You sit and look at your fully completed blog post – finally done!
“Not bad,” you think to yourself, and then you look at your blog title. You have no idea if it’s good or not.
But you gloss over the thought and move your mouse pointer, “click.” You’ve published your article and celebrate.
…What’s the issue here?
The blog title. You didn’t rewrite it or even double check it – and that’s a problem.
Why is that? Why don’t we let pro blogger Brian Clark tell you why:
“On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.”
…Starting to think twice about skimping on the headline editing now?
Well, no need to worry, because I’ll show you how to not only check your blog title correctly, but bring it to the next level as well.
The unknown power of great blog titles
By the time you’ve completed writing your blog post, the last thing you want to do is edit it, am I right?
It happens to everybody.
You’re tired of writing and just want to be done with it. So you read over your blog post and look only for glaring mistakes. If the blog post passes that test, it’s scheduled for publishing.
I don’t need to tell you that this isn’t enough editing, especially when it comes to headlines. But why do we do this? Why do YOU do this?
Well, it’s like I said – at that point you’re just tired of writing. But more importantly, you’re unaware of the power of creating great blog titles.
How powerful is a well-crafted blog title? The editor-in-chief over at pickthebrain.com once wrote a post that only got her a measly 100 visitors. But with a little inspiration, she decided to revamp the title and resubmit it to social media once again.
The result? Nearly 5,000 visitors to her blog.
Not too shabby, right?
Learn to use smart blog titles
If you want to make click-worthy blog titles as well as she did, you’ve got learn what the best tips are and – just as importantly – integrate them into your writing/editing process.
After all, any knowledge you don’t use is dead weight.
So take a look at these 5 tips and start integrating them into your headline writing process. Afterwards, you might pull 5,000 visitors to your blog as well.
1. Consider your audience
First thing to consider when writing anything is this – who is your audience?
Why? Because different people respond to different things.
For instance, a very “hypey” headline like “6 Fantabulous Ways to Budget Your Life-savings Better than How Justin Beiber Sings” is not going to appeal to people who are serious about finances (e.g. accountants).
For those people, a more formal blog title like “6 simple and time-saving methods to budget your life-savings” will be more appealing.
It might be in your best interests to make a buyer persona so you can refer to it whenever you’re writing. That way you always remember who you’re trying to attract with your headlines.
2. Remember your SEO
Most blog titles require two things:
- Implementation of SEO keywords
- Use of time-tested headline structures (see next tip for more info on this)
Typically you’ll just end up adding your SEO keyword into the blog title, it’s what the blog post is about, after all.
But just in case, just remember that your headline is an important place to add your SEO keyword. It’s also given more weight when it’s added to beginning of the headline, as opposed to near the end.
- Just okay – The 5 Best and Healthiest Brands of Dog Food for Your Dog
- Slightly better – Dog Food: The 5 Best and Healthiest Brands for Your Dog
It’s not completely necessary to place it at the front like that, but if your blog title sounds good either way, might as well go with the way that strengthens SEO.
3. Use time-proven headline structures
The truth about writing great headlines is that you’re just reinventing the ones that are already popular.
Think about it, how many list posts have you seen online?
- 5 ways to read faster
- 10 methods for shorter mile-runs
- 20 marketing books you need to read
They’re everywhere, and for good reason – they work. They work VERY well.
But here’s a shortcut for you, just download Jon Morrow’s “Headline Hacks” and use those for reference. All you’ve got to do is integrate your topics into one of the headlines he’s got, and you’ll be good to go.
- Topics – saving money, raising children, productivity.
- Headline – How to (something).
Now just plug it in:
- How to save money for a better vacation
- How to raise well-behaved children you can rely on
- How to be more productive and get more done
After doing this enough times, it’ll just sink in. Then you’ll be able to bang out several potential headlines in no time.
4. Spice it up with adjectives
Adjectives are great for jazzing up any blog titles you may think of, and it’s pretty easy to do.
All you’ve got to do is pick a word that describes your content, for example:
- “5 ways to build your blog audience.”
And with an adjective:
- “5 easy ways to build your blog audience.”
- “5 smart ways to build your blog audience.”
- “5 quick ways to build your blog audience.”
See, adjectives make the article both more specific and better sounding. Just keep in mind that you need to deliver on what your blog title promises. So if the blog title says it has “easy” tips to use, make sure they really are easy. Or if it says “quick” tips, make sure they’re actually quick to implement.
5. Add a benefit
One of the best ways to improve a blog title is by adding a benefit.
A benefit tells a reader what they’ll be getting out of reading an article, and let’s be honest – the main reason people do anything in life is to reap a benefit in someway. It’s not a slight on humanity though, it’s simply the way we are.
But why not take advantage of that fact?
- “5 ways to work smarter.”
An okay headline, sure. But working smarter? Why? To what end? There needs to be some benefit to working smarter or what’s the point in doing it?
But what about this:
- “5 ways to work smarter so you can get out of the office 1 hour earlier.”
Now there’s a reason to work smarter, am I right?
The key to a great benefit is that it aligns with your audiences needs and desires. It’s got to really click with them, and intrigue them as well. For instance, that last headline example wouldn’t click with, say, a teenage girl.
But it’d definitely click with an office-worker.
Based on this, I think we can boil down a good benefit to two things:
Make sure the benefit’s relevant to the interests of your audience. Secondly, make sure it’s of high enough value, it’s got to be so worth it that they take time out their day to click on your headline to learn more.
Over to you
What are your best headline writing tips? Leave a comment with your response because I’d love to improve my headline writing skills as well.