If content is king, the key to the kingdom is a brilliant blog title. Good blogs titles, of course, are those that make people want to click on and/or share them. You need look no further than Twitter to understand how readers respond to great headlines: more people than not (59%) retweet articles they’ve never actually read! Why? Because they connected with the title.
Good Blog Titles
All marketers know the value and importance of a good blog title, but consistently coming up with them is not as easy as it looks. While there are plenty of resources available that offer templates and title generators, the beauty of a truly good blog title is its distinction from the rest. Being a part of the crowd is no strategy for standing out.
Here are some actionable tips to get you writing catchy, clickable, good blog titles in no time flat.
Make an Instant Connection
People should immediately understand why they should read your article. In other words, they should perceive some benefit in spending the time it takes to hear you out. A headline can be clever or laugh out loud funny, but if it doesn’t inspire your readers to engage, it’s quickly forgotten. Think of words that evoke shared emotions, ones that have a reader thinking “me, too!”
Be Cutting Edge
Promise something new to the conversation. This only works, though, if you then deliver! People surfing online are always trying to find something they haven’t already seen or heard. This requires marketers being plugged into the latest updates and news from various industries.
Subscribe to news aggregators and follow thought leaders on various social media platforms. Look for a source or two that seems to always be ahead of the curve. Remember, too, that people love being the first to share something new with their own followers.
Encourage Bold Behavior
Everyone secretly wants to be a superhero. Compare challenges readers face to how popular characters, sports figures, pop culture figures, and games, would handle it. Which one is more enticing: How to Survive as a PR Agent” or “How to Be the Wonder Woman of PR?”
Just like the rest of your content, good blog posts require keyword research. Longtail keywords, in particular, still matter greatly and should appear in your title, URL, image descriptions, subheaders, and meta descriptions. There are plenty of keyword research tools you can use, including Moz’s Keyword Explorer, LSI Graph Keyword Generator, and KeywordSpy.
Where are you readers getting their news? More and more the answer is on their mobile device, so make sure your headline is designed to be read easily in that format. This is especially important for email headlines promoting your blog post. Since subject lines on mobile devices tend to get cropped, make sure the important part of your headline is at the front.
Offer Your Expertise
Blog posts titles that start with “how” or “why” entice readers to learn more. Things the audience needs to know - typically proceeded by a number – are also effective, but only if the information inside is truly useful. Even if you’re sharing five fun facts on a topic, those facts must entertain or the reader will not click on your six secret sauces post.
Make it Personal
It takes talent to write a headline that a reader feels is speaking directly to her or him alone. Good writers know this trick: write to an audience of one. Picture them in your mind and write directly to this person, just as you would if you were writing them a letter or email. It’s a sure way to stay focused and worry less about pleasing “everyone.”
Putting it All Together
Finally, look at the titles competitors are using and either be inspired by or improve on them. Which titles do you personally respond to? Will that angle work for your piece? Run your title ideas past trusted colleagues to get a sense of which ones are most effective.
Writing good blog titles isn’t rocket science, but it does require a lot of practice. Implement these suggestions and you should see an increase in traffic in no time. To learn more about how to write a great blog title, check out our white paper, "How to Create Good Blog Titles in 6 Easy Steps."