Mastering Titling: Guide to Effective Titles
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. What makes a title effective?
  2. How to craft an engaging title
  3. Select keywords for your title
  4. Use action verbs in your title
  5. Make your title specific and concrete
  6. Keep your title short and catchy
  7. Avoid clickbait titles
  8. Test and refine your title

Defining titling can feel like trying to catch a raindrop in the ocean. It's everywhere, but somehow elusive. It's the art of giving a name to your creation—be it a book, a blog post, or a masterpiece of art. But what's in a title? How do you ensure your title can stand out in a sea of words? That's what we'll explore in this guide on mastering titling.

What makes a title effective?

First, let's get this straight: titling is not a random process. It's a craft, much like baking your favorite cake. You need the right ingredients, mixed in the right proportions, to get the desired outcome. So, what makes a title effective? Here are some pointers:

  • Relevance: Your title needs to be a mini-summary of your content. Let's say you wrote a blog about how to make a perfect cup of coffee. If you title it "A Storm in a Teacup", it might sound poetic, but it won't tell your potential reader what they'll gain by reading your blog.
  • Keyword Inclusion: Ah, keywords—the magic words that help your content get found in the vast digital landscape. Including relevant keywords in your title can help your content rank higher in search engine results. But remember, they need to be relevant to your content. For instance, "definition of titling" is a keyword that's relevant to this blog post.
  • Emotion: A good title can stir emotions, creating a connection with the reader. It's like a movie trailer: it gives you a glimpse and makes you want to see more.
  • Conciseness: In the world of titling, less is more. Short, catchy titles are like bite-sized appetizers—they leave your readers wanting more.
  • Accuracy: Avoid clickbaity titles that promise something your content doesn't deliver. They might get you clicks, but they won't win you loyal readers.

So, there you have it—the basic ingredients you need to create an effective title. As with any recipe, it's all about finding the right balance. Too much of one ingredient can spoil the whole dish. But when you get it right, a well-crafted title can be the cherry on top of your content cake.

How to craft an engaging title

Now that we've covered the basics of what makes a title effective, let's move on to the fun part: crafting an engaging title. This is your chance to get creative and make your mark. Ready? Let's dive in!

Imagine you're at a party. You want to tell a story that grabs everyone's attention. You wouldn't start with "Once upon a time..." because that's been done a thousand times before. Instead, you'd probably think of a unique, engaging way to start your story. That's exactly what you need to do when crafting a title.

  • Ask a Question: Titles that pose a question can be very engaging. They invite the reader to think and spark curiosity. For instance, a title like "What's the Real Definition of Titling?" is likely to pique your reader's curiosity and draw them into your content.
  • Use Numbers: Numbers in titles are like magnets—they attract attention. They also set clear expectations for your reader. A title like "Five Steps to Master Titling" tells your reader exactly what they'll get from your content.
  • Include a Benefit: What will your reader gain from your content? Including a benefit in your title can make it more engaging. For example, "Master Titling: Boost Your Blog's Traffic" makes a clear promise to the reader.
  • Play with Words: Wordplay can make your title more memorable and engaging. Alliteration, puns, rhymes—they're all fair game. But remember, don't let creativity overshadow clarity. Your title should still give your reader a clear idea of what they'll find in your content.

So there you go—some tips to help you craft an engaging title. Remember, titling is an art, and like any art, it takes practice to perfect. So don't be afraid to experiment and have some fun with it. After all, as the saying goes, "The pen is mightier than the sword". And when it comes to titling, the right words can indeed be mighty powerful.

Select keywords for your title

Alright, we've painted a picture of how a title can be like a beacon, pulling people in. But how do we ensure the right people find our title in the sea of information that is the internet? The answer lies in keywords.

Keywords are like the map coordinates that guide search engines to your content. When a user types something into a search engine, it looks for content that includes those words. If the definition of titling is your thing, then "titling" should be one of your keywords.

  • Do Your Research: Keyword research tools can help you find the words and phrases that people are searching for. They can also show you how competitive these keywords are, helping you strike a balance between popularity and competition.
  • Think Like Your Reader: Try to get into your reader's mind. What terms would they use to find your content? If you're writing about titling, they might search for "definition of titling", "how to title a blog post", or "titling tips".
  • Use Long-Tail Keywords: These are longer, more specific keyword phrases. They might not get as many searches, but they can help you reach the right audience. For example, "how to craft an effective title for SEO" is a long-tail keyword that could attract exactly the readers you want.

Choosing the right keywords can make a big difference in who finds your content. But remember, your title should still be engaging and make sense to your readers. Don't stuff it with keywords at the expense of readability. It's all about balance—like adding just the right amount of spices to a dish.

Use action verbs in your title

Imagine you're at a party. Who catches your attention more: the person standing quietly in the corner, or the one actively engaging with everyone? The same principle applies to your title. Action verbs can bring your title to life and make it more compelling.

Action verbs are words that express something a person, animal, or thing can do. They're like the power tools in your writing toolbox. They add oomph. They push your reader to act. So, instead of a title like "Tips for titling", why not try "Master the art of titling"? The word "master" is an action verb that adds power and encourages your reader to take action.

