A good blog headline is often the only factor that determines whether or not an article on your blog will be read. The idea that content is king is true, but some people miss out on reading that great content because there is nothing interesting in the headline that represents it.
Unfortunately, writing a good headline is one of the most challenging aspects of writing blog content. It can literally make or break a post, yet it is something many bloggers fail to pay special attention to.
I have given you plenty of resources to work with in the past to help you write better blog titles, but now I want to give you something more direct to work with. I have taken a particular interest in the finer details of this blog ever since our editor, Seth left. The headlines that represent my content have been things that I have been noticing more, and wanting to improve more than anything else.
In that quest for improvement, I found a few methods that work great just about every time I use them in my blog headlines. Before I came out with any sort of title for my article, I would always consult this list of methods to see which would work out the best for the type of article I am going to write.
Use this guide as a reference for your own headlines, as the ideas listed here are a great way to get you started on producing great blog headlines.
1. Headlines that leave you wanting to know more
I’ll start this list off with a rather risky headline technique; the one that leaves readers “hanging.” What’s better to peak someone’s interest than delivering a short headline that doesn’t reveal too much, but just enough to make someone wonder the actual meaning of?
Now, I say this is risky because of the fact that you aren’t very clear in the headline, and that also may throw off some potential readers. Use this at your own risk, but take a look at some of the examples of this headline technique in use and decide if it’s something you want to try.
- The Field of Dreams Myth
- You are the P.I.C. of Your Blog
- The 3 B’s of Networking
- The easiest post you’ve ever read
- The 2 1/2 Golden rules of blogging
These articles all have short headlines that introduce an idea, but will often leave a viewer confused on the meaning until their curiosity gets the best of them and clicks the headline.
2. Ask an important question
Nothing is more engaging than asking a simple question. People like to participate in discussions that ask for their insight as it gives them an opportunity to share their “dominant” view of the topic amongst others.
If by chance you ask a question that other people would like to know the answer to, then you will have people clicking your headline in search of that answer. Whether or not you can follow through and give them the answer they’re looking for is up to you. But at least you have an interesting enough headline to work with.
- Does your current posting frequency bring in the best results?
- Can you make money from membership sites?
- What has our perception of quality content been turned into?
- What has acting now really done for you?
All of these headlines have a question in them, and all force you to try to answer them prior to clicking on them to see what the “right” answer may be.
3. Promise to teach or solve a problem
Everyone has their share of problems, or lack of knowledge in a certain field. We want to keep learning and solving problems that we will jump into any article that can promise these things in the headline.
While every post you write on your blog teaches, the headline you write doesn’t always come out and say that. With this technique, you are saying in every headline “If you want to _____, I will teach you how in this article.” It’s up to you how you decide to dress that message up to make it sound more appealing.
- How to bring old posts back to life by creating a “Favorite Articles” page
- Using your strengths and weaknesses to become a better blogger
- How you are unknowingly harming your blog posts
- 5 Easy Blog Improvements in Under 5 Minutes Each
- A quick 4 step plan for beating bloggers crash
All of these headlines introduce a problem that may exist for you, and has some sort of hook that will grab your interest into reading the article.
4. Goes straight to the point
A headline that is short, simple and straight to the point can never fail. It directly tells the reader exactly what the article will be about, with no fluff around it. This method can’t cause confusion, and anyone who clicks the headline knows exactly what they want from your article.
- Twitter Apps to make blogging easier
- The Power and Importance of “Free”
- The problems of diversifying blog posts
- Firefox makes blogging easier
- How to start a killer blog contest
These headlines are all short in length, but more than clear in purpose. This tells the reader EXACTLY what they will be reading about.
5. Exposes some sort of secret
Everybody loves secrets. The word alone is enough to interest people in reading your material. Secrets are idea that have not been told to many people, if any at all. The mere idea of someone getting to learn information only a few others know may be just enough to peak their interest into reading what you have to say.
I can even say that sharing some sort of revelation, or breakthrough idea, you had would make for an interesting blog title. Everyone is looking to be a revolutionary and have a more unique blog, that the more breakthrough ideas you can share, the more interesting your posts (and headlines) will become.
- How making money blogging has been looked at the wrong way by thousands of bloggers
- The secrets to writing a review that makes you money
- 5 Dangerous Myths about making it big
- How I realized banner ads were harmful to my community
- Why the new Google Favicon gets more buzz than your blog
All of these headlines imply that there is information within the article they represent that you do not know about yet. These secretive headlines should be as user engaging as possible, by using pronouns such as “me” “I” “they” “we” “us” to make it more personal.
Yay or Nay?
I have shared with you five of the most common formulas I use for creating my blog headlines. Do you think you can use these as well as I can, or do you use other approaches?
I would love to hear if you guys have any common themes you use to come up with your blog headlines. After all, they can never be too good.