You’ve written a superb blog post, or recorded an excellent podcast episode. You’re proud of it and excited to share it with your audience. Then the really tricky part hits.
What should you include in the title of your blog post or podcast?
It seems like a simple question, but can often lead to hours of struggle.
One consideration is the impact your title has on search engine optimization. There are sections in our courses that can help out here, like our SEO Basics lesson from the Intro to Blogging course, or the Metadata lesson in the Intro to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) course. For example, these lessons talk about the need to write an effective title that includes keywords and is attractive to search engines. This is certainly true for any blog posts or podcast episodes published on your website.
But there’s another consideration that may be even more important.
Why should people make time for your content?
There are an awful lot of blogs and podcasts out there, and a lot of other distractions in life. To grab people’s attention, we need to tell them why they should give up 10, 20, or 30 minutes, or even an hour of their busy lives.
We’ve all heard the advice don’t judge a book by its cover. But the reality is that we often still do. The same applies to the titles you use for your content.
Which brings us back to the question… why?
If your blog or podcast is about solving problems, how could your title front-load which problem you’ll solve this week? If your blog or podcast is focused on entertainment, then why should people be intrigued this week? Maybe in this case, we could work with the title: “Episode 21: The one where they find out where the noise came from”.
Is your blog or podcast technical? How about a title that reads: “How to make your workflow 50% more efficient with Platform X”.
In short, why should someone give you their time? How will you make their life better in some way by them reading your blog post, or listening to your podcast episode?
And, does your title clearly reflect what they can expect to get out of your content?
As the creator of the content, it might be crystal clear to you why a topic is important – but then you also already know the details you’re covering. When someone is searching or browsing articles or podcasts, they can’t be sure what the content will cover, unless the title makes it clear. They’re also less likely to click through and consume the content if the title isn’t enticing or tapping into something they want or need – a benefit to them.
A title needs to jump out much more than we often think it does.
Consider this article. A title of simply “Titles” would have conveyed the topic – that is after all what’s being discussed. But it wouldn’t be very enticing. However, “Content titles that attract” leans more into a problem that you – the reader – are trying to solve. There are likely even better titles that could have worked for us here, which raises one more point to consider. Don’t allow your title selection process to be a blocker from moving forward. You’ll likely never come up with the perfect title every single time. Do the best you can, while keeping your audience (and search keywords) in mind, and then move forward.
Questions to consider:
- What is my content going to do for my audience?
- Why would this content be a must-read/listen for me?
- What would make me want to drop everything to consume this content?
- How can I sum that up in a few words?
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