Whether you’re writing to inspire, to educate, or to entertain, the title you select for your paper, blog, or article needs to be considered Job #1. Think of it as a door you want your target audience to open so that your intended message can be received. No matter how interesting your document, readers will move away in droves if your title is flat rather than fresh and engaging. So spend the time to make that “door” as inviting as you can. If your piece is meant to be thought provoking, this is the place to start. If it is meant to make your readers laugh, the same is true. Your endgame is to grab your audience’s attention and hold it until your message has been heard.
5 simple tests for judging a title’s effectiveness
Is it simply stated and easily understood?
Does it have wide appeal?
Does it peak the reader’s interest?
Does it set context and tone?
Does it motivate potential readers to “read on”?
With titles, word choices are of paramount importance. How do you assemble a mere handful of words to craft the perfect title? The answer is either inspiration (a light bulb moment) or perspiration in the form of experimentation and trial and error.
A few examples of recent titles that went through this process
[Before] How to Create Engaging Content
[After] Creating Content That Ignites Your Business
[Before] Using Social Media in the Customer Experience
[After] Creating Social Media Evangelists for Your Brand
[Before] Conducting Effective Webinars
[After] Conduct Webinars that WOW to Engage Your Prospects
Give these tips a try the next time you sit down to write something. And never again make the mistake of considering your titles just an afterthought. You’ll be surprised how effective a title can be as you compete in today’s chaotic and over-crowded world of written communications.