What types of titles catch a reader’s attention?
I know it’s an old journalistic saying that when a dog bites a man, it’s not news, but when a man bites a dog it is news.
It is also a good example of how to attract attention by writing good titles, or in the case of newspapers, headlines. So, if you are reading this now, the chances are that the title caught your attention and prompted you to click and read.
So perhaps this is food for thought when writing titles for your blog posts, book titles, chapter titles or even titles of poetry.
Will your title grab a reader’s attention and make them want to read on? When I scan a bookshop shelf, or more likely now, an online bookstore, the first thing that grabs my interest is usually the title.
A Man And His Dog is unlikely to stir me, but perhaps, My Canine Crusade just might. Another consideration in our rapidly changing world of writing is that the Internet and in particular, search engines are how readers find us, so it’s becoming imperative to use titles that will work well in search for your blog posts, books, and articles.
As a writer, it is very easy to focus on the text and add a title as a bit of an afterthought. However, by spending just a little bit of time looking for keywords that are relevant to your text and at the same time attention-grabbing, you increase your chances of being read dramatically.
Two free online tools that can help are Google Keyword Tool and Keyword Discovery. While both concentrate on common Internet search expressions, I find them very useful in finding ideas for titles so you should spend some time researching keywords.
To stay with the simplistic dog theme, perhaps I’ve written a blog post about leaving my dog alone at home and I need a good title.
When I entered the single word dog into Keyword Tool, I got 761 expressions relating to my keyword and one of the most common associated words was pet. So then I search Pet Dog and find puppy is highly associated. Now I have the keywords for my title. Pet Puppy Dog and all I need to do is build around these words.
My Poor Pet Puppy Dog’s Home Alone Day
Another check of home alone in the Keyword Tool, and wow, 1 million searches for that phrase every month on the Internet. Now I think I have a title that might attract some attention. Is it time for you to think about your titles?