Just as is true in newspapers, business blogs can contain different types of stories and different types of headlines, l explain in corporate blogging training sessions. I found examples of three different title types in Discover Magazine’s May issue.
One category, like newspaper headlines, simply conveys what content readers should expect to find in the article to follow:
- Evolution – of Humans, of Tech
- Valley Fever: The Hidden Epidemic
- How I Took Down Sharpshooters in the Pacific
Such very descriptive title types, while not “cutesy” or particularly engaging, can be highly effective in business blogging because they: a) are short and to the point b) use keyword phrases that match up well to what a readers may have typed into the search bar and
c) ensure that the content will “deliver on the promise”.
A second category of title that I saw in Discover arouses readers’ curiosity, but gives only the barest hint of the content to follow:
- Cunning Fish Camo
The article describes fish called “lookdowns” that are able to manipulate polarized light in order to confuse predators.
- Supernova’s Shocking Second Act
This heads an article about a stella nova, an astronomical phenomenon where radiation is being emitted from a stellar explosion that happened more than 450 years ago. Again, this title arouses curiosity, but gives just a hint of the article’s content.
The temptation, of course, in selecting a title for a business blog post, is to go for the “catchiest”-sounding word combination rather than the most descriptive. A compromise is to use a combination of a “Huh?” to get attention and then an “Oh!” subtitle to make clear what the post is actually going to be about.
I found several examples of a third category of title: the built in call to action – the blogger names the problem and implies that a solution is to be discussed in the blog post.
- Feed the World!
- How to Be a Better Negotiator
Call-to-Action titles in business blogs mobilize readers to do something and/or learn something.
Whichever type of title you choose for a blog post, remember that titles create expectations!