I WRITE NAKED!

Welcome to the first hump day of the month, also known as the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Head Ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh. And co-hosted by yours truly this month, along with Sheena-kay Graham, Julie Musil, and Mike L. Swift.

IWSGHEADER

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Did my title catch your attention? I’ve come to understand that the best writers don’t always have the best titles, but the most successful ones do. The truth is, we DO judge a book by its cover, and the cover and title go a long way into making a novel an instant best seller.

Titles for your blog are no different. A blog is a writer’s platform, and you need catchy titles if you want to stand out above the rest and entice readers to click on the little link you post to your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages. Last year, one of my most popular posts was “Girls Gone Wild Spring Break.” I bet most of the people who found the post were sorely disappointed when it recounted my adventures with my two daughters during our spring break; which included a shopping spree, a Shell Factory outing, and a trip to Sea World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Hogsmeade--Welcome home, Jamie Ayres!

Hogsmeade–Welcome home, Jamie Ayres!

Another popular post in 2013? “Getting Lucky.” Again, not at all what people were probably searching for (it was about a 99 cent Kindle sale my publisher did around St. Patrick’s Day). I didn’t realize how many hits those posts received until I got my “Year In Review” report from WordPress in December. I was stunned! I thought my most popular posts would be revolving around my debut book release of 18 Things. It got me thinking about clever headlines, and the one you see above was instantly born in my mind when thinking of my Feb. IWSG post.

But then I also thought, is the kind of traffic attracted to my blog due to those misleading headlines really the type of traffic I want? I want to drive authentic interactions to my blog. This isn’t a numbers game for me. In fact, it’s not really about me at all. It’s about being part of a community of writers and readers. Still, it was too tempting to not write today’s headline of “I WRITE NAKED!” The truth is, I write in my pajama’s into the wee hours of the night, but I wanted to experiment and see if this ends up being my top post for 2014. For the record, I hope it isn’t.

Still, it never hurts to be original and catchy and bring a little scandal to your blog, as long as it actually ties in to what you’re posting about. Eye catching headlines have kept The National Enquirer in business for 88 years! Not that I read the supermarket tabloid, but staying in business for 88 years is something to be noted. Even if their content is lacking in truth, it doesn’t stop customers from impulse buying the tabloid in the checkout line because of their catchy titles pasted on the front page! And I figure out of all the ways to attract people to your blog, a catchy post title is probably the easiest. And I do want to attract people who wouldn’t normally stop by my blog. Hopefully, I’ve made my post interesting enough to hold the curiosity that got them here.

And maybe if they like my voice in the post, they’ll check out my novels, too. Maybe my books will inspire them. I’ve always hoped my books would not only entertain, but serve as a reminder that we are significant to God. We are not forgotten. He collects our tears in a bottle. And going through hell is worth it if it leads us to the place God has. I’ll never forget the fan mail I received after someone read 18 Things, telling me that the message in my book kept her from suicide. I’ve already received a similar message from a girl after reading 18 Truths, and it’s only been out a week. That’s what makes writing worth it for me . . . not the money (oh, just writing that made me LOL!) or star ratings or the reviews or the Amazon sales rankings.

Thankfully, I don’t have to write naked to make a difference, but a catchy title never hurt anyone, even if visitors were stopping by in hopes of finding pictures of topless spring breakers. One of my Facebook friends posted this as their status update just last week: “I find it horribly ironic that the turdnugget that stole my credit card info and went on a spending spree signed himself up for christianmatch.com, catholicmatch.com, and a porn site.”

People are always searching. You never know what your catchy title could lead them to!

What about you? Got any catchy titles I can steal? Hahaha! A big, supersized THANK YOU to Alex for letting me have the honor of co-hosting this month 🙂 If you haven’t checked out Alex’s book, Cassa Fire, the Kindle ebook is on sale for 99 cents right now!

P.S. The 18 Truths blog tour is in full swing! If you’re interested, I visited J. Keller Ford’s blog on Monday when she asked me how I tap into my YA side when I write. And yesterday I visited Lindsey Loucks to talk about my favorite YA book couples. The Rafflecopter is still up too–you’ll find it at the top right corner of this blog ^

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96 comments on “I WRITE NAKED!

  1. you got my attention but only because I HAD to find out what you were really going to yack about. I thought it was going to be about you bareing your soul to the world when you write because I know you’d never write naked…would you? 😉 Inquiring minds want to know the REAL truth. LOL!!

  2. YOu got my attention too! My second thought was ‘how uncomfortable!’ Great post though. I always have trouble with titles for books or blog posts. Mind mapping helps though.

  3. It has to be such an incredible feeling that your books helped those girls through such terrible times. You also have a knack for titles, and that’s what brought me to your “Can You Handle The Truth” blogfest. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG, Jamie!

  4. When I read this post’s title, I thought what a great title for a blog post about first draft, raw writing, and the power of the editing to dress it up and make it pretty. I was jealous that I didn’t think of it!
    Great post, Jamie. 🙂

    • Oops! I’m Jamie . . . but my mom’s name is Julie, so people confuse our names all the time, and she is pretty kewl 🙂 Thanks for visiting, Joylene! I enjoyed your post yesterday!

  5. That was a visual I just didn’t need. 😛 (Kidding.)
    Great post. Thanks for co-hosting.

    IWSG #298
    (Yup. I got culled and had to start all over. *blush*)

  6. You write naked? Me too! (Just kidding) Yes, the title definitely got my attention. It’s so amazing that your book has had that kind of impact on people. That’s the kind of books I love. I’m going to have to check it out.

