I Can Haz Title?

It took me a year and a few months but I feel like I’m finally breaking through with my writing and my blog. In fact it was the only resolution that I struggled with from last year. I wrote 2 posts last week and plan to have 2-3 this week.

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The best posts take about an hour to write and maybe another hour to edit (not counting the help of some awesome friends). What I did not count on is how difficult it is to come up with a title.

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Good pictures are just as hard.

The title is SO IMPORTANT. For example, when I write a post, I share it on Facebook and Twitter. Someone then decides in a quick scan of their feed whether to read the post or not. All I get is 5-8 words to communicate with them WHY they should read it. Pressure, right?

The Upworthy approach (seen below) is fascinating but I don’t have the time or skill to produce 25 somewhat viable options. If I did this post would be unnecessary.

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 2.03.06 PM

The slideshow where I took this from is pretty fantastic in terms of their viral process. Full link here.

I’m not trying to reach Upworthy levels of virality, but I would like to figure out a way to produce interesting titles that my friends would click on.

Any tips? How do you think of creative, shareable titles?


Discussion — 4 Responses

  • Anand 02/13/2014 on 5:59 pm

    Write up an article, then pretend people are searching for it via Google. Think which keywords would they use to get to the article. Those keywords should surely go in the title. Nothing too buzzfeed or upworthy type though.

    Reply
    • neil Anand 02/15/2014 on 5:56 pm

      For me this is challenging, I want to continue to write about things that interest me and for a lot of that it’s not something that people would typically search on google.

      Reply
  • Ben 02/20/2014 on 8:48 am

    Hi Neil! I read this post a few month ago. It may gives you some tips on how to find a good title.
    http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2013/10/20/scientific-guide-writing-great-headlines-twitter-facebook-blog/#!wA1rA
    Hope it helps…

    Reply
    • neil Ben 02/20/2014 on 5:02 pm

      That’s a great article, thanks for sharing this. I love the idea of testing titles as tweets / facebook posts before writing them.

      Reply