Headlines are my least favorite part of writing. It can be incredibly hard to come up with a good one that grabs the reader’s attention, gets them to click and read your beautiful posts, is short and to the point and maybe even has some kind of SEO advantage.
Heck, I didn’t even come up with this post’s headline–Lorraine did.
But even though they can be frustrating to write, headlines are one of the most important parts of writing. So here are a few hints, tips and tricks for writing blog post titles that’ll get your post read:
- Keep it short. Today, one of the best ways to promote your blog post is via social media where brevity is everything. If your headline is a bloated monster, it won’t fit into a tweet and isn’t easily shareable. But even more than that, readers have short attention spans. If you can’t tell me in a few words why I should read your blog post, how good can the main event be?
- Lists. Lots of social media expert types are rolling their eyes at this suggestion, but trust me, numbered list blog posts always perform well. People understand exactly what they’re getting, and know they’ll be getting it in short bites instead of huge text boxes. Are they a cliche? Maybe. But they’re cliches that get clicks.
- Negative. This goes against what a lot of people innately feel, but negativity rules in blog headlines. Go ahead, do some A-B testing with two blog titles. For instance, we could say “Do Your Blog Headlines Suck” vs. “Does Your Blog Headline Rule?” Same content. I’ll put folding money on the sucking headline getting more traffic. Why? It plays on people’s fear of failure or their interest in seeing other people’s failings. Failure is just more interesting than success.
- Be true to yourself. Since this blog has many different writers, you’ll notice very different headline styles. For instance, Lorraine loves to use metaphors and similes. I like dumb pop culture references and questions. Jenna tends to be very straightforward and descriptive. None of these are wrong, they’re just different. Don’t force yourself to conform to any one kind of headline. Write what makes sense for you and your brand, and the rest will fall into place.