Crafting Blog Titles That Don’t Totally Suck
Posted by Miranda Carr, Content Director on December 17th, 2014
You’ve spent days mulling over your blog ideas, researching your finalized topic, and formulating the text in just the way you have imagined. You checked and double-checked the grammar and punctuation; you’re positive there isn’t one comma out of place. The final copy is relevant, useful, and important. Your images are in the right place and have the appropriate alt attributes. After all this hard work, how can you make your spectacular content stand out from the thousands of other pieces of content posted on the Internet daily? This brings us to the last item on your content creation checklist: The title.
The title is the first impression your blog has on a reader, and you want to be sure you make this impression count. However, many writers find that coming up with a compelling title is the most difficult part of producing blog content. While you can never be sure how well your blog will perform until you publish it, here are some tips to consider before you finally post your blog in order to ensure you have the best possible title representing your piece of work.
Avoid the Spam
A keyword-stuffed blog title is a garbage-stuffed blog title. In the past, it was a rule that you needed to have your keyword in the title of your blog. However, with search engines understanding semantics and topics better than they have previously, it is no longer necessary to stuff your blog title with the specific keyword you want it to show up for. The flexibility now present with this rule should give you the freedom to create a more intriguing title as well.
Break the Mold
How many how-to blogs have you read this week? How many have you read this year? While a classic how-to article will always get your point across, I think you can do a little better than that. Even if you are writing a how to article (like I am), you don’t have to have a cookie cutter title to represent it. Try tapping into the main idea of your blog and riff off of that.
Try Not To Mislead (Unless It’s Intentional)
Let’s just admit it, we all hate clickbait. And although it works (kind of), you will not get your desired results for your blog if you write a title just to bait readers into clicking on your link. This is where a little tightrope walking comes into play. You want a title that is going to intrigue and entice your reader without overpromising on your content. If your title, either intentionally or unintentionally, convinces your reader that they will find something specific in your blog, they better find that content in your post. Now, on occasion, you can craft a title that severely overpromises on the content in a humorous way if you immediately dispel your title in the beginning of your blog post, but that usually requires a little too much tightrope walking for my taste.
Spark Some Interest
Let’s be honest, when it comes to blogging, we have all written a few stinkers. Not every article we put out there is going to win us a Pulitzer Prize. Some blog posts have more natural allure than others, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your endeavor entirely. If you are writing something that you truly believe in, it is your job to make others believe in it as well. So even if your blog topic isn’t the sexiest, you can still add a little interest with your title. Situations like this are the perfect time to break out your list of <ahref=”http://www.virtualsalt.com/rhetoric.htm”>rhetorical devices and just go crazy. It’s worth your while to spend a few extra minutes playing with some interesting titles to get the traffic you so desperately want coming to your blog.
Tap into Your Inner Marketer
Marketing is all about conveying the right message to the right people at the right time. This couldn’t be more true about blog titles. In order to invent an effective title, you have to know who your target audience is and what will resonate with them. And keep in mind, broader isn’t always better. It is often the specific, niche titles that will spawn the most buzz around a blog, so focus up.
As you can tell, there is a lot more to think about than just what you’re writing about when you want to construct a blog title that will send your content asset soaring across the web. Spend that extra 45 minutes to come up with something stunning, and you’ll see the fruits of your labors increase like you never imagined.