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How A Great Twitter Headline Can Increase Your Blog Traffic

Twitter 4I was asked on Twitter the other day “What do you think of my first blog post?”. So I had a look .. had a read. It was funny, it was interesting but you know the headline didn’t get my attention.  If  I had seen that headline on Twitter I would not have wanted to click on the link to read the blog. So on Twitter getting people to want to take the next step means that you have to get the basics right and the most basic element is a “Compelling Headline” that just begs you to read it. I have even been known to hit the publish button on my Blog for a new article, announce the post on  on Twitter and monitor my clicks with a great URL shortener called www.bit.ly ( I highly recommend it as a vital Twitter analytics tool/app) notice the hit rate isn’t good and then go and “modify” or “completely change my headline”. Here are some interesting facts and figures courtesy of  copyblogger.

  • The famous advertsing guru David Ogilvy, was known to have once to have rewritten a headline for an automible advertisement 104 times.
  • Some of the best copywriters advocate spending 50% of the time writing the copy for an advertisement  and 50% on the headline
  • Master copywriter Gene Schwartz often spent an entire week on the first 50 words of a sales piece — the headline and the opening paragraph
  • On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.

Note:  Even Presidents appreciate a headline “I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what’s moving. I rarely read the stories, and I get briefed by people who probably read the news themselves.”  George W. Bush

 On Twitter you have 2 challenges amongst many to get people’s attention that make the headline even more vital.

  1. You only have 140 characters to get people to click on the link in your message
  2. It is streaming past you and within seconds its gone

So you have limited space and limited time to get people to “take action” to  click on that Twitter embedded link that follows your “Micro Blog Headline”, to then go to read your blog post or website page.

The art of the headline has been re-invigorated due the shortened attention span  engendered by the internet, TV, the  RSS reader and the email inbox and Twitter has made it even worse, so, due to the nature of the environment the battle for attention has intensified.

So how do you write a headline that gets people’s attention in 140 charcaters and a few passing seconds? One of my favourite resources I use from time to time is at copyblogger.com …(there are many others) and another one is at Authority Blogger titled “102 Proven Headline Formulas” and also another good site at prevential.com ..”15 Proven Headline Templates That Improve Twitter Traffic

There are some proven types and categories of headlines that have been developed over the last 50-60 years (hey.. not everything was invented yesterday) such as

  • Get What You Want (In Health, Wealth, Relationships, Time and Lifestyle) eg.. The Secret To Getting More Money For Your Property !
  • Crystal Ball and History eg.. 10 Predictions on the Future of Social Media
  • Problems and Fears eg … Get Rid of Your Debt Once and For All
  • Fact, Fiction, Truth and Lies example.. Little Known Ways To Make Money On The Stock Exchange
  • How To, Tricks Of The Trade. such as..  How To Plan The Ultimate Holiday
  • Best and Worst  eg The 10 Worst Mistakes Made by Bloggers  

Note: One headline I thought of using was “How To Get Twice The Traffic To Your Blog in Half  The Time” .. what do you think …is that a better headline than the one I ended up using?

So what are the some of the best headlines you have used on your Twitter or Blog Post that have worked for you?

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Since going ‘on my own’ two months ago, I have realized that the most important person in Marketing/Advertising is the Copy Writer.

    Great post Jeff.

    Eric Melchor

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  • Well written article, and very very true! The difference between a good and a bad headline is the difference between winning and losing!

  • Hi Jeff,

    Too true. I like using numbers in my headlines to break up content – people like reading online articles that they can scan.

    One of my favourites has been:

    “Five reasons why self-publishing a novel is a bad idea”


  • Thanks for the post Jeff. Great headlines for blogs work in much the same way as creating great subject lines for an email campaign. If it isn’t immediately eye-catching it probably won’t even get opened. Check out our article on the topic:

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.


  • Thanks for pointing out that Tweets go flying by and that I should consider not just the sticky aspect of my headline, but also the limited timeframe I have to catch someone’s eyeballs.

  • Good morning Jeff- how a great twitter headline can increase your blog traffic is a better/tighter headline than how to get twice your traffic to your blog in half your time because it answer directly my- and I am sure most bloggers question- how to get traffic to our blog via twitter, value, relevance of twitter- When I saw your tweet the words twitter headline blog caught my attention, made me stop, click on link, read article and leave a comment (I didn’t sign up/subscribe to any thing on offer as nothing really stood out for me-sorry) but your blog post and info on offer is excellent. I guess it depends on what you want to achieve from using twitter. I am newish so these are questions I ask myself. Thx for the pointers. Ntathu
    PS-a blog post re how to sve time, and increase traffic is also catching

  • Excellent article. I hope it is okay to share with friends. The references of others who fine-tune their headlines and how much energy and effort goes into perfecting a well-written blog helps inspire all of us. The truth that people living in today’s fast-paced world do not always read through an entire article does force us to get out message out most succinctly with the intent on action to click, respond or read further.

    You have done this by closing your blog with the question to “compare” headlines. This helps us understand your thinking process and give us an ‘action.’

    Please let us know the difference in response rate, using your bit.ly account between the two headline selections. Seems as if each might motivate different readers. Statisticians might like the ‘Twice the Traffic’ but the general public probably likes ‘Increase the Blog’ because then the amount is not stated, and could be up to the imagination of the reader. WOW! I could increase readership by 100%.


  • JohnHedtke

    No, I was immediately grabbed by *this* headline. The alternate sounds a bit too much like sales spam.

    The article was outstanding. Thanks!

  • Mark_Feinberg

    Like the headline you chose better. The optional one sounds more like a ‘get rich quick’ type of thing. The actual headline tells me I really might learn something (which I did). I read based on the headline and probably wouldn’t have clicked through the optional one.

  • I read this just after using a lame duck twitter link to my blog!

  • Mark Pacitti

    Nice one Jeff, well you got me from your twitter headline to your blog! And I too prefer the one you used


  • Steve A Gonzalez

    I was definitely attracted to this post by the Headline. Thanks for sharing this thought provoking material as well as the resources to explore this topic further.

  • The shorter & sweeter the better!

  • Praverb

    The best headline that I ever used was short and to the point [The Ultimate Hip-Hop Blog Directory]. Your content is always helpful and to the point. Thank you Jeff.

  • Those were some nice statistics.. 8 out of 10 read the headline and 2 out of 10 actually read the rest. This tells me that the headline definitely has to be on the same level as your niche market. You have to really use the right words and phrase to get them to really tick. Also I like the rest of those trivial facts you mentioned at the beginning! Nice write up Jeff!