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About the Writer:

With a tender heart, a drive for learning and a gift for sharing, Margaret brings her years of experience as a licensed professional counselor and a woman of faith to all her writings. Her insights and biblical understanding bring home principles we all can use - no matter the circumstances we are in.


Writing Coach Corner

Title Tales: Creating Keyword Titles, Book Titles, Article Titles and Attracting Readers

By Margaret Cook, M.Ed., Licensed Professional Counselor, Life Coach


You have a great idea for an article and you outline the piece for publication. How will you attract the attention of the Editor and Readers? Great titles sell every article.

Use a clever turn of phrase, a key line of the story or juxtapose two ideas to present the unexpected and engage the reader. In the Internet Age we are also driven by “keywords.”

Everyone judges a book by the cover in one way or another. Writing on the internet is often evaluated just by the title. I usually have a “working” title for every piece. Then I outline and write. At some point in the revision process, I begin to brainstorm a list of possible titles. The longer the list I can brainstorm, the more likely I am to come up with a great title. If you aren’t creative at brainstorming, invite a friend to help. The ideas of several people can inspire more creativity and increase the options for great titles.

This article initially had a working title of “Keyword Titles for Everything You Write.”  It was functional and helped me focus the article. Once the rough draft was completed, I engaged a clever friend in a brainstorming game while we were in the car going to church. We came up with a good list of possibilities.

Once I have something clever that I like, I try to do a little Internet research to see what people search for online. If all of the NSOF writers use a commonly searched for word in a title, we will attract more readers from search engines.  When I researched the word “title” in the keyword utility, I saw that 2113 users had typed “book title” in the search engine. So, I added it to my article title. Note that some search engines will report mostly on the first 30 characters of the title. Because many search engines will also include a short “abstract,” it is possible for the first few hundred characters to make it into the blurb.

The keyword search engines move from time to time. I will check the links to keep them current. Let us know if one is not working when you try to use it and we will help you search for it. This can be a great tool if you are a blogger too. See what people search for on the internet and include the phrase in the first sentences of anything you write to gain more traffic.

Many NSOF readers decide which articles to read from just reading the titles on the website or in the newsletter. Think about the titles that grab your attention and get you to CLICK and read. Great titles attract readers.

Keyword Web Resources  (Sometimes looks like a connection problem when there were no matches found. Try a different word or phrase).

Copyright © January, 2008 – Margaret Cook. All rights reserved.
Permission to use or duplicate this article is available by contacting the writer at

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