Do you find it hard to write consistently? You have great intentions of writing your blog every day, week or month? You have all your noted in place, drink beside you and it’s all systems go. You have the perfect title.
In reality, this perfect setting never happens. You stare at a blank page first. Then you consult your notes. You write a title that will do until you finish your post or whatever. You hate the title, so you erase it and write another one. Okay. So you are writing. Nothing earth-shattering, but at least you are putting down a word or two.
Unfortunately, that is ALL some of us do. For minutes or hours. In the end, we have spent a lot of time doing absolutely nothing. Okay, we came up with a brilliant title – maybe. The trouble with that is going to be that your article or blog post or whatever is going to have to match it in your mind.
It does not have to. Okay, so the title is supposed to be brilliant to catch viewer’s eyes. We never cease being told this. But, where the rubber meets the road, has the title ever been the reason you have kept reading? No, I didn’t think so. Titles are there to do a job. But in the end, if they have grabbed some eyeballs, then their job is done. They simply have to get those eyeballs to move to the next sentence to see if they were truthful or not.
But the title does not have to be brilliant. Workable, yes. Interesting, yes. Give a little information about what follows, yes definitely. Certainly not unrelated to the content. Someone who looked at your title thinking to find out more about having contented dogs is not going to be happy to find the post is all about keeping pigs for instance.
Give your post/article a working title, if you must have a title to begin with. This gives you something to make your innate tidiness satisfied. You can always change it at the end. Personally, I like to title my work at the end. I simply use a working title first so it satisfies that odd little glitch I have in my skull that says I have got to have SOMETHING at the top. Nine times out of ten, I will change it, either when I have finished the writing, or if I suddenly have an epiphany while I am writing which relates to the topic.
This, I firmly believe, comes from our schooling, when we had to have a title before we began writing whatever. There is NOTHING to justify having one now, as grown-ups. Titles are limiting.
Titles are limiting when you first start writing. So use a working title instead.
This allows you to concentrate on your words and not try to fit them around your title. Play around with titles if you must. But do that at the end of your writing. NOT the beginning.
Copywriters often leave the title to the last and get all the parts of their copy done first. Only then do they go back and work on the title.
Sometimes a part of your writing will jump out at you. When this happens, you may have a ready-made title staring you in the face.
Don’t make your work any more complicated then it has to be. Working titles work fine, even at the end. I am not saying a title is not important. It is.
But they are not the be-all and end-all of your work. They are there to draw eyes and make the brain become curious. That is all.
If your follow-up sentence does not keep that interest, then it will not make any difference how brilliant your title is. You will not keep your audience for long.
A depressing fact is: EVERY title that you can think of has been used at least once. Many have been used umpteen million times, sometimes very well. Other times, not so much.
So your title is important. But not as important as you may think.
Just have fun with your titles. If you think you can get away with being outrageous in your title, then go for it. But ensure your follow-up sentence backs the title up. As most people skim these days, that follow-up sentence has to carry the most weight.
Have fun writing!