By on Aug 31, 2009


Every couple weeks I receive a report about the top authors by reach for NetWits Think Tank. I see it as kind of a competition amongst the bloggers. I want my name to be at the top! As I was brainstorming for my next blog post and how I could become number one, it came to me; I need a catchy post title! This idea got the wheels turning. What goes into a good post title? I discovered that a successful post title should have at least one of the following elements:

1. Must be relevant to the blog content

The title should basically be a snapshot or a summary of the blog content. If the content does not relate to the title, what the reader was initially interested in, they might leave and possibly not trust future posts. Here’s a great example of a relevant blog title from NetWits:

2. Pique their curiosity

The point of the post title is to encourage the reader to dig in and read the blog. Great example from NetWits of a title that really piqued my interest:

Yes, I know the title does not follow element number one. Anthony did not, in fact blog about sighting a huge Sasquatch. But, I did say you should follow at least one of these rules to have a successful post title.

3. Ask a question

I am drawn to post titles that pose a question. I try to answer the title question right when I see it. If I don’t know the answer and want to know the answer, I dig in. If I think I know the answer, I still read because I love the feeling of being right! Great examples from NetWits:

4. Make a cultural reference

People like familiarity. Below is a great example of pulling in well-known brands to make the reader feel comfortable.

What is more familiar than Starbucks (the coffee I am drinking) and Dell (the computer I am typing on)?

5. Keep it short

People read the web differently than reading print- they skim, scan, glance, and move on. Make sure the title is ten characters or less by omitting needless words.

Which title would you be drawn to, number one or number two?

1. Why Twitter Matters

2. Learn about the value of Twitter, tools to manage Twitter, and links to Twitter experts

What are some of the best post titles on your favorite blogs? Have you tested different post titles on your blog?  Leave a comment and let us know!


Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

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