THE SECRETS TO CREATING CATCHY BLOG POST HEADLINES
80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% will go onto read the rest of your content. That means your headline has to do A LOT of work.
There are lots of different factors that make a blog post successful. But one of the most important factors is your headline.
This is critical, as your title is what hooks people in in the first place.
So how do you create catchy blog titles that will intrigue and inform your readers? I’ve got some approaches that will set you off on the right path.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD TITLE?
Let’s just clear something up right away.
Your blog post title needs to be clear and understandable right off the bat so your readers know exactly what to expect from your article.
This is something you need to keep in mind when it comes to your writing process. You also need to be mindful of its length.
When we talk about length, you don’t only need to consider how it's going to look on your blog, but that it also looks right when its displayed in search engine results.
The recommended length is about 65 characters max.
One of the most important aspects of your blog post title is to make sure it’s optimised for search engines, so people will actually search for it and help it rank well.
Think about what your reader would search for in order to come across your blog post on a search engine. You want to identify a keyword phrase and include that in your title.
I usually use Google’s Keyword Planner to identify keywords and their search volume.
But always remember to write for the reader. Don’t stuff your blog titles with keywords, because this won’t do you any favours.
You don’t have to aim to have the perfect title straight away. You want to know what kind of thing you’re going for. That’s your first step - to carve out the basics of it that you’ll then mould into the finished version.
Start by just writing a basic, general headline. Make it as obvious and to the point as possible, because the point is that you’re going to improve it moving forward.
This is a great secret formula to follow:
Number/How/Why/What + Keyword + Adjective + Promise.
For example: "how to design a wedding bouquet that will really impress the bride."
Now that you’ve got the general shape you want, it’s time to start playing around with it to help you take it to the next level.
But when you’ve just got the basics, how do you know what approaches work?
Well I did a bit of research for you so you don’t have to. Here are some formulas that work the best.
INTRIGUE AND INDULGE CURIOSITY
We’re all so curious, aren’t we? I mean, we all want to know what our favourite people are getting up to through Instagram Stories.
So if your title offers exclusive information or something your readers don’t know about - they’re going to want to find out what you have to stay.
It’s like adding a touch of mystery to your title, to get people to want to know your secrets.
So some examples could be:
- People are freaking out about the latest changes to the Instagram algorithm.
- 5 secrets the healthiest people on earth will never tell you.
PULL ON THEIR EMOTIONS
We’re all big softies at heart, aren’t we?
It doesn’t matter if it’s shock, sadness or humour. If you can emotionally connect to your reader through a title, that’s a good chance of getting you a click.
So you could have:
- A man proposed to his fiancé at the top of the empire state building. What happened next will make you cry.
- This beautiful collection of love letters will melt your heart.
GIVE THEM A QUIZ
This is great because it adds a little bit of fun and can generate lots of engagement.
You could even put a spin on it, because if you ask the reader if they can guess something, it’s definitely asking for a read.
Just using the words "can you guess" is perfect for grabbing attention, because it tells the reader there’s going to be some sort of interaction from the blog post itself.
Some examples could be:
- Can you guess what name Kim Kardashian has chosen for her new baby?
- Can we guess your personality type by only asking these 5 questions?
So you don’t necessarily have to ask your readers a question. You can grab just as much attention by offering an answer to something, like:
- This is why you can never get motivated to workout.
- Hate the thought of planning a wedding? This is why.
OFFER EXPERT ADVICE
We all know there’s so much information out there online. But people feel a lot more relaxed about it when it comes from a professional.
So if you say that your blog post is going to offer expert information, it gives your readers a sense of quality.
The way you do this is really simple, you could say:
- The experts weigh in on social media predictions for 2018.
- The pros put the latest new iPhone to the test and here are the results.
SHARE YOUR TIPS
The thing with this is that people aren’t just looking for the best ways to do things. They’re also looking for what not to do so they can avoid making mistakes.
If you share your “expert advice” and tell your audience what mistakes to avoid, this could be really powerful for drawing their attention.
So I wrote a blog post called 11 of the biggest mistakes bloggers make in their first year - that’s a perfect example.
WRITE A LIST POST
One of the best things you do for your headline is to write a list post.
Lists are the most popular types of blog post titles out there and for good reason - they work so well.
Plus they can be used in any of the examples that we just went through.
Add a number to your title and you’re instantly going to get more results because people love numbers. A numbered title tells readers they’re going to get information in a simple, straightforward and organised way.
A couple of my latest videos have been 5 SEO myths you need to leave behind and 7 of the biggest blogging sins. I even wrote a blog post about 11 reasons why your next blog post should be a list post because they’re that powerful.
Which one of these do you think you'll try first when it comes to writing your headlines? Let me know in the comments!
Remember to create catchy blog post headlines your audience will love, so you can get one step closer to a breakthrough.