Yeah…I’m not good at naming posts. I’ve never had a talent for it and I am so jealous of people who can come up with that perfect title off the tops of their heads like it was no big deal. It’s a very big deal! Unless someone is very familiar with your writing already and willing to give your posts a chance because they like your style, the titles of your posts are pretty much the only way you have of attracting new readers so how can you craft the perfect one? Well clearly I’ve no clue but my jealousy has led me to carefully observe all of your post names and I’ve noticed a few trends.

Post names can basically be divided into a few simple categories, each with their particular strengths and weaknesses.

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the animation hides how simple the art is

The Basic

This is your short and sweet descriptive title. XX Review, My thoughts on Fanservice, Current Show – Episode 4… You get the idea. These titles are meant to tell you exactly what the post is about and nothing more. It’s fantastic if you’re looking for something specific but it does lack a bit in originality. One of the problems with “XX Review” is that I’m not getting any sort of feel for what the review will actually be like. The writer’s personality is not coming across in any way and I don’t know if it will be positive or negative. This title doesn’t give me any reason to read this review of XX over any other review of XX.

As I said, it’s great when you’re looking for something specific. When I was trying to round up all the reviews for particular shows for my “Favorite Shows of 2017” post, these were the articles that came up first and where the easiest to find. Although, frankly, as long as you have XX somewhere in the title, you should be ok for search engines. For my money, these types of titles work best if you have a blog name or blogger ID that’s already very evocative. If your called (I’m making these up, sorry if I stumble unto a real person) “the frisky reviewer”, then a frisky review of XX is already a little more unique and there’s no need to spice up the title at this point.

Date by 86hrhr
by Reykuro13 – go check the gallery out – it is so worth it

The Creative

On the other end of the spectrum, you have those imaginative or poetic post names that are fun to read but give you very little idea what the post is about. These can be fantastic when use sparingly, as they’ll grab the attention of your readers and you’ll get clicks from people just wanting to find out what you’re talking about but anyone actually looking for the specific content you’ve created (a “Get Ready With Me” post written from the POV of Hisoka – I’ve always wanted to write that….) is probably never going to stumble across your post.

These titles also have some pretty drastic diminishing returns. Let’s face it, eventually readers are going to lose interest in randomness. We all have a limited amount of time to devote to people’s blogs and it’s normal to want to concentrate on posts that are most likely to interest us.

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my hero

The Pun

Or joke title. I try and fail at this regularly. When done well these can be brilliant but it’s terribly risky. Humour in general is highly subjective and what you may be considering a witty title can come off as stupid for someone else. Not to mention that a topical reference will quickly date the post and the author, and become gibberish to anyone who doesn’t know what you’re alluding to.

I don’t have any advice on these. Personally I always appreciate the effort of at least trying to be fun (when I can recognize it) but considering how many bloggers have openly said they dislike comedy, it may not be the best way to get them to read your stuff. I wish we could put in subheaders in our titles. I would use those to add jokes.

The Neverending Story-Atreyu finds Morla by HeavyMetalHanzo
Atreyu finds Morla – and of course the Neverending Story should be an anime

The Neverending

I like ridiculously long post names. I like the blog “My Long Post Titles”. These are usually the result of trying to clarify your topic after using an overly creative title or trying to combine a few of the ones above. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it per see, but if you regularly hot against the character limit of post titles you may be overdoing it. It’s also a sign that you might have a tendency towards run on sentences. I feel you. I sometimes realize at the end of a post that I only have two sentences. It’s a problem.

