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Write Your Titles CAREFULLY and AFTER the Post

Steven January 4, 2013 6 responses Blogging 5 views

Even long-time bloggers sometimes have a hard time sitting down and coming up with the perfect blog post. There are two schools of thought and it’s kinda like the chicken and the egg question: Which comes first, the title or the post? Let’s take a look at both.

write a good blog post title

Write your titles carefully after you write the post

Some bloggers know exactly what they want to say in their blog post. They can sit down and start typing and everything just seems to flow. All of their points or steps are in order, they know which keywords they’re focusing on, everything is concise and cohesive and everything stays strictly on-topic.

If this is how you write then it makes perfect sense to write your post first and then cap it with the perfect title. By the time you get done writing you know exactly what your post is about so all you have to do is use your keyword and a few choice attention-grabbing words to build out your title.

However, don’t kid yourself. In most cases the only reason that blog post flowed so smoothly onto the page was because you already had a basic title idea in mind. It had nothing to do with your writing skill.

Here’s what really happens when bloggers leave the title for last. You’ve probably seen dozens of blog posts that ramble around from point to point, never really making any sense. The blogger starts out trying to tell you one thing and then goes completely off course.

You’ve probably also seen dozens of titles that promise the moon but when you read the article the information just doesn’t jive. These are all articles where the blogger wrote the post first, then slapped on a title.

When you write your titles carefully BEFORE you write your post it gives you an exact roadmap for your article. You know exactly which keyword you want to focus on and you know exactly what information you want to deliver in that post. There’s no second-guessing, no rambling, no jumping from topic to topic.

Writing the title first is like writing a mini outline. A good title lets the reader know what you’re going to deliver and how that information will benefit the reader. So there you go: Point A plus Point B equals Point C.

Writing your blog post without a title in mind also means you’re wasting tons of time re-reading, editing, and rewriting because you don’t have a clear direction in mind when you start. And, one of the biggest complaints bloggers have is that they have to spend so much time writing.

The next time you sit down and just start writing, stop for a second and check yourself. Chances are you already have at least half of a working title in mind. Finish fleshing out that title before you write and you’ll have a much more cohesive article that stays on-point and gets your message across much better than your usual, meandering blog posts.

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6 Comments Add one

  1. Graden

    I find it ironic that you talk about writing carefully, yet you missed a basic typo.

    “If this is how you write *THEN* (not than) it makes perfect sense to write your post first and then cap it with the perfect title.”

    1. Steven

      I was waiting for someone to post a comment like this ;) Remember that English is not my first language. Thanks for pointing this out.

  2. Mary H Ruth

    Is it just me or did you mis-write the title of this post? Don’t you mean “Write Your Titles Carefully Before the Post”? Somehow I’m confused between your heading and the argument you present in the text.

    1. Steven

      Well, as I said in the post introduction, there are two schools of thought about this subject…

  3. Carolyn

    This is interesting, Steven. Sometimes I have a title in mind that inspires me and, as you said, the words just flow. But sometimes the article veers in a different direction and the title doesn’t quite fit by the time I’m done writing. Other times I just put a lame title in my draft as a place holder, then I’m finished writing and I can’t come up with a compelling, catchy title.

    I will be very interested to learn what your other readers do. I completely agree with you that it’s important to double check your title after you’re finished with your article to make sure it matches what you wrote.

    1. Steven

      Thanks for your comment Carolyn

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