The Reflection Pool

3 Things my Blog Titles Need to be Better

Photo Credit: striatic via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: striatic via Compfight cc

I just spent some time analyzing a handful of titles from previous posts using Co-schedule Headline Analyzer. Here are my results:

I Can’t Eat the Frog => B+ or 39

It’s Summer, Take Some Time Off => C- or 50

Up the Ladder and Down the Snakes => B+ or 68

Living in the Tension => C- or 64

What Should Professional Learning Look Like? => A+ or 77

Full disclosure: I like writing titles. I’ve always enjoyed thinking up some slightly clever title for papers, poems and now blog posts.  When Doug Peterson shared the link to the analyzer in one of his daily blog posts, I thought it would be fun to analyze my titles. So I was a bit surprised to see that according to this tool, I’m not very good! My so-called cleverness seems to be getting in the way.

So what do I need?

  1. My titles need to be longer. Apparently titles with more words have more power.
  2. My titles need more “emotional” and “power” words. Something called emotional market value makes titles more shareable.
  3. My titles should follow a format that draws a reader in. Formats like questions, lists (note my title for this post), or how to posts gain more traction.

What’s your opinion? What kind of headline leads you to read an article or blog?

(N.B. The headline for this post got an A+. Score!)

2 thoughts on “3 Things my Blog Titles Need to be Better

  1. Thanks for the reference, Sue. I like your list of three areas for improvement. I can’t help but get the sense that I’ve seen them before. Perhaps in Grade 10 English?

    I think the message is consistent – good writing is good writing! Were our teachers at the time correct? Can you remember them saying how important a good title was? I still can remember that message as I was counting the days until the course ended. “Yeah, like anyone is ever going to read my stuff”.

    Now, with blogging a part of the daily routine, it’s absolutely important. We now have that authentic audience that was promised. At the time, the lesson didn’t seem to make any sense. Now it’s so important!

    Good luck in your mission. I’m on the same track and I find it not as easy as you might think.

    BTW, I have always appreciated your titles. They have worked on me.

  2. Very interesting, Sue! I also enjoy writing blog titles, and I found that most of mine scored between B- and C+ (not one A in the bunch). I received much of the same feedback as you did. I’m not so sure that I agree with all of the feedback though. I’m actually normally drawn to short titles, and I love a unique title: your “frog” and “snakes and ladders” ones were my favourite. I like mystery writing too, so maybe I like a blog post title that has a bit of “mystery” to it as well. These two titles in particular made me wonder what you might be discussing, and so I had to click and read more. I wonder what others think.

    Aviva

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