I (I being Lizzy from myfoxycorner) hosted last night’s #NZBloggers chat and wanted to have a discussion around the do’s and dont’s for creating blog headlines and titles. To SEO optimise/to crack a punny joke; sometimes I just have no idea. Luckily most people have a better idea than myself and hence we had ourselves a pretty helpful and informative wee chat.

  This question was a little obvious and uncreative, but it was good to see the variety of reasons why a good headline is so important; from addressing what the post will be about; to SEO; to drawing your readers in; the primary reason that I think we all agree upon is that a good headline will make someone click. Time is a precious resource, especially in the sea of blogs that people have to sift through, so a well-crafter headline is your way to draw someone in and get eyes on your content. In other words it’s pretty damn important.

What makes a good headline? Attention grabbing (but not always attention grabbing), clear but also a little creative, descriptive but also succinct. Easy task right?!

Preference for shorter, snappier headlines that still have enough in there to give an idea about what you are about to read. And the main “don’t” that came up was Clickbait…leading quite nicely into my next question:

The general consensus was that although clickbait can be effective for things like Buzzfeed, it doesn’t belong in your blog title. Good to know. My main issue with clickbait is that they tend to either not be descriptive enough about what the article/post is about or worse, they aren’t upfront and tend to make promises to the reader that just don’t come through. I enjoyed reading this article I came across which talks about how to create headlines that encourage people to click without having to resort to clickbaiting.

This was the question I was most interested in as it is something I am beginning to struggle with as my awareness of SEO increases. I think that the balance of creativity vs key word optimisation for SEO definitely depends on why you are blogging. Making your titles clear and straightforward so that they are easily picked up by search engines is great for increasing numbers, yet not so great if you are wanting to inject a bit more creativity/personality into the titles. The search for balance continues.

Coming up with your title before or after the post is written definitely varies, and there’s no right process (just the same as taking photos vs writing the content). People have their own writing methods and coming up with the title is a part of that. For me I generally have some form of a draft title before I write the post and then I can tweak it a bit more at the end.

Fall backs when inspiration is lacking seem to cover both creating titles as well as content. Things like regular features, “How to..” posts or lists help when the creativity is lacking.

My favourite article found so far, that sums up a lot of what we covered, is on the simple formula for writing kick ass titles! Give it a read and let me know what you think.

 

Last up everyone shared their final tip, below are 5 faves! Make sure you join us each Sunday at 8pm NZT over at #NZBloggers!