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ok this isn’t my most imaginative pic choice

The Bait

The clickbait title can be further divided into two categories that I like to call:

  1. The Juicy Bait: This is when you hit on a topic you know will generate a lot of interest and discussion and you actually have something productive to add to the discussion. It’s a topical and evocative title, usually with an implied point of vue, and the corresponding post elaborates exactly on that subject and point of vue in a personal and interesting way. These are great of course but most of us will only be able to come up with a few of these once in a while. A stars align sort of event.
  2. The Bait and Switch: This is when you realize a topic would get you a lot of views but don’t necessarily have anything to say about it. You craft that same showy title but end up with a shallow post that either recounts the same platitudes you can find in a million other posts or ends up missing the mark and discussing something else. Because the author doesn’t actually have any strong views on the subject, you end up with a tepid thesis and a neutral tone. This usually gets readers disappointed and makes them weary of your future posts unless you are such a great writer you can get away with it on the strength of your writing skills alone.
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so world peace by Friday or your owe me a billion dollars

The Overpromise

Have you ever come across a title that sounds like a doctoral thesis only to find it’s a bare bones top 5 list or series of inane “hacks” or something. Some people seem to have a gift for single sentences. They have these amazing, intricate titles that draw you in instantly but when it comes time to write an entire posts that gets a point across, they seem to fall apart. I blame twitter for this.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t use pretentious titles if you want. In fact, I think it’s really funny to have a really grandiose title for some silly little post clearly meant to be light reading. But I do tire of bloggers that only use titles that sound like Jeopardy answers (I mean questions, sorry) and deliver posts that are quite frankly run of the mill.

You know, I was hoping this little exercise would help me figure out how to get better at naming posts. It has NOT. New plan guys, if you give me an awesome post name in the comments, I’ll write a post to match it. Is that exactly the sort of this I said was not a good idea. Yes, yes it is. Could be funny though, right?

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64 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Anime World
  2. “Have you ever come across a title that sounds like a doctoral thesis only to find it’s a bare bones top 5 list or series of inane “hacks” or something.” Dude, let me tell you about the actual doctoral theses that are pretty much that low…!

    Sorry it took me so long to respond; been meaning to read this for a while and only got to it today. 🙂

      1. Lol! You have made me laugh out loud, which considering I’m lying sick in bed is much appreciated!

  3. ha ha haaaa yeah i suck at titles for EVERYTHING. i think i used to do a lot of the basic titling before and now i’m running along the lines of a whole sentence as the title xD idk, i guess depending on the post sometimes i feel like i need a longer title and other times i look at the preview of my post, cringe at how one word is hanging off the end and then add more words so it looks even >_>

    i don’t think i’ve ever tried humor. i just can’t do it lolol

  4. I started blogging in 2001 and I still suck at naming posts so I figure I am a lost cause by now. I just go with the name of the anime/manga or in case I write about something else just plainly that topic (like “links” because it’s about links in general) I wish I was more adventurous with my titles but I know by previous experience that if I try I get a title that is a million words long. So yeah, mrs sucky blog post namer here.

      1. And just because this, I am gonna do my best and be creative. Let’s just see how that goes. *start to ponder about my next post*

  5. I am obsessed with fancy names and titles!
    As anyone can tell LOL

    This was awesome to read and as for a title for Rin-san to get a post?
    How about “Second serving are sometimes surprisingly needed: I Need a Refill” ?

  6. It’s definitely a hard balance. “Review of Such-and-such” isn’t very interesting on WordPress, but it’s very helpful when searching on Google for reviews so that you know that’s what it is and not some random babble. Longer titles are also less URL-friendly, but they capture your attention.

    I tend to go with the basic and boring myself on my regular posts and funny/interesting on side posts and for TheOASG.

  7. Out of everything in a post, I probably spend the most time thinking and axing different titles…I think I bounce between the creative, basic, thesis-sounding and bait titles (I don’t think I’ve ever hit the title character limit before).

    As for post titles, I have an in-progress post called “Troubled Dubs (ft. Bungou Stray Dogs)”. The content I produce for it sounds like a rant and the assonance means it’s a title you might want, so maybe you could give it a new lease of life?

    1. That sounds like a fantastic post. I don’t watch dubs but subs can certainly get very “creative” and localisation is a fascinating subject

      1. The dub isn’t out for Bungou Stray Dogs yet (it’s out in March at the earliest), but after looking again at the stuff I’ve got for it, I thought the dub was met with some controversy and any negativity I come across isn’t substantial enough to warrant a post. People seem quite positive about it now that Dazai and Atsushi’s voice actors have been announced, as a matter of fact…

        Certainly, I could use the title again if I could get a first-run copy of the first volume of the manga, which apparently got some strange localisations (plus the misprint “Chuoya”, which is a minor meme amongst the fans), but I haven’t found a copy yet…

  8. I used to just go with basic titles, now I try to add a more interesting title and basically I end up with really long weird titles and sometimes struggle to come up with anything. I’m pretty sure no one reads my posts for their titles.

