It’s a Helluva Start, Creating Blog Titles with Schtick

By: Tracy Jackson

I’m a word girl.  However, even I recognize that if 8 out of 10 people read headlines, but only 2 out of 10 will read on, those numbers are pretty daunting for any blogger.  And what of the two?  Seems to me they must have been captivated by a splashy title that was spot-on.  It’s time to give headlines their due—time to recognize that whether we like it or not, we love titles. We judge books by their titles, we judge jobs by their titles, and often times we create titles for one another.  (My sister called me Lucy my first year in college because she thought that I usually had some ‘splainin’ to do; the name didn’t necessarily fit, but I wore it.) Titles are definitive. They showcase. They introduce.

Here are some important reminders to procure arresting blog post titles:

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

If you want titles that groove, you need to spend some time coming up with them.  Some experts suggest that there’s a 50/50 rule.  You take as much time to craft a title as you take to create content.  That may seem lavish, but it puts the importance of an irresistible title in perspective.  They key is not to rush it—don’t labor over content and eek out a title instantly.

Great Expectations

Titles should let your reader know what to expect.  The headline is meant to clearly communicate what the piece is about. A title is somewhat utilitarian, but it can’t be no-frills.  It can’t be obtuse either.  Remember, it should act as a clear path to content while stimulating a desire to know more.  Engage readers with witty, captivating, actionable, and accurate titles.  

Short Phrases Got a Reason to Live

Concision always makes for better writing, and for clickable titles too. Titles should pack some punch, some zest, and be sure to follow the rule of thumb on this one: 8 words or less.  You should have a grand reason for breaking the rule, otherwise rethink your headline.

The Definitive Case Against Spineless Words

Be sure to avoid namby-pamby words when generating an impressive headline. Strong, definitive words display that you are confident, which bolsters your credibility as a writer.  You’ll want to incorporate keywords organically into your title for the benefit of search engines.  Remember though, you also need to be mindful of grabbing your readers’ attention.  Multi-task on this one!

Off the Wall?

Sensationalism can be a good thing where titles are concerned. Sometimes saying something controversial or off-the-wall can be just the right trick to pique readers’ curiosity. While curiosity may have killed the cat, it will enliven and engage your reader. Don’t be afraid to hook your reader by using something humorous or mysterious, or something wacky for that matter.  It’s okay to think outside the blog on this one as long as it ultimately relates to your content.  

This post was written and sponsored by atly.