Archive | 09:00

The Value Of A Good Blog Title

2 Jan
English: Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging

Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s start with a poem I wrote some years ago:

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The Thing About Poems Is

Titles
are
vital

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The same is true of blog posts.  Titles are vital to lure an unsuspecting reader to your blog, where you will surround them with your wit and wisdom and encourage them to waste time they could have used for eating, watching TV and sitting on the couch.

Here is a bad example from my own post titles:

  • Joke 648

Unless you are looking for 648 jokes, it’s rather dull.  However, it does tell you exactly what you will find – a joke; the 648th joke in a long line of jokes.  

It helps to be specific:

  • The Value Of A Good Blog Title 

is not particularly interesting but it will attract people looking to improve their blogging.  I know this because 

  • Seven Tips For New Bloggers 

still attracts readers, months after being posted.  

It helps to be topical:

  • It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Posted in December, it’s seasonal and likely to attract Christmas fanatics like me.  In November, it makes me the blogger who’s ahead of the game; in June, it makes me quirky and will, hopefully, make the reader curious.  But beware: posted in January it’s the blogging equivalent of the guest who won’t leave when the party’s over.

Sometimes, being topical leads to dumb luck:

  • Some Snow Facts

A fun factual post a year earlier led to my best-ever day – 4,720 hits – when Google Doodle celebrated the 125th anniversary of the discovery of the World’s Largest Snowflake.  I’d have been happier if just one of those people looking for the Google Doodle had left a comment but, hey, I’m not one to look a gift spike in the mouth.

Referencing popular culture in a title is a good way to attract readers.  Here are some posts of mine which still receive hits:

  • Twilight: I Hope Bella Remembered To Shave
  • Seven Of Nine, And Not In A Good Way
  • Robert Pattinson With Small Hairs

Being up to date with the news helps:

  • What Really Happened To Gaddafi

brought in hundreds of people who thought a housewife in Stockport could tell them what 24-hour news channels and thousands of dedicated reporters could not.

Adding the word ‘Review’ to a title is another good way to attract readers. However:

  1. It irritates readers if you use the word ‘Review’ and then don’t review whatever it is you claim to be reviewing.
  2. Reviewing books and movies four years after they’ve been released is unlikely to make your post a best seller.

Key words and phrases that people use in searches are useful.  Here are some posts that still receive hits; one was written over two years ago:

  • You’re Only As Old As The Woman You Feel
  • Smile And The World Smiles With You    The word ‘smile’ is the top search that finds this blog, with over 10,000 visits.
  • A Is For ‘Arguments’    The key word here is ‘A’.  Bizarrely, the letter ‘a’ comes in at Number 7, with 1,044 searches.
Sweaty Armpits

Sweaty Armpits (Photo credit: mricon)

Finally, have fun with your titles.  After all, it doesn’t matter who reads them so long as you are enjoying yourself.  Here are some of my favourite titles from posts that I have written in the last year.

  • Famous With Sweaty Armpits  
  • Okay, Tesco: I Forgive You
  • If I Break Wind, I’ll Write About It
  • I Have To Kill My Kindle
  • Love Many, Trust Few And A Canoe
  • I’m Three Mugs Of Tea Away From Becoming A Feminist
  • So Many Jokes, So Little Class   I like this one for its searing truth.
  • It’s Time To Give Up Food   I like this one for its absurd premise.
  • Ten Don’ts For When I’m Dead
  • Bring In Arms Fat Mummy
  • Hula Hoops. Very Proud Of The Queen.   I can’t claim credit for this one as it was from a comment by Debbie.
  • Vasectomy Dog And A Frog Disease Called Awesome
  • Camping: The Art Of Staying Wet Indoors
  • Flying To Spain In A Manky Cardi
  • A Labled Easy To Follow Leg
  • Sandra Bullock Has A Sex Change And Retires To Norfolk

Joke 650

2 Jan
  • The difference between short and long income tax forms is simple.  If you use the short form, the government gets your money. If you use the long form, your accountant gets your money.

    Tax

    Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

  • A fine is a tax for doing something wrong.  A tax is a fine for doing something right.
  • The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward.   John Maynard Keynes

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Dear Mr Addison,

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I will address them, as ever, in order. Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a “begging letter”. It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a “tax demand”. This is how we, at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the “endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat” has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that their being from “pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers” might indicate that your decision to “file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies” is at best a little ill-advised. In common with my own organisation, it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a “lackwit bumpkin” or, come to that, a “sodding charity”. More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay “go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services”, a moment’s rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government in any way expects you to “stump up for the whole damned party” yourself. The estimates you provide for the Chancellor’s disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful, are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on “junkets for Bunterish lickspittles” and “dancing whores” whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to, for example, “that box-ticking façade of a university system.”

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries:
1. The reason we don’t simply write “Muggins” on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system.
2. You can rest assured that “sucking the very marrows of those with nothing else to give” has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn’t render it irrelevant, the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.

I trust this has helped. In the meantime, whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that even if you did choose to “give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India” you would still owe us the money.

Please forward it by Friday.

Yours Sincerely,
H J Lee
Customer Relations

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There was a man who made his tax returns promptly and properly only to find that he owed the IRS $3,407USD. [Somewhat less than £2,000] He packaged up his payment and included this letter:

Dear IRS,

Enclosed is my 1997 tax return and payment. Please take note of the attached article from the USA Today newspaper. In the article, you will see that the Pentagon is paying $171.50 for hammers and NASA has paid $600.00 for a toilet seat.

Please find enclosed four toilet seats (value $2400) and six hammers (value $1029).

This brings my total payment to $3429.00. Please note the overpayment of $22.00 and apply it to the ‘Presidential Election Fund’, as noted on my return. Might I suggest you then send the above mentioned fund a ‘1.5 inch screw’ . (See attached article – HUD paid $22.00 for a 1.5 inch Phillips Head Screw.)

It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year. I have just read an article about the Pentagon and ‘screwdrivers’.

Sincerely,

Disgruntled of Oklahoma.

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From Will & Guy.

 

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