I’m the TitleStarter, Twisted TitleStarter

Written on January 8, 2008 – 1:41 pm | by Brian Wallace |

When it comes to social media, and assuming that you want attention, you need to command attention.

YTMND, not exactly a social media site had an interesting page that laid out its basics: picture, sound, text. Blogging and social media isn’t all that different, but it’s more like this:

  • Avatar (get a noticeable one – more about on that here)
  • Picture (something to get attention above the fold)
  • Text (yes, you actually have to write something)
  • Which then brings me to perhaps the most important attention getting element: title.

It depends on which side of the user generated content fence you’re on at the time. If you are generating the content, spend some real time coming up with an amazing title. Folks that are submitting UGC have the luxury of changing the title to be the most suitable for where they are submitting to.

In either case, think, think, think. Run the title by some people. Wordsmith back and forth with people.

Another important consideration is that many blog visitors use RSS as their potential point of entry. Let’s say that don’t have your feed in full feed mode – the only thing you’ve got pulling for you then is your title! Reddit is similar in that you’re left without images and avatars, so title is important there as well.

I’ve compiled 2 lists.

List #1: My favorite social media post titles of 2007

My Opinion on the Google Page Rank Massacre – this was a great one from Lyndon that had excellent timing during a flashpoint about Google PageRank messing with everyone’s heads. All the text said was “zzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

Ding Dong, Digg is Dead – Brian Clark can write a killer title with the best of them.

Your Secret Blogging Weapon is You

List #2: My favorite submitted social media post titles of 2007 (submitted changed)

Not many people know this, but I invented Facebook – Another great post by Lyndon. It was already an awesome Title, but Marty changed it to Call 911, FaceBook Ripped Off Lyndoman’s Family when submitting it to Sphinn.

Avoid the PPC Ramp Up Money Pit – Here is a post by Marty. It’s a good title, right? But look what it changed to when Lyndon submitted it to Sphinn: Slap yourself with a large wet fish and stop wasting money with PPC

Why do we blog? Nick of essence-seo decided on this short & sweet title which says it all, but look at what Jeff Quipp decided to change it to: 6 Types of Bloggers! Are You the Simon Cowell Type?

Devices and desires – Economist.com published this post in April. But, when it was Dugg the title was changed to: Porn is now LESS and LESS popular on the Internet

Young warned over social websites – BBC News posted this article in November but when it was Dugg it was changed to: How to Screw Up Your Future Using Social Websites

Top bloggers reveal how to build traffic off-blog without spending a dime
Jonathan Fields wrote this post, but the title was changed to: How Top Bloggers Really Promote their Websites.

22 Yummy Mixx Tidbits – It’s Time to Mixx Things Up!! – Shana wrote about her favorite 22 Mixx Posts and this was her title when it was Published. Tad changed it to: In the Mixx: DJane Shana Mixx-Tape Contains 22 Tracks

How to Obtain a Speaking Spot – Neil Patel wrote this post back in Ocitober. But, when SearchBuzz sphunn it the title was changed to: How to speak at a conference….if you are not “Neil Patel”

This post awesomeness was a joint work between Brian Wallace and Shana Albert. Hope you enjoy!

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  1. 6 Responses to “I’m the TitleStarter, Twisted TitleStarter”

  2. By Derek on Jan 8, 2008 | Reply

    Nice list illustrating how a title can impact the success/failure of a blog post and social media submission.

    I was just discussing this with a client as we were researching topically relevant Digg content and how many of the most successful submissions (applicable to their industry) had very different submission titles (than the original work).

    It was a great lesson for their copywriting team and marketing folks.

  3. By Rushabh Choksi on Jan 9, 2008 | Reply

    great illustrations! new bloggers will surely be enlighten regarding the importance of title.
    keep it up:)

  4. By Brian Wallace on Jan 9, 2008 | Reply

    @Derek – yes, it blows the mind of copywriters who are traditionally hardwired on their copy (thus the name, I mean – they aren’t called titlewriters). 🙂

    Still, many people read via RSS, so what choice do you have?

    @Rushabh – thank you. It is important for new bloggers to understand this.

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