Every blogger wants a wider audience, and most will look at the really successful business blogs and ask the question, “What do they have that I don’t have?”
Nine times out of 10, the answer is: Better, catchier blog post titles. You may have the most insightful blog in the world, but no one will take the time to read it if you don’t reel them in with a great title.
But how do you write a title that begs the reader to read your content and intrigues them enough to click on your link? In other words, how do you craft irresistible blog post titles that sell?
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to grab your readers’ attention. You don’t have to hit all these high notes in the same headline, just be aware of the basics of persuasive writing.
Give Your Blog Post Titles Some Pizzazz
If you’re not sure what pizzazz means, look it up, and then keep the dictionary/thesaurus tab open on your desktop until you’re done. Any writer who doesn’t keep a dictionary close at hand when working is just a seat-filler.
You probably know the meanings of about 40,000 thousand English words, but that doesn’t make you a wordsmith. There are over 700,000 words in the English language, so don’t be shy about consulting a dictionary, a thesaurus or even a rhyming dictionary.
Use these tried and true literary devices to spice up your blog titles:
Alliteration – Truly terrific technique. Use phrases like “Blissful Blog” or “Awesome Offer” to make your title more fun, but make sure NOT to change the gist of your message just for the sake of a pun.
Antonyms – This is an effective way to get your email or post read, and you won’t find this tip anywhere else. It’s a kind of reverse psychology that makes people think. If your working title is “5 Ways To Win The B2B Marketing Game”, find a suitable antonym for “win” and work it the other way around with “Stop Getting Creamed In The B2B Marketing Game”
Superlatives – Superlatives are the greatest! Use them sparingly, but definitely use them. Which title are you more likely to click on –
- This New Improved Moisturizer Helps With Acne Too
- The Most Amazing Acne-Fighting Moisturizer In The World
Out of the two blog post titles above, hopefully you found the second title more tantalizing. Once you find a phrase you like, you can fine tune it as you go along, and end up with a professional title like this –
- The Most Amazing Acne-Fighting Moisturizer That You Never Heard Of
Keep It Short And Sweet
This is so important it can’t be stressed enough. Time is short, your readers are busy, and we live in a Twitter world of 140 characters or less. The shorter your blog posts titles, the better, and the more people will take the bait to learn more. But don’t sacrifice content for the sake of brevity. That’s why you should start out with a working title, and edit it down as you go.
Let’s look at three different titles for the same blog, and you pick your favorite
- Popular Demand Causes Green’s To Drop Their Prices Again
- Green’s Prices Are Now Equal To Or Below Wholesale
- Prices At Green’s Are Lower Than They’ve Ever Been
The correct answer is none of the above; they are all snoozers. Cut out some words, but keep the meaning the same. The result will be shorter, sweeter and stronger –
- Brand Names At Liquidation Prices – Go Green!
Spelling Counts; Punctuation Counts Even More!
You’re not just working with 26 characters and 10 numerals, you know. Your Qwerty board has all sorts of commas, semi-colons, exclamation points …and more!
Here’s a true story about the power of punctuation. Years ago, when newspapers were in their heyday, the National Enquirer and The Globe battled it out at the supermarket checkout counter every week. It was a close fight all year long, but every January the Enquirer trotted out their resident psychic Jeanne Dixon with her New Year’s predictions, and they always swept the ratings.
After years of getting pummeled in January, The Globe countered with its own New Year’s cover which proclaimed –
The New Jeanne Dixon: PREDICTIONS
What ensued was a lengthy and costly legal battle over The Globe using the famous psychic’s name, who was contracted to the Enquirer. In court, lawyers for The Globe argued that the colon positioned between Dixon and PREDICTIONS clearly showed that it was not in fact Jeanne Dixon. It was a woman they dubbed “the new Jeanne Dixon.”
Perhaps you think they were splitting hairs, but the colon saved The Globe $24 million in punitive damages! Psychic or not, nobody saw that coming.
The point is, you can make punctuation do your talking without taking up too many characters. Throwing in a simple question mark can put the ball in the reader’s court, and challenge them to respond.
A few strategically-placed dot-dot-dots can literally force your audience to continue reading. Don’t believe it? Read this…
Parentheses [brackets] can also help clarify what the title is referring to: [Free Download] or [Infographic] or [5 Easy Steps]
The only punctuation key to avoid is the CAPS LOCK button.
Optimize Your Blog Post Titles For SEO
This is advanced title creation because it’s not easy to create a great title when you’ve got keywords on the brain, but you can do it. Composing blog post titles that attract both the human eye and the search engines is no small task, and it takes plenty of trial and error.
Remember that SEO is not reserved for blog content, and it’s even more effective in blog post titles and headlines. However, if your title ends up sounding like a keyword-stuffed sausage, try it again.
The important thing to remember about creating irresistible blog post titles is that they should not be written in stone. Consider your title a work in progress, subject to change. Even if you fall in love with your latest blog title, it can ALWAYS be improved upon.