Have you ever fallen in love at first sight?
Deeply, truly, head over heels in love from just glancing at somebody for 5 seconds. Attracted, yes, but in love?
I think not.
In my experience, you need to get to know somebody at least a little to feel a deeper connection and to want to make an effort to invest in a relationship.
But would you even consider asking somebody out (yes, girls can do that in the 21st century) if you don’t feel at least a little bit attracted to him?
At this point, you might think that I’ve lost my marbles (again) and ask yourself what's falling in love got to do with blog post headlines. And I’d say…
Well... it's the same!
Just as you won't feel attracted to somebody, no matter how kind, smart and brave he is, if you don’t like what you see and feel at first, your readers cannot possibly be expected to want to read your amazing blog post if the headline is unappealing, or worse—a complete snoozer.
And if there's no attraction, there's no falling in love. And you want your people to fall in love with you and everything you do, right?
Oh, and it gets worse—your audience is spoiled by choice. The flood of information out there is giving us little choice, but to cherry pick only what we feel will make our life so much better, that we won't need to eat fig jam from the jar to get us through the afternoon (#noncoffeedrinkerproblems).
It's known that 80% of people only read your headlines (source). That means only 2 out of 10 people ever get to your actual blog post and read it.
To remedy that, here are tips on how to create catchy blog post headlines:
1. Use a number
That seems to work like a charm. Women especially found a headline with number more appealing than any other (source).
Adding a number to your blog post headline is easy. Just switch "How to" with "7 ways to" and you are ready to go.
My example: 7 Reasons you should rebrand
2. Ask a question
Make it a more personal by asking your dream reader a question instead of serving her the solution. Here is what I mean:
Turn "The best cupcake for your Friday afternoon" to "Are you missing out by not eating this cupcake every Friday afternoon?"
3. Tease your readers
Be playful, state something unexpected and tickle curiosity on its furry belly.
Turn "9 Little known facts about avocados" to "9 Incredible facts about avocados you've probably never heard of".
My example: Why procrastination is good for you
4. Be specific
Use catchy descriptive adjectives and talk directly to your dream reader.
Instead of "5 Beautiful bikini for your next summer holiday" try "5 Ethical bikini brands for your next Aruba sup yoga retreat".
5. Solve a problem
How-to posts are the easiest way to share your knowledge with your reader. Pinpoint a specific problem of hers and deliver her your unique solution.
My example: How to choose and combine fonts
6. Start with the title
What do you do when inspiration strikes you (usually on the head, but sometimes a toe might suffer too, if I'm rushing towards my desk to reach my bullet journal)?
I write down the new blog post idea as they come. I give them working titles and leave it at that.
When the time comes to write down the blog post I start with the headline. I even found a 50/50 rule, stating that you should spend as much time on creating a title as you do on the content creation (source).
It sounds great, but don't open the chronometer app on your phone just yet. Instead start spending more time on the title. Here is how:
For your next blog post write at least 10 different headlines. Be creative and don't use vague words and cliches.
6. Research it
If you search your blog topic idea on Pinterest, it might tell you, 37 people already have written about it.
Don't panic. It's OK.
Your view on "Why succulents make your kitchenette more hygge" has never been done before and never will be done, if you get on the "Oh, but everything's done already" wagon.
Get off it and do a proper research. If you write your blog post from your experience, using your words, your content will be authentic and true.
The research is to help you find out how to give your audience a reason to read it. So stop the self doubt now, get to work.
When you have your several headline ideas, look them up on Pinterest and Google,check their keywords, and see how you can finetune them to your specific readership. Use their words whenever possible.
Use online tools to analyse your titles:
7. Use headline templates
This is an easy and quick method to get ideas for blog posts and headlines. Here are my 31 headline templates for creative bloggers:
Now I want to hear from you:
Do you struggle with creating headlines for your blog posts?
What is the one action you will take to improve your titles?
Tell us in the comments below.