There are over 2 million blog posts that are published every day. In a sea of blog posts like that, the competition to get people to read your content is intense. You now not only have to make sure that your content is well written, but you have to make it rank high on Google’s search results as well. On top of that, you need to cultivate an active audience that won’t hesitate to share your blog posts on social media. Finally, and arguably most importantly, your blog post should have a great and catchy title that will attract clicks.
According to Elena Dunning of EssayOnTime, most of the articles shared on Twitter are never read by those who share them. Why do they do that? Because the titles are eye-catching. Most Twitter users won’t share a title that doesn’t look cool and, by extension, makes them look uncool. Bland and generic titles simply never make it on social media.
There isn’t a fixed title template that can always guarantee you that your post will go viral. This isn’t a situation where you simply fill in the blanks and you’re good to go. In fact, if it were possible and there were some formula you could use to come up with a catchy title then everyone who got their hands on that formula would use and the blog titles wouldn’t be as impactful anymore. There are, however, some tips you can use to your advantage when thinking of your next blog post title. Here are 7 of them:
- Your Title should be engaging
According to experts, a good title has to be emphatic, intriguing, and actionable. Consider the following title: How to make Small Talk… Even if you hate Small Talk. That is a highly actionable title because it basically informs you that the article you’re about to read is going to give you tips on how to do something you actually find useful. This is one of the reasons why How-to titles are considered a safe bet. The title also feels a little quirky because it acknowledges the fact that some of us may hate the whole thing, but still seeks to convince us to try it out.
As for intriguing titles, you can take something that sounds otherwise mundane, such as A Guide to Effective Marketing and give it a bit of a twist, such as A Guru’s Guide to Effective Marketing. The author has imbued the title with a sense of grandness. Now anyone who sees it will feel the compulsion to read the article because they would like to know what kind of marketing strategies gurus use. Such extra points can do a lot to make an article a lot more intriguing.
Finally, you need for your article to be emphatic in order for it to attract the audience. Consider the title How not to write Sh***y Articles. This is a particularly emphatic title because the author wants to show just how bad the article you do not want to write is. The trick is to use slang or vocabulary that the particular audience you’re writing for is used to. This is the kind of language that they will relate to best. That said, you can’t just swear in order to get attention; that certainly won’t work. Only swear when it’s appropriate within the context.
- Your Audience should have the right Audience
A title of a blog isn’t like the title of a magazine in the sense that it needs to be a lot more descriptive. When you see a magazine title, you can easily decide whether or not you want to read the article based on the captions, images, and everything else. When you’re looking at a blog post title, on the other hand, you’re probably seeing it on Twitter or on a Google search results page. There is no additional information. Under such circumstances, it is the headline that will attract readers. On the other hand, don’t write a headline that will attract readers only for them to find that the content has absolutely nothing to do with the headline. That’s called clickbait and it’s not cool. The readers may never come back to your blog due to that bad experience.
- Keep your Headline Short and Sweet
In most cases, the post title is also typically the title tag that readers will see on search results. That means you have to do your best to keep the post title within Google’s limit of 70 characters. It will then appear in full on the results page and the reader will be better encouraged to click on the link. You also think of titles that have just the right length to fit in a tweet. A good rule of thumb is to not let your title exceed 8 words. If, however, you need to make your title longer in order to engage the reader better, then don’t hesitate to do it.
- Keywords are good if used properly
We have got to a point where it makes more sense to focus on the user and not the search engine when you’re coming up with titles. Even so, it’s important to think about the likely searches your potential readers are making and fix in a keyword or two in there. That way you’ll take care of your rank in the relevant search results. Tools like Google Adwords will help you with this.
- Be Unique about the Rationale you use
Never just say things in your title. You have so many different words to choose from, some of which may be more relevant to your article than others. Principles, lessons, ideas, ways, secrets, reasons, ways… All of those are words you could use. But please don’t say things.
- Use Numbers to your Advantage
A lot of copywriters love to include numbers in their headlines. Numbers have a way of catching people’s attention. You’ll be more likely to read an article associated with a number in the title than one that doesn’t. Also, go for intriguing numbers, like 7 or 23.
- Adjectives help too
Incredible, Ridiculous, Massive, Surprising… There are plenty of adjectives in the English language you can use to spice up your title. It all goes back to our point on trying to create intrigue with your readers.
Serena Dorf is an enthusiastic content writer in Los Angeles. She is thirsty for knowledge and is always on the lookout for amazing writing tips to share with her readers. In her free time, she is reading classic American literature and learning Swedish. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter