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Vito Proietti: 7 rules for crafting great blog titles

Vito Proietti

Ernest Hemingway was an American author best known for his novels Death in the Afternoon, A Farewell to Arms, and The Sun Also Rises.

This isn’t your usual blog post on writing tips. This is an instructional how-to manual on crafting great titles for articles you intend to publish online.

These rules work almost every time…

1) Think like a newspaper editor (or blogger) would think:

Write down 10 article ideas now. Choose wisely or you’ll regret much of your life wasting away clicking through Twitter feeds… Does the next section have much more value than simply sitting around blogging about nothing for hours See what I did there? It’s both an interesting factual observation (watching people consume information online is easy to do) and an emotional appeal (I’m just trying to help you out here).

2)…and then ask yourself, “Which one most people will read?”

a) Is it the topic most people are interested in right now?

b) Does it have a shocking headline or visual hook?

c) Will my friends like it if I share it on Facebook?

The point is selecting your title is entirely up to you. But once you’ve decided on it, act accordingly, as though you were betting money on whether others will see the value in consuming your content. You must believe that what you’re writing about really matters. Your filter for selecting titles should be the same filter that a publisher would use for deciding whether or not a particular book should be printed.

3) Titles are the most important thing in your blog post:

Blog posts live and die by their titles—not just on social media, but throughout time says, Vito Proietti. Titles have so much importance by publishers that you could almost say they determine too much about what we see. For instance, if you want to develop a reputation as an author who specializes in doom and gloom topics, start writing titles like… The 7 rules of making money in a doomed economy How to survive when robots take over everyone’s jobs How I escaped from North Korea (and other treacherous countries) without paying a bribe. Again, this isn’t simply “highlighting” something that already occurred, it’s highlighting something that’s an interesting observation about the online consumption of content

4) With titles, fewer words are better than more:

Brevity is to be treasured. Readers no longer like to read long blocks of text unless they’re getting paid for it (i.e., writing it) explains Vito Proietti. It doesn’t matter if you say something brilliant; nobody will appreciate it if they can’t get through your rambling thoughts. The boring truth is you only have five seconds to capture someone’s attention on Twitter or Facebook. You’ll never keep their attention with a title that runs any longer than that. The next section… This isn’t CSS coding; there’s no need to go into great detail about anything This is about the basics of crafting titles, not writing an epic novel (that’s what your posts are for; they will attract attention to themselves).

5) Titles must be compelling:

People love to click on “10 Things You Never Knew About Las Vegas” types of headlines simply because they can’t stand to look at their own boring life compared with the meaningless sex and gambling that others seem to believe makes life worth living. It may make you feel better for a few weeks or months, but these stories will only lead you down the same path toward boredom that everyone else is taking. Again, brevity helps here. If people wanted crazy, they’d just turn on the TV or go out in public. They’re reading your content because they’re looking for value and brevity is the best way to deliver on that promise says, Vito Proietti.

6) Keep your titles simple:

Unless your goal is to bore people into clicking, or you want to sound more important than you really are, there’s no need for using pompous words (or complicated HTML formatting). The next section… Of course. This is a bot; it does what I say, not what I type.

7) Don’t overuse exclamation points!! !!!!! :

I don’t care how exciting you are about something if you use six exclamation points after every sentence nobody will ever read anything of yours online again and they’ll be too embarrass if their friends see them reading it. Annex some screenshots as proof of my claim that this isn’t a human speaking here.

Conclusion:

As you can see I’ve provided real examples of how simple it is to develop good titles. Just because you feel excited or impassioned about something doesn’t mean that’s a good reason for people to read your blog post. Excitement alone will not convince anyone of anything says, Vito Proietti. If one day you’re writing about something exciting and the next day you’re writing about what makes the grass grow, don’t try to find ways of connecting them with some kind of grandiose title that runs on forever. It’s better just to write two different posts on these topics. So people know they were wrote by two different people even if they have similar-sounding usernames.