Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Think These Chopsticks Are Broken...And I Still Don't Have a Title for My Food Blog

By Kimberly Johnson

The other night, I munched on Kung Pao Chicken from a local Chinese place. I like chicken. I like chopsticks. Between you and me, those things were broken.

First, I fought to get my fingers wrapped around them. Then, when I did get the two sticks to cooperate, the piece of meat wouldn’t act right. It kept missing my mouth. Finally, I couldn’t get the right amount of chicken, rice and other stuff balanced on the chopsticks.

I threw them into the brown paper bag and grabbed a fork.

I have another problem: no title for my blog. Got suggestions? Leave a comment. My goal is to write about real Southern food, not the New South cuisine…stuff like grits with lots of butter, chitlins and hot sauce, hushpuppies and ketchup, and a fried boloney sandwich with mustard. I want folks to know that this is good food, not hillbilly fare.

I brainstormed for catchy titles (Cooking Queen of the South, Sweet Tea & Butter Biscuits, Just Like Grandma Made). I perused Paula Deen’s website. I even surfed the food blog directories. All I got was surf toe—it was painful.

I sought professional help. It led me to some good advice for creating a title.

Tip 1: Answer these basic questions: Can people relate to the title? Is the title short and to the point? Does the title conjure a concrete view or an abstract vision? If your title answers these queries, you are the biggest winner.

Tip 2: Be mysterious. The title is a preview for what’s to come in

Tip 3: Be Like a Kardashian. Create drama, but use it with caution. If your title sparks a controversy as way to attract viewers, make sure to support your position in the full post. Be prepared for strong reactions.

Tip 4: Avoid the switcheroo. AKA: the bait and switch. You want viewers to be intrigued with the title and the text. Don’t be accused of selling false goods based on the title.

Tip 5: Be useful. A viewer reads your blog because she has a problem (Can’t cook rice) or she wants to improve (Make chicken noodle soup like Nana ). Solve your reader’s problem, not create one.



Kim said...

My first blog was "Cooking from the Hip." The title summed up my approach to nightly meal. I bought the domain, designed a masthead and started posting. Then I came across (another Kim) an Iron Chef's cookbook title-- which sadly, was the same. Why she hadn't bothered to purchase the domain- I dunno. Anyway, I wanted something original --okay, semi-original-few titles seem original these days. I scrapped the project. For my next round, I did my homework before I clicked purchase. I also purchased two versions of the URL --one that included a "the" in front.

As you brainstorm, it may help to play around with available URLs on Go Daddy or a similar site.

No matter what the title, it sounds like your food perspective will be a welcome addition to the food blogging world. Good luck!

Laura Puccia Valtorta said...

Cholesterol for All?

Michelle said...

If your goal is to write about the old southern recipes that called for tons of butter and lard, etc and want a title that maybe controversial and draw the reader in, I would throw out “Return to the Old South.” or “The South Will Rise Again”, less controversial – “Biscuits and Gravy”.

Don’t forget to tell us what you choose.