Blogging is hard work, and the hardest part about it is coming up with what to write. The easiest way to guide your content is to come up with catchy titles, particularly when you’ve covered all of the basic and intermediate topics related to your industry. Title generators can help a lot with this, because they can give you inspiration to create more content.
There’s one major caveat to basically every title generator online; they’re very formulaic. Most of them will have a list of template titles, like “25 Things You Didn’t Know About _____.” When you put in a keyword, it will spit out that title with that keyword attached, end of story.
This means two things. First, it means there isn’t a lot of benefit to using most title generators more than once. Plug in a keyword, harvest the list, and save it for later. You can even remove your keyword to make the generic titles, and use them in various ways throughout your blog.
The other repercussion is that anyone else who uses the title generator will get essentially the same titles. This means if one of your competitors is using the same generator, they might have used the titles already. Always do a search for any prospective title before you use it. If it has been used before, you have two options. You can either keep the title and one-up the article that already exists, or you can change the title to avoid overlap. Both are viable strategies. Don’t worry about copied content when the only duplication is the title, that’s perfectly fine.
When you use a title generator, I recommend following a process. Come up with 1-5 keywords you can feed into each generator, to keep titles consistent. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to pretend that I’m coming up with titles for a blog about skiing and mountain climbing. You’ll see examples later on, when I use keywords like “skis”, “mountain”, “skiing” and so forth.
When a title generator spits out a list of titles for you, harvest them. Copy them and paste them in a spreadsheet. You can keep this spreadsheet around for a long time, adding to it and filtering it as need be.
I recommend ranking the titles you’re given, once you have a list. At the bottom, you have titles that aren’t useful, don’t make sense, don’t inspire you, and are generally just a waste of space. Above those, you have incredibly generic titles that have been done to death, like “The Basics of Skiing”. Above that you have more interesting and inspirational titles. Remember, any time you want to create a new title based on an old one, feel free! At the top, you have premium titles that the generator created and you can use.
When you write an article and use a title, don’t delete it, just flag it as used. A title you’ve used can still be the inspiration or basis for future titles, up to and including “sequels” to popular posts.
If you want to be exceptionally data heavy, you can also get into analytics with your titles document. Whenever you use a title, copy it into a different spreadsheet. Write out vital statistics for the article, like word count and keywords. Then make a note of how well the post has performed in the 30-60-90 days after it was posted. Most articles, all but the most viral, will have died down after that amount of time. Note down number of backlinks, a quality analysis of those links if you want, number of hits, shares, and so forth. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even track sales that came from people finding certain posts, but that can be tricky to track properly.
Of course, once you have your massive list of titles, it’s up to you to turn them into usable titles, write posts around them, publish them, and promote them to the internet at large.
This title generator is relatively new and has a unique method for generating titles that makes it one of the better options. However, it’s also not designed for large-scale use. As such, it only generates a handful of titles at a time, with no bulk option. I plugged in skiing-relevant keywords and received titles like:
To use this generator, plug in three keywords, preferably item nouns (mountain didn’t work) and it will generate five titles. You can click the button again to generate five more, with no limit that I have encountered. Like I said; not easy to use in bulk, but interesting and original.
This, on the other hand, is a title generator that is excellent for bulk data harvesting. However, it’s a title generator that uses one set of templates and shows you everything at once. There’s no reason to generate titles twice; they’ll be identical except for the keyword. Well, that’s not strictly accurate. You should generate titles twice, once with a verb and once with a noun. They produce different titles.
Because of its template design, a lot of the titles produced by this generator will be grammatically incorrect. You’ll find titles like “Take Advantage of Skis – Read These 9 Tips” and “Cracking the Skis Code”, but you will also find titles like “Skis May Not Exist!” and “Joseph Stalin’s Secret guide to Skis”. Yes, they’re a little ridiculous sometimes.
Thankfully, this site makes it easy to download your titles in bulk. It sorts them by category, and there’s a nice download link that gives you a txt file with one title per line, for easy pasting into a spreadsheet. Enjoy your easy ~300 titles!
This title generator also uses a template, but it generates one title at a time. It is also unique in that it doesn’t ask you for keywords, and thus doesn’t center its titles around those keywords. Instead, it gives you the templates, and asks you to do a little critical thinking to fill in the blanks. For example, you’ll see titles like:
Additionally, if you decide these titles aren’t doing it for you, you can click the big blue button for another option. This expands a hidden section on the page, which is a customized Google search box. They recommend you use long tail keywords in the search.
The trick with this expanded search is that all of the “titles” it brings up are articles that already exist. It’s really just a Google search with site:ezinearticles.com. If you’ve done your research already, this will be redundant and useless.
Content Forest’s Content Ideator is an interesting title generator. When you fill in a keyword and click submit, it will generate a list of ideas for you. The thing is, some of them are weird. Here’s a sample using skis and skiing as keywords.
So, you can see how it’s a little off-base occasionally. Jet Skiing does have skiing in the title, but it’s a different topic entirely. Bukowski’s Women has skis in the title, but it’s completely irrelevant.
