The Value Of A Good Blog Title

12 Sep

This is a slightly edited repost from 2013, but I’m out of ideas so I thought I’d share it again.  It contains some good advice for new bloggers.

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

*

The Thing About Poetry IsEnglish: Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging

Titles
are
vital

*

The same is true of blog posts.  Titles are vital to lure unsuspecting readers to your blog, where you will dazzle 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.

*

How Not To Write A Post Title

From my blog:

  • 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.

*

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, years after being posted.  List titles like this are also popular, for reasons I’m sure psychologists could tell you, though I can’t.  

A word of caution, however: don’t be tempted to make it 147 Tips For New Bloggers, because nobody’s attention span is that long.  I know this from experience.

*

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.

*

Reference Popular Culture

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 them if you use the word ‘Review’ and then don’t review whatever it is you claim to be reviewing.  I know this from experience.
  2. Reviewing books and movies four years after they’ve been released is unlikely to make your post a bestseller (I was surprised to discover).

*

Use Keywords And Phrases

Here are some posts that still receive hits.  One was written six years ago:

  • You’re Only As Old As The Woman You Feel – old jokes and clichéd phrases are popular searches as ageing people begin to lose their memories (I know this from experience).
  • 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 on my search list, with 1,044 hits.

*

Sweaty Armpits

Sweaty Armpits (Photo credit: mricon)

Have Fun!

After all, if you’re not trying to change the world, it doesn’t matter who reads your blog so long as you are enjoying yourself.  

Here are some of my favourite titles from posts that I have written:

*

  • Famous With Sweaty Armpits  
  • Okay, Tesco: I Forgive You
  • So Many Jokes, So Little Class   I like this one for its searing honesty.
  • If I Break Wind, I’ll Write About It  The previous title refers.
  • I Have To Kill My Kindle
  • Love Many, Trust Few And A Canoe
  • I’m Three Mugs Of Tea Away From Becoming A Feminist
  • It’s Time To Give Up Food   I like this one for its absurd premise.
  • Ten Don’ts For When I’m Dead  Another list post.
  • 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 another blogger.
  • 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

*

A Final Tip

Related to blogging but not to titles in particular: ask an open-ended question. A question as title will pull in the curious and the opinionated (I know this from experience).  You don’t have to use it as a title, however; you can use it as a closing sentence.  It never fails (I know this from experience).

What are your blogging tips?

Advertisements

6 Responses to “The Value Of A Good Blog Title”

  1. Ron. September 12, 2017 at 12:11 #

    You still got it, TB.
    I once thought about titling a post “Ultimately Reblogable” knowing that on any given day there are millions of bloggers out there feeling like they have nothing original to say and hoping to just post something like, “My blogger friend Ron over at Scrambled, Not Fried posted a really interesting post this morning. Here’s a link…”

    The problem is that, while I think it would be a great post title, I had no content of either interest or merit. Maybe you could come up with something.

    Or…

    Like

  2. Judy September 12, 2017 at 12:19 #

    perfect, perfect.

    my own suggestions (which now and then work):

    1. Retrospective childhood or growing up stories–“The new roller skates” or, “My first and last ski trip”

    2. Family stuff: i.e., “Mother’s Last Dance’ or, “How Aunt Mary Met Uncle Pete”. for some reason people LOVE family stories, but they do have to be well put together. And you do need a family to work from.

    3. Process “The New House, from cellar to attic” with photos. Not too many, but enough. Or Progress pictures, “the garden from April to Snowfall” (which around here is often ‘The Garden from April to next week”…)

    4. “Im Mad as Hell and Just Won’t Take it” gets people’s attention, but it can be overdone.

    And tips of my own: If you absolutely have to, use spellcheck, but don’t trust it. And if you aren’t sure where the possessive “s” thingy should go, rewrite the sentence. I have been known to walk alll the way around the house to get to the door on that one.

    Like

  3. BeeFoxTree September 12, 2017 at 12:33 #

    Highly entertaining and informative Tilly. 😀 If I get back to blogging I’ll use this as a reference.

    Like

  4. slpmartin September 12, 2017 at 16:48 #

    Hmm…I knew I’ve been doing something wrong 😉 Indeed a most entertaining write.

    Like

  5. Elaine - I used to be indecisive September 15, 2017 at 12:25 #

    I’m not sure that I have any tips at all. Even after 6 years, or is it 7, of blogging I’ve no idea what makes a good post/title. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, my Lemon Drizzle cake post is still the most read one! 🙂

    Like

  6. Tom Merriman September 16, 2017 at 19:42 #

    I’m rubbish at titles, Tilly (some may say I’m rubbish at the rest of the post as well, but we’ll leave that there for now!), so I just do what I do. I do have fun, though, I do I do… I love your poem as well. Nice and succinct.

    Like

I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: