Blog title generator test – um no, just no

Blog title generator test – um no, just no

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:

An example of silly blog title generated by the Blog Generator

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:

Another example of silly blog title generated by the Blog Generator using the word pogo sticks

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. 

 

A sea of errors – or is it “I see errors”?

I’m about 3/4 way through checking the site for missing links, typos, miscategorised posts and, well, you know. All of this reminds me why I started casting around for a different platform and thinking of a web redesign. Joomla’s spell check was erratic at best.  I often type too quickly and try to get things posted a bit too fast and sometimes rely on spell check to catch the obvious typos. I’m embarrassed to admit, I don’t always get back to a close proofing. WP is far more efficient when it comes to spell check.

A number of clearly outdated articles on defunct software have been permanently binned.  I’ve archived a bunch of early articles and put them on hold  because I haven’t figured out what I want to do with them. They don’t actually fit into any category. Alas, I think I’ll end up deleting them. 

Another issue was Joomla’s failure to auto save drafts. I’d be working on something and hit the back space, which periodically caused the article to delete, and the entire article would be gone.  I got to the point I would write everything in Word and cut and paste it into the website later. Maddening!

I’m still chugging through all the page redirects, but those are going to be an ongoing project. Each time I think I have them all tackled, a new crop springs up. At least I’ll never be idle.

What else is there to do? Oof! I have to work on the next |previous links on single posts, adjust thumbnail sizes, need a banner on the Tech page, and maybe a new index page. Mind you, I kind of like the page, but it might get a bit out of control in a few months so, we’ll see.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about SEO. I’ve used it in the past but never really wrapped myself around doing it efficiently. I think that’s the next big project. Ensuring everything ticks all the boxes as far as SEO is concerned. We’ll see if it makes a big difference. I feel like I’ve zeroed out the site and purged all outdated ideas. It’s now a big experiment to trace how the changes will affect readership. I’ll keep you posted.