    *Waves to fellow co-host)*

  7. That is the question about catchy titles: are they drawing in the right audience? Still like yours though! 🙂

    And that’s awesome how your book is inspiring people. I think that is what we want as an author: to entertain and perhaps make a difference for at least one person.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

  8. There is a secret to getting visits with blog posts. Sometimes you hit it, sometimes you don’t. But you’re right that you don’t want to attract people who will only be disappointed and leave. You want them to stay.
    Ironically one of my most popular posts last year had ‘new Thor poster’ in the title. Go figure.

  9. Admitting I was curious about writing naked. Not for me, I don’t think, but why for you? Plus I wanted to thank you for hosting IWSG this month too. Even if you only sell one book, knowing the impact you had on one teen is priceless. You go, grrrrrrrrlll !!

  10. We actually had a discussion about your title topic on Tammy Theraiult’s blog once, and as I recall it involves pool noodles and cheese. (Sometimes we writers have way too much fun, eh?) I’m all for catchy titles, but I’d also rather that the traffic be quality traffic. I go for catchy tags instead.

  11. I admit I don’t spend much time on my blogpost titles, even though I know I should. But I’m usually so happy that the post is finished, I just don’t have the desire to put any work into the title.

    Thanks for cohosting the IWSG this month.

  12. When I saw the title of your post, I thought perhaps you’d had an interview with author Massimo Marino (one of his posts is about writing naked, i.e. baring your soul). You’re right: titles and covers will draw people in—the trick is keeping them there with substance. Anyone can get a person to look once.

    Nice post!

  13. I ask my friends to brainstorm titles for me. That way I get a big list to choose from. Somehow naming a novel is really hard for me. Oh, I I write in whatever I happen to be wearing. Sometimes it’s even a wet bathing suit if an idea hits me while I was swimming laps. Good for ideas, bad for the couch!

  14. Your title made me laugh. It also reminded me of a famous author who writes naked for realz. He said it was to keep him rooted to the writing so he wouldn’t be tempted to leave his house. Thank you for co-hosting!!

    Elsie

  15. It’s surprising what kinds of hits and search terms a blog will get. One of my most-viewed posts is “Historical Fiction and Body Hair,” though I’m sure the majority of people who clicked on it were disappointed it didn’t match their creepy, perverted search terms.

    Those sound like wonderful letters you got. I wish all writers could write back to their fans, no matter how busy or famous they get. Those are the kinds of people who keep a writer in business and make it all seem worthwhile.

  16. Hi Jamie
    Nice to be here, Its really wonderful to know you are one of the co-hosters for today’s IWSG Thanks for doing that.
    Indeed The truth is, we DO judge a book by its cover, and the cover and title go a long way into making a novel an instant best seller.
    Most often this fails us, and the story may be a different one altogether
    Thanks for sharing this

  17. Catchy titles are important. Misleading ones make me hit the back button. Of course, I’m glad I didn’t today, because you really made some important and valid points about titles.

  18. Having agreed with Captain Alex about leaving, I can now admit to writing all day in PJs but never naked, Titles are crucial attractors though, unlike what you wear… unless the cat wants to scratch you.

  19. I can’t agree more, titles do make a difference, my most visited posts include one of those three words ‘Messi, Belbo, and Thorin’ ! apparently The Hobbit is really occupying people’s minds these days, Messi on the other hans, well what can I say…he’s Messi.

  20. I like catchy titles that give readers that a-ha feeling once they get the meaning behind it. I decided on the name of my blog for over a year before I went ahead and took the jump to actually start the blog. At first, I wasn’t sure if people would get the name, but so far it’s worked out pretty well, I think.

    The Harry Potter theme park is one of my must-go-to-someday spots. I wish I was there at the grand opening like you were though. It must’ve been fun to see everyone in costume.

    Thanks for commenting on my post earlier. How sweet is it that you married your high school sweetheart! You are the first person commenting to reveal that so far!

    • HP grand opening was one of the best days of my life! And I’m actually blogging about meeting my husband next Friday on a guest post . . . you’ll have to check it out 🙂 And kudos to you for putting so much thought into the name. Names are important!

  21. I recently did a post on how having numbers in your blog title helps attract attention. Of course, ‘naked’ probably does too. Thanks for cohosting today.

  22. I’ve tried to write catchy titles, but they never really turn our write. I have been lucky though that I have a catchy blog name. My name is Toi and my blog is The ToiBox of Words. Maybe I’ll give the catchy title things another try.
    Thanks bunches for co-hosting today.

  23. At last I clicked the right ‘thingy’ to make a comment. I am an ass!
    It’s good to see you co-hosting on IWSG.
    Only occasionally I go for a blog title to get some ‘outside’ attention. I’ve found something to do with astronauts is quite good, but I doubt that the people who check me out bother to come back again.
    Post the video of you writing naked – that should do the trick.

  24. Hey Co-hostie!

    Here it is Friday and I’m still getting around to my IWSG peeps…but that’s the way I roll. A little here, a little there, but in the end, they add up. We just have to fit in so many things, don’t we?

    Titles. They’re like names to me…so important, and something many writers don’t seem to put much thought into. Just pick one out of a hat. Titles for blog posts are important, as they help in steering traffic, but you know, I give them the titles they want…sometimes they’re creative, sometimes utilitarian.

    I write in jammies. 😉

  25. You got my attention. Sometimes I try being creative with my blog titles. Some are not I’m sure. The one I’m posting this coming Sunday is ‘Xanadu anyone?’ And really I don’t mention Xanadu until the end, and it’s not really a summary of my blog post, but I had to put it in to see if there’s anyone who knows what Xanadu is.

  26. Hi Jamie
    I’m swinging by (rather late) to thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    And yes, that blog title got my attention… 🙂
    Stats have revealed that the winning formula is using numbers in your title… but then how many times can you use it… after a while it will become a bit too much….

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