How to Title a Blog Post

how-to-title-a-blog-post

Every blogger, of course, has an individual style and there aren’t necessarily any “right” or “wrong” ways to title your blog posts.  However, if you struggle trying to think of what to call your posts, consider some of the suggestions below.  These are the points I consider when choosing whether or not to click on a post.

Title Your Post What It Is.

Bloggers tend to follow a lot of other blogs, maybe even hundreds of them, so the decision to read or not read your post may be made in a matter of seconds as your followers scroll through their feeds.  If you title your post something like “Find out what book made me laugh the hardest this year” or “Yellow squash and zombies?  What gives?” you might lose readers who don’t want to bother clicking on your post only to find out they don’t want to read about the book you’re featuring.  You might also end up accidentally making readers feel slightly tricked if they click on the post thinking it’s about squash only to discover that squash isn’t featured at all.  Help your readers out and let them know exactly what they’re going to be reading.

Try to Ask Original or Thought-Provoking Questions.

Writing original content can be difficult when there are so many bloggers out there, but it pays to try to feature discussions and posts that others aren’t.  If you write a post titled something like “How many books are on your night stand?” you’re not giving readers a lot to engage with.  Basically they can only comment with however many books they have on their night stand (assuming they have one) and then the conversation risks coming to a stop.  I don’t click on posts with titles like this because I’d prefer to read something that people have to discuss.

Avoid “Yes” or “No” Questions.

When I see a post with a title like “Should books have covers?” I mentally say to myself “Yes” and then don’t click on the post because it seems like the question has already been answered and I don’t really need the author’s input.  A question like this also seems to have a sort of obvious answer (see the point above) so I’m less inclined to click on it.

Even if the question is a more engaging one such as “Are sequels good or bad?” you’ve already primed the reader to answer “good” or “bad” in their heads and move along.  You’ve also accidentally suggested that the conversation isn’t really an engaging one to have since it’s apparently so easily answered with one word–even if that’s not the case.  Instead of asking a question like this, try titling your post with a provocative answer.  What is your conclusion about sequels?  Tell your readers upfront in the title and let them decide if they want to engage with your argument.

Consider Search Engine Hits.

Trying to be original and clever in post titles can be stressful, but keep in mind that your post titles should have the keywords you want search engines to find.  So if you title your post exactly what the post is about because you can’t think of a good pun that day, it’s all right.  At least you’ve increased your presence in search engine algorithms!

Krysta 64

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27 thoughts on “How to Title a Blog Post

  1. Briana says:

    I am a fan of descriptive blog post titles. I follow a lot of blogs, so if I can’t tell what a post is about, I keep scrolling. For something to catch my interest, I have to know what the actual topic is. This could apply to the click bait titles you give examples of. I never click on those. But I also don’t click on posts titled something generic like “Announcement” because I have no idea what the announcement is about. It could be about the blog. It could be about their personal life. So if it could be anything from “I’m going on hiatus” to “I’m starting a meme” to “I’m adopting a cat,” I just keep scrolling.

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    • Krysta says:

      Same. I don’t have much free time to read so I like to conserve my time for material I’ll really be interested in. If I can’t figure out if I’ll be interested, I assume that I’m not.

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  2. anhdara13 says:

    I follow quite a bit of blogs, and I no longer have the time to read each and every post that turns up in my inbox, so I do narrow down from titles. The point you’ve made about questions is actually something I’ve realised I’ve done – I’ve judged posts based on what answer I would give, whether the question phrased in the title is intriguing enough for me to click on. So this post was definitely great, thanks!

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  3. Paula Vince says:

    I’ve come across many yes/no questions, and questions which you’d imagine have one reasonable answer. I scroll past them, for the reasons you’ve mentioned. I’d like to add that if a lot of people on my blog list are doing the same weekly meme, the list tends to look very uniform when I run my eye down it. I do like memes and comparing notes, but if something fresh and different stands out that week in particular, that will be the one I click.

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    • Krysta says:

      Yes, I’ve been reading a lot lately that people are feeling overwhelmed by memes. It can be difficult to decide which of the 30 Top Ten Tuesdays you should click on.

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  4. thewisegreek says:

    I think a mistake I’ve made is stating that my blog post was a book review or giving it the book’s title. Now I think it’s to bland and it needs to be more interesting.

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    • Krysta says:

      That could set you apart since I haven’t seen too many people doing that. For me, I still want the book title because I decided to read the review based on whether I’ve heard of the book/think it looks interesting. Sometimes people have titles like “Guess what book floored me this week?” I don’t want to guess, so I don’t click to find out. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. La La says:

    You are so on the money with the titles and tweets that say things like, “A book so good I skipped lunch.” I call them blind links and I loathe them. I learned pretty quickly that 99% of the time I wasn’t going to give a hoot about the book at the other end. They could at the least put what genre it is. You are right about the discussion titles, too. I am going to link this in my Around the Web section of my The Sunday Post this week. 🙂

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    • Krysta says:

      I’d be interested if someone could provide stats about whether a post receives more clicks if it doesn’t say the title of a book. Though admittedly it might be difficult to figure out why some posts were getting clicks and some weren’t–maybe a post with a well-known title would get more hits than one where the title is announced but no one has heard of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Briana says:

        You could probably at least do a base survey on whether people click on specific types of links. I’m sure *someone* clicks on the click bait titles/tweets, or they wouldn’t be a thing, but the real question is whether our niche–book bloggers–click on them. It doesn’t matter if 40% of the Internet will, if no one who reads book blogs does.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Liam @ Hey Ashers! says:

    This is all excellent advice. Thanks for sharing it! I struggle with my titles, mainly because I want to keep them short, for the sake of my blog’s aesthetic. Do I want my blog to look clean and minimal-ish, but have boring titles, or do I want engaging titles and a sloppier appearance overall? When I started my blog, I did the long-titles thing, but I’ve since shifted my priorities over to the blog’s appearance; I’ve never been satisfied with either option. Bah. Maybe one day I’ll be inspired and find the perfect middle ground.

    Sorry to vent; it’s just nice to have a place to complain about this a bit. Thanks for the post! =)

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    • Krysta says:

      I always worry when I title things because I am not particularly clever or original about it. However, I know many people appreciate a concise and informative title. You’ll appeal to someone at least!

      And I know what you mean about the long titles. Every time I have one I kind of eye it for awhile and wonder if it makes the layout look funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    I’m a bit on the fence about this one, as I’ve heard from both ‘schools of thought’ (for lack of a better term).

    Some bloggers say that titles should be a call-out for attention and unique (maybe like “Magic. Mystery. Intrigue!” with some keywords about the book), but I much prefer the simple, explicit form – Book Review: Title – Author. I think it’s just quicker to get across what your post is about and hence ‘catch’ more readers that way. I also tend to click more on those explicit titles, though (like you said, I’m often too lazy to guess the book), so maybe it’s just a different folks, different strokes thing.

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    • Krysta says:

      Yes, some bloggers do prefer the more original titles, and I assume it works for their blogs. However, I never click on a post if I don’t know what it’s about. So, in the end, it’s really up to the blogger. I guess my main point here would be, don’t worry if you’re not the best at clever titles because there’s definitely a segment of the blogosphere who prefer to just know the name of the book you’re reviewing.

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  8. TeacherofYA says:

    My titles are pretty bland as most of them are reviews, so I pop the name of the book and the author, and of course the word “review” in there, if I’m writing a more personal post, then I might be a little more fun…but I always want ppl to be curious enough to read.
    I hope this helps some people (and me) out!

    Like

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