What Is In A Hub Page Title?

Definitely draws attention...
Definitely draws attention...

Allow me to have a little laugh

A recent hub I wrote seemed to get quite a lot of sudden, and unexpected attention. You see, the thing is that I happen to write hubs which are generally political rants. I'm an opinion guy. If you want to go as far as to call my hubs op-ed, hey, I won't argue with that at all. I'm not a professional writer and hey, op-ed writer sounds kind of professional. Aren't those the guys who get paid to write neat little opinion pieces and columns for major newspapers? I'd certainly enjoy a job like that. Speak my mind. Tell it like it is. Bust a few chops. Get paid. Who could argue with that?

My grandfather was notorious for keeping things right, smack on the table and speaking his mind. He was a no holds barred kind of a guy when it came down to that sort of a thing. It could well be that that's exactly where my own opinionated self came from. In fact, I'm certain of it. If I ever accidentally wind up making a real living doing this gig, I'm definitely going to have him to thank for it.

I only say 'accidentally,' because I'm not really trying. Well, maybe not...

As for what I can ultimately be called as a result of sharing my thoughts in the written form; op-ed writer, or opinion hubber, blogger, wannabe? In the end I simply write opinion pieces that happen to reach a couple of people out there in Internet land. That's good enough for me. What that may garner for me as far as a title goes...?

For whatever it's worth, my grandfather didn't really give a damn what you called him either. "Titles aren't my thing. If you want to call me an asshole, fine. But it better pay good if you're going to call me that." Getting paid to be an asshole, now there's a thought if there ever was one. (Insert wink emoticon here.)

What's this got to do with the price of tea in China?

I raise all of this little tidbitty (is that even a word?) information about the kind of hubs I write, because while those kinds of hubs do generate an interesting bit of traffic—especially if you happen to be writing on a real hot button topic, for example like the Arizona immigration law issue which I've written several hubs on and which continue to get a lot of traffic, a lot of which is organic traffic at that—the general consensus is that they also generate a limited amount of traffic compared to other types of hubs, and are more limited in the Adsense revenue that they may potentially generate.

If you're here to make money, it may stand to reason that writing political hubs alone may not be the best way to go about that. My best performing hub is, for example, "FORGET RAGÚ, SPAGHETTI SAUCE FROM SCRATCH IS EASY," essentially a recipe for spaghetti sauce. My political hubs aren't even close to that one.

So, what about that title thing?

The recent hub in question, the one that got all that unexpected attention also happened to be just another political hub. For me, that was what made it so interesting. I wasn't writing any different material. I was simply writing about the recent troubles Sen. John Kerry ran into with his little yacht when he tried to park it in Rhode Island to avoid paying somewhere in the ballpark of $500,000 in taxes. In it I also brought up a couple other of our interesting Washington tools who don't like to pay their taxes—none other than Mr. Rangel, and one Timothy Geithner. But I don't want to run off course here. I'm easily sidetracked, you know.

The point is that what generated that spike in traffic was not the content—in this case. I wouldn't even say it's my best written hub. In fact, looking back at it, there's quite a lot more that I could very well have done differently with it.

The point is that what drove the spike in traffic was the title of the hub.

Show me yours, and I'll show you mine

That was the title of the hub. "Show Me Yours, And I'll Show You Mine." Of course one can easily decipher exactly why such a title urges a peek. How could anyone resist at least going in to see what might be offered there? Without question it's a fairly provocative title. It's a draw. I'd look. Not to mention the fact that I also included a picture of a pretty girl as well. There was that hint of, dare I say, sex. And well, I don't think there's any secret at all that sex sells. Always has. Always will.

The title, of course, in the context of the opinion piece that followed it, was about me showing you (the elected and appointed government leaders) my tax dollars if you show me your tax dollars fairly and equally.

I don't necessarily write for traffic spikes

I just like to write. It's that simple. To me, all of this SEO stuff and keyword usage is a little bit confusing. I've tried to sit down and write with SEO in mind, and all I end up with is a fuddled mess that doesn't make any sense at all. I'd much rather spend my time simply shooting the breeze about what's on my mind, and let the cards fall where they may.

I might add that I think my strategy is working so far. At least for me. I'm doing my own thing and it's floating my boat.

