Titleate Your Readers to Make the Big Bucks

Get it right, it’s worth thousands

Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash

Yesterday I published a story on a new word that I’d invented, and one of the responses, from Keith Dias, amused and intrigued me.

He said that my story had “titleated” him into reading it.

Oh yes, it’s a horrible play on the word “titillate” and after I groaned, I loved it. And decided to write a story about it.

Because it’s an important topic for we Medium writers.

Get the title right

There are hundreds of posts here on how to write a good title. For a story, a blog post, a book. Some of them go into mathematics to find the ultimate truth:

There are all manner of rules but they all boil down to stimulating the browser into becoming a reader. Because on Medium, all you are going to see to begin with is title, subtitle, and image. No matter how arousing the story is, nobody sees that first up.

Avoid clickbait

I shouldn’t have to say this, but if the story doesn’t live up to the title, that’s a whole bunch of repeat readers that won’t happen. Nobody likes being scammed.

If the title says Thirty Horses Found Wedged in Chimney, then make sure that’s what you deliver. With photographs. And let me know, will you? I’d love to read that story!

But think about it. You’ve written a great story. Doesn’t it deserve a great title? One that will attract readers who will love it?

My best effort

I’ve written a lot of stories for Medium in the six months I’ve been here. I think that a whole bunch of them are good reads, and I’ve gone back and read them again and again for my personal enjoyment.

But have they found fame and fortune? They have not! A few readers, and a few dollars.

Except for one, and I think that I can attribute this to the headline, because the writing isn’t any better or worse than my usual, and I’ve written a bunch of other salacious travel stories.

That one story has, so far, earned me $646. That’s American dollars, and just shy of a thousand sunburnt Aussie dollaridoos.

Or, to put it another way, that’s thirteen years of Medium subscriptions. I can put my feet up until I’m almost fifty and keep on reading all the excellent writers on the platform.

From one article.

Ok, maybe the image might have helped a little, and although I know some trim grandmothers with sex drives that go all the way up. who wants to read about my sexual adventures when I’m half a century old?

Don’t all rush me at once there, guys.

But in the meantime

I want to repeat that success. Write spicey stories that fill my readers with delight.

I want to titillate with titles.

Titleate, as Keith put it.

One last request

If anybody has a great title and wants a story to go with it, just hand it to me in the comments, yeah?


In the meantime, here’s another saucy story:

Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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