How hard can it be to write a blog headline? Writing a title for your blog post isn’t too difficult, but writing a high converting blog headline is a challenge!
Your blog post title can either drive a lot of traffic or not. Catchy headlines are the most important element of any marketing content.
It’s where you capture a reader’s attention. For example, if you blog post appears on the first page of Google search, is it compelling enough for someone to click it? Or, will they click the next blog headline in the list because it’s more compelling?
If your blog titles are boring or don’t convey the information to the reader, you won’t get much traffic to your blog.
David Ogilvy (the father of advertising) said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
This article will help you with understanding headline writing, examples of good headlines and some free tools to help you create titles that will compel people to click.
What is Headline Writing?
Headline writing is a way to get people to read your blog post. Catchy blog titles are what helps separate your article from all the others. When people perform a Google search or if you post your article in social media, does your headline make an impression on your potential reader?
People will either keep scrolling or pause when they see your blog headline. If you write an amazing blog post and a terrible headline, you won’t make a very good impression because the user’s attention will go another more interesting headline.
Are you posting in social media and not getting much traffic? Writing better headlines are the key to getting those clicks in social media.
According to Russ Henneberry of Digital Marketer, “A headline is a clear, tightly written promise that is made with enough words to make a promise, but no more words than necessary.”
The headline writing tips I’ve included here will help you create headlines that cause a person to pause when they read yours, compelling them to click and read your post.
What are some Catchy Article Title Examples?
Catchy headlines are created to grab your attention. If you spend all that time writing a blog post, give the headline the same amount of attention. Here are example of catchy titles for articles that work using three different headline types.
What are List Post Headlines?
List post headlines provide enough curiousity to your audience to get them to click for more information. You’ve seen these many times. Headlines that list a number of things like reasons, methods, types, and such work well because because they are usually brief descriptions that a reader can get through quickly.
List posts also help a reader navigate your article more effectively or skim through the items easily and read only the details that interest them. In fact, check out this recent data from OkDork. List posts and infographics receive more average shares than other content types.
Average shares by content type from OkDork.com:
Here are list headline examples:
- 7 Proven Ways to Writing Great Headlines for Your Blog
- The 6 Biggest Blog Traffic Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid
You can also build blog authority with list post headlines by sharing your expertise about a particular topic.
What are “How to” Headlines?
How to headlines are a great way to get more click to your blog posts. They work well because they give a reader information about how to do something. Most people are looking for information about how to do something and you can provide content that helps them do that.
These “how to” posts are not necessarily the type of content that will convert a reader into a buyer but they will surely come back for more or join your subscriber list because you established yourself as a source of useful content. Be very specific with the “how to” in your blog headline so users will know exactly what information they can expect.
Here are “how to” headline examples:
- How to Turn 1 Idea Into 2 Months of Content Marketing (and More) (Content Marketing Institute)
- How to Write the Highest-Performing AdWords Ads, Ever (Unbounce)
What are Question Headlines?
You can involve your reader by asking a question as your headline. Your headline question should make sense and be congruent with the content presented in your article.
You can ask the question in such a way that a person thinks, “yes that’s me, I want to read more about this.” Stay away from obvious questions that are plastered all over the Internet. Those are boring and won’t catch anyone’s attention. For example, “How old is the President?” See, how boring it is?
You want to answer a very specific question that your headline addresses. But… make sure your headline question passes the Betteridge’s law. Basically the law states that any headline ending in a question mark can be answered with the word no. You don’t want to include those type of questions.
Check out these GREAT Betteridge question headlines!
4 Ways to Write Better Headlines
Writing compelling headlines will make all the difference as to whether your blog post gets read or not. Here are four best practices to use every time.
1 – Make Your Blog Headline Clear
Is your blog title clearly understood by the reader? This is the most important aspect of a great headline.
For example, if your blog post title is something like, “Blog Title Ideas”, it may not get a lot of attention.
But when the same article is titled with, “5 Tips To Writing Irresistibly Clickable Blog Titles”, you’ll get more traffic because the title clearly indicates exactly what the reader can expect.
The first title in the example is too ambiguous and doesn’t provide a clear message. Be very specific with your titles for clarity.
The most important thing to remember is that people are searching for answers in search engines. The less they have to figure out when reading headlines, the better.
Keeping your headlines clear and specific is your best tip to writing better titles.
2 – Use Headlines and Sub-headlines
Sub-headlines are just as important as a headline. You create a kick-ass title to get a prospect to click to read your article. But your subheadings will keep them reading the entire article.
Sub-headlines also break up the article into digestible sections to make it easier for a person to read and understand.
In addition, using subheadings gives Google more elements to index in your blog post.
An informative sub-head should boost the clarity the reader gets from the headline.
The sub-headings can be used to reaffirm why your reader has landed on your in the first place.
