Five tips for writing eye-grabbingly successful blog titles
Leaning back in your chair with a sigh of relief, you’ve just finished writing your latest blog. You’ve read it through, checked it for typos, and even got a colleague to give it a final check. You know it’s a good one! But how’s the headline? Is it catchy and attention-grabbing enough to make sure it’ll be read, shared and acted upon by your target audience?
When it comes to writing winning headlines – whether for blogs, emails, newsletters or magazines – it can be harder than writing the copy itself. More so for anything to be shared on the web, as there are additional things to consider.
With magazine or newsletter headlines, for instance, the reader is already there. They’ve picked it up to read and were probably equally attracted by the pictures and design of the piece, so you can afford to be more creative with the title.
But blog titles need to really grab the attention of your prospective customers! Not only do they have to be catchy and make them want to read more – in other words, engaging and sexy – but you also need to think about SEO and keywords. That’s where having a few simple rules to stick to will help.
Have a list of topics to write about. I discuss this in my blog How to write brilliant blogs … when you’d rather stick a pencil in your eye! You can then break down your topic list into working titles. For instance, if your topic is photography, working titles could include: ‘How to Get the Lighting Right for Portrait Photography’, or ‘Six Essential Tips for Photographing Landscapes’. In fact, ‘lighting’ could be a topic all of its own to be broken down into even more blogs!
Make sure your title is relevant to what you’ve written. Being on the web, your audience will only have the headline in a search result to go by. If their expectation is shattered when they click through to your website, you’ll lose your readers. For instance, writing a blog title that says: '10 Tips to Get Rich Quick!' and your blog is about selling them something, they are unlikely to visit your website again.
Keep it short! The optimum blog title length is around 70 characters or less. Why? Because when people are searching for what they want, this is the number of characters that show in the search results. From that, you can easily write anything from a four or five word title, to a twelve word one. I recently heard that the optimum length that's shared on Twitter is between 8-12 words long. Who knew? … Well, we do, now!
Use a keyword to help SEO. But only one! Your title needs to engage, so make it sexy too. It can be hard to think about optimisation as well as creativity. The best way is to focus on the keywords that you know your target audience will be searching for. Talk in their language, make it fun, occasionally use alliteration, and don’t be scared to use strong language. No, I don’t mean swear words necessarily! Words like ‘mind-blowing’, ‘brilliant’, ‘awesome’. But not too much as they can be overdone, which negates the impact.
Numerical lists, ‘How to…’ and ‘...who…’ titles are often most successful. For instance:
How to _____ in # simple steps
# key benefits of _____
A complete guide to _____
The _____ who succeeded at _____ by _____
# secrets to ____
If you would like some help with your blog writing, then give me a shout. Drop me an email or give me a call on +7799 648321. Or check out my website for further information on me and my copywriting service.