• flipboard

Have You Been Making This Huge Mistake On Your Blog?

So you have great content on your blog but no one is turning up to read it. Your writing is interesting, humorous and clever but despite your creative talents the readers aren’t showing and that dream of a successful blog that attracts thousands of readers is slipping away.Have You Been Making This Huge Mistake On Your Blog

If there is one thing that you need to learn before anything else is the art of the headline. In journalism schools, one of the first topics that is covered is how to write a good headline.

It’s been reported that up to 50% of all tweets that are retweeted are due to the headline only!

Twitter has in fact made a lot of people realize how important a good Twitter headline is to get people to click on the link to take them to your blog content. 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 your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire article. It is especially important early on in your blogging career to master this skill because it is your one and only chance to get them to read the rest. People like Seth Godin and Chris Brogan who are well known bloggers, authors and speakers have let their headline writing skills slip but they can get away with it because they have built up so much trust and a huge tribal following. You don’t have this luxury and you need your headlines to be compelling and inviting to start a tribe.

So why are your headlines so important?

1. They capture your readers attention and draws them into the article

If you screw up the headline people won’t even click on the link to your article and read it. With headlines, first impressions count, you literally only get one chance at this and if you fail, potential readers will move on.

2. It’s a promise of the benefits to be had from reading the article.

The title sets the stage for the article content, and lets people know why they should read your article or what they will get from doing so.

3. They give a first impression of you as an author.

If your title sucks, and no one opens your articles, what do you think the odds are that the viewer will look for more of your work?

So what are some of the basics of writing a good headline? Here are 3  basic formulas that will help you write a good headline

1. How To

How To [Do Something] that [Benefit to the Reader].

Example: How To Write A Mind Blowing Headline For Twitter So People Will Read Your Blog

2. The List

Top # Reasons to [exercise, eat healthy, write articles, etc]

Example: 90 Tips To Make Your Blog Rock

3. The Question

This where you want to invoke your readers curiosity for them to want to go on and read more.

Example: Why The Web Is Becoming Less Social

So how are the headlines on your blog? Could you do better?


These are from Brian Clark the genius behind CopyBlogger who currently ranks number one on the Advertising Age “AdAge Power 150”  and one of the reasons he is there is his headline writing skills.

  1. Why You Should Always Write Your Headline First
  2. The Cheater’s Guide to Writing Great Headlines
  3. Do Key Words in Post Titles Really Matter?
  4. How to Write a Killer “How To” Post That Gets Attention
  5. 7 Reasons Why List Posts Will Always Work
  6. Why Some People Almost Always Write Great Post Titles
  7. 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work
  8. 9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like Crazy
  9. 7 More Sure-Fire Headline Templates That Work
  10. Warning: Use These 5 Headline Templates at Your Own Risk
  11. The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines

Image by doobybrain

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Good post. Another big mistake that people make on Twitter is: “Check out my new blog post” instead of just stating the headline, adding the link and tweeting away. The title is what will attract you to click.

  • Thanks, Jeff. It seems like a no-brainer now that I read this, but I realize I can shore things up in this area. Very valuable.

  • I am not very happy about headlines making such a huge part in the success or ruin of a post. Sometimes you really wish the human brain worked in a different way, but while not being happy, I can’t deny I am a victim myself of “headline charme”, which decides wether I am gonna read an article or not.
    What I really wouldn’t want to see is the trend of punchy headlines being the intro for a mediocre post.
    It happens in traditional news as well as it is, I hope it’s not gonna get worse.

  • Got it! and thank you. This might just be one of the, but most simple and fundamental, problems i am facing. headline…! i owe you now!

  • Hi Jeff, you’re so right and often what seems obvious is neglected. As always, thanks for the information, the list from Brian Clark will probably put me behind on my scheduled Christmas shopping, but there’s always tomorrow. Thanks again, Peter

  • Jeff, these are great to know. But it’s also worth mentioning that the content of the link has to be worth the effort. If you build great headlines that link to crap, you’ll eventually be ignored. The headline is the start of the relationship. Don’t make it the end, in that sense.

  • While I do make use of these headline styles, I don’t think they will be as effective for very much longer. I think people are becoming desensitized to them, as they are now a glut in an infinite pool of content on the Internet. Every headline I seem to read uses this tactic now. And although it is a tried and true one — as journalists (and especially magazines) have relied on them for decades — I think the true value is in backing up those “catchy” headlines with REALLY great content.

  • totally agree with Paul and Camelia: if you don’t have engaging, valuable content, who cares.

    but Jeff’s point well taken: headlines are like the pitch. They’re what make you curious about the film.

  • DrAletta

    Great advise. Thanks!

  • You’re right Jeff. Headlines are important.  I finally learned that and still I make that mistake now and then. I figure myself a clever guy and want to make up these headlines that are cute and clever.

    Problem is, they don’t work very well.  Using the matrix you give above works much better!

  • Thank you.  This is very interesting and something I need to work on.  :-),  Susan 

  • Great content, headlines are definitely important. My niche revolves around hip-hop music and I have learned that number headlines are more effective than regular music promo posts.

    I thank you for your headline blog posts. Thank you!

  • Thanks Brendan for the comment and your insights. The headline is extremely vital and I often make several changes before hitting the “Publish” button!

  • Linda Wilson

    Good morning Jeff!

    I agree headlines need to be punchy, but the problem for me goes back to the old saying – ‘what is one man’s meat is another man’s poison’. A headline will always be nectar for someone somewhere and absolute tripe from someone else’s point of view. I guess that means go with your own guts from my way of thinking.

    At any one time there’s only a minority of people in the world likely to look at what you put and you can’t please them all.