Your blog post titles are just as important, if not more, than your content. Readers will look at your blog post title and decide whether they want to invest their time into reading the rest of the article or not.
As a writer myself, there’s nothing more frustrating than crafting a well-researched, thought-provoking article only to find it goes unappreciated, un-tweeted, and un-shared in the deepest and darkest pit of the Internet.
Before we deep dive into writing blog post titles that lure and engage visitors, let’s not confuse click-worthy headlines with clickbait. Sure, they are creative, but clickbait headlines are overly sensationalized and only meant to get clicks – not engagement or trust.
In this article, we will be focusing on how to write blog post titles that are creative, appealing, and attention-grabbing while not promising anything that your blog content can’t deliver. You want to keep your readers happy and satisfied – from the title to the content and down to the last point.
Here are 5 things to remember when writing a click-worthy blog post title that your readers will find irresistible.
1. Focus on one central idea and stick with it
A great blog post title must contain one (or two) fundamental pieces of information your article seeks to answer. Going back to Journalism 101, your headline should answer the 5Ws and H – what, where, when, why, who, and how.
The article Why Jon Snow Needs To Die focuses on two important questions, namely the who (Jon Snow) and the why (why he needs to die). I don’t know about you, but I am a die-hard Game of Thrones fanatic, and I’d gladly click on this link should I happen to stumble upon it on Facebook.
2. Keep it short and simple
Another way of writing a headline is to ask yourself, “How would I explain this blog post to a friend in just six words?”
Using the same example above, notice how the blog post title is limited to six words. In my journalism class back in college, we had this acronym – as a joke, though not entirely – KISS, which stands for Keep It Simple Stupid.
Make it a habit to limit your blog post titles to a number of words. Try five, or seven, or eight words. It doesn’t matter. Strict boundaries and limits often allow us to get more creative and force us to think outside the box.
3. Help readers solve their problems
Google has allowed us the venue to find fast answers to urgent questions. According to Moz, here’s how users interact with search engines like Google:
- A user experiences a need for a solution, answer, or piece of information;
- The user types in a string of words that describe what they’re looking for known as “the query”;
- The user enters the query into the Google search box;
- The user browses and scrolls through the results;
- The user clicks on a result;
- The user scans for an answer or a link to the solution;
- If unsatisfied, the user returns to the search results and clicks on another result;
- If still unsatisfied, the user performs a new search with a more refined query.
With these things in mind, you can then craft your headline as straightforward as possible if your blog post talks about a solution to a problem – no need for flowery adjectives and unnecessary details.
As a reader, I’d always ask myself, “What’s in it for me?” If a headline is more likely to offer something and show how it’s relevant to me, I’d be more inclined to click it and read the rest of the article.
4. Inject some attitude into your blog post title
Your readers will ignore your article if your blog title sounds and looks like something they’ve read before. Be different and make your title stand out from the rest of the pile by adding some attitude and personality.
Your blog post title doesn’t have to come off as patronizing, preachy, or plain arrogant. Notice how the word ‘actually’ in the example above added some color and perkiness to the headline. It arouses readers’ curiosity while still offering the answer to the question “what’s in it for me?”
5. Arouse curiosity without sensationalizing it
It’s easy to create controversial and sensationalized blog post titles – if you’re running a tabloid, that is, but let’s not dismiss the fact that we can still learn a thing or two from them.
Tabloid headlines often have the tendency to overpromise and underdeliver. Because their content doesn’t support and give justice to their overly sensationalized headlines, readers feel like they’ve been tricked into reading the whole article.
This is something you don’t want to do to your readers. Respect their time by writing headlines that promise nothing your content cannot fulfill.
With the example above, you’d be surprised to know that, as you read through the article, the guy the headline was referring to was actually a security expert speaking at a financial security conference in Las Vegas.
See? The blog post title underpromised yet over-delivered in the content. Headlines like this one from Gawker will leave readers happy and satisfied because I am happy and satisfied, and I feel like the time it took me to read the whole article didn’t go to waste.
These are just five of the many ways you can craft an irresistibly appealing blog post title to give your content the time and attention it truly deserves.
Over to you
Have you recently seen a blog post title so irresistible you can’t help yourself but click it? Share it with us in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!
Guest author: Kristoffer Canimo has developed the love for writing headlines while he was the editor-in-chief of their newspaper back in high school. Now, he is a freelance writer and content manager currently based in the Philippines, and writes for Sydney-based businesses like JMAC Wealth. See more from Kristoffer by following him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.