Attention Grabbing Titles

When was the last time you read a blog post because the title grabbed your attention?

When did you last pause to read someone’s entire status or tweet because the first phrase captured your curiosity?

Attention Grabbing Titles by @MandyJHoffman on #ReformingSocialMediaFor many of us, it has probably been just a few hours, at the most, since this has happened to us.  I won’t speak for you, but for me it happens all the time.  I read some catchy phrase and I want to know more.

And there is nothing wrong with that.  God gave us the gift of curiosity.

However, more often than not, when I read the whole post I end up feeling disappointed.  A post titled “Why I Don’t______” turns out to be no more than a simple family announcement spun to feel bigger than it is in reality.  Or a post titled “7 Secrets to Waking Up Each Morning” ends up being common knowledge such as: “open your eyes, throw back the covers, put your feet on the floor”,….you get the point.  While many professionals bill this as great marketing strategy or creatively drawing in your audience, I’m left struggling with it all because the point of this tactic is to draw attention to yourself.

God’s precious Word – the Bible – says this:

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth, someone else, and not your own lips.” – Proverbs 27:2 NIV

I know…if taken to the extreme we could use this verse to bring any and all of our social media, marketing, and blogging to a sudden halt.  Hear me out, the last thing I am trying to say is that we should throw the baby out with the bath water.  I also want to be the first to raise my hand and admit to doing this very thing myself – I’m not above this.  But I do want to change this.

Yes, it may be “poor marketing”, but I want to trust God’s Word more than I want to trust in the rules for building a successful business.   I don’t have any guidelines for you, or tips on how to make this happen, or even what it looks like in various scenarios.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t promote our books, never link to our blog posts, or tweet an archived link.  What I am challenging each of us on is our heart motive – the reason why we are doing what we are doing.

Why are you using that really catchy title?  Is it because that post is full of helpful tips for your reader?  Or is it just because you want to draw traffic to your blog?

Why are you posting another link to your recent series?  Because you want to share the good news of how God is gutting and remodeling your sinful life?  Or because you hope to build a platform to launch your upcoming ebook release?  (Uhm…stepping on my own toes here, friends.)

There is nothing wrong with a catchy title.  As long as we are not deceiving our readers by leading them on only to find lame “tips” or a hyped-up family announcement.  (That’s a post for another day.)  But before you employ these attention grabbing tools, let’s make sure we are getting attention for God’s glory – not our own.  For those of us who are His children,all we do should be pointing others to Him and how amazing He is – including the titles of our blog posts.

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How about you?  How does Proverbs 27:2 reform the way you will blog, tweet, pin, update, and comment?

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