Your headline may not be the first thing you consider when you sit down to write for your blog, but creating a catchy title is one of the most important aspects of each blog post. Did you know that 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will actually read your entire post? Your headline is the gateway to your content; it convinces people to walk through the gate or pass right by. Here are some pointers for drawing in potential readers.
WRITE YOUR HEADLINE FIRST
It's helpful to have a goal in mind as you're writing your post. Creating your headline first helps you set that goal and maintain your focus; it gives you a reference point and a purpose to work toward.
MAKE A PROMISE
Think of headlines as promises; they're meant to draw in prospective readers so that they can access information that is of some benefit to them, whether it's entertaining, instructional, helpful, or insightful. Catchy headlines allow you to deliver on a promise and impress your readers. If your content delivers on a promise in your headline, you'll create loyal readers out of casual browsers.
KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE IN MIND
Always consider who you're writing for and who you're trying to appeal to when you're coming up with a catchy headline. Which keywords and phrases will jump out at them? What are they looking for? What are they interested in? This goes hand-in-hand with the content that you're creating, but think of topics that will benefit your audience and draw them in.
USE UNEXPECTED WORDS
Catchy headlines jump out at readers because they often use unexpected words. Looking up synonyms for common words can be the best way to come up with eye-catching words. For example, "effortless" is more appealing than "easy."
Once you've settled on a catchy headline that makes a promise and appeals to your audience, focus on strong subheadlines to outline your post and break it up into smaller sections. Readers often scan blog posts, so subheadlines allow them to easily follow along and access the information that they're most interested in. This keeps readers engaged and on your site longer, which increases the probability that they'll continue to follow along or purchase your products and/or services.
6 SIMPLE HEADLINE IDEAS
In an ideal world, every headline idea would be completely original and amazing. But in reality, everyone experiences creative droughts from time to time. Here are 6 consistently popular headline templates that can easily be altered to suit your posts and appeal to your audience.
1. HOW TO [DESIRED RESULT]
Guide posts are consistently popular because people desire instant gratification; they want to learn something valuable in a short amount of time. These headlines appeal to those who want a quick fix.
- How to Make a Million Dollars
- How to Boost Your Productivity
- How to Create a Fortune 500 Company
2. [NUMBER] REASONS _________
Readers love a good list, and the longer the list is, the better. If you're willing to put in the time to create a longer list that your readers can benefit from, it will pay dividends. 50 No-Fluff Bog Post Ideascontinues to be an Elle & Company reader favorite!
- 50 Reasons You Should Quit Your Job
- 10 Reasons to Buy a House
- 75 Reasons Why Driving a '94 Honda Accord is Awesome
3. WHAT EVERY _____ SHOULD KNOW ABOUT _____
This catchy headline identifies a specific group of people and draws their attention to a topic that's relevant to them.
- What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Adobe Illustrator
- What Every Body Builder Should Know About Chocolate
- What Every Bachelor Should Know About Cleanliness
4. WHY _____ IS _____
Readers also love an explanation and a different perspective, and this type of headline gives them just that.
- Why Blogging is Great for Business
- Why My Dad is Cooler than Yours
- Why Your Car isn't as Awesome as My '94 Accord
5. [NUMBER] WAYS TO AVOID _____
This headline is a negative spin on #2. And although no one likes a negative Nancy, especially on a blog, many psychological studies have proved that negativity can be a powerful tool. In fact, most people remember negative things more than positive - it's called negativity bias, and you can appeal to it by helping people avoid something negative.
- 5 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Debt
- 25 Ways to Avoid Getting the Stomach Flu
- 7 Ways to Avoid Looking Like an Idiot on Your First Date
6. MY [ADJECTIVE] METHOD FOR _____
If you've discovered something helpful, people will want to hear about it; we all love learning how others have achieved success, lost 50 pounds, or have become debt-free. Think about your accomplishments and form them into blog posts that give away your secrets.
- My Simple Method for Gaining Blog Traffic
- My Secret Method for Building a Successful Business
- My Strange Method for Marathon Training