Judging a blog by its cover

Titles
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I’ve already mentioned I have lofty goals for this class. We are going to create content that is honest, useful and engaging, content that is ethically created, professional, and fun to read.

But before you put the “ink” to that first post, it’s time to do the “think.” What is this blog about, exactly? And how do I let potential readers know, quickly, what they will find there? Your title and tagline should answer those questions for readers. Creating an effective title and tagline will also help you focus your efforts. So here goes. 

Title

This should be a familiar term. It is a short phrase, just a few words, that introduces something, in this case your blog. It should draw a reader in, and it should clearly relate to your topic. It will be at the very top of your blog, and you might be able to use it for your domain name or Twitter handle (if you’re lucky — often they are already taken). It’s important to settle on your title so that you can try to find a domain name and handle that are similar or the same.

Your title should engage the reader, but it might not explain entirely what your blog is about. The tagline will finish that job.  

Tagline

This term might be less familiar. It is commonly used in advertising to describe a catch phrase. Think “Just Do It,” to take a famous example. For a blog, it will likely be a bit longer. 

Why do we need taglines? So that readers know quickly what you’re about. Here’s a solid explanation from TopRank Marketing

“The social web has conditioned us to move through content-based sites quickly, and if we reach a site with an unclear thesis we’re likely to click to the next thing.  You also can’t count on visitors to read your “about” page. In a world that increasingly moves at 140 characters or less, having a hook such as a clever tagline can make all the difference.

Taglines are your brand’s elevator pitch and help people get a quick snapshot of who you are.”

How long is it? Experts recommend a tagline of 60 characters or less in order to get maximum benefit from search engines. 

Focus and Scope

In our class, taglines serve another purpose: they help us focus. Your blog tagline should establish precisely what you’ll be writing about, including the scope. For example, if you’re doing a blog about public relations, you would want to make it clear what type of public relations you will write about. PR for nonprofits? Crisis communication? You might also specify an audience, such as emerging professionals or Triangle PR pros.

Sample T&T

To get started on our own title and taglines, let’s see some examples: 

  • Read the TopRank article, which has some great examples. 
  • This article explains blog taglines and offers a worksheet to help you develop yours. 
  • You might also browse what previous classes did
  • Finally, look over the assignment for Blog Post #1. Your title, tagline and “about” page will be part of this grade. Your textbook has some great advice for the “About Us” page in Chapter 71. 

Tweaking the T&T

You’ve already turned in a working title and tagline, your T&T. Now it’s time to polish it until it’s brilliant. Post your working T&T in the Padlet below. If we have time, you can share get advice and suggestions from your classmates as you improve it. Here are some key questions to ask: 

  • After reading the T&T, do you have a clear sense of what the blog is about? 
  • Is the scope of the blog clear (how narrow or broad your topic will be)?
  • Do you know who the audience for your blog will be? 
  • If your blog is meant for a specific geographic area, is that clear? 
  • Is the title and tagline engaging, easy to remember, catchy?

Made with Padlet

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