Monday, February 2, 2009
Words are important
Image via Greg Gladman
I have over 70 feeds in my Google Reader. I don't read them all. I'd like to. But don't have enough time. Instead, I tend to flick through them - at lighting speed - and stop at the articles or posts that grab my attention.
As a rule of thumb, the blog posts that grab my attention have title headlines that interest me. Sounds obvious but how much effort do we put into our post headlines?
They often have striking images too. I really like this one by Greg Gladman. But personally, my decision to read on is often determined by those first few words in the post title. So for example, I suspect more bloggers would have stopped to read this post in their RSS reader if the headline shouted "One simple way to increase your blog readership today" instead of "Words are important". (I didn't use this headline because I thought it was an overpromise and it also sounds a bit naff.)
So chances are, I probably miss loads of interesting, insightful posts because I don't get beyond the title headline.
I think it was David Ogilvy that once said that the "headline is the ad for the ad'. The most important part of a press ad was the headline. And therefore requires the most effort, work and thought.
Words are important. And the words we use in our title headlines can make a difference.