catchy, double-meaning blog titles: are they harmful or helpful to your blog?

Yesterday I had 620 hits on my blog, all because I used three words in my title:  “Are Those Real?”

The article was about finding inspiration for writing fantasy by discovering unusual, unique sea creatures that look like something out of a fantasy/sci-fi novel.   The question “Are those real?” tend to always escape our lips when we find something so extraordinarily and unbelievably beautiful and strange.

The title, however, may have misled people into thinking they were going to get  something quite different.  (I do have to say, though, I had 79 searches for blue dragon, blue mollusk and sea swallow which did appear in my post.)  While I love getting 620 hits in one day, I somehow felt like I let a bunch of people down.  It was also not an accurate number of hits for my blog.  And if the traffic was due to a double-entendre, then the traffic was ‘wrong’ for my site.  I have no way of proving this, however, so I’m going to relish in the numbers for 24 hours.

I’m a Young/New Adult fantasy author.  My blog is devoted to the art of writing and anything to do with fantasy…the dragon kind, that is, not erotica.

While a catchy title landed traffic on my blog, was it the kind of traffic I wanted? I’m not sure.  What I do know is that I’d rather have a small, faithful following I can talk to and interact with than mega numbers with no personalities behind them.  Of course I want lots of hits and followers on my blog, but I don’t want to sacrifice my integrity for them.  Now, if a gazillion YA readers and fantasy fans wandered by my site every day, I would be very, very happy.  🙂

What about you, fellow bloggers?  Do you think catchy, double-meaning titles are harmful or helpful to blogs?

20 thoughts on “catchy, double-meaning blog titles: are they harmful or helpful to your blog?

  1. It took me ages to work out the double meaning! Word searches are really weird. For some reason about ten people have typed “compulsive liar” into google and have ended up with my blog. I can’t work out how 😀

    One time I wrote about Taylor Lautner being shirtless (totally harmless. I didn’t even include a picture) but it’s the largest search reason people end up on my blog! Imagine their surprise when they see it’s a DEADLY SERIOUS blog about writing!


    1. LOL! That’s funny. Have you ever looked at some of the search terms and wondered, ‘how in the heck did these people end up on my site?’ I had a search yesterday for Prince Lictenstichen. There’s nothing on my site that comes anywhere close to that. 🙂


  2. I’m so jealous of your numbers! Lol! 🙂

    I think like anything else media related, title is everything. Fickle internet readers are drawn to catchy to titles, so I think it is important to be clever. If they don’t like where it takes them, they can click somewhere else. 🙂


    1. excellent point! 🙂 And don’t be jealous of my numbers. they are normally nowhere near that high though I wish they were. I’d like it even more if I had that many following my blog, but how could I talk to them all on an individual basis? There’s something to be said for a tight-knit community. 🙂


  3. I wouldn’t worry about it. So what if a few hundred people accidentally landed on your blog. You didn’t lie, and there is a possibility that even if they DID land there by mistake, that they may have seen something they liked. You never know.


  4. Hear, hear! for the small real following. Some search terms that lead to our blogs are just plain fun—I enjoy those. But the ones looking for something we’re very much NOT about? I’m glad to say I haven’t had many of those. Of course, my titles often border on boring. 😉


  5. What’s funny is the title didn’t even register with me! I had just popped by your blog yesterday to see what you were up to and saw the cool pics, lol. Yeah, my blonde isn’t real but you’d think it was;-)


  6. Yes, views that come from people looking for something else are meaningless, they push the stats up for that day, but they’re probably not going to be back.

    I wrote a post a while back about a hectic morning I had with one thing going wrong after another, and briefly mentioned in it that one of the things which went wrong was that the fudge I made hadn’t set. I regularly now get visitors to my blog from people searching for terms like ‘What to do if your fudge doesn’t set’, they come looking for answers that unfortunately I can’t provide! I always feel a bit bad about that.


  7. I tend to agree with you about being careful how we label our blogs. However, too many things can be taken ‘the wrong way’. I remember when Hubby was trying to help our son look up sites for a project on farm equipment. Just typing in ‘farms’ brought up the most inappropriate sites. I think search engines are more careful about that now, but Hubby was pretty shocked with what they ended up finding for such an innocent quest. As long as we are more specific in labeling our blogs so that the double entendre isn’t an issue, we should be safe. 🙂


  8. I think the headline was fine for your intended audience. Teens who like “real, weird science” would get the reference. You have no control over what other people expect or may find in your work.


    1. How true, how true, but I don’t need to mislead, either. Today has been another fantastic day for hits, with most search hits for the blue dragon. Makes me wonder if I should change the name of my novel. 🙂


  9. The most hits I ever had was to a post about The Lord of the Rings lol, which had the book/film title in the title of my post.

    Yes, it was nice getting lots of views, but, like you say, I’d much rather have regular followers who I can chat to and who will come back post after post 🙂



  10. I agree with you. I once wrote a post and included images of a shirtless Hugh Jackman and Will Smith, because it went with the story. I still get lots of hits looking for “Will Smith nude.” I don’t want that. I want to know that the hits represent people actually coming to read my stuff. I think you put it perfectly when you wrote: “I’d rather have a small, faithful following I can talk to and interact with than mega numbers with no personalities behind them. “


  11. It’s probably something we should be careful about. Attracting the wrong audience isn’t very productive. I once created a video montage of photos from a high school reunion and one pic contained a guy called Tom photo-bombing in the background. Without thinking through the consequences I captioned it “Peeping Tom”. This obviously attracted the wrong crowd!
    As for my blog I write about any old random topic that comes to mind and forms a coherent sequence of words, so I am wary of the type of readers the title might bring in.


  12. I read somewhere that blog titles should always clearly convey what the post is about so that readers can decide whether they’re interested in reading it. Misleading titles may annoy some readers expecting something different. Having said that, I think double entendres are brilliant for erotica writers!


  13. Only if you want that sort of traffic. They would be great for errotica writers, for instance. I’m with you, I’d rather have the right readers land on my blog and (hopefully) come back, than hundreds of readers who won’t be interested in what I’m writing/talking about.


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