As a child, where you allowed to cry unrestrained in public while your parents ignored the comfort of others around you? If so, chances are, your blog is benefitting from it. My parents would have at the very least taken me out of the room until I behaved myself.
Many bloggers suffer from the teaching of well-meaning parents about how to get along in a civilized society. Being gracious, respectful of others and non-offensive were qualities that the best parents instilled in children in an earlier age.
Now, and not for the betterment of society, parents often neglect this kind of coaching or worse instill a different norm into their children, a forced attention-seeking strategy that reinforces the worst types of public behavior.
I remember growing up having a subtle discomfort when exposed to others behavior, such as “stars” and journalist s that came across as arrogant. They flaunted themselves with their big personalities overflowing with grandiose or their wardrobes.
I grew up to respect modesty and feel personal boasting was a bad thing. As a result of being taught that I was responsible for behaving in a civil and respectful manner at all times, I had some advantages. I felt comfortable not having to draw unnecessary attention to myself in order to be successful.
However as a blogger, I struggle. I am learning that it is absolutely critical to draw attention to your blog. I don’t however believe that means your entire piece has to be boastful, arrogant or prideful; jus t the part that will get it read OR gets it overlooked. That part is the headline.
If your website’s blog has the best content in the world, it is smart and entertaining and has relevant advice that can really help someone yet it goes unread because you have chosen a headline that is dull, matter of fact or boring, it will not get read.
The potential to help others or entertain them is lost and the work you have done goes unrewarded. The solution? Boast a little, be a little scary, be a little sexy, threatening, intriguing or fearless….at least in your headline. Here is a headline that I could not ignore: “Pond skaters hooked in sex struggle” I couldn’t resist wanting to know more. Go ahead, click the link…I’ll wait!
Many times we title our piece something that is descriptive of the article but dull, we may be accurate, but DULL. Our work will go overlooked. Take some tips from the tabloids and get a little creative. I would rewrite that blogs something like: “Mysterious Bug Seen at Bellagio”.
I have been going over many of my older blogs and …yawn…boy have I been dull. I am going forward with a new attitude. I will strive to not write a headline that is DULL. My goal for headlines will be to intrigue you, scare you, excite you and never again bore you. I am going to keep them short and irresistible. After all, you couldn’t help but read a piece titled: “Good Parents Injure Bloggers”.
Here are a few quick tips:
Visit tabloids and try to see which headlines grab your attention. I always go for “Bat Boy impregnates Actress”
Look back at some of your old work and try to think of new headlines using no more than four words.
Strive to convey a strong emotion in your headline
Use strong action words when possible
And here are some more advanced tips about writing blog headlines that I found helpful.