If you want people to share your content, at least get your headline right!

45d[1]I curate and share a lot of content.  I use some semi-automated social sharing tools, such as Triberr, JustRetweet, Pluggio, etc. I also use an RSS reader (currently on Google Reader — still trying to decide what I’m going to do when it shuts down). And I confess that I sometimes share content without reading it (anyone who uses these tools and says they completely read everything that they share is either lying or has way too much time on their hands). And I only do that when it’s coming from a highly reliable source that I know and trust.

But I always — always — pay attention to the headline, and if it’s grammatically incorrect, I don’t share it. Period.

Now, I’m really not a grammar nazi, but if you can’t even take the time — or don’t know how — to get your headline grammatically correct, I’m not about to subject myself to 500 to 1,000 more poorly written words.

Maybe that’s not fair. But in a world moving at internet speed, you have to make some snap judgments. And I know I’m certainly not the only one who feels this way.

So if you want people to share your content, at least get your headline right!

3 Comments

  1. Brian Hawkins

    I agree Scott, a lot of people are cutting themselves short when it comes to headlines. I’ll take it a step further; headlines and titles are extremely important for search traffic, curation and sharing. Few people will click on or share a title like, “You’re not going to believe this”. I see titles like that on Triberr and it drives me crazy. What’s the post about? Is something I want to read and/or share? If the author can’t take the time to write a descriptive title, I’m not going to waste my time on it.

  2. Scott Allen

    Very true, Brian. It’s not just about proper grammar. You’ve really got to catch my attention too, and give me enough to evaluate whether I want to read (or share) it.

    For example, I also don’t share, or even look at, posts with titles like “Social Media News Roundup: Tumblr, LinkedIn, Privacy and more”. Maybe that works for a blog that has really regular readers who look to them as their primary trusted source for this kind of news, but… really… is that how people even read blogs any more?  And there’s almost no SEO value in that, because it’s simply not focused enough on one topic. Honestly, I don’t even know why people write a post like that.

    The other one that drives me crazy is “7 Great Posts About X That You Might Have Missed”. Oh well, I guess I missed them. If they’re really THAT good, re-promote them, one at a time.

  3. Rann Patterson

    Agree!
    One key word describing content should always be used (Tweet)  no matter how short blog title.
    I also use hashtags to clue what else is in my post. 
    It catches a person’s interest, and kicks in search engine optimization (SEO), which works for us so much that cannot be quantified, really. 
    Also liked your transparency that you don’t (can’t ) read all RTs. I will RT those who I follow & trust, like you said. There’s way too much info, too little time to read all.
    I assume most responsibility for good or bad content I read.
    Even the best cannot vet all that’s out there–just unrealistic. 
    Great post, Thanks!

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