So, when I chose to use the title, "Show Me Yours, And I'll Show You Mine," I really had no intention of making any new waves. I had no intention of drawing in anyone other than the 270 or so followers that I have as of this wriiting. I thought of my fellow hubbers like Habee, Breakfastpop, Tom Whitworth, and Sherri Sapp to name a few (and that's naming a very few, so my apologies to all the others I certainly missed). I thought that they would get a kick out of that title. In a nutshell, I was aiming simply to accomplish two things. They were, to make my political point, and to give the readers a little reason to crack a smile.

Based on the comment thread I think it worked. At least so far as giving the readers a reason to crack a smile.

My final thought and I'll leave you go on your way

I don't write for traffic spikes. I said that. Still, I do write for readers. I don't think there is a one of us here who writes on HubPages, or anywhere for that matter, who doesn't enjoy being read. What would be the point otherwise? Even if you happen to be one of those hubbers who could care less about the writing part, if you are one of those who simply wants to generate traffic and Adsense revenue, and maybe sell a thing or two here and there through Amazon, you still want to be read. Those readers are what make it all happen. If they don't find you, there will be no one to click an ad, for example.

So, getting them to come in and take a peek is the very first half of the battle. The title is the neon sign that lights up in the window and lures everyone to the prize. The fancier it is, the brighter it is, the more provocative it is, the more likely it is that it can cause one to pause to step inside and have a closer look.

If the sign can't lure in the passersby, who cares how good the steak is inside? No one will ever know.

That certainly is the case with my hub, "Show Me Yours, And I'll Show You Mine." Not that the steak was great. But the sign got them to come in anyway.

Based on the average numbers, most of my hubs that do the best are the one's with titles that are a little bit suggestive of something, or antagonistic in a sense. "Corporate Boards Are Glorified Thiefs," for example, kind of antagonistically stirs my fellow conservative hubbers' pots. We conservatives generally are on the side of corporations, and so this title makes some readers think, "What in the hell is this guy talking about."

At the end of the day, what is in a Hub Page title? In a word, traffic. At the end of the day that's what you want.

Hub Titles

How important is your Hub title?

  • Very important
  • Somewhat important
  • Not important at all
  • Something I never think about
See results without voting

Comments 37 comments

EnergyAdvisor profile image

EnergyAdvisor 6 years ago from The nearest planet to Venus

Hi springboard! Nice hub. I find a title very important because that mainly the first impression. Especially if you're a starter. When people know you have good content they'll read you anyway. But still, titles are the first the first the eyes are on.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Jim - I couldn't agree with you more. The title is crucial. Case in point: my hub "Tale of Two Cocks" was banned by Hubpages until I pointed out what the story was really about. But the title did bring in the readers.

As far as your opinions go, as long as you continue to write intelligently, and with feeling, rant away. :)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I guess provocative works. I might just not be a good title writer, but I certainly don't bring in a lot of traffic. Maybe I tend to be trapped in the days of papers and the old media and haven't caught on to the new.


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

You are doing great.

Keep on hubbing!


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

I laughed but got the gist of what you wanted to convey. A rose is still a rose, without a name. In some cases we need names for objects just so we can remember therm but I do agree, names of objects are not that important.

In terms of the hubs, an attention grabber is always top listed but that has to be substantiated by the content.

I am thinking of changing my name to Olivia or Isabelle. What do you think, Springboard?


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Jim,

Your title proves the old maxim Sex Sells!!!!!!!!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Jim, I know titles are important and I try to read all the hubs about making money written by the more experienced people. I think you write very well also. The title might draw them in and also the woman, but if you didn't write a good hub they would click off and not necessary give you a thumbs up.

This is a good hub and I will be thinking more about titles.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I usually agonize over naming my hubs. Sometimes I go back and change titles months later. Cool hub!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago

Everyone is entitled to good laugh once in a while. Thanks for sharing yours with all of us.

Titles are important to draw traffic as you stated but as habee points out, sometimes they are hardest to write.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

The title is the last thing I write. And I know I'm not good at it. So, the way I've solved this for myself is to put a word or two I know I want to use into the title and quit worrying about the rest. Later, when I've figured out a good title, I go back and change it. That's better than having the article sitting on my desk because I can't figure out a title.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Energy, very true. The title is the very first thing they get to see. But it's true too, of course, what's inside has to be quality content as well. If you can get them to come in, and then come back, it's always a plus. It's something I always HOPE to acheive to the extent that I can.

