Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tips to Creating Effective Blog Post Titles


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.
  • The third thing to consider is whether or not your title contains a phrase that someone would type into a search engine to find the content in your post. 
Social media is a great thing for growing blogs, if your efforts at blogging and social media doesn't 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: 

Tips to Creating Effective Blog Post Titles

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 Somer

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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Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

10 comments:

  1. Whew! Breathing a sigh of relief none of my titles showed up in your ambiguous list. Great lesson and wonderful tips to remind us all about an important part of communication; "Cute does not trump Clear." Thank you for the inspirational reminder Ms. Edie; and please call me out if you ever see where I've gone astray my friend. Gently of course. :-) God's blessings...

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    1. Mr. Jim, you're safe! It's easy for me to fall in love with a title and not realize it's ambiguous. I really REALLY wanted to title this post "What's That Mean?" and had to fight myself. I'm glad I won! LOL! Blessings, E

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  2. Wow. Thanks for the examples - point well made. Clear not clever in the title. Got it! :)

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    1. It's hard at first, but now I find my mind is trained to find titles that make sense everywhere. AND I have a secret. For this blog, I try to always include one word that refers to writing or publishing. That way I KNOW I'm hitting my audience. Blessings, E

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  3. Thanks for the great tips. I always try to make my blog post titles interesting. Some titles work and some don't. I will keep trying. :-) My reader list has grown and I am happy.

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    1. Melissa, sounds like you're do great! Blessings, E

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  4. Excellent post, Edie. I can hear lightbulbs pinging ON around the country!
    Jay Wright; Anderson, SC

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    1. Jay, thanks for the encouragement! Blessings, E

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  5. Thanks for the informative post and the examples. I am hit and miss with titles. It is an ongoing learning process.

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    1. Ingmar, it's definitely a learned skill and no one hits all the time! Blessings, E

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