How to Write Better Attention-Grabbing Blog Post Titles

A couple of months ago I found a free online headline improvement program. Have you noticed? The jury’s still out, though, as to how it’s working.

Funny thing is, “they” used to tell bloggers to never give a blog post a title containing more than five words. I’ve tried to follow that for years. Lo and behold, now we’re supposed to have seven- to 12-word titles. It’s hard to keep up with what’s acceptable. Who knew blogging would be so complicated and have so many rules?

This free program I’ve started using analyzes headlines and gives each one a numeric score. I’ve had some fun playing around with it and taking its “advice.” I don’t know that my higher-scoring blog post titles have attracted attention or not.

In fact, as my posts have turned more toward publicizing my writing and concentrating less on the art and craft of writing, my blog has lost some popularity. I continued to attract new followers at a slow but steady rate, but my posts are getting fewer “likes” from other bloggers.

My subtle change in direction was a decision I had to make. Was my purpose as a writer to attract the attention of other writers or was it to attract readers?

I hope to continue to attract the attention of other writers but, if I’m going to establish myself as a writer I must find and attract readers.


Headline Studio by Co-Schedule

This isn’t an ad for Headline Studio by Co-Schedule, and I’m getting no compensation for writing about the program in my blog. This is the program I’m using. It’s been a real eye opener.

The program analyzes the headlines or titles you enter and gives you a score from 0 to 100. Today’s blog post title rated a moderately good score of 67, whereas the blog post title I used on January 9, 2023 was my all-time high at 80.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Things taken into consideration in rating title include strength of words, number of characters, number of words, use of emotional words, and readability. The readability aspect is the one that troubles me enough. Some blog post titles I’ve created receive low scores because I used words that someone reading on a fifth-grade level would not understand. How sad is that?

Even sadder is the rating I got when I plugged in today’s blog post title. Read it again. Do you find it difficult to understand? The Headline Studio program gave me the following analysis for this title: “Your headline reads at a 10th grade or higher reading level, which may make it difficult for many readers to comprehend. Switch out the complex words in your headline to improve readability.”

To that, I say, “You must be kidding!” If you can’t understand the title, you probably wouldn’t be able to read my blog. It’s a sad commentary on the state of education.


#OnThisDay:  Operation Desert Storm Began in 1991


Since my last blog post

My book sales are going well on Amazon and at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, NC. Here’s a photo I took one day of my book on the shelf with books by other local authors.

I took the picture the only day I visited the store and it wasn’t sold out! Notice that my book was displayed next to Teachers are Amazing: The ABCs of Teachers, by Tierney Fairchild.

Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 on the shelf at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, NC!

If you’re a teacher, know a teacher, or aspire to be a teacher, I recommend Tierney’s book to you. In addition to Second Look Books, her book is also available on Amazon. Tierney is a lifelong educator and is dedicated to the profession.

Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1, by Janet Morrison, next to Teachers are Amazing! The ABCs of Teachers, by Tierney Fairchild at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, NC!

I’ve been busy this week writing content for the “Home,” “Books,” and “History in Photographs” pages on my website that’s being redesigned. I continue to learn more technology. I created a folder on Google Drive to house the media kit for Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1. I know this sounds easy to many of you, but it was another milestone for me. I can’t wait to unveil the new website… soon!

I want to offer a free e-novelette to people who sign up for my email list when the new website goes live. My next hurdle is learning how to do that!


Until my next blog post

I hope you’re reading a good book. I’m reading The Shadow Box, by Louanne Rice for Rocky River Readers this month. I’ve also started reading Raven Black, by Ann Cleeves.

Thank you to each and every one of you for supporting me and my new local history book!

Remember the freezing people in Ukraine.

Janet

The Sauline Players Theatrical Troupe Thrilled Audiences in 20th Century

Did you ever see the Sauline Players perform? Chances are you did if you went to school in the piedmont of North Carolina in the early- to mid-1900s.

As I write that, though, it occurs to me that I don’t know if they performed at the schools for black children. I hope they did, for their performances were a real treasure for those of us who lived in rural areas and didn’t have easy access to live theatrical performances.

Two of the 91 local history articles in my new book, Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1, are about the Sauline Players. I’ll share some highlights from those articles in today’s blog post.

When I researched the Sauline Players for Harrisburg Horizons newspaper in 2011, I was surprised to learn that the theatrical troupe was based in the small Gaston County town of Belmont, North Carolina. I have fond memories of their performances in the auditorium at Harrisburg High School in the early 1960s when I was in elementary school.