The primary problem, as I see it, is that this content ideator is really just another version of Inbound Now’s custom Google search. It’s just plugging your keyword into a site search of Ezinearticles. I’m not sure I get this; sure, it’s a big article archive full of every conceivable topic, but a lot of those topics are garbage. Ezinearticles isn’t a great site, and it’s not one you should model your business after.
The one benefit to this generator is that you can click to save titles individually, and then copy the whole list of saved titles for later use, so you don’t have to prune out the garbage later on.
I’ll give this title generator props for one reason above all else; it’s very attractive. The wood grain background, the look of a cluttered but productive desk, it’s very ambient. How do the titles stack up? First, you plug in a keyword. I used skiing for the example. Once that’s submitted, you’re given a fill in the blank title template, to give you some inspiration. As far as I can tell, the initial keyword isn’t actually used, other than to remind you of the overall topic. Some unfilled title templates include:
There’s a “writer’s block?” box on the side of the screen you can click, which brings you to a generic little paint app so you can doodle. I don’t find this helpful, but maybe some of the more artistic types out there will.
Okay, look. If Hubspot doesn’t have a kickass title generator, what is this world coming to? We might as well pack it in as a species. Hubspot is pretty much the top tier marketing blog in existence, and their tools are generally top of the line. So, how does this one work?
First, you plug in three keyword nouns. Once you do, it generates five titles for you. You can run it again if you like, to get five fresh titles, as many times as you want. Alternatively, you can fill out an opt-in form with a bunch of information – seriously, there are ten mandatory fields – to get a year’s worth of titles. Titles like:
This highlights one of the problems I have with a lot of title generators. A lot of the title templates tend to be focused on business blogs, as if you’re blogging to promote a business or marketing service. A lot of non-blog-centric topics, like skiing, don’t quite mesh. Still, they work for inspiration, if nothing else.
Seopressor heard my complaint, and added a field to their title generator. What is your keyword? Options include generic term, brand or product, event, location, skill, person, and a couple more. Plug in a keyword, choose the description, and hit submit. Skiing (skill) got me these:
You can, of course, click the “show more” button to get five more. I like the titles they provide, and the granularity of the different keyword descriptions allows for a lot more useful-without-editing titles. My only gripe is that it only shows five at once; you’ll be at it a while if you want to generate a few hundred.
Dressed up like a chalkboard, this title generator is one of the more stylish options, but it’s perhaps one of the least functional. It works on a sort of Mad Libs style template and generates one title at a time. They’re also not always very useful. Here’s a selection:
The one nice thing about this title generator is that it has four boxes, one for each mad lib section, that helps explain something about why that phrase is chosen. Like the “world would end” section it explains that the contrast between an extraordinary event like the apocalypse and the everyday topic of skiing generates interest. This can give you some rationale to spice up some of the twisty titles, but it can’t save some of the dumber ones.
Note: As of June 2 2016, this generator appears to be missing from the ‘Build Your Own Blog’ website.
This title generator is another that doesn’t need you to input a topic. I like it, though, because the ideas are partially crowdsourced. If you want, you can spend an hour putting ideas into the system, to help out other stumped bloggers. The more people contributing, the better the tool is for everyone.
That said, it’s impossible to use this tool in bulk, and it’s slow to use it normally. It has a fancy effect to make the title come into view, which takes time and can get annoying if you’re trying to harvest as many ideas as possible. Here are some of the ideas it comes up with:
I didn’t make a mistake there with the title case on only one of them. That’s one of the problems with crowdsourcing; unless you have someone editing every submission for inclusion, it can get a little cluttered and standards fall flat.
Content Row’s Link Bait generator is designed to come up with titles that are as close to clickbait as possible. You’ll probably want to avoid using these on Facebook, to avoid the clickbait penalties, they’re that problematic. They’re also not necessarily good titles, but that’s true of any generator. For example:
On the plus side, it generates quite a few titles, instantly, and you can click to refresh the list. You’ll get a lot of duplicates, but a few originals pop up.
I don’t necessarily recommend this site’s service, but I do like the title generator. It has 231 titles with a blank space for your keyword, which you fill in at the top. Once filled in, you can easily copy and paste the whole list into your spreadsheet. Some of the titles aren’t very good, and a lot of them will be duplicates with some of the other generators on the list, but at least it’s not all Ezinearticles harvesting.
This title generator is on the appropriately named title-generator.com, and it has a lot of titles for you. I plugged in skiing and ended up with 665 titles immediately. Some of them didn’t make sense, like “Skiing: Quality Vs. Quantity” or “Skiing – What To Do When Rejected.” On the other hand, there are some interesting entries, like “What $325 Buys You in Skiing.”
Okay, so this one isn’t really a serious entry. It just makes fun of the ultra-clickbait style of Upworthy by making ridiculous, insane titles that could easily be posts on that viral site. It even has an inane little description and a video preview image. Good for a laugh when you need to clear your head.
Yi Yun Linsays:
Awesome list! I’m affiliated with SEOPressor and I do agree that having a bulk export function will add much more functionality to our generator. Thanks for the suggestion and expect a bulk export function soon =)