|Choose your title for maximum readership. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.|
This post is part of our monthly series, Catholic Bloggers' School.
Avoid flowery languageMembers of CSBN know that I sometimes change the titles of their posts on our site. Partly from reading posts about blogging, partly from watching the stats on this blog, I have learned a lot about the types of titles that draw readers in. A good title will bring readers from Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. It will make your subscribers open their email sooner.
Titles that work well for creative writing don't often work for blogs. For example, I'd love to write a post called Blogging in Borrioboola-Gha. If you're not a fan of Charles Dickens, that title would likely puzzle you. Some people might click on it just out of curiosity. But how many people would search for "Borrioboola-Gha"? A better title on the same subject might be Family Before Blog. That's not as creative or interesting, but it conveys to a wider audience what the post is about. And someone might even Google it.
You don't want to bring just any traffic to your site. You want to bring people who are actually interested in what you have to say. Make it easy for them to find you.
Ask a questionDo you know your ruling grace? Are you a jackass for Christ? Can you love God for just one minute? These are three of our recent posts at CSBN.
When your title is a question, readers want to discover the answer. Make sure you give it to them, or give them the tools to find out for themselves!
How to ...Starting your title with "How to" lets readers know they will learn something from your writing. If you are running out of ideas for your blog, brainstorm a list of how-to posts. You could get a lot of hits from searches this way.
Numbered listsIf your post is about saints who are known for answering prayers, title it 5 Saints Who Never Fail You. If you're making suggestions for All Saints' Day dinner, call it 3 Delicious Recipes for All Saints' Day. I have done posts beginning with 4 tips, 3 ways, and 5 reasons. These titles are easy to remember if readers want to return to your blog in the future. Your tips are also easier to remember in a list.
Titles are not the most important part of your blog post, but without a good title few may click on it. It doesn't matter how good your post is if no one reads it.