‘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.’ ~David Ogilvy
Creating original content on your blog on a weekly basis is the only way to be effective on social media. This content gives you something of value to share with your followers. But once you’ve created the content, you have to write a title that works.
At Writers Write, we understand the importance of writing great headlines. If you don’t take time to learn this skill, you will not be able to increase your blog post views. If people don’t visit your blog, they will not be aware of how much you have to offer and your sales will suffer because of this.
Here are seven invaluable tips I’ve learnt from writing blog post titles:
1. Use adjectives and adverbs
Although we do not advise this when you are writing a novel, these words work for headlines. They add colour, create images, and impart a sense of urgency. They also tempt readers to click on your link.
2. Use numbers
This is the best advice I could ever give anyone. Include a number somewhere or begin your blog post title with one. Readers never get tired of it. It tells your followers exactly how much they have to read.
Examples: 21 Social Media Don’ts and 37 Ways To Write About Anger and 45 Ways To Avoid Using The Word ‘Very’
3. Use time
People like frameworks and deadlines. A ticking clock is one of the most effective storytelling devices and it works in headlines too. If you tell them how to do something in 10 minutes or 30 days, the task seems manageable.
Examples: How To Plot A Perfect Scene In 10 Minutes and How To Plan Your Blogging Week In Fewer Than 15 Minutes
4. Use ‘How to’, When to’, ‘What’ and ‘Why’
There is a reason that self-help books are popular. Most people want to learn how or when to do things, or they want to learn why something happens. These words are also frequently used in searches.
Examples: How To Write A One-Page Synopsis and When To Use ‘That’ And When To Use ‘Which’ and What Watching Disney (and Pixar) Taught Me About Storytelling
5. Make sure your title delivers
One of the reasons people never return to your blog is if your headline tells a lie. Unsatisfied readers will feel cheated and annoyed because they have taken the time to click on your link.
If you are going to promise 155 Words to Describe an Author’s Tone, you had better have 155 words that do just that. If you are going to promise Cheat Sheets For Writing Body Language, you must make sure that you deliver detailed examples that really will help them.
6. If you’re going to be cryptic, be clever
If you are going to catch someone’s attention with an intriguing title, make sure that it’s not too odd and that it has something to do with the post. If your headline is confusing or awkward, they won’t continue reading. If you are not too clever, it can be effective.
Examples: The Locked Room – A Simple Way To Test Your Plot and Keeping Up Appearances – 4 Ways To Dress Your Characters
7. Ask questions
Ask questions that may be of interest to your followers. Every blog on this site is about reading or writing, so we know that our questions will have to be about these topics.
Examples: Is Genre A Straitjacket? and Heroes And Anti-Heroes – What’s The Difference?
Exceptions To This Rule
Sometimes, there is no formula and you may want to keep your title short and focused. If your title conveys your meaning in the shortest possible space, it is an effective title. You could use this type of title when you are being more matter of fact.
Examples: The Myth Of Writer’s Block and The Importance Of Inciting Moments
You can mix these tips up and use more than one of them in your titles. Many of the examples use three of more in one title. Take time on your headlines to make an impact on the web.
Free to use
Use the Co-Schedule Headline Analyser to test your headline.