  • Stay Relevant: The action verb you use should match the content of your piece. If you're writing a beginner's guide, use words like "learn" or "discover". If you're writing about advanced techniques, words like "master" or "dominate" might be more appropriate.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Action verbs show your reader what they can do with the information you're providing. Instead of telling them you have "ideas for improving titling", show them how to "transform their titling techniques".
  • Be Clear and Direct: Remember, the goal is to inspire action, so choose clear, direct verbs. "Enhance your titling skills" is stronger and more direct than "make your titling better".

By using action verbs in your title, you're not just defining what your content is about—you're giving your reader a compelling reason to click and engage.

Make your title specific and concrete

Let's play a quick game of "Would You Rather?" Would you rather read a blog titled "How to Do Things" or "5 Proven Steps to Master Titling in One Hour"? You'd probably choose the second one, right? That's because it's specific and concrete. It tells you exactly what you're going to get.

When you're defining your title, it's like you're making a promise to your reader. You're telling them what they can expect from your content. If your title is vague or generic, it's like a broken promise—your reader will feel let down, and they may not trust your content in the future.

  • Be Specific: Instead of "Ways to Improve Titling", try "7 Techniques to Boost Your Blog's Titles". The second title is more specific—it tells your reader exactly how many techniques you'll share.
  • Be Concrete: Concrete titles give your reader a clear picture of what they'll learn. "Steps to create killer titles" could be any number of steps, but "5 Simple Steps to Craft Killer Titles" gives your reader a concrete idea of what to expect.

Remember, your title is like the front door to your content. A specific, concrete title is like a brightly painted door—it's inviting, it stands out, and it gives a hint of what's inside. So, the next time you're defining a title, make sure it's as specific and concrete as your content deserves.

Keep your title short and catchy

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted that shiny, brightly colored toy on the store shelf? Well, think of your title as that shiny toy. It needs to be attractive enough to catch the reader's eye and short enough not to lose their interest.

As a general rule, aim for 60 characters or less. This isn't just a random number. It's about the length that Google displays in search results. So if your title is longer, it might get cut off, and your reader might miss important information.

But what about being catchy? How do you make a title sound like a hit song? Here are a couple of tips:

  • Use powerful words: Words like "Proven", "Incredible", "Secret", "Ultimate" can pique your reader's curiosity and make your title more compelling.
  • Use numbers: Numbers, especially odd ones, catch our attention—think "7 Ways to Improve Your Titles" or "5 Secrets of Successful Bloggers".
  • Ask a question: A title like "What's the Best Way to Master Titling?" can engage your reader right away by making them think about their own experiences.

So, the next time you're pondering the definition of titling, remember: keep it short and catchy. Your readers—and your search engine rankings—will thank you!

Avoid clickbait titles

While we're on the subject of making your title catchy, let's talk about something you should avoid: clickbait titles. You might be wondering, "wait, what's wrong with a title that gets people to click?" Well, there's nothing wrong with getting clicks—that's the whole point, right? But let's think about this for a second: What happens after they click?

Clickbait titles often over-promise and under-deliver. They might lure readers in with promises of "shocking secrets" or "life-changing hacks", only to offer content that's rather ordinary. As a result, your readers might feel tricked, and trust me—you don't want that.

Remember, the goal isn't just to get people to click on your title, but to keep them reading. If your content doesn't live up to the hype of your title, your readers will likely bounce faster than a ball in a pinball machine—leaving you with a high bounce rate and a low ranking on search engine results.

So, instead of resorting to clickbait, aim for honesty and clarity in your titles. This is the real definition of titling: creating a title that accurately reflects your content and sets the right expectations for your reader. This way, you'll build trust with your audience, and they'll be more likely to stick around, read your content, and even come back for more!

Test and refine your title

Let's say you've followed all the above advice — you've crafted an engaging, keyword-rich, specific and honest title. Is your job done? Not quite. The final step in mastering the definition of titling involves testing and refining your title.

Why is this necessary? Well, even the most experienced writers can't always predict what will resonate with their audience. Sometimes, a title that seems perfect to you might not hit the mark with your readers. And that's okay — it's all part of the process.

So, how do you test your title? One popular method is A/B testing. This involves creating two different titles for the same content and seeing which one performs better. There are several tools available online that can help you with this. You can also use analytics tools to see how your title is performing in terms of clicks, shares, and search engine rankings.

Once you have this data, you can refine your title based on what works. Maybe you find that your audience responds better to titles with numbers, or perhaps they prefer titles that ask a question. Whatever the case, don't be afraid to tweak your title until it's just right. Remember, the definition of titling isn't set in stone — it's an art that requires creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to learn from your audience.

If you enjoyed our blog post on "Mastering Titling: Guide to Effective Titles" and want to expand your skillset in creating compelling titles, we recommend checking out the workshop 'Treatment Writing For Documentaries' by Reshelshah. Although focused on documentaries, this workshop offers valuable insights and techniques for crafting engaging titles that can be applied to various creative projects. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from an expert and elevate your titling abilities!