3 – The Best Headlines Include Numbers
Do you use numbers in your blog headlines? There is a lot of research with documented proof that people tend to click headlines that include a number rather than one that does not.
Numbers give more certainty and subconsciously tell the reader that the information they are about to read is based on fact.
In a recent study conducted by Moz and Conductor, they analyzed a large set of titles across publication sites and social networks to find out which type of headlines are most preferred.
Check out the most popular type of headlines! Numbers!
If someone is looking for a solution online, numbers become more attractive than words.
You can use all types of numbers in your blog headlines. For example:
Top 5 Ways to Lose Weight Fast
Apply These 7 Secret Techniques to Improve Blog Headlines
Including numbers in your headline is a great way to capture the attention of your readers. Be sure that your subheadings support the focus of your blog headlines.
Generally, the number will be in the main headline rather than the sub-head. But the information in the sub-head should support whatever number you include in the headline.
4 – Use Tools to Create Great Headlines
How many times have you sat in front of your computer trying to think up a clever headline? You don’t have to!
In addition to the aforementioned tips, you can make use of some great tools to get ideas and analyze how compelling your headline is.
Blog Headline Generator
Have you ever used a blog headline generator? They are fun and will give you hundreds of title ideas based on the focus information your provide.
Here are my favorite headline generators that I use on a regular basis to get ideas:
Head over to this free headline generator and enter your topic. Then just click Go and an incredible list of ideas will appear.
You’ll get results that include headline in the categories of:
- How To
It’s fun way to get blog headlines and get your creative juices flowing!
This paid-for headline generator does a great job of giving you hundred of titles in various categories. You download Fresh Title to your computer and it works on PC or Apple operating systems.
After you generate a headline, how do you really know if it’s compelling or not? That’s easy! Just head over to the headline analyzer!
CoSchedule has the best free analyzer I ever used. In addition to the analysis, CoSchedule also provides you with a wealth of information about the various elements of your title and how to improve them.
You get a score that is broken down into four areas, each with an explanation. The higher the score, the better your headline. When your score is 70 and above, the color is green. If you get a low score, the color is red which means it’s not good at all.
Head over to CoSchedule and have fun with it. Let me know how you like it!
Final Thoughts on Writing Great Blog Headlines
Writing great headlines for blog posts takes skill and a little help from a few resources. You have a much better chance of converting when you take the time to do it the right way.
Successful marketers understand what works and what doesn’t, so they gravitate toward the tried and true in order to maximize their results.
If you keep your headlines clear and to the point, include sub-headlines that support the primary point of the main headline, and include numbers to give your headline substance and authority, you can exponentially increase your conversion rates regardless of what type of marketing document you are using.
Today I’ve given you 4 ways that you improve your blog headlines. Which of these resonate with you and what other recommendations do you have? Tell us in the comments!
Great article! I do agree that blog headlines are important for driving traffic to your blog. In fact, just taking a look at the most successful blogs and you will find that those headlines are really great. Your 4 tips were very useful. Another tip that I would add is to include relevant keywords without making it boring. This is great for Google search which will make your article more easily found in online searches.
Lisa J. says
Thanks so much for your comment! Right…so many amazing headlines from successful bloggers!
Great tips about making sure to includes those keywords.
Have an amazing weekend!
Richard Petrillo says
Thanks for the tips & tools for writing great blog headlines. I just purchased Fresh Title and can’t wait to get started with it. They had a bonus offer included called Title Analyzer which looks cool too.
In the past I’ve used a couple free tools that have been helpful but nothing as powerful as Fresh Title appears to offer. Thanks again for the info, I’ll have to stop back by and let you know what I think.
Lisa J. says
Hey Richard! Thanks for dropping by.
So excited that you got Fresh Title! I am loving it and it’s really helped me come up with clever titles that I could never think of on my own.
Definitely let me know what you think.
Have a great week.
Great article! I will keep all this in mind when I’m thinking of headlines for my blog posts!
Lisa J. says
Thanks! Glad you found it helpful. Creating headlines can be fun and creative!
Great article and very helpful, thank you very much! 🙂
Lisa J. says
You are welcome! Thanks for stopping by.
Yes! Great ideas! Many thanks for these!
Lisa J. says
My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by!
Good ideas. Titles do matter if you want people to click through (so does content if you want them to stay). It’s a shame we can’t just write!
Jennifer Dawn says
Some really great advice here ! Titles are watch initially catch someone’s attention and great content keeps them there!
daneen rogers says
Great advice with lots of useful info….pinning to my blog board, need to re-read later 🙂
Helpful information! I found the title analyzer tools really help. They give great ideas for titles and subtitles.
Sylvia Lance says
Great information! I am a newbie and found your post very informative! Thanks
Quite informative and relevant. I discovered some new free tools I didn’t know about which would be quite helpful. Thanks for sharing!