|8 Steps to the Perfect Title!|
It’s all in the title. That’s what determines whether someone will start reading your latest article or flipping through your recently published book. I no longer have any doubts about this.
I’ve become so intrigued by this fact, that I now look forward to receiving professional journals and magazines in the mail just so I can study the titles!
There’s clearly a science behind titling everything. Understand it and you can then easily replicate it.
Just as an example, in reviewing two recent business journals, I noticed words like:
I pulled out some more and the same concepts and patterns emerge. I’ve read what others have had to say on this topic and benefited from their analysis. I’m ready.
I now have my:
“8 steps to creating the perfect title!”
Step 1: Make a list of (a) the hot topics of the day and (b) universal challenges associated with the human endeavor.
As an example, I listed:
Step 2: Combine the various terms to create short phrases.
Step 3: Let’s get quantitative. Add some numbers!
Step 4: So far, so good. But we’re missing something, so let’s raise the emotional stakes by adding a competitive dimension Add words like: game, war, win, lose, success, dominate, etc. (And don’t forget the exclamation point!).
Step 5: This step is a refinement of Step 4. Looking back at the original list, I see evolution and survive. Sounds like a Darwinian struggle – survival of the fittest. Let’s give it a try while working in the other steps and adding a subtitle:
Step 6: Play on fear! I’ve actually already introduced an example of this step in my prior list of titles. Here are my other examples:
Step 7: Make it a manifesto (or something related to radicals or revolutionaries). The key is to make it sound like YOU are the revolutionary and it’s YOUR manifesto.
Step 8: You always have the option to go counter to the competitive, evolutionary strategy approach by staking out the “non-competitive” position. This can be risky. It’s all about zeitgeist and your ability to interpret the spirit of the times. But there is a niche for it.
Well, those are my steps. With a little practice, you can be generating best-selling titles in no time! I wish you the best.
By the way – If it were to turn out that some of my examples have actually been used as titles, I apologize, but it’s purely coincidence.
by Don Appleby, Connect with Don here.