First impressions matter! The title of your blog post is extremely important because it is the first thing that a reader sees. Blog readers generally pay attention to the title and the first two paragraphs of any given post, and then decide whether to read the rest. Often people will see the blog post title on social media or in an RSS reader and will base their decision to click solely on that.
There are three elements that make a good title:
- Simple description of the article
- Creative hook to grab the reader’s attention
- Use of your main keyword or phrase (this helps with SEO)
Ways to Write a Headline that ‘Hooks’:
1. Ask a question
- Start your title with “who,” “what,” “why” or “how” (sometimes “where”) to peak interest.
- Ex. What Is HootSuite & Why Should I Give a Hoot?
2. Use a formula
- Use the formula “X Ways/Reasons to/why ____ in/for ____ “.
- I know it doesn’t seem overly creative, but it works!
- Ex. 4 Ways to WOW Your Audience with Your Marketing
3. Create curiousity
- Add qualifiers, like “excellent” or “surprising” — this adds more allure, creates more interest, and allows you to show your individual voice.
- Ex. Surprising Results on Social Sharing Techniques [Infographic]
4. Show your knowledge
- Demonstrate knowledge by writing a “how to” post.
- Ex. How to Generate Blog Ideas – 3 Tricks to Get You Blogging
5. Add an element of surprise
- Use words that create shock and wonder, such as “secrets”, “reveal”, “unveiled”, “beware”, “caution”.
- Ex. Secret Revealed! What Percent of Marketing Should Go to Social Media?
6. Use numbers
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- Include numbers in your headline, such as “x” ways/reasons/tools/steps or a top “10” list.
- Ex. 10 Reasons To Use Top Ten Lists in Your Blog Posts
Make sure the title matches the body content. Don’t use a humorous title if the post isn’t funny or snarky. Above all, be authentic and stay true to your voice. Write posts and titles that reflect your personality and your company brand. Not only will the writing flow better, but it will appear genuine to your audience.
What other tips would you add to the list? What gets you clicking? Share in the comments!