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How Do You Create the Perfect Blog Post Title?

Posted 18th November, 2014 by Aliysa

Do a quick online search for "Why should my business use social media?" and you'll be inundated with thousands of blog articles covering every possible aspect of the topic, from outing myths to offering pro tips. With so many search results, competition for attention is fiercer than ever before, and one sure fire way to boost interest in your post is by crafting a title that stands out from the crowd, captures the user's interest and makes them click through to read more. Fortunately, there's many proven title formats that can help you to create that perfect title for your next article.

Shock Tactics:

"Blog Titles are Dead! Here's Why:"

Have you ever read a headline online and thought: "They can't mean that surely?!"? Did you then click through to the article? Exactly - that shock tactic caught your eye and made you do a double take. This tactic works great for opinion posts, but if your blog is built around the principles of being a fair knowledge base then you need to be wary of using this style, as this title doesn't really promise any impartial advice for users to take away.

Questioning Status Quo:

"Do intriguing title posts really get higher click throughs?"

It's an interesting title isn't it, because although your first thought is "Of course they must do!", the phrasing casts a little bit of doubt in the back of your mind. Perhaps the author knows something about the topic which you hadn't considered, in which case you want to find out what! If your post challenges a general opinion, then throwing a question into the title is a fantastic way of making your prospective readers desperate to know more.

Keeping it Short and Sweet:

"Creating the Perfect Blog Post Title:"

Research suggests that the ideal title length is just 70 characters long, so keep that in mind before creating yours. Yes, you should still try and put some variety into your title length, to avoid them following a monotonous trend, but cutting the waffle out of your title will give you a big pay off over time.

Striking a Balance Between Hype and Over-hype:

"MAN WRITES ABOUT BLOG TITLES: YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!"

Although using words like "awesome" instead of "good" can help jazz up your blog post title, you need to strike a balance between hype and over-hype. An over-hyped (or "click-bait") title, like the one above, holds back nothing in its bid to capture the user's attention. Yes, we're all guilty of having been drawn in by these titles, but the content just can't live up to the high expectations that they set, so we leave straight away - unimpressed and unengaged.

Whilst click-bait is a little intriguing, many users actually consider it to be spam and as a result it's now being penalised in Facebook's News Feeds. Click-bait headlines are also damaging because they tend to mainly attract the bored and mildly curious, rather than those with deep interests in engaging with you.

Using Lists, Sparingly:

"5 Surefire Ways to Create an Intriguing Blog Title:"

We humans are suckers for lists, with research suggesting that titles like the one above are far more likely to prompt click-throughs than those which don't include numbers. The 'ideal' number of things to include in your list is 10, but it really depends on your content; if users want more precise advice then they're more likely to click-through to slightly shorter lists, which they consider will offer more detailed help.

Most "listicles" place the number at the beginning of the post, to make them sound punchy and eye-catching. That doesn't mean you can't be different, so long as your title's number is distinctly visible when users are trawling through search results it'll grab their attention.

It's important to use listicles sparingly, as their effectiveness falls away if they're your only strategy for naming content. Above this they suffer from the same pitfall as "click-bait" as they're predominantly attractive to list-a-holics who trawl through content without really engaging with the topic.

Showing Off How You Can Help Your Audience:

"Discover How I Can Help You Create the Ultimate Blog Post Title in Seconds!"

It might seem a bit egotistical, but actually this direct title is just a different way of spicing up your "how to" content. By adding a personal pronoun in your title you can create the sense that your content offers users the specific help that they need, even though you could be addressing an audience of several thousand, all at once.


Do you have any other methods for creating winning blog titles? Have you any advice for those that are struggling to capture reader’s attention? I'd be fascinated to hear your opinions in the comments section below.

Categories: WordPress, Tips, Blogging

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