who read the title when it's on the blog site. What makes sense to a reader who has the full content of a blog is much different from what makes sense without visual clues and context.
Social media is a great thing for growing blogs, if you don’t allow blogging and social media to work at cross purposes.  They need to compliment each other, and reinforce your message.

Remember, with a compelling title, a browser becomes a reader. Without a compelling title, the rest of your words might as well not be written.

We are writers, and we love words. Even more than that, we love to be clever. I get that.

But a blog post title isn’t a place to just be clever. For example, the title of the blog post you're reading this isn't very clever, but it’s very specific. Originally I thought about titling this post:

What’s That Mean? 

That title, (What's that Mean?) is a play on a popular tagline found at the end of many current television shows. But that alone wouldn’t tell a reader what to expect. That’s why I chose a different title: 

Keys to Choosing Blog Post Titles that Work

So go ahead, and play with words, but don’t do it in the title. Give your readers and potential readers the information they need!

If you’re still not quite sure what I mean, I’ve compiled a list of ambiguous blog post titles. These are taken from actual posts that I’ve found on the Internet. Take a minute to to figure out what the blog posts might be about before you read the answers below.

The Summer of Success

When Things Go South

In the Mood

I Live Next Door to a Cemetery

Choosing Joy Instead of Jealousy

Hooptedoodle and You

Perseverance Pays off

Three Steps to Prevent Overfiring

Not Quite What I expected

Take a Deep Breath

ANSWERS:
The Summer of Success – about what writers can learn from the career of Donna Summer

When Things Go South - the fine line between showing enough of our characters life to immerse the reader and make it realistic without boring them to tears.

In the Mood – writing with determination

I Live Next Door to a Cemetery – odd places to find writing inspiration

Choosing Joy Instead of Jealousy – don’t be jealous over other WRITERS’ successes

Hooptedoodle and You – writing styles and how to pinpoint yours

Perseverance Pays off – becoming a published novelist isn’t the end, but the beginning.

Three Steps to Prevent Overfiring – comparing the warning on a wood stove with writing overload

Not Quite What I expected - If a craft project seems intimidating, don’t let it stop you. Give it a try anyway.

Take a Deep Breath – don’t get overwhelmed with the NaNoWriMo writing marathon

I hope I've illustrated the importance of choosing blog posts titles that don't confuse our readers. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Be sure to share them in the comments section below.

Don't forget to join the conversation.
Blessings,
Edie

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14 comments:

  1. Great post Edie! Your examples at the end made things so much clearer. I have a lot of work to do in this area. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Sheryl, it seems like coming up with blog post titles would be simple. But it's something that I still have to work at. But it DOES get easier with practice and time. Blessings, E

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  2. You always give me great tools. Thank you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Edie. May God grant you the desires of your heart.

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    1. Cherrilynn, right back at you! Blessings, E

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  3. The Click to Tweet Button is not working:(

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  4. I'm pretty sure I'm awful with titles and my stats reflect that :( Crazy how hard that is!

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    1. Lindsey, it really is! It seems like it should be easy - and it does get easier with time and practice - but I still spend way more time than I expect on choosing titles. Thanks for dropping by, Blessings, E

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  5. Great advice and a good reminder to this writer who loves intriguing titles but probably loses readers because of it! Hilarious too... Had no idea what the sample titles above were about!

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    1. Danetta, It is funny how many assumptions we make when we title our own posts! Thanks for chiming in, Blessings, E

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  6. Edie, your help with blogging titles has given me more click throughs!

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    1. DiAnn, always glad to help! Blessings, E

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  7. You have probably said it before but it just now sank in that I need the title in the first 50 words as well. Another great tip for me to use. Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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    1. Barbara, there are so many things to remember, we have to take it in small bites. Thanks for dropping by, Blessings, E

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