They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but you definitely judge it by the title, right?
The same goes for your blog posts. People will only click if the title is tempting. Whether that’s from social media or in search results, your title is the thing that will grab your audience’s attention.
The problem is, writing a blog post title is HARD.
We personally find writing an entire blog post easier than writing a title.
But over the years (and after A LOT of testing) we’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t.
Read these 7 ways to write a blog post headline that’ll excite and entice your viewers to keep reading on.
1. Make Your Blog Post Headlines Specific
If people don’t ‘get’ what your blog post is about from the headline then they won’t click on the blog post.
For example, let’s say you’re writing a blog post about the best Keto Brownies you can order online.
Imagine if these were the headlines…
‘The day I got to try a load of brownies!’
‘Brownies for the win!’
‘Chocolatey goodness without the sugar – yum!’
They don’t tell the reader what the heck your article is about. Yes, they’ll know it’s about brownies, but you need to be more specific with things like…
‘The best keto brownie companies that deliver straight to your door.’
Now that is specific, and it tells the reader exactly what they’re going to get. This brings us nicely onto our next point…
2. Optimise your Headline for Keywords
If the aim of your blog post is to bring in website traffic, then you’ll want to optimise it for your keyword/phrase.
Think about the example above. No one is searching for ‘Brownies for the win!’ on Google.
But we bet there are people looking for ‘the best keto brownie companies that deliver’ or ‘the best keto brownie companies’ or even ‘keto brownie companies’.
If you do a little keyword research, then you’ll know exactly what your audience is typing into search engines.
Once you know that, you’ll know what words or phrases you need to include in your blog post title.
Does anyone else really fancy a brownie right now or is it just me?
3. Use numbers for list posts
Oh, we don’t half love numbers.
Numbers make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
When we see a number as part of a blog post title, we know three things:
- This is going to be easy-peasy for my brain to consume
- This is going to be specific and actionable
- I’m going to be able to skim read this and get the main points
This is what makes articles that feature numbers way more appealing. In fact, in 2020, 41% of the top articles were listicles – i.e. list-based posts just like this one.
4. For Big, In-Depth Blog Posts, Make Them Sound Epic
We love to read epic articles that go into real depth on a topic.
I’m talking thousands and thousands of words here.
But sometimes they might get missed if they have such a lacklustre headline.
When you create an epic blog post, make sure your headline reflects that. Use phrases like…
- The Ultimate Guide
- The Beginners Guide
- X 101 (for example, Puppy Training 101)
When you call your post the ultimate guide, your audience will understand that this is a chunky post that will go in-depth on one topic. It’s definitely an appealing post title, particularly for those who are ready to learn.
One caveat though–only use the phrase Ultimate Guide or Beginners Guide on blog posts that really do go in-depth.
Don’t use it for blog posts like this that are more of an overview. Even though this is 1200+ words long, we would never class it as an ultimate guide.
5. Sprinkle Your Blog Post Headline with Magic Words
Magic words are exactly like they sound…magic. They add that extra pizazz to a blog post headline, making it irresistible to clicks.
Take this blog post as an example, we could’ve said ‘7 Ways to Write a Blog Post Headline’ but we added in the word irresistible.
Notice it’s still search engine friendly (it contains my chosen keywords ). But just that one word makes the blog post more interesting, right?
Some other words you could use are…
- Under (give timeframe)
6. Go Niche on Your Blog Post Title
It may seem counter-intuitive to go super niche with your blog post title, but honing in on your audience can have much better results.
Let’s say, for example, you edit fantasy fiction for self-published authors. Which of these blog post headlines do you think would appeal to fantasy fiction writers the most?
- 8 Writing Tips
- 8 Writing Tips for Authors
- 8 Writing Tips for Fiction Authors
- 8 Writing Tips for Fantasy Fiction Authors (Bingo!)
You’re right, it’s the last one! Even if numbers 1, 2, or 3 received more readers, your target audience is far more likely to click on number 4.
7. Experiment with the positive and negative
Your blog post headline should make a promise to your reader. It should say, if you read this, this is what you’ll learn.
You knew before you read this article that you would leave knowing some ways to write better blog post headlines – and hopefully, we’ve done that!
But you should also experiment with ‘negative’ headlines and ‘positive’ headlines.
What we mean by this is headlines that point out what can happen if your audience doesn’t read your article (i.e. the bad stuff) vs headlines that point out what can happen if they do (i.e. the good stuff).
Take this blog post for example. We focused on the positives–learning how to write an irresistible blog post headline.
But we could’ve gone down a more negative route…
Positive focus: How to write an irresistible blog post headline
Negative focus: How to avoid writing blog post headlines that turn people off
It would’ve been the same article but with a slightly different angle.
It’s good to test out the positive and negative angles, to see what resonates with your audience.
Where to start?
It’s tempting to finalise your headline right at the beginning before you’ve even started on your blog post. But it’s often better to wait until the end of the post when you’re more clear and warmed up with lots of writing!
Make sure you test out a few headlines too and see which one feels best.
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