Learn how to craft blog titles for your posts that will capture the attention of readers and new visitors.
When you decided to start a blog, you probably weren’t thinking about the intricacies involved in writing blog titles. But the reality is that blog post titles are the gateway to your content. They play an important role in capturing your readers’ attention and helping your content to stand out from the sea of content that exists today.
However, coming up with the perfect blog title can be a challenge. Not only does your title have to be catchy, but it has to be informative and succinct. In this article, we’ll explore how to craft engaging blog titles that draw in readers. We’ll look at creative examples, as well as tips for improving your blog headlines and making them click-worthy.
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Why are blog titles important?
Blog titles have the power to shape a reader’s first impression of your article. They’re often the first thing readers see on Google or a social media post promoting your content—and often what convinces them (or scare them away) from clicking into your site. It goes without saying that if you don’t get clicks, then your posts don’t get read.
Aside from this, the right blog title can encourage more social media shares and help you rank better in search engine result pages (SERPs). That’s why it’s important to put thought into crafting the best blog title that takes into consideration your target keyword, core audience and overall message.
How to write a good blog post title: 12 tips
When it comes to creating engaging titles, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Different types of blogs require different approaches. For instance, a news site needs titles that clearly communicate the story headlined by their post, while a food blog needs catchy titles that make readers salivate just with the words alone.
Whatever genre you write in, though, there are some tips and tricks you can use to create captivating headlines that will draw readers into your post:
- Browse other blogs for inspiration
- Research your competitors
- Learn the basic blog title formulas
- Use a name generator for ideas
- Know your audience
- Cater to emotions
- Experiment with alliteration and other techniques
- Avoid clickbait
- Get specific
- Incorporate a focus keyword
- Draft multiple titles
- Conduct A/B tests
01. Browse other blogs for ideas
Start your blog journey by perusing your favorite blog examples for inspiration. Take a close look at the titles used within these blogs. Check the posts that gain the most attention (judging by comments, social shares and other indicators) and think about what makes them so appealing from the reader’s perspective.
As you do your research, you’ll notice that there are certain words that can make the headline stand out. In addition, you’ll notice that certain types of title formats and content are more compelling than others—for instance, listicles and how-to posts tend to generate interest by immediately satisfying the reader’s need.
On the flip side, try to identify blog title formats that don’t seem to resonate, and explore why that might be. Does it have to do with the nature of the piece? Or, does the title make the posts seem uninteresting?
Take note of which title formats are your least and most favorite, and use these as a guiding set of principles when crafting your own blog post titles.
02. Research your competitors
Take a magnifying glass to your competitors’ content. Browse the titles that seem to be resonating most with your shared audiences. Consider signing up for your competitors’ newsletter and checking out their social media accounts to see how their approach to title might vary from channel to channel.
Keep in mind that your business competitors are not necessarily your SEO competitors. The former consists of websites that rank high for your target keywords on search engines. You can discover your SEO competitors using tools like Semrush of Ahrefs. Or, simply google a keyword and look at the first page of results.
For example, let’s say you’re starting a fashion blog and want to write a post about the best joggers for women. When you search your keyword in Google, here’s what you see.
There’s a good mix of titles here:
- “The Best Joggers for Women 2020” (which links to a best-of roundup)
- “10 Best Joggers” (listicle)
- “Best Joggers For Women That Are Soft, Stylish, & Chic” (best-of roundup that highlights specific characteristics)
- “The 22 Best Joggers for Women That Are Outselling Jeans…” (listicle with big promises)
- “20 Best Sweatpants for Women 2020 – Stylish Joggers for…” (combination of a listicle and annual roundup)
From looking at these results, you might decide that a title promising even more ideas (e.g., “50 best joggers”) than competitors is the way to go. Alternatively, you might choose to experiment with a more descriptive title that hones in a specific point that competitors don’t address (e.g., “Best joggers for women who work from home and just can’t be bothered”).
Of course, you don’t want to copy the competitions’ blog post titles too closely, but you do want to make sure your own blogs capture a similar intent. Make sure that your readers know what to expect when clicking onto your page.
03. Learn the basic blog title formulas
Now that you know some of the main principles of writing great blog titles, let’s get into the specifics about the basic structure of your headline. There are six title structures that have proven highly effective in getting clicks and shares:
Numbers: Numbers give readers a clear idea of what they’re about to get from a post and have long been used to break up text and deliver a catchy headline (e.g., “12 Things to Stop Doing at Work If You Want a Raise”).
Superlatives: Unlike school superlatives which were often tongue-in-cheek, blog superlatives are genuinely useful for consumers and often aim to introduce a certain category of content (e.g., “50 Greatest Bands to See in Concert” or “The Ultimate Guide to Dating in Your 50s”).
