The Elusive Art of Writing a Blog Title: 5 Tips to Entice Readers

TypewriterIf you’re a blog writer, or even someone who’s considering blogging and content marketing for their business, you already know that blogs are a great way to increase website traffic, generate leads and introduce yourself to potential customers. With so much riding on blog posts, it is essential that they have good titles. Compared to how must time they spend writing the whole post, some blog writers spend very little time on its title. This can be a good thing if your post took two and a half hours to write while your title took thirty minutes to craft, but a bad thing if your title took you just a minute.

Think about it. Your title is the first thing that any potential reader sees. If it isn’t engaging and interesting, regardless of how amazing your blog post is, no one will read it. Here are a few ways in which you can craft an amazing blog title.

Make it Interesting

Readers will usually read your blog if there is some benefit to doing so. Your blog title needs to communicate that benefit as quickly and as clearly as possible to draw potential readers. What are these benefits? Well, they can be a number of things

  • Offer Solutions: If your blog title offers a solution to a problem that a reader may have, they are more likely to read it. For example, “How to Revitalize your Blog—A 4 Step Solution” is more likely to draw clicks than “4 Good Blogging Practices”.
  • Invite Engagement: your blog post should certainly have a call to action in it, but so can your blog title. A post titled “Read This to Revitalize your Blog—A 4 Step Solution” is likely to do better than the title mentioned above.
  • Pose a question: Use a question that your readers would want an answer to because that encourages them to click on the link to find out. Asking questions might be the oldest trick in the book to arouse curiosity, but it is one for a reason—it works, every time. A good example to workshop the title in the two previous example would then be this: “Do You Want To Revitalize Your Blog? Find Out How in 4 Steps!”

Make it Alluring

Language is your friend while crafting blog titles, and always try to use language to your advantage. When writing a blog title strive to have one word in there that packs a solid punch and reels the reader in. This could be a word that is an excellent adjective, a word that incites controversy or debate, or a word that hints at something mysterious.

Want to see how this works? Let’s workshop this title — 4 Tips for Home Gardeners — to see how much it improves when we insert an alluring word into the title.

Adding an adjective: “4 Game-Changing Tips for Home Gardeners” already makes this title seem more interesting, and draws readers in.

Inciting controversy also works; “Fertilizers Kill: 4 Tips for Home Gardeners to Avoid This Deadly Mistake”. While inciting controversy certainly makes your title clickable, try and use it sparingly. Though the title above is intriguing, it ought to be used only if there is indeed a controversy around the use of fertilizers.
Word of caution: If you use too many of these titles, your readers will stop responding.

Adding Mystery helps as well, for example, “The 1000 Year Old Rainforest Secret – Tips for Home Gardeners” is a good title because it offers a mysterious secret that invites people to click on the title. Again, make sure you never oversell your blog by overusing this type of title, but certainly use it when it fits the context.

Straight Talk, Never Oversell

Never oversell your blog post in your title – this piece of advice applies especially to the use of controversial and mysterious titles, so read closely. You may be able to produce a title that is “clickbait”, a title so amazing that everyone clicks on it, but it won’t help unless you have the content to back it up. Maintaining credibility is absolutely essential in the blogging and content marketing business, it takes years to build and only seconds to lose. If you start to gain a reputation as a blogger with more flash than substance, or bombastic titles but staid content, it can take years to undo it.

If your blog doesn’t, for example, offer a “1000 Year Old Rainforest Secret”, then don’t tell your readers that it does. A compelling blog title can be constructed around what is already present within your post, and you should never oversell your post or mislead your readers with your title. Remember, though it’s okay if your title doesn’t live up to your content (okay, although it ought to), it’s never fine for you content to not live up to your title.

Optimize for SEO, and do it the right way

Most content marketing strategies suggest blogs because they’re a great way to utilize SEO to get your site up there in search rankings. While your content should always be optimized for SEO, your title should always try to be (which means that it’s okay to not be) SEO optimized on the rare occasion when your keyword just doesn’t work with your title.

According to research performed by the folks over at the Content Management Institute blog titles with keywords generally generate more hits than blog titles without. They also found that placing the keyword(s) in the first three words of the title works better than placing it at the end. For example, if “Nashville Organic Store” is your key phrase, then it’s better placed in the title “Nashville Organic Stores: Tennysons, the Bad, and the Ugly” than in the title “Local, Sustainable Produce at Tennyson’s, Best Nashville Organic Store”. You get the idea.

If you don’t know which keywords to use (and you should for your blog content), there are a couple of good keyword finders online.

If Your Blog Title is Anything Like This Section Title, It’s Definitely Way Too Long.
Short Not Good Either.

You know this one. The best titles are usually 6-8 words. Now, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, you have some leeway, but just look at how the first title gives you too much information while the second one doesn’t give you enough. Readers need just enough information to hook them into reading the blog, not more, not less.
Blog titles are very important, and can actually be fun to craft. Spend some time figuring out good titles for each of your posts. If you’re using a blog writing service, there should be little to worry. Just ensure that your blog writer is crafting good titles for your posts. Writing an awesome blog title will not only increase the overall quality of your posts but will also drive more traffic to your blog.

Happy Titling!

Image Source: Freepik