Ever read a title or heading and think this might be a great read only to find out the story was uninteresting or dull? You ask yourself, why. How can the story be so disappointing? The title drew your interest then as you began to read it, you kept looking for something more. And if by chance you keep on going, you reach the end of the story feeling unsatisfied. Your thirst for knowledge just grew some more yet you were left hungry.
Stories like that one feel like I’ve just wasted my time. I might be researching a topic, looking for inspiration or just reading for pleasure. When something catches my eye, I’m curious. I want to know more. I start the article with much anticipation. When I finish what I’ve read, I’m left with a bad taste.
As a writer myself, I ask this question. What happened? Did the author chose to create a tantalizing title to swoop me in or was the author just uninteresting. Sometimes capturing headlines are used with an element to peak interest but they fail to deliver as promised. Sometimes the author didn’t really know how to say it, but they had an idea. Sometimes they just don’t know enough about the topic and only touched upon the surface.
All of these reasons are why writers learn from others. We can see what’s good, what’s bad, or not-so-good. We read like a writer but something in us reads to listen. We read because we like the element of a story. We read to read. We read because we love the story. Many read to be taken on a voyage. We travel the world through time and place as we’re swept up in the adventure. It’s the stories of our lifetime. It’s the enduring unending trails of life. We are swept up, forever caught up, in the words unfolding before us.
I’d like to think I can match my title to the story or create a heading that ties to the subject, but sometimes I miss the mark as well. Sometimes I can’t think of great title and so I go with a subject or related topic heading.
The SEO experts tell us to write with keywords splashed around our articles. SEO essentially is the search engine optimization process that ultimately lands the end-user on your webpage. Throw in a catchy heading and you have the makings of a great post or article. I’ve tried those things too.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter much. The trends change, the SEO fluctuates and keywords are drivers that can trail us into a garbage dump. I found to just write freely what’s in your heart. Write what you are driven to write or what you’re passionate about. Write about topics that interest you or push your hot buttons. In the end, it’s not whether your title grabbed the reader but whether the reader was grabbed in your subject. In my opinion, all that matters is that you left something behind that helped another along the way.