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Entry titles: think about them

Written by Tyme White on September 27, 2006

Here’s the scenario. Tyme’s going through her RSS feeds, sees the entry title “Digging for the Truth podcast joins 9rules!”. Tyme reads this and thinks “whaaa?”, clicks on the link, browser opens up. The entry starts off with:

Ha, now that I got your attention…

Yes, you have my attention all right. Congratulations, you now have an irritated reader. Do you think I’m going to browse your site? Finish reading the article? Subscribe to your site? No. I’m not, but I’ll remember the site so if I forget and click to the site again, I will not be there long.

Another common one is a link that says something like Janet Jackson’s music, and when the person clicks on the link the reader is taken to a web site where the writer mentioned Janet’s music in the last paragraph of the 1000 word entry.

Curious, if you do this, who are you thinking of? Yourself and the temporary traffic or the reader’s experience? I know, you’re going to say “Tyme, you’re being too harsh! Lighten up!”. Um, no…going to tell you why.

1. Open a new tab in your browser.
2. Go to 9rules
3. On the left hand side what do you see? Remember that.
4. Now, click on any community.
5. Scroll down to the site listings. What do you see?

Yes, links. 9rules is made up of a lot of links because we do not show full content here. Can you imagine what our site would look like with that kind of foolishness? We’re trying to get people to visit 9rules member sites, not tick them off. More importantly, when people are ticked off, they do not email Scrivs or Mike, they email Tyme. Can you imagine how exponentially irked I would be?

So give some consideration to your titles and links. Deceiving (I know, you call it having fun) your readers is a risk most blogs can’t afford to take. Keep in mind, some blogs pull this off wonderfully and you can tell because the readers are commenting and interacting with the writer. If you’re doing this and the tumbleweeds are blowing on your site…this might be why.