Why The Titles You Choose for Your Blog Posts Matter

What is the first thing you notice when browsing a blog’s front page?

What grabs your attention when reading news articles? What makes you want to click on a link?

Yeah, the titles are that important.

And yet most people work hard on a post, and just before they hit that “Publish” button do they stop and think about their title.

It’s not how this works.

First the title, then everything else.

Why?

Because titles can be the difference between having your post read or ignored. Of course, there are no rules that will guarantee your post gets noticed, but you might want to consider some of the following.

Simplify

Readers prefer straightforward, short and simple titles to cute or cryptic ones. They want to know what the post is about, what to expect.

One important aspect of this is that you must not give everything away. A bit of mystery goes a long way. If you can make them wonder if you have found some secret solution to a problem that has been nagging them for quite some time, then do it.

It’s worth it.

Communicate

Like I said, it’s essential for readers to know what your post is about. Otherwise, they might not take the time to read it.

Key Words

This is not just about SEO, it’s not about pleasing the algorithms to land one the first page, but it’s also about clearly defining your topic.

What is your post about?

How would someone who has never read it go about if they were to search the web for that kind of content?

Grab Attention

I’d say this is the most important aspect. And one of the most overlooked.

Why?

Because odds are that your post is one of many on the same topic, and your title is your best chance to distinguish it from others like it.

Imagine yourself searching for articles on a search engine or news aggregator — what would make you click your link?

Intrigue your reader, draw them into your post, make them want to read more!

Luckily, there’s a bit of an art to headline writing, so you can easily find inspiration. There are some tactics that are quite older than the Internet itself. Or electricity for that matter.

If they have worked for hundreds of years, I can’t see a reason why they’d stop working any time soon.

A few examples of blog posts that are guaranteed to want people to read your posts:

  • How to… – because who doesn’t work a nice article explaining them how to do something they don’t know much about?
  • How to… in 5, 10,15 Minutes – time, time, time. It’s never enough, and we never get it back once spent.
    How to… Like a Boss – entice your readers with this title. Odds are, there’s a part of them that wants to be a boss. Or so the legend goes.
  • Ways to… – ways, steps, tips. Use 7, use 3, use how many you like in order to teach your readers to do something.
  • … That Will Change Your Life – You better make sure you deliver on your promise, and don’t provide some generic content or vague advice.
  • Warning: … – People tend to want to read warnings.
  • The Ultimate Guide to …The Ultimate Guide means that you just have to read this one, and nothing else.

Of course, there are a lot of other ways to come up with a brilliant title. Lists tend to perform best, but you can also try to exclude some of the readers, which is something I have used in my recent ad of the 0 to 5 K Program here.

While certainly important, titles are NOT everything. You still need to post something worthwhile. But coming up with an enticing title is not just the start of your post, it is an invitation for people to engage with your ideas. If you put some effort into developing it you’ll find people take that all important step into your virtual space.

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18 thoughts on “Why The Titles You Choose for Your Blog Posts Matter

  1. Hi Christian, Thanks for the article. I agree with your thoughts re articles as there needs to be at least a hint of what might be in the blog.
    I was thinking about your article in relation to speeches, too and I think it applies there as well, although in speech contests, you need to be careful not to give too much away in the title. There needs to be a bit of intrigue there so that the audience’s interest is awakened but not so much that they can say ‘they know what it’s all about’ before you deliver.
    What about when one is posting Poetry?
    Sometimes, the Poems title comes from within the poem, after it is written and sometimes before.
    Kind Regards,
    David

    Like

  2. Quick question on this which has been on my mind for the past few days. When writing a headline should the first letter of each word always be capitalised? e.g How To Write A Great Blog Today or can it be How to write a great blog today?

    I always use the latter title without all first letter capitalisation as that’s what I’ve learnt from conversational exercises in my marketing background. My question is really, does it matter which one you use? will it have an effect on how my blogs are viewed or picked up by search engines etc.

    Could be a stupid question, yet one that I’d be keen to get some thoughts on.

    Thanks you.

    Liked by 1 person

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