They say: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. We believe the same saying relates to the blog headline. Nevertheless, if your blog post headline is not catchy, most likely the readers will never read your content. Stats says that 80% of people read your headline copy, while only 20% read the rest. As you see, perfect headlines are vital for any successful blog.
The first thing the reader will see entering your blog is the title or the titles of your blog post(s). So, you’d better make it pop. Engage your audience with a teaser hinting of what’s to come in the main text. Don’t try to come up with some fake sensation, but don’t be boring, either.
It’s also very important not to be misleading. Identify the main “thesis” idea of your blog post and refer to it in your title. Your titles may be to-the-point or descriptive. Everything depends on your audience.
We advise you to figure out a few things before you start:
Who are you targeting?
How are you branding yourself?
Where are you sharing your blog posts?
Don’t try to write a great title at once. Start by writing your blog post.
Let’s say it’s about one of the WordPress artist themes created by TemplateMonster.
You have your subject and should describe it to your criteria. You can write a small summary of the post. We bet you’ll find the title for your content within that post.
So, you wrote about Magic, which is a multipurpose WordPress theme.
Your summary is a description of what is so special about this theme. Twist it.
“Magic by TemplateMonster: the Illusion that Won’t Disappear”
Not a bad title, isn’t it?
Right now we will recap some major tips that will help you write irresistible headlines in future.
Did you scan the top blogs to see their posts headlines structure? It’s a good practice to learn from the best.
Are you ready? Then we begin.
– Be ready to spend time on your title. Many new bloggers do not spend much time on the good title. They think that the quality of their content is enough. It’s a mistake. Your blog title makes the first impression that may turn into last one. If readers don’t find your title catchy, they won’t bother clicking on it.
– Keep your title short. The ideal length of a blog title is between 6 – 8 words. A long blog title is boring, it dilutes the reader’s attention. Moreover, long titles get truncated by search engines.
– Optimize your headline for SEO. Otherwise you won’t get visibility and those dream converted shares.
– Try to put the post category into title. This will help you to filter the readers (save readers’ time) and only those who are interested in your writing will click on it.
– Use numbers or stats occasionally. They draw readers’ attention. BTW, odd numbers perform better than the even numbers.
– Use emotive words if you want your headline stand out. Include power verbs and interesting adjectives.
– Highlight the benefits the reader can get, but not the features of your product. For example: “7 witty ways to boost productivity”.
– Be accurate and clear. Do not confuse your readers with vague or ambiguous titles. “Designers refuse to work after death”.
– Explain the Hows. Such kind of headline will draw the information-seekers in this Age of information.
– Explain the How – Nots. Readers want to know about common failings and how to prevent them.
– Be unbelievable: make a statement that seems too good to be true. (NB! Practice this only if the statement is really true).
– Be confrontational. This sounds like a challenge to readers.
– Be controversial. Spark conversation by making a statement contrary to standard practices or thought.
– Avoid words with multiple meanings.
– Be accurate, not vague. Call a spade a spade. Nothing makes a reader bounce than a totally incongruent and irrelevant title. Imagine a title that says The Complete and Ultimate Guide to… then you just see 2 to 3 items in the list.
– Take advantage of the curiosity gap to draw them in.
– Write a title that elicits that faintest bit of fear from the reader.
– Use awesome, amazing, and greatest to affirm your findings.
– Go exclusive and secret to give the readers something they haven’t seen.
– Ask the question they’re asking themselves. And answer it.
Start titles with:
Ask a question. “Are you feeling depressed lately?”, “Ever wonder if other people __________ too?” “Is ____________ healthy/ good for you/dangerous?”
“I did__________ and here’s what happened.”
“Most people think_______ and here’s why they’re wrong!”
Inspire with Cosmopolitan-style headlines. For years writers and editors of beauty magazines have learnt the hard way what works and what doesn’t by having to sell “a book” by its cover, so, they know what they do.
How To Change What You Find Attractive In 60 Seconds.
7 Things You Can Do Right Now To Protect Your Vision.
Other examples of path/time/entity nouns you can use in titles:
The 15 minute workout that …
100 facts that …
50 ways to …
10 secrets to …
The 7 Key trends to…
6 choices that …
5 moves to …
3 things that …
2 tips that…
Men talk. Love, sex, break-ups and bad behavior.
Be beautiful naked with the 14 day workout!
“My boyfriend didn’t talk to me for 3 days”.
George Clooney says: “I never had sex with a woman”.
Some other interesting statements:
Be the best at …
Become a …
Start to …
Deliver the fastest …
Never lose again in …
Questions/Quizzes type of headlines:
Quiz… Do you fall in love too fast?
Megan Fox Naughty or Nice? You decide…
Are The Guts Of Your Cell Phone Hiding An Illegal Operation?
Another formula: ask a broad question that you address somehow in your blog subject. Involve the curiosity pitch.
The trick has been growing a lot online. The guys at upworthy use it particularly well.
“What guys hate for you to do in bed.”
“Find out her secret attraction by…”
“This guy tried inviting this girl on a date, what happened next was totally unexpected.”
“My family stopped eating sugar for one year and this is what happened.”
“This Amazing Kid Just Died. What He Left Behind Is Wondtacular.”
“His First 4 Sentences Are Interesting. The 5th Blew My Mind.”
“Meet Tiffany. She Works For Walmart, And She’s Got Something To Tell You.”
One more formula: imagine you are going to tell a family member or a friend a story. Think about how you would start, but just leave it hanging as if they need to say… “c’mon what happened next!”.
In the end of this blog post we would like to say that there are no formulas to be a truly creative copywriter besides testing, trying, reading. There are people whose entire job is “just” creating these appealing titles and interesting headlines that drive sales/views to the roof. There is nothing bad in learning from them. In any case we hope we gave you some charge to come up with a remarkable title for your next blog post.
Have any questions/thoughts/suggestions, maybe your own perfect title formulae? They are welcome at the comments section.