[Insert Catchy Title Here!]


The point of this post is based on something I learned from my weekend post “Rats, My Startup Just Got Googled!”.

That is, perhaps more than ever, the headline is the most valuable part of the story.

With the overwhelming number of blogs, many dealing with the same topic, you have to catch your reader quickly so they will invest time on the rest of your post.

I can’t state this with absolute certainty, because I have no way of knowing why people clicked on my recent post, but I saw an instant jump of interest when I (admittedly accidentally) gave people the impression that I may own a startup that just got acquired, or maybe killed, by Google. There was a pool of internet users that were, for some reason, interested in this topic. It was either that, or the lawyers online thought I was addressing the article to them in particular: Maclean’s – Lawyers Are Rats 😉

My previously most successful article had views in the order of 10’s. With the “Rats” post, I have seen 900 hits in the last two days! It was rated on WordPress as the 7th most popular post of the day, and as high as 3rd (that I saw) on http://news.ycombinator.com/ which contributed most of the referrals to my blog (hey thanks!).

So, can you use any title to attract attention? The challenge is to make sure that people don’t feel ripped off when they then take the time to read your post. Did they learn something? Did it make them laugh? Did it point them to other valuable places? If yes, then cool, and you can get away with catchy, but perhaps not relevant, titles.

With newspapers, the headline on the front page could sell the whole paper. This means that a newspaper or even magazine editor could just focus on one key message to get the readers to buy. Or rather, it was the product of the paper’s brand (say “Globe & Mail”) and the headline (“Internet collapses due to Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in HD”) that would impact sales.

On a blog, it is the product of the blogger’s reputation, and the headline. On the “Rats” post I got lucky on the latter, and hopefully increased the prior.

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One Response

  1. It was fun to see a Google search on “startup Googled” that actually ranked my post as #1. I have never owned two words on the internet except “Adrian Bashford” which is an unusual pairing due to my Italian-English background (although not as unique as “Seth Godin” by Blogging hero) 😉 .

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