Use these five tips for creating blog titles that make readers want to stick around and read your content.
1. Start with a working title
Maybe you have a general topic in mind, but haven’t started writing yet. Who knows where your blog post will end up? A working title helps point you in the right direction. Your working title is not going to be perfect the first time, but it will help guide your writing. As you continue to write, iterate on your working title so that it correctly outlines what your post is about.
2. Hook your audience
Have you ever noticed those advertisements that grab your attention by luring you to read more? Often a simple sentence with a captivating lead will be enough to grab your audience’s attention. Use a question that hooks the reader and entices them to read further. Reviewing a list of options? Include the number of options in your title (i.e.: 10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Writing, 5 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds Now)
Use lead-ins such as “How to…” or “10 Ways to…” These sorts of titles beg the reader to read further. Another great trick is to end your title with an ellipses (…) so that your readers are forced to at least start reading your article in order to feel complete.
Including controversial topics in your titles will certainly get people to read the rest of your article. Who wouldn’t want to read about sex, drugs, and rock and roll? These topics are sure to get readers and even if your blog post doesn’t really relate to any controversial topic, find a way to work some in anyway. Warnings are another great way to get attention.
“Which…?,” “Who…?,” “How…?,” “Should…?,” and “Why…?” are all great ways to begin your title. Not only does it cause the reader to pause, but if you include something controversial in the question, readers will be curious to read how you responded.
3. Use correct formatting
Capitalize Your Titles Properly
No sooner will your blog comments be filled with jokes about how idiotic you are if your titles are not properly capitalized. Don’t be humiliated when your article is broadcast to your thousands of blog followers by checking your capitalization before you post. A great tool you can use is Capitalize My Title.
Readers are more likely to notice short titles as they’re scrolling through lists of articles and other things on their news feeds. Short title are also great for social media (think about Twitter’s 140 character limit). Every word in the title should have a part to play. Short and sweet is best; an ideal length is 6-7 words.
4. Do your research
Optimize Your Titles for SEO
Although SEO is on the decline, Google searches are still a popular way for readers to find your content. Make sure you do your keyword research anyway to make sure search engines rank your content well and potential readers will actually be captivated by your title. A great tool to check how powerful your title is the Headline Analyzer.
Be Accurate and Back Up Your Claims
The advent of the internet brought information to the masses. No longer were experts the exclusive holders of information. Now anyone could learn about any topic with a few clicks. With this easy availability though, anyone could also verify claims made by content creators. Make sure you do your research beforehand to avoid making far-fetched claims that turn out to be inaccurate or your readers will certainly let you know.
5. Make it sexy
Just because you want to have a professional, accurate title does not mean you can’t make it catchy. Use some of these tips to make your titles sexy, yet classy.
Have Fun with Alliterations
Although subtle, alliterations can play a huge role in making your blog titles catchy. Isn’t a title such as “Follow this Foolproof Formula” or “5 Super Simple Ways…” much more fun to read than “A simple formula to..” or “5 Ways to…”? Sprinkle an alliteration or two into your titles, especially when sharing on social media.
Use Strong Language
Just as a controversial title will lead to more click-throughs, using strong language will bring in the readers. Strong phrases (and, frankly, often negative ones) like “Kick-Ass,” “Things People Hate,” or “Brilliant” pack quite a punch. However, these must be used in moderation.
For more ideas on how to spice up your blog titles, check out Words that Sell.