Your blog title is one of the most important components of any article you write for your website – just like the headline of any sales page, direct mail piece, or advertisement sets the stage, your title drags people in and gets them reading. If they like the title, they’ll click and read the first sentence, and if they like the first sentence, they’ll keep reading through. But if the title doesn’t pass muster they’ll never give your article a chance.
Here are 10 tips for writing blog titles that get maximum exposure.
1. Tell People They’re Doing Wrong
People look for actionable information in articles, but they also want to know what they might be doing wrong, as what they don’t know can be just as dangerous as what they do. For this reason, negative blog titles that hit pain buttons can be a great way to suck people in and create a teaching tool. Examples of this type of title include article titles that start with “10 Worst Mistakes…” or “5 Ways You’re Losing Money…”
2. Make it Current
Try to bring topics into your blog that relate to current events and news if possible, and make it clear why it’s immediately relevant to the reader. “How the Latest Google Content Update Just Made Your Life Harder.” While some knowledge in your industry is no doubt timeless, readers also need to keep up with the most current of affairs – the present is what matters most right now and this concept will suck people in.
3. Include Numbers in Your Titles
Blog readers often like to see numbers in titles when searching online. It gives a sense that they are going to get a certain amount of information – a handful of golden nuggets – rather than a stream of consciousness-type writing style or one single tip. Writing in numbered lists also makes it easier to create an outline for your article and write faster.
And don’t write your numbers out – use the numeric version, as this gives more authority to the information.
4. Be Clear About the Article Content
It’s great to be creative with your titles, but don’t be so artistic that people don’t know what the article is going to be about. Just like the best nonfiction book titles, people should be able to get a clear sense of what they are going to learn with one quick glance.
Think about it, do you scour the web to read articles for the heck of it or do you seek out articles on specific subjects that make it clear exactly what you will learn?
5. Convey the Importance of the Info
Why should your readers care enough about the article to spend time reading? Is there a sense of urgency involved? Does lacking this information have the potential to lose them money? Can the tips given increase the bottom line?
Find ways to communicate just how important the topic is in your title.
6. Speak Directly to Your Reader
Just like within your article, your writing style in your titles should be personal. Try to insert the word “you” into your titles as often as possible.
Not only is the article beneficial to people in general; it’s beneficial to “you.” Not only can the ideas within save money; they’ll save money for “you.” Not only are there common mistakes being made; “you” are making mistakes, and it’s costing “you” cash.
Never forget that the most important person to any reader is typically themselves.
7. Be Dramatic and Sensational
Don’t be afraid to be sensational with your blog topics! Not only do you want to convey importance and relevance to your readers, but if possible, you want to load up on emotion. Read newspaper articles to get a sense of how the best reporters jazz up their headlines to grab reader attention. You are a marketer!
8. Be Controversial
Take your sensationalism a step further by interjecting some controversy into your blog titles. Be edgy. Frazzle emotions. Cause a stir. Spark debate.
These are the types of tactics that cause a social media buzz and they’re also likely to peak interest and get people reading your work in the first place.
9. Be a Reference
If you’ve included certain graphs or data sets in your article that your readers can use as a reference, this is a goldmine of traffic. People are actively seeking these information sources out, so don’t just refer to the data – make it the point of your article.
Let it be known what is to be found inside so people who spot you in the search engines will jump right on it. By providing a resource, you give them a reason to come back again and again. If you do this right, they may even bookmark your site to check back in.
10. Short and Sweet
One of the subtle arts of writing good headlines is hitting on a few of the tips above while at the same time keeping it short and manageable. Emulate Hemingway’s style of communicating by getting right to the point.
11. Use Plenty of “How-to’s”
Let’s face it, most people search online because they want to learn how to do something. And when they see a blog title that starts with “How to” reflecting exactly what they’re looking for, you can bet they get excited because they know they’re about to get their answer in one manageable dose.
12. Convey Actionable Info
The best articles are based on actionable information that can immediately be put into use by your target audience, so naturally, the best titles will alert the prospect if this can be found inside.
13. Highlight a Benefit
Will the reader get some type of benefit by reading your blog post? Well don’t make them guess about it – let them know. “5 Conversational Tips That Will Have Women Chasing You.” “A Little-known Secret That Can Save You Thousands of Dollars a Year.”
14. Tell Them About a Secret
Speaking of “little-known secrets,” telling people the information you’ve got is rare gives it more value. If it’s a “hidden path, a “hack,” or a “secret trick,” there’s a chance that if they don’t bother to have a look they may never get a chance to come across that gold nugget again.
This is a trick that has been used by top copywriters for decades.
There’s no formula for a perfect blog title, but putting a little more work into them can lead to getting a lot more clicks on your articles and exposing more prospects to your work. You might even try testing out different headlines for the same pieces from time to time to see if it changes traffic for you.
Do you have any favorite blog title tactics?