Questions: One of the issues that may arise when writing a blog is that it comes off sounding too one-sided—but when you introduce a question in the title, it sets the tone that the content is going to be conversational versus lecture-like (e.g., “Why Does Your Dog Sneeze When They’re Playing?” or “What’s the Best Accounting Software for Freelancers?”).
How-tos: “How to” queries are still one of the most frequently searched phrases on Google, making “how to” a mainstay of high-performing headlines (e.g., “How to Build a Website for Less Than $250”).
Bracketed descriptors: This kind of blog post title includes a descriptor within a set of brackets, which tend to be visually engaging. You could always include content descriptors without using brackets, but the brackets call extra attention to your descriptors (e.g., “Tips for Planning Your Content Calendar like a Pro [Free Templates]” or “How to Make Old World-Style Pizza [Video]”).
The big reveal: Many of the headline types above are contingent on readers actually knowing what their problem is and being able to articulate it. The big reveal title, however, is used when you have something to share that few others can (e.g., “5 Secrets I Learned While Working for Pee-wee Herman”).
04. Use a name generator tool for inspiration and ideas
Writer’s block happens to the best of us. When this happens, there’s no better friend to turn to than a blog name generator. This tool can be extremely useful when crafting title ideas, since they offer a range of potentially catchy titles to consider in a matter of seconds.
Simply input elements such as keywords, genre and even emotions that you want to capture with your title to retrieve a list of ideas. A name generator can usually deliver hundreds of potential title ideas to choose from, so it’s an efficient way to get fresh ideas fast—cutting out much of the manual research.
05. Know your audience
Knowing your audience is about more than just identifying their age, demographics and interests. In order to let them guide the blog titles you choose, you’ll want to take your research one step further and learn how to speak in their everyday language.
For example, let’s say you have a photography blog that serves as an inspirational resource for hobbyists. You write roundups on photography trends while also providing brief tutorials. If you’re writing a post for an audience of beginners, you’ll want to keep industry jargon to a minimum.
So, rather than using a blog post title like “7 HDR photography tips,” consider something like “WTF is high dynamic range (HDR)?” or “What is dynamic range in photography, and how do you use it?”
The “what is” format might seem plain in comparison to the previous example, but it’s much more straightforward and makes the topic feel less intimidating to beginners.
06. Cater to the emotions of readers
It’s no surprise that emotions are powerful drivers of behavior. Using emotional modifiers (like “heartwarming”—or even “free” and “best”) in your titles can create a more engaging experience for viewers by letting readers know in advance how they should expect to feel after reading your post.
Alternatively, you can play into your audiences’ emotions without being as explicit about it. For example, instead of “5 of the Scariest Video Games of All Time” you could say “5 of the Best Horror Video Games to Play in the Dark.”
Sometimes, creating the emotional setting in your title is more engaging than actually spelling out the emotion. So, when you craft your blog titles, don’t automatically rush for ones that sound edgy or sexy. Pinpoint the emotions you want to evoke with your article, as well as what your readers might be feeling before they click in.
07. Experiment with alliteration and other techniques
Not every blog post title needs to be a zinger. However, you might find that there are times when a clever headline is more effective at capturing a reader’s attention than a straightforward one, especially if you’re looking to promote your blog on social media
But what, exactly, makes a title catchy? Alliteration is one popular strategy.
For example, rather than using the title “13 Superstitions in the U.S.,” consider a zestier title like “13 Silly Superstitions Still in Circulation Today.”
Similarly, a play on words or a witty joke could help to grab attention. Some examples:
- “From Bored Room to Boardroom: Tips for Corporate Success”
- “The Write Stuff: Tips and Tricks for Creative Writing”
- “Recipes and Kitchen Tips That’ll Help You Cook up a Storm This Thanksgiving”
08. Avoid clickbait
The best blog post titles are click-worthy without being clickbait-y. What’s the difference, you ask?
Click-worthy titles capture attention while setting the right expectations about what the reader is about to see. Clickbait headlines, on the other hand, use shock, fear and/or exaggeration to draw in as many readers as possible. They’re often misleading and hyperbolize the contents of an article.
The danger with this is that readers may walk away feeling disappointed or duped by your article. Furthermore, your click-through rate becomes nothing more than a vanity metric at this point.
To ensure that you’re not simply relying on clickbait-y titles, check your click-through rate against other important data like:
- How much time the average reader spends on your post
- How many blog posts they read during their session
- What other actions they take after reading your posts
- Comments and other reader feedback
Rather than shocking your readers or exaggerating your main points, create honest, meaningful titles that promise real value to your audience.
09. Get specific
Today’s consumers have very short attention spans, thanks to all the distractions and choices they’re bombarded with on a daily basis. With that in mind, your blog title isn’t the place to be mysterious or abstract.
To captivate your readers, make sure that your title clearly tells readers what they’re going to get out of the post. This also helps set the tone for how detailed or serious your post will be, and ensures that your content matches their expectations.
