H is for Headlines: Blog headlines

A-Z of Blogging: H is for Headlines

Your blog headlines matter

Blog headlines are often hailed as the most important part of any blog post. After all, if nobody is clicking on your post in the first place, then nobody is reading it. If nobody reads your blog, then all the hard work you put into researching, writing and editing goes to waste.


Consider how many headlines people are exposed to online every day as they scroll through news feeds and social media. If your headline doesn’t grab their attention, your post goes unread.

Statistics show that on average, only 8 out of 10 people read a headline and only 2 of those people will go on to read your post. A powerful headline will increase that number so you get more clicks, more readers and more shares.

Top tips for creating blog headlines

When it comes to creating headlines, there are some things that you should always remember:

Be clear

Make it clear to the reader what your post is about. What will the reader get from reading your post? What’s in it for them? If the reader cannot work out from your headline what the post will be about then they probably won’t read it. The reader wants to know what to expect.

Be honest

Don’t be tempted to lure readers in by using misleading headlines that don’t match up to your content. There’s no point grabbing a reader’s attention with click-bait headlines only to lose them straight away when they realise your post doesn’t deliver what you promised with the title.

Be concise

Headlines longer than 70 characters will get cut off in search engine results so it’s important to keep headlines as concise as possible. Cut out unnecessary words to make your headlines stronger. For example, change; “These top 10 tips for writing blog headlines will help you get more readers” to; “10 tips for creating click-worthy headlines”.

Optimise

Your headline should include a keyword or phrase. This helps more readers find your post, improves SEO and makes it clearer what your post is about. Try to include your keyword at the start of your title when possible. Using a colon can make this easier. For example, if your keyword is ‘blog titles’ then instead of; “The ultimate guide to writing blog titles” try; “Blog titles: the ultimate guide”.

Headlines that work

There have been many studies into what makes a headline more effective. Researchers have looked at everything from how many words should be in a headline to which words and phrases get the best response. Here are just some ways to create stronger headlines:

Use numbers

Various studies have shown that using numbers in headlines improves the click-through rate.

Examples include:

  • 10 tips for…
  • 7 ways you can improve your….
  • Increase your sales by 350% by…
  • Only 27% of businesses…
  • 101 ideas for…

Use emotion

Using emotion is effective in any kind of copy. Power words like “free”, “limited”, “rare” and “bargain” appeal to our greed or fear of missing out. Words such as “love”, “delighted” and “amazing” inspire positive emotions and words like “useful”, “practical” and “interesting” draw readers in too. 

Use negatives

Research shows that negative headlines have a higher click-through rate than positive ones. Headlines containing words such as; “worst”, “avoid”, mistakes”, “never” and “don’t”, get a better response.

Offer solutions

Blog posts that offer a solution to a problem are extremely popular. “How to” posts work well as do top tips, checklists and step-by-step posts. Give advice that makes something easier, quicker, simpler, faster or helps improve, reduce, fix or increase something.

More on creating blog headlines

If you would like more information on creating effective headlines then we recommend these useful articles.

These headline templates are great if you are stuck for ideas: 74 Attention-grabbing blog titles that actually work (Inc.)

This guide has some interesting statistics and includes some fantastic tips for creating effective headlines: The step-by-step guide to writing powerful headlines  (Neil Patel)

This report contains the findings of an analysis of 100 million headlines. It gives lots of detail on the headlines that work best for Facebook and Twitter as well as other useful statistics: Most shared headlines study (Buzzsumo)

If you’d like to know more about how to build a better blog then book our Blogging for Business workshop. We’ll help you put together a strategy, generate ideas and learn how to write engaging posts.

Previously from our A-Z of Blogging

E is for Editing

F is for Format

G is for Guest blogging

More from our A-Z of Blogging

I is for Images

J is for Journalism

K is for Keywords

More…

Buy the book!

 Our A-Z of Blogging is available as a book, packed full of extra tips and advice.

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