Would you rather read a SEO-optimized article or one with an intriguing title?
With the knowledge that I’m a (should-be digital) marketer, you’d probably expect me to defend the first option. But, if you’ve read last week’s blog, you also know that knowledge doesn’t always equal wisdom. In my case, even seldom. As such, I’m frequently tempted to creating surprising, even nonsensical, blog headlines and presentation titles. Not the clickbait kind of stuff, but rather the ones that make my audience wonder what the rest of the content will be about.
Here are 10 more or less insane blog titles that I created during the past years. Can you imagine (or do you still remember) what these columns were talking about?
- Shoot the piano player (the first post I ever wrote)
- Don’t feed the chameleons (one of my favorite topics I’m writing about)
- Take a parachute and jump (yes!)
- Making the volcano
- Don’t spread the jam
- X-ing wombats (actually, WOMBAT should have been capitalized)
- Size matters! (yeqs, sometimes it does)
- Smile and the world will smile with you
- The mysterious Mr Fubini (my favorite unsourced law)
- Send in the clowns
Even some of my favorite rock songs don’t have meaningful titles. Take, for example, Neil Young‘s “After the Gold Rush”. Nils Lofgren, who played piano and guitar on the same called album, once said in an interview: “Neil never told me what the song was about. I’d love to bend his ear about it.” While, when asked about the song’s meaning, Young admitted: “Hell, I don’t know. I just wrote it…”
Probably we’ve become just that tiny bit too rational when defining and communicating our message. We’re doing too much search engine thinking, ignoring Aristotle’s ars rhetorica, and abandoning the power of emotion.
If the godfather of grunge can be successful with a title that doesn’t teach you anything but with lyrics that sparkle emotion, why wouldn’t I do the same on my blog?