I was poking a big stack of articles I’ve been meaning to read and something interesting fell out. I’d bookmarked an article on writing a better blog title to attract readers. One of the hardest parts of writing is finding an attention grabbing title, which, often takes longer to create than an entire post.
Most of the links led to sites that do nothing more generate generic content ideas to blog about. I rarely have an issue finding things to burble on about. On the contrary, I don’t have enough time to keep up with my ever growing list of topics. One of the links did lead to something I thought might have potential, SEOPressor. The site hosts a blog title generator that allows the user to plug in a topic and it’ll spit out appropriate blog titles.
I gave it a spin and figured out pretty quickly this is where all those generic blog titles come from. I assumed people were cribbing the same basic titles “7 useful ways to [insert idea]”, “15 common tasks [insert idea] or “5 simple (but important) things to remember about [insert idea]”. After running through about a dozen topics, it was obvious, they were all pretty much uniform, cookie cutter titles. It didn’t matter what idea was inserted, the same bland headlines were offered.
The software doesn’t really know what the content is about. It can only offer up the same basic catch phrases that are the current SEO flavour of the week. Plunk in any content, no matter how outrageous, and the generator rotates through the same basic titles.
Let’s have some fun writing a blog title
I decided to test the generator to prove my point. I began plugging in increasingly ridiculous topics to see the results. This, by far, was the best:
I think I see a small problem. A title like “10 easy ways to facilitate Kill Everyone and Hide the Corpses” might draw a bit of attention from the wrong places. Mind you, if you’re stupid enough to write about that, well, I think you should have a lawyer on speed dial.
I gave the generator a spin using pogo stick. Again, up popped titles that don’t really tell the audience anything about the content. It’s pretty much SEO pop word bingo:
Mind you, I’d love to read an article on how pogo sticks are going to change my business strategy. But I don’t think I’m ready to know the entire truth about pogo sticks, at least, not this week. I tapped “generate more titles” and the results were much the same. “Learn all about pogo stick from this politician”, “The death of pogo stick”, etc. The titles were hitting the buzz words and sometimes created grossly misleading titles.
This underscores my point – writing blog titles is tedious, difficult and not something that can be automated, unless the author is going for a generic feel to their site. Looks like I’ll have to struggle with the task on my own.