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How to Write Blog Headlines Your Readers Can't Resist

Warning:  Headlines that Stink Will Sink Your Site

how to write better blog headlinesOne of the fastest ways to kill off your readership is to write blog headlines that stink. You might have all the SEO and social media tactics in the world, but if your headlines are awful, getting people to find you in a search won't do you any good if no one wants to read your content. And a poorly written headline can do that.

Great headlines can save mediocre content. Mediocre headlines can absolutely sink great content before it ever has a chance if people don't want to read it! 

How to Write Better Blog Headlines in 5 Easy Steps

1.    Copy

If my students at the local college saw this, they'd choke. Heck, if many of my former professors saw it, they'd choke too. One wouldn't though – the one who regularly reminded us how much great authors borrow techniques, literary conventions, and themes from the great writers of the past. 

Great headline writers do too. I'm not joking. And you can learn this from an illustrious publication of style known as Cosmopolitan magazine.  Or Enquirer. Or whatever. Look at the headlines and, if you can get over the lurid content, look at the formulas. Chances are, you'll begin to notice a pattern.  There are some really well paid copywriters who came up with those headlines. Borrow the formulas and write your own. 

2.    Tap Into Fear

Remember that scene in Indiana Jones where he was in the pit of snakes, trying to escape? It's amazing what he was physically capable of when motivated by his terror of snakes (a terror we share)!   

Fear is an incredible motivator. Some headline styles that tap into fear include fear of the future, fear of losing something important or precious, and fear of secret information that you don't know.  Here's a few ways to use that fear to write a compelling headline

Warning:  [Fill in the blank]  (Warning:  Boring Headlines Can Kill Your Blog!) 

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3.    Tap into Common Mistakes

Describing common mistakes in your field works. Your audience wants to know if they're making them. But it also positions you as an expert, because only experts know this kind of stuff, right? 

Are You Making these 7 Blogging Mistakes?

Do You Recognize these 5 Ways to Ruin Your SEO?

5 Common Social Media Mistakes that Make You Look Dumb

4.    How-To Headlines

It's boring. But it works. People want to know how to do the stuff that is going to get them ahead in their business.  The more specific you can be, the better (as long as it's believable).

How to Blog Better

How to Boost Your Engagement on Facebook by 25% in 7 Days

How to Get More Facebook Fans Without Spending a Dime

5.    List Headlines

List headlines are another trusty tool that seems incredibly boring. But again – they're effective. People like knowing just how many ways to improve their ______ you're going to give them. 

5 Ways to Write Better Headlines

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What's also fun is that when you write specific headlines like these, not only do you have a much better chance of getting people to read your article, but it also becomes much easier to write the thing in the first place. A strong headline gives you a framework for your article and gets you started the right direction. 

What kind of headline will you use in your next article and why?  Leave a comment – we love hearing from you!

Join The Conversation

  • markrooney's picture
    Aug 31 Posted 3 years ago markrooney

    I see these tips as effective. It only proves that SEO and is not pure optimization and nothing else. Today, writers are challenged on how to write a good blog. On the other hand, that's not as simple as that. One may be an impressive writing but they should also focus on what to do with their blog headlines. I've been focusing on this since I was in college and I didn't have any idea that it will be in good use in the future.

    Anyway on a fresh graduate's perspective, I do suggest that aspiring bloggers should also focus on improving their creative writing skills. It would be a test but the rewards will be great. Just in case you want to know some sites to visit for references, here are some:

    Creative Writing Tips

    Custom Writing Essay

    10 Terrific Creative Writing Blogs

    Hope it helps.

  • The Ghost's picture
    Aug 19 Posted 3 years ago The Ghost

    Great information. I recently learned how important blog article titles are by reviewing my blog stats on the page level and I can definitely see a trend as to what titles work and which ones don't. Thanks for confirming my beliefs.

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