Thursday, November 7, 2013

What’s that Mean—Blog Post Titles that DON’T Confuse Your Social Media Followers!

by Edie Melson

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 to help with blog post titles that DON’T confuse your social media followers.

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. I don’t want to get sidetracked on SEO so here’s a post I wrote on How to Use Keywords Effectively
  • The first thing to consider is that your readers will evaluate your post’s content based on the title. If your title is misleading or even ambiguous your reader can walk away feeling cheated.
  • The second thing to consider is to think beyond your blog post setting. What makes sense when a reader is already on your site is way different than 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, this blog post title is clever, but it’s also very specific. The first part:

What’s That Mean? 
Is 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 have a subtitle: 

Blog Post Titles that DON’T Confuse Your Social Media Followers.

So go ahead, and play with words, but don’t stop there. 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. We’re going to play a little guessing game. I’m posting the titles and I want you to guess what the blog post is about.

Tomorrow, in the comments section of today’s blog post, I’ll share the answers.

Good luck…
And don’t forget to join the conversation!

Blog Post Titles:
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


Keep your blog post titles from confusing your social media audience? (Click to Tweet)

Answers to the quiz above: 
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


  1. Great post, Edie. I'm sooooo guilty of this.

    1. Reebs, we all are. It's easy to get caught up in our own little world and assume others know what our title pertains to. The truth is, God can expand our influence exponentially and we need to write with that in mind! Blessings, E

  2. LOL Edie, I am so guilty of this too! Busted. :) I see what you mean and will reword as you suggested. An ambiguous title only confuses the reader and has great potential to disappoint. Thanks for the great post.

  3. (Raising my hand) I have done this so many times and I still do! But, I'm trying to learn. Here's a terrible title I used: "Reclaiming The Innocence of a Bygone Generation." What on earth?? The article was actually about two steps I took to limit media exposure in our household. Hmm, maybe that would have been a better title! :)

    Looking forward to seeing what the ambiguous titles you posted are all about. Especially "Hooptedoodle and You." Whatever the post is about, that title is still pretty fun to say!

    1. Tarissa, I love fun titles, but I always try to subtitle the ones that are ambiguous. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  4. IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a guilt-free zone! We come to together to get better - we're stronger with each other, than alone!

  5. Great points again, Edie! I always try to think like a journalist and include "Who, What, When, or How" in my titles. Sometimes, when I have trouble thinking of a good title, that means the focus of my post is vague. Now I'm going to go edit tomorrow's title... Thanks!

  6. Here are my guesses, Edie! Can't wait to see what the posts were really about!

    The Summer of Success: How the person accomplished a task between June and August.

    When Things Go South: Handling disappointments

    In the Mood: Romantic moments

    I Live Next Door to a Cemetery: The advantages and disadvantages of living beside a graveyard

    Choosing Joy Instead of Jealousy: Being happy for someone when they succeed

    Hooptedoodle and You: Colloquialisms

    Perseverance Pays off: A tale of toughing it out

    Three Steps to Prevent Overfiring: How to keep your woodstove burning properly

    Not Quite What I expected: Handling disappointments

    Take a Deep Breath: Lowering your blood pressure without meds

    1. Pam, thanks so much for playing alone. You did get a couple right, but you're going to laugh out loud when I publish the list! Blessings, E

  7. Wow Edie. this was a fantastic post. I do believe I am in the guilty section...but am leaping off of this bandwagon. Thanks.

    1. Mary, I'm glad u found it helpful.. And we've all done it! Blessings, E

  8. Oh, mercy. My attempts to intrigue probably only confused! Is it okay to go back and change titles of previous blogposts?

    1. Sally, most of the time, intrigue equals confusion. BUT, there are still times it works. For example, I read a post this week with the title 30 Seconds to Live. I didn't care what that pertained to, I couldn't pass it up! And yes, you can go back and change a title. You can also use an em dash and add a subtitle for clarification. Blessings, E