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Warning: Word Your Titles Carefully!

December 18 2011

Bob the REALTOR® published his first blog post. He’s so proud! Unfortunately, Bob has not seen the way his title appears in RSS readers, email inboxes, and on Twitter. His title is “I’m Going to Kill You with Kindness.” Unfortunately, the title was truncated in several places and appeared as “I’m Going to Kill You.” Now, rather than marveling at Bob’s customer service (the point of the blog post), some of his readers are simply horrified.

There’s a moral to this story: choose the titles for your blogs, press releases, articles, and emails carefully. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

1) If this title got cut off at any point could it be read as offensive, antagonistic or just plain vulgar?

2) Is this title short enough that it is unlikely to be cut off at any point?

3) Is my title a “string of pearls”? Every word should be essential and carefully chosen.

Resource for Writing Good Titles/Headlines:
Not too long ago, we wrote an article about crafting effective headlines, “5 Rules for Better Headlines: Improve Click-through Rates.” This is a good resource and might give you some tips that improve your titles.