What They Never Tell You About Headlines: Writing One List After Another is Not Enough4 min read

You’ve been working hard on your blog: you put thought and effort into your About page, your site title and tagline, and you’ve even picked a great blog name. You sweat your photography. You read and re-read your drafts to make sure they’re just perfect.

With millions of posts published every day, how do you make sure your work stands out in the crowd? Crafting strong post headlines is one way to snag reader attention, pique interest, attract followers, and earn repeat visits. 

Here are a few ideas to think about as you write titles for your posts:

Get original.

How many list posts have you seen recently? You know what we’re talking about: 10 Signs We’re Headed for Another Ice Age, or 15 Ways to Tell if You Really In Love. 

If you want your work to stand out from the crowd, though, you might want to rethink these types of constructions, unless you feel you’ve got a piece that transcends the genre.

The trick, as always, is to think outside the box. Better yet, think like there’s no box at all. Even if “how-to” guides and list posts are still incredibly popular, this does not mean that you cannot use your creativity to come up with new ways of writing a headline.

Check this headline I used for an article on irevuo.art:

You Either Die an Artist or Live Long Enough to See Yourself Become a Creative Entrepreneur

Study others in your niche.

Chances are, there’s inspiration and guidance to be found in the blogs and articles you’re already reading. What are the blog sites in your niche that you really like? Study the headlines of their most popular blog posts. Consider what it is about these titles that draws you in.

What captured your attention? What tickled your curiosity? Try emulating your favorite authors when you write your own headlines.

What’s in it for your readers?

If you’re writing to educate, inspire, or motivate, it’s always worth it to ask yourself: What’s the most important thing I want my reader to remember from reading my post? What do I want my readers to do after reading my post? 

Crafting the answer into your headline automatically reinforces your most important point for the reader, making sure your message not only gets heard, but also remembered.

Try creating intrigue or using the element of surprise with titles by alluding to something readers can only see or learn by reading the post.

As the first thing your readers notice, the headline is also supposed to entice your readers, make them curious to want to read more.

Analyze your most popular blog posts.

One thing your readers can teach you is what headlines tend to work best. Go to your stats page and see which of your posts are most popular.

What is it about the headlines that made them so popular? What are some common elements you can notice?

Other things to consider when writing your headlines are:

  • how your headlines might be perceived when they appear on your social networks. 
  • what keywords would someone be using when searching for your post on search engines (and make sure those words get a place in the headline)

Your headline is more than just a summary of your post’s main idea; it’s the first thing a reader notices (and you know what they say about first impressions). It’s also the post’s calling card on the web, from search engines to social networks. Make it count.


This is an excerpt from The Art of Blogging E-book.

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Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

5 thoughts on “What They Never Tell You About Headlines: Writing One List After Another is Not Enough4 min read

  1. As a writer of poetry and short stories, creating a title for each piece needs to reach out to the reader. I pretty much follow a guide to generally use 2-3 key words in the title. Certainly, there can be exceptions.

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