Having a good title such as “duke” or “baron” meant everything in 18th century England. According to Jacob Appel of Writer’s Digest, for fiction writers, choosing the right title for a book is just as crucial.
As part of corporate blogging training, I teach business blog content writers they have to address both readers and search engines in their choice of title for each blog post.
One day each week, I tutor in the Writing Lab at Ivy Tech Community College. I find my students have difficulty, when planning an essay, knowing the difference between the topic of a paper and its thesis. Suppose they were instructed to write about graduation cap tassels. That’s the topic. But what about tassels? Are they silly? Important? Should we hold on to that tradition? (The answer is the thesis, or the “slant” the paper will take.) The title of their essay, I explain, needs to convey both the topic and the thesis.
What if the headline for a blog post were “Blog Titles”, posits brickmarketing.com. That headline doesn’t sound interesting and also doesn’t really convey what the post will be about. (It has no thesis.) Blog post titles might include “Learn How To… “, “Best practices for…” , or “Two Reasons Why Blog Writing Works,” brickmarketing advises, so the readers can be assured of gaining some benefit by reading the post.
Writer’s Digest’s Jacob Appel offers three tips to writers to help them craft strong titles that are “distinctive, yet not distracting”. Each of these can be applied to the efforts of Indianapolis freelance blog content writers:
Google it. To ensure you have an original title, simple Google it, says Appel.
In business blogs, keyword research is one important part of the “prep” for optimizing the blog title.
Don’t forget voice and point of view. “If you’re writing a story in third person, don’t call it “My Summer Vacation”.
Translated into business blogging terms, this means setting the tone for each blog post in its title – readers should be able to discern if this post will be humorous, sarcastic, informative, or emotional – “What will I find if I click?”
Craft Two Meanings. “Most readers consider your title twice – once before they read your work, again after they finish…Successful titles gain hidden meanings after the book is read.”
In blog content writing, that new insight effect can be amplified with a “tie-back” last sentence that recaps the main theme of the post. (See the following paragraph for an example of a tie-back.)
Having a good title such as “duke” or “baron” was important in 18th century England, Today, for blog content writers, choosing the right title for each post can be just as crucial!