In 2010, I learned that Joseph Sauline was with another traveling acting troupe in Charlotte in the 1920s when that company went broke. Not to be outdone, Mr. Sauline stayed in the area and organized his own acting group — the Sauline Players.

An online search in 2010 led me to a Sauline Players listing on the acting resume of Ms. Joan McCrea. I was able to get in touch with her agent, who in turn gave Ms. McCrea my contact information. Imagine my surprise one day when I answered the phone and found actress Joan McCrea in Los Angeles on the other end of the line!

The ensuing correspondence with Ms. McCrea turned my single newspaper article about the Sauline Players into a two-part series.

If you want to know more about the Sauline Players and other local history articles I wrote for Harrisburg Horizons newspaper, look for my book, Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1.


Harrisburg, Did You Know?
Cabarrus History, Book 1,
by Janet Morrison

Where to purchase Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1

Paperback available at Second Look Books, 4519 School House Commons, Harrisburg, NC

Paperback and e-book available from Amazon:  ­­­­­­­­­­https://www.amazon.com/Harrisburg-Did-You-Know-Cabarrus/dp/1888858044/.


Since my last blog post

My book received a lot of positive and well-placed publicity last week. The proprietor of Second Look Books in Harrisburg tells me sales have been brisk.

I took a long enough break from formatting Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 2 to design the cover for the paperback. Then, it was back to formatting. I’m pleased to have the cover designed so I could mark that task off my to-do list.


Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading a couple of books now. It’ll be interesting to see how many I get read in January.

Remember the brave, freezing people in Ukraine.

Janet

Unthinkable Choice, by Sampson and Lee Ann Parker

Sampson and Lee Ann Parker, authors of Unthinkable Choice, were the guest speakers on Monday night at the monthly meeting of Rocky River Readers Book Club at Rocky River Presbyterian Church near Harrisburg and Concord, North Carolina. I think everyone in attendance felt blessed for having been there to hear the Parkers’ story.

I blogged about the release of the book on September 19, 2014, so please feel free to read my entry for that day.

Sampson was in a horrible farming accident in which he had to take a pocket knife and cut off his own arm in order to free himself from a single-row corn picker and save his life. The injuries he received from the machinery and fire were injuries he should not have survived. It was only by the grace of God that he survived to tell his story. Visit http://www.SampsonParker.com for more information.

If you have not read Unthinkable Choice, please look for it at your public library or local bookstore. If you cannot find it in a store, either ask that it be ordered for you or order it online. It is available at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, North Carolina.

Where to purchase my book

The sales and marketing people at Arcadia Publishing have been hard at work getting my book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on store shelves in the mountains. The following locations already have my book for sale:

Smoky Mountain Host Visitors Center in Franklin
Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville
Books Unlimited in Franklin
The Guilded Lily by Patra in Blowing Rock
Village Pharmacy in Blowing Rock
University Bookstore at Appalachian State University in Boone
Boone Drug locations on King Street and New Market in Boone
Lake Junaluska Assembly at Lake Junaluska
Malaprops Books and Cafe in Asheville
Walgreens on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville
Walgreens on South Tunnel Road in Asheville
Asheville Chamber of Commerce
Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar in Asheville
Christa’s Country Corner in Newland
Mystery Hill in Blowing Rock
Town Hardware and General Store in Black Mountain

I am thrilled to know that my book is being sold at all these locations and will soon also be available at Second Look Books in Harrisburg.

I’m writing lots of thank you letters today.

Where you can purchase my book

The sales and marketing people at Arcadia Publishing have been hard at work getting my book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, on store shelves. The book is available at the following locations in the North Carolina mountains:

Smoky Mountain Host Visitors Center in Franklin

Books Unlimited in Franklin

Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville

The Gilded Lily by Patra in Blowing Rock

Village Pharmacy in Blowing Rock

University Bookstore at Appalachian State University in Boone

Boone Drug – King Street and New Market in Boone

Lake Junaluska Assembly at Lake Junaluska

Walgreens on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville

Walgreens on S. Tunnel Road in Asheville

Malaprop’s Books and Cafe in Asheville

Asheville Chamber of Commerce

Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar in Asheville

Christa’s Country Corner in Newland

Mystery Hill in Blowing Rock

Town Hardware and General Store in Black Mountain

I am thrilled to know my book is being sold at all those locations in the North Carolina mountains! Soon it will be available at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, NC.