I’m not the best when it comes to writing headlines. In fact, I think I really suck at it. Out of over 30 posts on The Daily Hottentots, I’ve only found three that really capture my attention. I know that’s better than a big fat zero, but still, that’s less than 10 percent. Not good. And I am working to improve that.
Even though I am not pleased with the headlines on my blog posts, I can at least say they are original thoughts. I’m not going to name names here (frankly, I don’t remember names), but there are a few people floating around the blogosphere who use what I like to refer to as the copy/paste headline.
What is the copy/paste headline? Take this for example: here on WordPress there is a weekly photo challenge, and when people decide they want to take part, they join a thousand other blog posts with the headline “Weekly Photo Challenge: Cars of My Dreams” or some crap like that. And what’s worse, when a reader gets frustrated and decides to just click on one of the thousands of posts with the same damn headline, the post consists of just a photograph. There’s no description, no quote. There’s nothing but the photograph…and many times people who click on the post have no idea how the photograph and the copy/paste headline are related.
Want another example? Well, too bad, I’m going to give you one. And I am going to use another WordPress challenge in this example. Last year WordPress hosted the Post a Day Challenge. Each day the Daily Post would give participating bloggers a new prompt. Can you guess what happened when some bloggers decided to use the prompt? If you guessed that a thousand blogs with the headline “What Topping I Like On My Pizza and Why” popped up all over WordPress, you’re right. And if you dared to click on the post to read it you would see:
I like pepperoni on my pizza. Pepperoni tastes good and is fun to eat. The kids like pepperoni. My dog likes pepperoni, too. The whole family is a fan of pepperoni pizza. And that is why I like to use pepperoni on top of my pizza. The End.
Do either of the above examples describe what you do on your blog? If they do, PLEASE STOP. Lord knows I am probably coming off like a know-it-all here, but I don’t really care. The copy/paste headline and lack of originality is a pet peeve of mine. It’s unacceptable to me.
If you are a beginner in blogging or creative writing, please start using prompts the right way. Use them to come up with an original headline and original content. Your readers will love you for it!
- Seven Ideas to Build a Better Blog [Infodoodle] (slideshare.net)
- 12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time (seomoz.org)
- 5 Reasons People Aren’t Sharing Your Content (socialmediatoday.com)