This week I’m devoting my Say It For You blog posts to poor headline prevention tips collected from many different sources. As Ginny Soskey of HubSpot so aptly put it, headlines are so crucial to our content’s success, we really need to stop messing them up.
Earlier this week, I discussed Bait-and-Switch, Over-Promise-and-Under-Deliver, and Stale-Conclusion headlines, all ways to disappoint and mislead online readers.
As a corporate blogging trainer, I loved Thomas Umstattd’s list of “Top 5 Blog Title Mistakes Authors Make”, with its very humorous and on-point examples. One very good point Umstattd stresses is that descriptive titles are boring. In school, he ways, your teacher probably taught you the purpose of a title was to describe your writing. That’s wrong, he says. The purpose of a title is to tell readers why they should bother to read your writing!
Umstattd says the title should describe not the content, but the value of the content!
(Bad title: Baby boomers & Social Security Better title: Why Baby Boomers Don’t Deserve Social Security)
When blog content writers try being too clever, too general, or too cliched, that’s not good, either, says Umstattd.
( Bad title: Who’s Your Daddy? Better title: Is Satan Your Daddy? Bad title: Shock and Awe Better title: 5 Things That Shocked Me Senseless)
“A good title makes all the difference in the world,” says Nolan Wilson of benchmarkemail.com. In his list of tips for writing engaging blog post titles, Wilson includes:
- Using keyword phrases
- Being short and to the point
- Using power words
- Delivering on your headline promise in the body of the post
Does your business blog deserve better (titles, that is)?