Monday, January 30, 2017
What Makes a Good Article Title (Quorafied)
Before I say that simplicity is best, the truth is, it depends on the article, the target audience, and where you will be publishing the article.
Back in the day, when I once judged writing for various contests, the title was how you captured my attention. You could drag me down with the wrong title or you can draw me in.
Are you informing, persuading, entertaining, or educating with your article?
Using true crime as an example-your title would be marketed to a specific audience who already (more-than-likely) knows the ending. In this case, there is no surprise, so your title must catch a reader’s eye who is already looking for something similar to what you wrote and the only differentiation would be some great hook like:
Who Killed Grandma? (who on earth kills Granny?)
Machete Mother Strikes Again (a woman who is made to give life taketh away)
My Brother, the Serial Killer (insider information)
However, if I am writing a technical/how-to article, the title let’s the prospective reader know what the article is about because the only other way they’ll know is by reading the article… a must-have lure.
How to Dismantle a Time-Bomb
Healing a Sick iPhone in Less than 10 Minutes
Six Reasons to Grill Your Burger in the Kitchen
If the article is purely for entertainment, this is completely subjective as half the readers will like what you name it and the other half will skip it completely. You’ll have to go with gut instinct, but maybe including a hint of what’s to come along with what type of writing it is (if the publication doesn’t make it obvious) is best.
A Night Darkly Fallen from one Comedian to Another
What She Didn’t Tell Me
Clouds in my Coffee and Other Dreams
All in all, your audience comes first, but you have to get it in front of them before they can even reject it off the title alone.
A title grabs your attention, sets the tone, explains what's to come, and possibly even answers the phone when you can't get to it. Okay, so it's not everything, but it's most things.