10 Common Blog Title Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
How much time do you spend on writing your blog title for each post? One minute? Five? Do you write it before you write your post or after? Your blog title is the first thing most people will see when discovering your most recent blog posts, yet many bloggers spend very little time crafting them. Most bloggers make a lot of mistakes with their blog titles.
1. Your Blog Title Isn’t As Important As What You Write
There’s a certain degree of truth to the idea that your blog title isn’t as important as the rest of what you write. In terms of informing the reader once they’re on your site, that’s true enough. A perfectly crafted blog title won’t give the reader a fraction of the information the rest of your post will.
And yet, how will you get readers to your blog if the title doesn’t drag them in?
Your blog title is the first thing readers will see when they find your post in an online search. If they use a feed reader, it’s what they’ll see there too. It may even be what they see first in social media posts. If the title doesn’t catch their attention, they will scroll on by.
2. Your Blog Title Doesn’t Have To Be Accurate
How often have you clicked on a blog title, started reading, and been frustrated because the post has very little to do with the title? It’s super annoying and is a huge blog title mistake.
When writing your blog titles, make sure they remain true to the rest of your post. If your title promises a solution to a problem, your post better solve that problem. If your title promises cute cat pictures, those cats better be adorable.
3. Your Blog Title Has To Be Clickbait
How often have you heard people grumble about clickbait titles? They can be super annoying, but they can also work. That’s why many bloggers feel that their blog titles need to be some sort of clickbait. They want to go viral, and clickbait titles look like the way to go.
The problem with clickbait it that it often overpromises. It may get the clicks, but does it make your readers happy with your post after reading it?
There’s a fine line between clickbait and a title that brings readers in. Clickbait may bring people in, but quality is what keeps them coming back. It often pays to dial back the clickbait-ish titles in favor of an interesting but more accurate blog title. Building trust pays off in the long run.
4. Failing To Edit Your Blog Title
Some people argue about whether you should write your title before or after your post. This can be a major part of some bloggers’ creative process, and they feel strongly about it.
I usually start with a basic title, and improve it after writing the post. Some posts completely change direction during the writing process. Others become more focused.
Either way, reviewing and possibly modifying your blog title after writing the actual post is an important part of the process. Don’t be satisfied with the first title you come up with. Take some time and refine the title so that it draws people in and best reflects what readers can expect from your post.
5. Blog Title Idea Generators Are All You Need
I love using blog title generators to get ideas for posts. You take a keyword, drop it into the generator, and refresh it until you have an idea you want to work with. It makes coming up with blog post ideas a lot easier sometimes. Here are a few I like:
But they aren’t enough, not by a long shot.
If you don’t have the right keywords for your post, for example, the title generator won’t give you anything. You have to do that part of the work first.
There are several keyword research tools out there, both free and paid. Google’s Keyword Planner Tool is one of the classics, but you must have an AdWords account to use it.
You can also use Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Google Trends, and relevant forums to find keyword ideas. Each of these has a different function to help you get the widest range of possible keyword ideas for your blog posts.
Once you have your keywords, you may also like Answer The Public, along with your usual blog title generators. Answer The Public finds the questions people have asked on search engines. The ability to answer actual questions people have searched for on your keyword can be a huge help in ranking for that search.
6. Vague Titles
Can readers tell what your post is about just by reading your blog title? If they can’t, they probably won’t click.
Consider a post titled “Spring Break.” This may relate to what the post is about, but there’s not enough information for someone to decide to read your post. It doesn’t draw them in.
Change that to “10 Tips For A Spring Break To Remember” and you’ll get more readers. They’ll know what to expect.
7. Your Blog Titles Are Bland
Boring blog titles with little more than the keyword in them won’t bring a lot of readers to your blog. They don’t capture the eye.
Think about someone looking for a recipe. Will the be more attracted to a post that is simply “Recipe Name” or by “Kid Friendly Recipe Name?” What about adding other descriptive words to that title? The recipe hasn’t changed at all, but you can make it more interesting to readers with a well written blog title.
8. Writing Super Long, Excessively Wordy, Hard To Read Blog Titles That Try To Say Too Much
Yeah, that’s a bit long up there, isn’t it? Do you think it would appeal to anyone as a blog post title? Me neither.
While you want to write an interesting title, there is such a thing as too much. Search engines display maybe 70 characters of your title in their results. Make your title too long, and they’ll cut it off. That will ruin the effect you were going for.
9. Getting Technical In The Title
Are you trying to teach your readers something new in your blog post? Sometimes you have to use terminology that is specific to your industry to get your point across in your post.
The title of your post may not be the best place for that terminology unless you are explaining that term specifically. Stick to language your readers will understand in the title.
10. Failing To Give A Reason To Click
People need a reason to click on your blog title when they come across it. If they think it doesn’t apply to them or their interests, they will scroll on by.
If I write a post titled “I Love Cats,” I’ll get some clicks, but most people will pass on by. They may love cats too, but who really cares why I love them? Change that title to “Unexpected Ways Cats Can Make Your Life Better” and more people will read it, even if the post is otherwise identical. Just make sure that some of the things you list really are unusual, not just the usual reasons people have cats.
Every blogger will make blog title mistakes once in a while. No one gets it right all of the time. But if you pay attention and take some time with your blog titles, they will get better.