Drbj, thanks for the license to rant. :) I will definitely take that to task. As for the title, "The Tale of Two Cocks," I can certainly see why that might raise an eyebrow or two, and can CERTAINLY see why it might drive in an extra bit of traffic. Now I have to read it...unless I already have. The title DOES ring a bell.

Dahoglund, well in most paper media they have copywriters who write titles—we who go it alone have to be our own copywriters. As for being trapped in the days of old media, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. My take is this; if all one concentrates on is keyword usage, Adsense revenue, SEO, and search engine rankings, then ultimately when the landscape changes, you might be left in the dust. The writing lasts forever. The content and the quality of the content, to me, is what matters most. Audience building, rather than just focusing on click-throughs and organic traffic, is what matters most. I'd like to think that long after Hub Pages is gone, I can still be writing to an audience that found me, and liked what I had to say, and followed me wherever my written words ultimately end up.


HappyHer profile image

HappyHer 6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

I loved this hub! I typically don't put a lot of SEO thought behind what I write here either. It's more of an enjoyable pastime for me. Although I do enjoy the extra 5 cents or so that's made :)


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

I've tried to do SEO too but it usually doesn't pan out for me so I just continue to write about my experiences, beliefs and things that interest me. I really like your writing style, by the way. I'm going to check out your blog.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I pretty much speak my mind also especially and fearlessly about all those in government and most of the law enforcement and I think they all are getting paid for being your grandpa's title. Great hub.

Polly


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 6 years ago from home

Spring,

How about this-

" How Springboard taught me to LIE to get readers" - LOL just kidding-I actually loved the title and agree I did read that hub of yours- I have read others too but i remember that one and that says something with my memory- I'll try it.. my next hub - "Breasts- Chicken on the grill" or my old girlfreind girl in Va-Gina. Would you want SEX

TUPLETS if they were all healthy? Or I have a Bone, to pick with you!

That's an idea - I will think about it great job- HUB

TH I always wondered.


drcrischasse profile image

drcrischasse 6 years ago from NH/Foxboro

It worked for me, I read it!!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

Hi! Springboard

Liked your article. Though I also wonder do you not feel unhappy to disappoint all those who may not have written comments but expected some other show from your title?

After all a person like you may not want to disappoint so many (perhaps even one?). To laugh once in a while is ok. Have a hearty laugh. I had reading your article. But let that deceiving attitude remain with politicians, media and press people. Let us laugh at them -any way that is all we can do, it seems. Unless some basic changes are made in whole democratic set up all over world.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

To find the right title is a real job. I find it very hard.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

I loved your title and yes it definitely caught my attention.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Thanks Eovery. I sincerely appreciate that. :)

Msorensson, both names, I think, have a nice ring to them.

Tom, and how. :) I've been pretty amazed at the stats. The only drawback is, of course, that it may not necessarily lead to more readers or more click-throughs overall. But its certainly fun to watch the numbers go up in any event.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Pamela, absolutely true. Substance, relevancy, and context all must be present for the stars to align properly. Even in the case of this particular hub, the added attention doesn't necessarily translate into the stars all aligning in my favor. One of the joys of Hub Pages is the ability to hone the craft and experiment a little bit. There are subtle clues one can pick up about a reader's actual response through their comments or manner of commenting that can be useful in determining what is met well and what is not. In a site like this where there is a social element, being able to read between the lines is helpful. :)

Holle, I've done that a couple times, mainly trying to make them less time specific. Though it's not been something I've been able to easily determine has had any effect to date.

Joni, even in the "real" writing world (God, that sounds awful to say that, so I apologize if it comes off as offensive), but what I mean is in the "professional publishing world," writers rarely write article titles and back cover blurbs. Those are usually handled by copywriters. It just goes to show that there is, indeed, a certain art to doing both writing of text, and writing of titles. If you can do both well? Well...

