How to write better blog headlines

Writer thinking of blog headlinesWriting a great headline takes time – but when it comes to blog writing, this is absolutely essential. After all, if the headline isn’t compelling enough to make someone click on it, the rest of your blog post is redundant. Taking the time to refine your headline can make the difference between a successful blog post that is widely read and shared, and one that is largely ignored.

Create intrigue

Think of your headline as an advert for your content. It should pique someone’s interest enough that they want to carry on reading.

Be careful of going too far – the competition to get clicks online is high so some sites resort to headlines that border on the ridiculous. A headline that starts ‘You’ll never believe…’ or similar will just make your blog look spammy.

Be accurate and specific

Although your blog headline should be intriguing, it should also accurately reflect the content of the post. Inferring something in your headline that’s not really referenced in your blog post will frustrate readers that click through and make them less likely to read your blog in future.

You should also be as specific as possible with your title – there is so much content on the internet now that vague or general content gets lost in the noise. Be clear exactly what your blog is about.

Highlight the benefit for the reader

Always keep your target audience in mind when writing your title. Here are some questions to consider that will help you write blog headlines that resonate with your intended audience:

  • What will the reader get from your blog and why they should be interested?
  • What are they likely to be searching for in search engines and can you work these queries into your blog headlines?*
  • What sort of language do your readers use and how can you reflect this in your headlines?

*Note that search engine queries should not usually be copied verbatim into your blog headlines, unless they happen to work really well as titles. A query like “Blog writing advice for headlines” would not make a snappy title. On the other hand, “How can I improve my blog headlines?” might be suitable.

Write more than one headline

There’s more than one way to say the same thing and it can take time to find the version that’s most effective – try writing 10 different headlines for each blog post to help you pick the best. For example, here are five different ways I could have titled this blog post.

  • A guide to writing better blog headlines
  • Four ways to improve your blog titles
  • Blog writing tips: Improving your headlines
  • Top tips for writing blog titles
  • How to find the best title for your blog post

I chose ‘How to write better blog headlines’ because of all the possible options, this one was the best and most concise match for the content: after all, this is a ‘how to’ piece discussing the subject of writing blog headlines!

Struggling for inspiration?

One way to improve your headlines is to browse Twitter and note the titles you are inclined to click on. Look for patterns in the titles that you like and use these as a starting point for your own blog headlines.

The final test – would you click through?

You’ve tweaked and rewritten your headline but you’re not sure if it packs enough punch. A great litmus test for your blog headline is to consider whether it leaves you wanting to know more about the subject. If you saw your headline on Twitter or in a list of search results, would you click through to read the full article? If the answer is yes, your blog headline is ready to go!

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