Thursday, May 19, 2005
12 Tips on Writing Blog Post Titles
blog post title composition suggestions
Two advocates of carefully, creatively, meaningfully conveying a blog post via its post title...
...are Cory Doctorow and Doc Searls.
Christopher Locke deviates a bit, but innovatively, or weirdly, but I agree, by stating that blog titles can also be bizarre, confounding, perplexing, astonishing, yet provide little to no real information about the contents of the post.
Cryptic, surreal, evocative, info-poor blog post titles, I confirm by personal taste and some observation of users, can relieve boredom, can add pleasing variety, curiosity, desire to explore based on intrigue and intuition.
At any rate, here are some of my poor little tips on Writing Blog Post Titles.
12 Blog Post Title Tips
Long titles may be truncated (last portion chopped off).
Correct, relevant, of practical value, or of great theoretical importance for best practices and fertile concepts.
Put the most relevant, meaningful, information-rich words at the beginning of the post, put "sub-title" clarification or classification text last. (For example: A Critical Examination, A Query, A Psychogeographic Analysis, Credibility Alert, Part Two, A Further Examination, 99 Theses, Zetel, A Telephone Interview, Podcast Summary, Notes and Commentary, etc.)
Extreme, fanatical, frenzied, ridiculous sounding, money-grubbing, self-congratulatory, corporate fluff, hard sell, grossly commercial, deceptive, exaggerated titles will repulse most readers.
Objective, scientific, cool and calculated, dignified, void of hysteria, not compelled to coercively convert, more questioning than accusing or harshing, exhibiting quest for truth, facts, reader input, a multi-logue on a topic, reserving final judgment (unless arrived at and necessary to disseminate).
You are wide awake and motivated by the certain understanding that your Blog Post Title is the major, perhaps only, trigger to a reader opening that post to read its contents.
If the title doesn't grab a reader, it won't be read. No one is so bored that they're going to open a post of no interest. There are multiple millions of other blogs with curious post titles and possibly great content.
(7.) Champion the Content.
Not hype, hucksterism, hard sell, gloom and dooming, fear inducing, or crass commericial greediness, but championing the contents of the post.
Champion, hold high, exalt, perfectly represent the glorious content, its pure essence, the "what is ticking inside" the blog post.
Convey the Kernal.
Communicate the Encapsulation.
Generate the Gist.
Disseminate the Summary.
Use the blog post title to
Champion the Blog Post Content.
Use an authoritative tone, even when questioning. Truly learn and know something, then state it knowingly.
"12 Tips" sounds better, more scientific, more accurate, more credible than "Some Tips". You state specifically the exact number of items, and your exactitude and promotional expertise are valued by respectful readers. 7 items can seem like a pithy, easy to assimilate quantity of info. 38 items can seem inclusive, conclusive, like a manifesto.
(10.) Upper and lower case.
Generally, the ease of reading is highest when text appears in normal usage of prevalent text media, such as newspapers, novels, and business documents. You may write a post in all lower case to draw attention to it, but all caps is very hard to read, annoying, and signifies shouting.
Create a post title based on what you yourself would respond to and read if the blog post was on someone else's blog. Know human nature, use quiet introspection, walking meditation, or other techniques to focus on your internal reactions to blog post titles you've encountered.
Effective blog post title must be based on user perceptions, not your preferences. If your audience is heavily interacting with and referencing scholarly resources, a street savvy, rough-edged, vernacular, simplistic, mystical, imaginative, or poetic writing style might not work well.
Or it might be exactly the breath of fresh air they were craving.
While remaining appropriate, based on knowing your audience, use variety. Experiment with newspaper headline vs vague but intriguing titles, and other variations.
PRACTICAL NOTE: Keep track of how many post titles you click/select at blogs vs how many are displayed, either by scrolling or linking from peripheral list. When scrolling to posts, you really respond to more than just the post title, since you see the graphic and text directly under the title.
vaspersthegrate [at] yahoo [dot] com
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate aka Leopold the Told
Posted by steven edward streight at 5/19/2005 03:09:00 PM