Sheila, that's probably the best way to do it. Focus on the thought, on the article, on the idea you want to get across, let the balls fall where they may, and build the title around the sum of all the parts. Excellent way to do it, actually, now that I think more about it.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

HappyHer, a little bit here and a little bit there is always an added bonus for me as well. The ONLY reason I'd enjoy more money is to use it to fund writing more often. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Cari, IMO truly the best way to go about it. Like I said, if I try SEO it just ends up being gobbledygook (is that even how that's spelled?) that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Thanks for the compliment on my style...I appreciate that. :) As for my blog, it's a jumbled, disorganized mess of things, but I like it that way. :)

Polly, yes, they do seem masters at that, hey?


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Such a great hub! Now we need one on "How to write a good hub title". Love your style and learn something about improving my own writing each time I read a hub by you. So keep writing so I can keep learning. Thanks


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Tom, moi? Lie? It was said once that every time Pinnochio said, "I cannot tell a lie," his nose DID grow longer. As to the context of your point, word play is fun, no? And trickery is useful. (insert evil grin here) ;)

Drchris, and there you have it. Proof. Hope it didn't disappoint considering the lead in.

Sous, not at all so long as the title is still relatively correlated to the subject matter that followed it. If I'd have used the title, "Show Me Yours, And I'll Show You Mine," and then had written about how to tile a floor, then it may have been a true deception. Simple word play, which is what that title really represents, on the other hand, is an oft used technique in writing, advertising, and other forms of marketing.

I have no regrets.

Hello, it may easily be one of the hardest things we do. Just like I've often said it's easier to write a novel than it is to write a poem, I think it's easier to write an article than it is to write the title for it. When you have such tiny space to set the hook, it makes it very challenging indeed.

POP, I'm glad I was able to reel you in. :)


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago

Guilty confession, it was the first article of yours I clicked on which I was considering one of yours to read. I hate being predictable. I will have to give your thoughts on this matter some consideration.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I usually love it when someone says, "WHAT'S THAT GOT TO DO WITH THE PRICE OF TEA IN CHINA????" to me.

I've usually just set them up to have to listen to my answer to that one.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Vocalcoach, you know, come to think of it, I'm not sure there are too many articles or hubs around that. Titles, according to the poll, do seem pretty high on the list of "things that are important."


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Jaggedfrost, you mean my OTHER titles were not nearly as compelling as such a suggestive thing and a pretty lady to boot? ;)

Wesman, indeed.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I think that mine are pretty hum-drum. Will have to give it some thought as to jazzing them up some. Think that I would have liked your grandfather! :-)


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

You may do as you wish. God Bless You.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

anything about the flesh trade sells, hehe, But I know you dont mean that, you just ROCK, Maita


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Peggy, not so hum-drum. Straightforward and to the point. I've found that's important as well.

Stars, thank you. :)

Maita, flesh sells? :) Thanks.


mrocmassage 6 years ago

I am really really a big fan of you after reading this hub. It really makes sense to me since I'm new in hubpages. Have Learned alot in this and hopefully I can get a 98 score on my hubs just like you...


Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 6 years ago from Texas, USA

Thanks for explaining titles of what I write so well. I get it better now than I have before! You are a good communicator :)


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Mroc, thanks for the accolades. I appreciate it. At the end of the day it all comes down to content. There are a lot of folks here that may tell you different. But I think content is key. Focus on writing well, focus on writing well about what you know about and are passionate about, and the pieces have a tendency to just sort of fall into place. Most of the time anyway. :) The best advice is to simply have fun.

MsDee, if only my wife thought I was a good communicator. Ah, the treacheries of life. lol. :)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Of course, you want the title to reflect the content so that they will stay with the article. And click ads. I have had some trouble with titles myself - one of the problems with several hubs was to write it about things that I myself could not find much information on, so searched and compiled the info I wanted, created the hub then was somehow surprised that it didn't get a lot of traffic. The information (as shown in the title) was obviously something nobody cared about! haha!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Sometimes a topic you think may have more appeal winds up having no appeal. I've run into that several times. :) Of course, being that I write mostly about politics, it's an issue by issue thing, and sometimes the title alone is what drives the appeal on the issue. I could write three hubs all on the exact same topic and get VERY different results simply based on how I worded the title.

If nothing else, titles are as much an interesting exercise, IMO, as all this other stuff like SEO and keyword usage.

Great to hear from you as always Dolores.

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