Writing blog posts is easy. However, getting people to read it is the real trick. This is why writing killer headline titles is so important. The title of your article is like a shop window. If your shop window is dull and unappealing, no one is going to come in. Same with your title, if it doesn’t grab your potential visitor, they are not going to click on your listing in Google.
Let’s say I am doing a post about how to make money with affiliate marketing. Which of these titles do you think would attract most clicks and visits / traffic to the post: -
The first title is very bland. It might be relevant to the search, but the 2nd title strikes to the heart of what the searcher is looking for. The 2nd title resonates more. Sure, both titles talk about making money, but the 2nd is focusing on a specific, such as $1k Per Day and also indicates that there is a methodology to the process by saying 7 ways.
The article title is the most important part of the article for appealing to the potential visitors, but also from an SEO perspective. The title is usually the meta page title. An optimized page title should be 50 – 60 characters. When I say optimized, it is so that the entire page title shows in full on Google so that no words are cropped, so the 2nd title above would be ideal, because it is 51 characters and would show in full in a Google search.
Hook your reader, before they even read your post! Your headline is crucial for ensuring your blog post gets noticed – so you need to make it clear, appealing, and valuable. Promise valuable information and readers will invest time in your post.
Did you know that, on average, 5 times more people read a blog’s headline than read the entire article? You should always ask yourself when writing your headline: ‘would this make me want to read on?’ If the answer is no, or you’re not sure, then you should check out these steps to write killer headline titles for your blog posts!
Headlines are all too often neglected when writing articles – they are simply an after-thought as writers focus on the content of the post. But this is the opposite of what you should be doing – considering what your headline will be is absolutely essential. It’s not an addition – it is the make or break of the post.
This is the same principle that applies to books, magazines and newspapers: the headline sells. The title of a post should absolutely be what you focus on – don’t publish anything until you have a catchy headline! The better the title, the more readers, and the more attention your blog gets. Good headlines will make people click on your content, read longer, and even share without reading!
You don’t need to spend hours on your title, but you should give it more than a few minutes of thought. If you’re really stuck on what makes a catchy headline, follow the steps below to write an amazing, eye-catching headline.
I have laid out 11 steps below to help you develop killer headlines. You don’t need to have all 11 points in each article, but you should apply some. Sometimes, you would have one set of steps. Other times, you might include a different set of steps, but what ever you do, be sure to make the title appeal to the reader. Make your title irresistible and intriguing so that you stand out way above your competition
For whatever reason, people are drawn to concrete details. Using numbers gives your article an outline in your reader’s head before they’ve even opened it – and given that people tend to only remember three to five points, so you might want to use lower numbers.
However, sometimes obscure, random numbers like 17 or 23 catch people’s attention! There aren’t really rules for how many steps or methods your article should include, so you can get creative. Just don’t go overboard with the numbers – if there’s no way you can work numbers into your headline, don’t try to force it.
If you’re still not convinced, do an experiment – check out existing blogs and see how many writers use numbers in their headlines. Or, you can go to the store and look at magazines and newspapers to check front-page articles. You are guaranteed to find, whether it’s a recipe cookbook or a fitness mag, there will be many headlines with numerical values given!
In summary: if your article has some key takeaways, steps or methodologies, it promises concrete pieces of information to takeaway – if the article doesn’t, don’t force it!
You need your readers to relate to what you’re writing about. If your article is detailing steps or methods of doing something, you might want to describe them as ‘effortless’. ‘Fun’ or ‘free’ are also positive descriptive adjectives that will hook your reader’s attention from the get-go. You might want to go more serious by using words like ‘essential’ or ‘absolute’. If you are describing a problem and how to solve it, consider words like ‘painstaking’ to describe your reader’s problem. If your article discusses something odd, don’t forget to include this in the title – ‘strange’ or ‘weird’.
All of these words are attention grabbing and emotive adjectives. Use them!
If your article is a list, try to avoid the word ‘things’. Try to use words like ‘ways’ or ‘tricks’ or ‘ideas’ instead. If your article is to get a point across, or demonstrate a way of living, use words like ‘reasons’ or ‘principles’ or ‘lessons’.
Why, what, when, where, how – these are interrogative questions and they trigger a desire to see (or read) a response in us. ‘Why’ or ‘how’ are particularly useful when trying to persuade a reader something.
Note: an interrogative question is best alone, it’s often too much to try to pair it with a number!
You need to offer something to your reader – hopefully valuable content! Be clear and obvious about what you are offering. Maybe you are teaching them how to learn a new skill, or how to go about writing an essay. Maybe it’s trying something new, or solving a mysterious scientific truth…. Whatever it may be, make it obvious this is what your article addresses, and promise your reader they will learn from your article. After all, why else would anyone read it?
So, don’t just list features. Turn your features into benefits and put the key one in your title. Your title is like an advert – it should include the most valuable piece of content.
Be bold enough to offer something to your reader – and then deliver it.
As well as offering valuable information, you want to get to the point in your headline. Trying to be too clever, playing with words or making jokes shouldn’t be your priority for a title. Many people will miss it, and it’s risky!
Your headline is essentially outlining to the reader ‘what’s in it for me.’ So, again, make it obvious: show what services or products or ideas your article offers.
All of these titles cut straight to the point of the article, so they’re good!
You can also hook your reader by hinting or outright telling them something exciting that has happened in the headline. News about your business is obviously boring, but news about the world or market in general is interesting to readers – depending on your target audience.
For example, if you’re covering products and services, you might be able to introduce news about new features or discounts, or how to use your product in a new way.
The benefit of news is that is can also lead to the reader wanting to learn more.
Not just an interrogative question word – you can turn your whole headline into a question. Again, this hooks the reader and causes them to want to read on to find out the answer. You are aiming for two main responses: ‘yes’, as in ‘yes I want to know how to write killer headlines’, or ‘I don’t know – tell me!’ as in, ‘I don’t know what the best ideas in Artificial Intelligence this year were.’
Headlines that are a combination of news and questions are often very successful.
If you are writing about a popular topic, you need to convince your reader that your blog post offers the most relevant, up to date and valuable information.
Take a look at the competition and be sure to create something better! Maybe you can use more examples, more refined processes and guidelines, or a summary of all the tips and tricks already out there.
The internet is full of information – your readers don’t necessarily want more information, they want information that is better organized. As readers, we often want our lives to be made easier – your headline should promise to lay out your information in a clear and concise manner.
Including statements like ‘complete’ or ‘important’ or ‘ultimate’ alongside words like steps, tips, and tricks is a sure way to convince your readers that your blog post is the best, concise list of information for this topic out there.
Sometimes, we just want to be told what to do. A strong headline can be a command, such as ‘stop wasting your budget on X and do this instead’, or ‘throw away your X, this new product is in town’.
In addition to obviously stating the point of your article, it also already provides your audience with the means to get what they want. You are already offering them valuable information and how to do something. All they need to do is read your article for a bit of extra information.
You, as the blogger, are the expert in your niche. So you have to be direct and authoritative in some cases.
Your command headline might also make your reader ask ‘why’, and thus making your audience click on your post to read more!
Keywords, keywords, keywords. Is anything in the world of SEO and business blogging more important? You should always include your keyword in your headline title – it will help you rank higher on search engines, and help potential readers find your article. Don’t forget it!