Catch Blog Readers With a Title and Hook
It all started a year ago, when I’d accidentally disabled the publicizing feature on my personal blog.
But then last week, I realized the mistake and got to work, getting all my promotional tools up and running again. That’s when the terribly-important figuring out began. (I mean, besides the terribly important thing I figured out about checking the status of your publicizing tools on various social media.)
First, I noticed my blog post titles. When I double-checked my blog feed on the afore-mentioned various social media, and saw my blog title pop up, I had this moment where I thought, “Would I stop to read this blog post based on that boring title?”
Well. It was a humbling moment, friends. I’m a creative writer, for crying out loud. I should be coming up with extra-oomph-y titles, right? But I’d been taking the lazy route, falling back on same-old, same-old title patterns.
To be honest, I suspect my faithful blog readers would probably read my posts no matter what I titled them. And yours probably will, too. But do you really want to get in the bad habit of penning ho-hum titles? That’s a writing skill you need to hone whether you write fiction, non-fiction, poetry or blog posts.
And for bloggers like me, there’s another reason strong titles are important. I’m in the business of bringing new readers to my blog. Maybe you’d like to build your subscribers, too. But how can we expect to pull in new readers with ordinary titles? After all, we’re competing with a ton of information (not to mention a ton of cute cats) out there amongst the social media. We’re going to need a title that will grab a reader’s attention—and fast!
Then there’s the first line of the post, the line that also comes up in the blog post feed. I was not too impressed with my first sentence hook. If I were actually fishing with that hook, I’d starve to death.
In the end, I realized that if one is going to go to all the trouble to publicize one's blog posts, it’s terribly important to put one's best foot forward. A strong title can get the casual reader to stop scrolling. A first line with a hook can get that reader to a blog. And if the rest of the post offers something of value to that reader, one is very likely to land a subscriber.
Which is way better than getting a kick in the pants.
~Cathy C. Hall