While this is generally a health and fitness blog, sometimes I just feel like writing a good old-fashioned 'tips for bloggers' post about useful things I've picked up along my blogging journey. Today is one of those days, so I've decided to share with you how to write post titles that really pack a punch.
You may not realise it, but the title is one of the most important parts of your blog post. It's the first thing people see and will either lure them in to read the rest of the post, scroll straight through or click away without reading at all. On social media sites such as Twitter, a title and a picture are all you have to convince your followers to click on the link to your post - so they need to have an impact. You could spend all day writing an amazing blog post with beautiful pictures, and people who would otherwise have loved your post may not even bother reading it if they think the title sounds too boring.
The main things you want your title to do are:
- Arouse the reader's interest
- Tell your reader what the post is about
- Set the tone for the rest of the post.
But how do you write a good blog post title? Read on to find out...
1. Make it actionable.
'How to' titles are well-liked because they promise to teach the reader how to do something useful or something they've always wished they could do. Promise them something that will make their lives better, or at least a little easier.
2. Use a number.
People love a good list post (me especially) so titles like "10 Ways to Write Amazing Content" and "33 Unique Blog Post Ideas" are always popular. Random numbers often do well (why would someone write 33 tips? I did).
3. Ask a question.
Use the title to ask the reader a question that you're going to answer in the post. Preferably you won't answer the question completely until the last paragraph - this will keep people reading the whole post until they are satisfied that they got what they came for.
4. Try using negative language.
For some reason, this can be more effective than positive language. A post entitled "10 Types of Blog Posts People Hate" would definitely catch my attention.
5. Experiment with alliteration.
This creates a pleasant, musical effect that enhances the pleasure of reading and makes the text easier to remember. A lot of companies use alliteration in their names: think Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme and Coca-Cola. It's a fun tool for a writer to play with.
6. Keep it short and catchy.
Around eight words is the optimum amount. Any longer than 12 and it will become too long and complicated (or boring). Keeping your title under 70 characters means it won't get cut off in Google's search results.
7. Use humour.
Funny titles promise the reader a good experience if they read your post - they're going to be entertained for a few minutes. If you're naturally funny, allow this to shine through in your blog posts and titles.
8. Include relevant keywords.
Write for your audience, not for search engines, but do include a couple of words people will be searching for (in this case, 'blog post titles' is more relevant than just 'titles' or 'article titles'). People also love words like quick, easy and free. "A Quick Guide to Writing Amazing Blog Titles" and "Five Free Blogging Workshops in London" are both good examples.
9. Exaggerate a little bit.
A post entitled "How to Write Good Blog Post Titles" might receive a few clicks but "How to Write Killer Blog Post Titles" will receive many more. However, be careful not to use clickbaity titles (only Buzzfeed can get away with that). This will disappoint people when they don't get the post they were hoping for and they'll lose trust in you and stop reading your stuff.
I hope this post has given you a few ideas on how to improve your titles. I really enjoy writing blogging tips posts so let me know if this is something you'd like to see more of!
What are your top tips for writing killer blog post titles?