You have a lot to teach your audience, but when it’s time to put pen to paper, do you struggle to create headlines that draw your audience in and compel them to click on your content?
If so, you’re not alone. A recent poll showed copywriting was one of the tasks entrepreneurs struggled with the most, and writing blog-post headlines topped the list of panic-inducing writing activities.
Why do those short, little headlines intimidate us so much?
Well, we all know headlines are an extremely important yet often overlooked component of a blog post. They carry a huge burden — they have the big job of grabbing your reader’s attention and convincing them to click on your post. To add even more pressure, they’re only given about 2 seconds to make that happen!
A headline needs to pack quite a punch. It must sum up the best parts of your blog post using rich keywords and inciting language. It needs to hook the reader into clicking by answering the question, “Why should I take the time to read this article?”
When it’s composed well, a clever headline holds the key to increasing your website traffic, drawing in readers from multiple platforms.
In this post, we’re mastering the intimidating world of blog-post headlines. I’ll break down my foolproof methods and share easy templates you can customize to create your own head-turning, catchy headlines — ones that will command your audience’s attention.
The “How To” Headline
Your audience has problems and specific pain points to which you hold the answer. This type of blog post headline tells your audience exactly what problem you’re going to help them solve. Narrow down your headline to target one specific issue your audience struggles with in-depth.
How To Write Clickable Blog Post Headlines
To add even more interest, consider putting a time frame or a fun description at the end of your how-to headline.
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The Numbered-List Headline
Readers tend to associate numbers with value, so posts that share content which is organized into bite-sized, numbered solutions are always a hit. Bonus? This type of post also gives you, the content creator, an easy structure to follow.
A numbered-list blog post can share ways, tips, or steps to lead your audience to their desired outcome. Add even more interest to the headline by inserting adjectives and more details about who the blog post is geared towards.
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This category also includes the “popular list” blog post. Instead of sharing specific steps or tips, a popular list post gathers a group of like-information for a feel-good post that offers a quick, fun read.
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The Comparison Headline (This vs. That)
Your readers are combing through reviews and opinions as they attempt to make sense of all the options and products out there. When they’re trying to choose between two options, comparison blog posts give them the knowledge they need to make a decision.
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To add a personal touch to the headline, give your reader an inside look at a choice you’ve made and share how you made the decision.
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This classic type of blog post is for conveying a summary of information to your audience. It works well when you specify in your headline exactly who you’re writing to and address their pain points. Get creative with your descriptions to peak interest and make the post’s mission clear.
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To make the headline even more specific to your target audience, add adjectives that call your audience out by name.
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The Question Headline
Your audience is asking questions, and there’s nothing more clickable than a headline that reiterates those questions back to them right in the title! This strategy works magic for SEO purposes as well because people often search in question form.
For example, if a busy mom is looking for an effective weight loss program, she’s likely to google her very question verbatim like this: “What is the best weight loss program for moms?” or “How to lose weight as a busy mom?”
A question headline lets the reader know exactly what question you’re answering in the post
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The Where, What, Why Headline
Journalism students are taught to use as many of the w’s (who, what, when, where, why) in their headlines as possible, and bloggers are smart to utilize this tip when writing clickable content.
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The Stop Doing This Headline
This type of headline plays on what your audience probably already knows they shouldn’t be doing — and it convinces them why and how they need to change. These blog posts explain the benefits of quitting a behavior or attitude and lists why it’s not good for you in the first place. Your headline should name the behavior and either list a benefit to stopping or give them a tease of what’s to come in the post.
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In all of these examples, using a mix of keywords with powerful adjectives is the winning combo to creating a headline that draws your reader into clicking on your post. Here are a few more specific word ideas you can incorporate to spice up your headlines:
- Take-Action Words: Act Now, Launch, Get Busy, Immediate
- Inspiring Words: Life-Changing, Incredible, Profound, Amazing, Freeing
- Play on Negative Emotions: Shameful, Suck, Horrible, Painful, Lazy, Exhausted
Last but not least, consider your headline length when crafty that perfect clickable title. You want to make sure the headline shows up completely on search engine pages. Hubspot advises that titles be kept under 60 characters and include 8-12 words for maximum clickability and shareability.
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