“Horse names aren’t the free-for-all they seem to be,” Mental Floss magazine lets us know. Apparently, names for Kentucky Derby entrants can’t:
- Exceed 18 characters
- Consist solely of initials or numbers
- Be in poor taste
- Have obvious commercial connections
What’s in a name when it comes to horses? Well, last year Kentucky Derby bettors threw down a combined $112 million in wagers.
Now, I’m no big bettor – either on horses or on anything else. But, based on my experience with SEO marketing blogs, I’d bet at least some of those race attendees chose which horse to back based on the appeal of that horse’s name.
Whether or not bettor statistics would bear out that theory of mine, it’s obvious a lot of thought goes into the naming of horses. As a corporate blogging trainer in Indianapolis, I tend to read through rosters of racehorse names with blog post titles in mind.
In fact, the rules of thumb for choosing titles in blogging for business, things I stress in corporate blogging training classes, are not too far from those on the Kentucky Derby entrant list:
Length: There’s no “can’t exceed” rule when it comes to the number of letters in a blog post title, but, as netbuilders.org points out, Google results will reveal only the first 69 characters, and that includes spaces, while Yahoo will show up to 72 characters. (The title of this Say It For You post is 65 characters long.)
Initials and numbers: Numbers in blogs help debunk myths, and statistics can provide factual proof of the problem your product or serve helps solve. Titles such as “15 ways to…” “The 7 secrets of….” can stimulate readers’ curiosity. On the other hand, blog post titles consisting solely of initials and numbers wouldn’t be of much help in the SEO blog marketing department.
Taste: While the tone freelance blog content writers adopt can (and should) be more conversational and less formal than the tone of your website or company brochure, it’s better not to risk offending the fussiest of readers by using poor grammar or just plain bad language. Claims about the company’s products and services should come across as reasonable and provable, with the use of special effects technology kept in modest proportion.
Commercial connections: When people go online to search for information and click on different blogs, they’re aware of the fact that the providers of the information are out to do business. But as long as the material is valuable and relevant for the searchers, they’re perfectly fine with knowing there’s someone who wants them for a client or customer. It’s not OK to name your horse Pepsi-Cola, but it’s perfectly OK to connect your blog post with the name of your company – or use the name of your company in the title itself.
Blogging for business is more of a free-for-all than horse-naming, it seems. Within the boundaries of good grammar and good taste, and whatever compliance rules may apply within a particular industry, blog content writers in Indianapolis can allow their creativity to roam free!