When thinking of a title for my posts, I usually wait until I have written the entire piece before I give the title any thought. From within the text, I usually select a word or short phrase that "sounds" daring, provocative or even misleadingly vague . The title sometimes represents the main idea of my piece or it suggests some kind of direction, but it must also elicit interest. Therefore, the title serves as the cheese that lures the mouse to the trap. That sounds dreadfully mean; does it not? Oh well, you get the point.
Allow me to illustrate what a well written title can do for you. Timethief at This Time This Space wrote a post recently entitled "Wake Up America! God is not on your side." Regardless of your political or religious views, you must admit, this title quickly tempts the reader to click and read. No?
Another wonderful example comes from Buzzingj at Piece of Brick for Piece of Jade who wrote "Huh." Are you puzzled by this title? If you are not, you should be. And you should be puzzled enough to want to click over there and read it. Allow me to digress for a moment. Another skillfully composed part of this piece is the conclusion, one I truly enjoyed. Conclusions are also very important, but I will discuss that another day.
For my last illustration I am forced to use one of my own because I can quantify the importance of the title by using Entreview's own calculating system. I published one of my latest posts on EV on Sunday morning and by late afternoon it had received "10 views." My post entitled "Our Thirsty Eyes Had Feasted" is a phrase straight out of my story. When I compared this post to the others I posted at the same time...you guessed it...this post outdid the others in views and votes.
Now, what were people thinking? Was it the word thirsty or feasted that captured their attention? Did the title imply in some way that this would be a gory Friday the 13th type story where blood and guts would spill off the page? Well, if you read Cherohala Skyway you know quite well, these words referred to the snow we found at the top of the mountain after traveling down a gravel road through the woods.
I have read many posts with seductive titles that imply one thing and then deliver something else. I am not offended; quite the contrary my curiosity and need to know pushes me to read and discover all I can. Is that not what all writers want...for others to follow the seeds we leave along the trail... back to our lair?