One of the very things I struggle with is one of the most important pieces of your blog - the blog post title. You have a very small window of opportunity (we're talking seconds here) to grab the reader's attention. This means you have to create titles that catch the reader's attention and make them want to know more so they'll read the content. Let me be blunt - if you have a sucky title it doesn't matter how awesome the text in your post is, most people won't take the time to read it...well unless your mom or best friend reads your blog, they probably don't care how crummy the title is ;-)
Not only is a good title important so you capture the interest of a reader, if you want search engine traffic a good title is also important. Using the right keywords in your title will help ensure your content gets ranked in the search engines. More about this a little later.
Alright, now let's get into the meat of this:
How do you write attention grabbing blog post titles?
One of the first recommendations I have, which doesn't always work for me - sometimes I do this last, is to start with a title and then create the text of your post. Remember, this is just a working title so you have an idea of what the content is going to be about. You'll finalize the title once you follow these tips suggested below.
Make it Interesting but Don't Exaggerate
The worst thing you can do when it comes to writing an attention grabbing title is to exaggerate or hype things up too much. Don't over exaggerate or hype things up too much just to make the title catchy. Sure, that might ensure you get some extra click-throughs but you'll end up losing credibility which is what we don't want. You may have seen some titles like this before on social media where a title piques your interest so you click through only to be disappointed because the content had nothing to do with the title.
Instead, make it interesting without the exaggeration or hype. One of the best ways, I know, to do this is to think about it from your readers point of view.
Keep It Short and Engaging
It isn't always easy to keep a title short but shorter is better. Short and sweet as I like to say. Try to be as to the point as possible with as few words as possible. Again, this isn't always easy but best if you can make it happen. Ask a question, use numbers (example: 7 best tips for...) or make a thought provoking statement.
Something I've been doing for awhile and recommend to my clients is to create a swipe file. Anytime you see a title that grabs your attention, copy it down into this swipe file. See if there's a way you could tweak them and use them for your own needs.
Work In Your Keywords
And last but certainly not least, let's talk keywords in your title. I always do this last and honestly, sometimes I don't even worry about it. Instead, it's more important to me that I provide quality, helpful content for my readers. But when I do use keywords in my title it's the very last thing I even think about. Ranking well for something your readers don’t want to read or don’t want to click on doesn’t do you much good. Focus on your audience and then optimize for search as an afterthought and you’ll do well.
Now that you have these tips to help write attention grabbing blog post titles, start paying attention to what's working and what isn't. Each market, blog, and readership is different - what works for one, won't work for another. Use these tips as guidelines to help you find your own style that resonates well with your audience and gets you the results you want.
This is part 1 of a 10 part series on how to write a good blog post that engages people.
- Part 1 - How To Write Attention Grabbing Blog Post Titles (this post)
- Part 2 - How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?
- Part 3 - Why Breaking Up Your Content Into Skimmable Sections Is Important
- Part 4 – Why you should include Images in Blog Posts
- Part 5 – How To Get Your Blog Posts Shared Socially
- Part 6 – Engage Your Readers And Encourage Interaction
- Part 7 – What’s the Goal of Your Blog Post?
- Part 8 – How to Create a Good Blog Post Call to Action
- Part 9 – How to Monetize Your Blog Post
- Part 10 – Why You Need A Mailing List