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.
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.
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 ^