Titles – Terrible or Terrific? How 5 Simple Tips Can Change Everything

Give it a good title

Give it a good title

By: Lori Hatcher

Like a first impression on a date, your title can make or break you. A catchy title welcomes your reader in, piques his curiosity, and/or provides a “sound bite” to tell him what your article or blog post is about. It can also help search engines find you, drawing readers to your site. You may have fantastic prose, but if your title lacks sparkle, readers will pass it right by.

Here are some examples of terrific titles:
Are We Overstressing Our Teens?
Three Ways to Overcome Worry Right Now
The Secret of Keeping Your House Clean with Toddlers
The Book that Changed My Life
Stop Overspending – Here’s How
And here are some terrible versions of the same titles:
Teens Today Have Too Much Stress
What You Can Do When You Worry Too Much
Cleaning Ideas When You Have Children in Your Home
Why the Bible Is a Good Book to Read
What to Do When You Want to Quit Spending So Much Money

Have I made my point?

With a little more thought, you, too, can write terrific titles. Here are the five suggestions I promised in my (terrific) title:
1. Ask a question. Ex: Are We Overstressing Our Teens?
2. Use numbers. This is always eye-catching and interest getting. Ex: Three Ways to Overcome Worry Right Now.
3. Promise to reveal a secret. (Then be sure you deliver what you promise.) Ex: The Secret of Keeping Your House Clean with Toddlers
4. Promise a personal story. Ex: The Book that Changed My Life
5. Bark a command. Ex: Stop Overspending – Here’s How

Now it’s your turn. Pretend you’ve written an article about how important it is for children to eat broccoli. In the article, you share some statistics, anecdotes, and several ideas for introducing more broccoli into kids’ diets.

Construct five titles, one for each of the suggestions I’ve listed above. See how creative you can get, but remember, your title must always give your readers some idea of what the article is about.

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