During the WordCount Blogathon, I’m re-running popular posts every Sunday on subjects that readers ask for.
Deciding what title to give a blog post is part art and part science. The art comes in finding the precise words that will clue readers into what the post is about and make it sound good enticing they have to read it.
The science part has to do with Google and other search engines. When they crawl by to register what you’ve written you want them to pick up the key words from the title that describe the post’s subject in terms that readers use to search on that subject most often so when they do a search your post will rise to the top of the results heap.
For bloggers who’ve worked as journalists, it’s a big shift from how we used to writing headlines for feature stories and other article in magazines or newspapers, where being cute, pun-y or using other savvy wordsmithing won readers and headline-writing rewards.
When I visited dozens of blogs in this year’s blogathon to recap the event’s haiku theme day I noticed that blogger’s title writing abilities are all over the map. Some are spot on. Others are so generic it’s hard to know what they’re about, or distinguish them from umpteen other posts on the same subject. A bad title is a missed opportunity to pick up a new reader.
Here are suggestions from posts I’ve done on writing good headlines and blog posts titles:
- Keep titles short and to the point. From 7 simple SEO tips for writers
- Include the unexpected. Good headlines attract attention, whether they’re in a newspaper or a blog post. From Sex sells and other blogging lessons learned
- Do Google searchs on the topic and see what comes up, then use the most frequently used terms in your blog post title. From A writer’s guide to SEO basics
- When you’re writing blog posts or stories for clients, always include a headline. From 10 ways to make editors fall in love with your work (including writing headlines when
- The best headlines are like the best diet food: meaty yet lively – and sometimes downright spicy – but without a trace of fat. From Make headline news
Here are other posts on writing blog post titles I’ve found helpful:
- How to craft blog post titles that draw readers to your blog (Problogger)
- 6 tips for writing an effective blog post title, Tech N Marketing
- Are you writing rockin’ blog post titles? (Share the Word, WordPress.com editorial staff blog)
- Keywords in blog post titles help new readers find you (Share the Word)
- Prevent your blog titles from sabotaging your efforts (Headline writing 101) (Search Engine People)