10. Incorporate a focus keyword
You don’t only need to impress your readers with your headlines. You also need to impress Google—or, more accurately, make it easy for Google’s bots to read and understand what your post is about.
By including your focus keyword in the H1 (or title) of your post, you can help inform search engines about the purpose of your blog. Note: your H1 isn’t the same as your title tag, it’s best practice to keep these consistent for SEO and user experience purposes.
Let’s say you’re starting a food blog that helps to promote your meal delivery business. Using Semrush, you can see that “healthy food subscription box” gets around 260 searches a month. While this is a low-volume keyword, it attracts people with the right intent. Therefore, you write your blog and title with this keyword in mind.
Read Also: Blogging for Business—Why It Can Make a Difference
You come up with the title “25 Healthy Food Subscription Boxes to Check Out.”
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to place your primary keyword as close to the front of your title as possible. By placing it upfront, you let both Google and readers know this is the main focus of the post.
Make sure you use this keyword technique in conjunction with other blog SEO strategies—choosing the right keyword is just one piece of the puzzle.
11. Draft multiple titles
Chances are you won’t come up with the perfect blog title right away, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s best to come up with about five to 10 titles for each post before landing on your final title.
Why? The more you practice, the better you’ll get at writing the perfect headline.
What’s more, creating multiple versions of the same title gives you workable options that you can use to promote your content across your newsletter, social media and other channels.
Lastly, this will give you ideas for A/B testing multiple titles (see below).
12. Conduct A/B tests
A/B testing is a scientific experiment that you might run for a variety of reasons—be it web design, copy, headlines, images, colors and more. You can essentially run A/B tests on any marketing channel that you use. This could be your blog, newsletter, social media posts and/or ads. Here’s are some simple steps for achieving this:
- Choose a single element that you want to test. In this case, it’s your blog post headline.
- Come up with a hypothesis. For instance, “If I write this title using a superlative, it’ll get more clicks than if I write it as a question.”
- Create at least two variations of your title: one (or more) with a superlative, and another that serves as your control.
- Run the test, splitting your traffic evenly between your different variants. Traffic should be randomly split by your A/B testing tool.
- Check the test results for a set period of time or until statistical significance is achieved. Analyze the results to determine which variant is the winner.
- Update your blog with the winning title. Apply your learnings to your blog and consider running additional A/B tests.
This method is useful for creating the best blog titles and identifying trends in the types of headlines that your readers prefer. It’ll take some of the guesswork out of title creation in the future.
5 inspiring blog headlines to model your own after
Once you’ve gone over these tips for creating blog titles, you may find it helpful to look at successful blogs to help illustrate what you’ve learned. Let’s have a look.
01. Olivia + Laura
Olivia + Laura is a blogging platform discussing all things fashion and lifestyle. Take a look at how their most recent titles capture the attention of readers while providing a preview of what they can expect from the post. “How to Style Cardigans” is a detailed title, drawing in fashionistas curious about improving their style, while an article on “Spring 2023 Trends” is sure to captivate audiences looking for the expertise of these trendsetters.
If you’re looking to travel through Zion National Park, look no further for advice an inspiration than Zion Adventure Photography Blog. The team of nature enthusiasts and photographers specialize in capturing special moments experienced by visitors and providing tips to travelers. Whether it’s general information about the park or an article on “The 10 Best Spots to Catch Sunrise or Sunset in Zion National Park,” their blog post titles are clever, informative and well-thought out.
03. All the Food
Foodies living in or visiting Dublin will go head-over-heals for All The Food Blog, a complete guide to restaurants in the vibrant city. Blog posts and food guides cover everything from local restaurant reviews, the best spots by neighborhood and new spots to check out. For example, a blog title like “8 New Openings In Dublin And 4 Coming Soon” is a straightforward and exciting way to draw in blog visitors look to change things up for their tastebuds.
04. Suvelle Cuisine
Susana Machado’s Suvelle Cuisine blog has a plethora of cool content dedicated to classy and fashionable lifestyles. From fashion advice to recipes and beauty tips, the blog’s clever titles reflect the personality of its target audience while offering a succinct summary of the post, and hitting on trendy keywords. With headlines like “5 Rituals to a fresh start” and “French Outfit Formulas,” Suvelle Cuisine will have intrigued readers saying “ooh lala” before they open up a fresh post.
05. Mekome Hebrew
Mekome Hebrew offers tailor-made Hebrew language lessons for a wide range of levers and learners. Part of its holistic learning philosophy is that language should connect to the inner world of the learner—a blog that focuses on curious Hebrew topics, Israeli culture and personal experiences is a great way to inspire students and bring this method to life. Not only are the topics enriching, the blog title’s are fun, personal and tap into the emotions of someone learning a new language and culture.
By Jenna Romano
Wix Blog Editor