    1. Actually I distinctly remember “Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Episode 8: Today, My Friend Came Over And Nothing Happened” I had more or less just discovered wordpress aniblogging community and that title really grabbed me. I still love it

      1. Maybe I should stick to sarcasm then. I really star blankly at the title space on most posts for significantly longer than writing the post takes.

  9. Ah, but you’re title/banner combo is actually quite intricate with reference. Your titles are fun enough, and vitally work together with the post banner every so often. Themed blogging is hard to keep up, I say. You’re amazingly consistent, in a way I could never be. For example:

    The Victorian Anime Blogger

    Post 1

    In which Dawnstorm ventures forth into the wild of Classicaloid and makes it back but leaves half his heart and all his brains.

    How long do you think I could keep it up? I think I might almost make it to post 2, before I get bored.

    Your titles are your own, which is what matters the most.

    1. see I would love to find out how long you could keep it up. I respect your reasons for not starting a blog but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and convince you to do so every so often….

  10. I have boring titles and most definitely a computer can be more creative, but all I used to write before was scientific papers, old habits die hard~
    Title suggestion: Mixology of overpopulated anime genres throught the decades.

  11. the basic title post also benefits in the long long run,since someone will always search for xx reviews.
    and yeah, after a while, goggle searches are just “pantless reviews” so the basic works for me. xD

  12. I only just started giving my posts more detailed names a year ago and while I may get the same amount of views (I honestly don’t know, as I don’t check lol), I’m happier with how much more professional they sound. Take my OWLS posts for instance: to me, the titles are ridiculously long and sound like a freakin’ thesis! But I like that, because for me, I want a title to be able to say everything about my thoughts (or at least something fun and quirky). I’m not one for clickbait, but if it works for some bloggers, hey, why not?

    But most importantly . . . When in doubt, use alliteration or make it rhyme. Works every time.

  13. I’m very basic in my titles, but I’m trying to add a little bit more.

    Why don’t your try writing a post called… “Who has the best sparkles!!” Hopeful that you can find an appropriate subject to match.

  14. Very good and interesting post.

    Personally, I always try to go for the “creative” titles, since I tend to try to focus on very specific topics that can’t really be titled in any other way that looks good in my opinion. Something snappy like “To another world: The appeal of Isekai” seems better to me than “Why I like Isekai”, although I can see why the simplicity of the latter would be preferred by many.

    My lists always have pretty simple titles though and tend to get a lot of traffic, so I guess that also works! 😀

    Some good thoughts in here, Irina!

  15. Great post xD I adopted a way to write my titles and use the same formula most of the times xP normally it is “name of the anime/game/etc” | “small phrase” xD dunno I think I enter the long titles category xD
    About your question… Hmm I can’t figure anything right now xD I think it’s easier for me having the content and then write the title than the contrary xp

  16. Have xxx in my post title and it may as well be a hentai review.
    I feel like I’m being hit here and there with my witty yet unfunny post names. 😭

    How about you make a post called, “I didn’t drink but I watched anime anyway.” ?

  17. Lol, that final picture seriously made me laugh 😀😀
    This was a great post though. I have been thinking of doing this as well next year, but I’m just not very good at thinking up names either. I fall into the first category xx review, and I don’t really have a powerful blogging name either (although Raist would definitely disagree ). But sometimes I seriously such cool titles that I wonder how they come with that. Then again….I think if I’m not good at it, why change it up. Still, this post has made my brain turn into overdrive thinking if I should give it a go.
    But as for your question: I already have trouble answering that one lol. I guess in keeping with the last picture erm ” The cat’s out of the bag? ” ….yeah, I know that doesn’t sound really inspiring to me either 😢 Great post Irina 😀

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