On my way back from INplay last week, I ran into Carla Fisher, Ed.D. in the Newark Airport after clearing customs. Carla writes the popular Kids Got Game blog on Kidscreen. Now, I’m a big fan of Carla’s blog but I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel envious of many things about both Carla and her blog. In no particular order, these include:
1) Carla has an advanced degree from Teacher’s College whereas I barely made it out of Sarah Lawrence College with a B.A. in juggling, writing poetry and drinking Chianti.
2) Carla gets to trade off writing her blog with Anne Richards and I have to write all of my blogs by myself. Both Carla and Anne are excellent writers whilst I rely heavily on thesaurus.com for most of my adjectives.
3) Carla’s and Anne’s blog has been consistently beating my blog on Kidscreen’s “Most Popular List” which makes me very jealous. I used to be the only blogger who ever made that list. Now, they are kicking my behind every week.
So, needless to say, when Carla and I walked through the Newark Airport together last week and she openly revealed her blog-writing strategy, I was all ears. She mentioned that she and Anne have been including both a number and a promise of relevant information in the titles of their blogs and that this approach seemed to be working well for them. And she was right. I did a bit of research on past Kids Got Game blogs and I discovered that Carla and Anne have, in fact, been working their blog naming convention quite consistently and with great success. Below are just a few of their recent, popular, number-based blogs:
Time to make the donuts: Six things to do at the start of production
50 Games With STEM-Education Features
Recommended Play: Six Games to Deepen Your Gaming Prowess
15 Children’s Mobile Game Development Guidelines
What these titles lack in nuance and mystery, they make up for in clarity and effectiveness. One knows why to click. My own recent blog titles seem, by comparison, confusing, inauspicious (thanks, thesauarus.com) and, not-surprisingly, they didn’t make the Kidscreen “Most Popular List” at all.
Starfish vs. Sea Stars
Meet The Small Potatoes
Screaming Into The Void
The evidence was clear: Round Numbers + Relevant Kids’ Media Information = Popularity On Kidscreen. So, in an effort to bolster my own readership, I decided to take a page from Carla’s and Anne’s blog-naming playbook. I chose a familiar and universal topic–preschool television–and, after much hand-wringing, I named my new blog, “15 Secrets To Making A Great Preschool Show.” I felt this title contained both promise and gravitas. (Sadly, I could only think of 12.5 secrets which, I know, doesn’t pack the same punch as 15 but, well, it was the best I could do on Memorial Day.)
So, without further ado, here are my 12.5 Secrets To Making a Great Preschool Show. I hope you will find them helpful.
1) Don’t cry during your pitch.
2) Celebrities don’t matter to three-year-olds.
3) I’m A Little Teapot is not in the public domain.
4) Saying something twice does not make it more interesting.
5) Singing should only be attempted by singers.
6) Don’t hire anyone until the first payment clears.
7) Ignore Amazon, Netflix and YouTube at your own risk.
8) Animation means your characters should actually move.
9) Nobody outside North America cares about curriculum.
10) Nobody inside North America likes curriculum.
11) Preschoolers enjoy a good butt joke.
12) Don’t let the puppet light the campfire.
12.5) Disney Junior is unstoppable. (This one is obvious so, just to be fair, I only gave myself half a point.)
There you have it. My 12.5 secrets, revealed. I will now spend the next 48 hours watching the Kidscreen “Most Popular List” to determine if this new approach will be as effective for me as it is for Carla and Anne, both of whom I’d like to thank for keeping me on my toes. As the old saying goes, “Bad bloggers borrow, good bloggers steal.