Thank you for clicking. When you clicked you told me you wanted to know the number one ingredient that makes your content stand out from the rest. That dear reader is your headline.
Bear with me a moment, you're not done yet. Why did you click on this headline and not another? I'll share with you why – you're curious.
Curiosity is a very human condition and it takes you on adventures and it leads you to the heart of what you're looking for. In this case, you want to be seen, you want to be found you want to be visible.
And I'm going to help you with this. There are 7 billion people on the planet, and I've met many bloggers in all niches, and not one of them has ever had 7 billion views on a blog post. Nope. Not one of them. Why are their posts not getting the views? Because to say their headlines are somewhat lacking is the understatement of the year.
If you're just starting out with your blogging, one of the biggest keys
to your success is getting the right people to read your blog. You need more eyeballs on your content.
The only way you can do that is to captivate your audience.
While you may have the world's greatest blog post, if your headline doesn't ignite their curiosity it won't matter. You're doomed to remain the world's best-kept secret.
Talking of secrets, it would be more beneficial to have an average
blog post with a great headline than to have a poor headline with an amazing blog post.
How to Write a Good Headline
Some of the best headlines you can write deal with numbers and tips. If it's a high number the audience can see a lot of effort has gone into the content and click to see. If it's a small number they click to either have their thoughts validated (Look! I knew this already / do this already) or to learn something. Either way, you increase your traffic.
5o Tips to Losing Belly Fat and Getting 6-Pack Abs
People love to read tips. They know that most of the tips they'll read will be short and concise and what they want.
Also, writing about a specific number gives you an idea of how you can outline your blog post. Instead of headbutting the blank screen, you'll know that you need at least 50 tips to make your blog post complete.
Another great way to create an interesting headline is to use a benefit. If you're writing about weight loss, you want your reader to see the benefit of losing weight. One thing that people who lose weight want to do is look good in a swimsuit. They've lost their confidence over the years, and looking great on the beach is a powerful motivator:
How to look great in a swimsuit. This headline is a good start, but it could be better. What if a dress size was mentioned:
Size 16? How You Can Look Great in a Swimsuit
Do you know what happens with that headline? The number of clicks goes down… BUT your conversions increase – because the content is for a very specific audience!
15 different ways to look great in a swimsuit is a good generic headline, how will you spice it up?
Benefit+curiosity = headline that is guaranteed to be read.
3 Unwritten Rules to Losing Weight and Looking Great in a Bikini.
This is a great example of a benefit+curiosity-based headline.
They'll want to find out what the “Unwritten Rules” are and they'll be more likely to click the headline to read the content.
A headline that fills the reader with curiosity stops scanners (people who scan through content fast) dead in their tracks. They'll speak directly to your dream clients, and even send your blog posts viral bringing you heaps of traffic and causing your webserver to melt! What's not to love about a great, curiosity-clicking headline?
Can You Write Curiosity Clicking Headlines?
Of course you can! If you're just starting out on your blogging journey, one of the biggest keys to your success is actually getting people to read your content. The only way you can do that is to pique their interest and to do this you need a headline that appeals to their curiosity. This increases the reader's desire to find out what you're talking about and they click… and read.
You may have the world's best blog post, if your headline doesn't get your reader to click, then what you write after won't matter. No one will even look at it. In fact, it's more beneficial to have an average blog post with a great headline than to have a meaningless headline with an amazing blog post.
The good news is, you can always go back and edit the headline long after the post has gone live.
Bad Headline Day? You Can't Think of a Great Headline? Take one and Customise It!
If you're having a bad headline day, you can do your best, publish and come back to the piece of content when you're able to create a better headline. This is the 3rd headline this post has had. The first time it had the word astonishing in it. Clearly I was reading something about magicians when I wrote it, who else would use the word astonishing?
I knew in my heart that astonishing was a bit… weak…
So I changed it again. This time to something truly appalling, but I thought it was better than astonishing… It wasn't.
And then it came to me… Curiosity. That innate feeling that we all have. It's the itch that demands to be scratched. How can I work curiosity into a post? The answer is simply I don't have to because I already have the perfect post for the headline. All I have to do is edit and upgrade my existing post and make it into a much stronger post.
Remember Your Feeds!
It's also important to have an appealing headline so people looking at RSS feeds will be able to see it. RSS feeds are what share your posts to Twitter, Facebook, etc. If your headline isn't interesting to them, there is no way they're going to click on it.
Great headlines are not just for blog posts, they'll also get you more social shares and attract the right prospect to your business blog, and you'll gain more traffic, subscribers, and sales!
Top 6 Headline Creation Tools
You've created your headline but now you need to know if you've nailed it. Here are 5 headline tools and resources that will help you craft the best headlines ever!
- Headline Analyzer by Co-Schedule
- AM Institute Headline Analyzer measures the emotional impact of your headline. This is one of my fave headline tools.
- Headline Idea Generator – This was the very first headline tool I used and I found it lifted a lot of the pressure to generate an idea into a headline.
- Tweak Your Biz Title Generator gives you a different list of headline ideas. I often take one from here and run it the first two tools I mention
What more could you want to know about headlines?
Headline swipe files? One where there's a big list of headlines that you can fill in the blanks to get more from your blog posts? Want a swipe file of 130+ different headlines that will help you create curiosity-clicking headlines?
Just share this post from the box below and grab your free headline swipe file, print it off and gain more traffic to your blog posts.
I love a good headline but must admit my creative juices rarely flow to make my headlines clickable and juicy.
Sometimes you just need a little practice Elaine. In the mean time… There are headline generators that will help.
This post reminds me of a meeting I had in the pub just before the lockdown with a friend of mine who incidentally runs a marketing business and does TEDx Talks so he knows his stuff.
Anyway over a couple of pints I asked him about selling myself as a web developer and further building my brand to get better paying clients though not necessarily more clients. I happened to mention that I would like to write a book on web development and more specifically WordPress.
What he suggested really resonates with me and to come up with a title that deals with problems like “why you website will never take off” or “Ten reasons why your website will fail”. Those are the kind of titles I think will pique someones interest hey. He also mentioned that I would need to write content on how to deal with those issues.
Lastly I would like to suggest another tool to add to your list, its a site I have used quite a bit and love its rather retro look. Do have a look at Portent’s Content Idea Generator. It’s really helpful and the site looks really awesome.
It was good being here.
All the best and stay safe.
Hi Phil, thanks for stopping by and sharing your friend’s wisdom.
I have the Content Idea Generator from Portent mentioned in several other posts, and content roadmaps. I was just offering up some alternatives to my regular readers 🙂
No problem at all, really enjoyed reading this post of yours. will check out a few more posts.