Last week, I was bouncing around the internet, and ran across some articles about writing better blog posts. The first thing I saw was an idea generator for blog posts. This made me think “if you don’t have an opinion or experience to share, why are you blogging in the first place?”
Next, I found some websites to analyze/improve headlines. Maybe this is an area where I could use some help. My headlines are usually on topic, but a bit dull: the word “review” followed by a short story or book title. Would more people visit my blog if I had headlines like “This book will knock your socks off!”?
Apparently, my headline scores a 62 (presumably out of 100).
I received a B+ in “word balance”, with 20% common words, 40% uncommon words, and no emotional or power words. Apparently 40% of my words managed to fall into no category at all. You can see examples of what they consider emotional and power words here: http://coschedule.com/blog/how-to-write-the-best-headlines-that-will-increase-traffic/#word-balance. I don’t personally consider most of the “emotional” words emotional, and most of their power phrases would make me close a browser window.
Next, the site informs me that my headline is a question. I probably could have figured this out on my own, since the headline has not just one, but two question marks.
The site then tells me my headline is a bit short and could use more characters. I open up a thesaurus, and find that I can replace “Pod” with “Capsule”. Capsule People? What Capsule People? This only brings my score to a 63.
The site also tells me that six is the optimal number of words in a headline, as people only read the first three and last three words. Apparently, the linear reading method I learned as a child is all wrong. Now I want to get a job writing newspaper headlines, so I can insert nonsense words. I could change “President Obama Authorizes Airstrikes Against ISIS” to “President Obama Authorizes Tennis Ball Airstrikes Against ISIS.” It might get this guy’s attention:
The site goes on to advise me to include searchable keywords in my headline. Apparently I’ve used non-searchable keywords?
Finally, I’m told that my headline is neutral in sentiment, and that I need to aim for positive or negative emotions. “I hate those darn pod people” earns me a 64, while “I love those wonderful pod people” shoots me all the way up to 71. Sadly, I’m still only in B+ territory.
Should I consider changing my headlines? Instead of book titles, I could describe the emotions I experienced while reading. My next headline: “Floating down a river of despair, hoping for a waterfall.”