Writing catchy blog titles is an art. If you can master it you’ll find more people clicking through to read the post you spent hours crafting.
Many abandon the title until the last minute, many don’t give it a thought but I can almost guarantee if you write better more catchy blog titles you’ll get more people reading your posts. And that’s why I’m setting you this challenge.
The challenge will start on Friday 20th October and end on Wednesday the 1st November 2017. It’s free to join in and there’s even a prize.
I want you to write the best possible headline you can (and write a blog post to accompany it). The entries will be scored and the winner will get a free blogging clinic with me and a truckload of Kudos.
Want to join in?
Step 1: Join the Small Business Bloggers Facebook group.
Step 2: Write a blog post title
Step 3: Write your blog post and post the link to the challenge thread in the group
All entries must be submitted before midnight GMT on Wednesday 1st November 2017
How will the winner be chosen?
There are three criteria for picking winners. Each one accounts for 33% of your final score:
- The Coschedule headline analyser score
- The Emotional Value Headline Analyser score
- A public vote on the Amanda Webb Spiderworking Facebook page. Headlines will be judged by the number of likes they get.
Blog title ideas
To inspire your entries I’ve compiled some ideas for writing better headlines.
I’ve written about blog headlines many times before but yet again I feel it’s time to revisit the topic.
The worst headline I ever wrote:
Not very clickable is it? Not catchy? Not memorable. I’m honestly surprised that anyone read that post on my previous blog about labelling food with the amount of water used to produce it.
It’s bad but at least it gives me an example to work with.
Strategy 1: Elements of viral headlines
Buzzsumo conducted research back in 2016 analysing the most viral posts of 2015. They discovered 5 elements that would contribute to a successful title.
Those elements were:
1. An emotional element
Emotion doesn’t only make us click or share, it also makes us remember stuff. Look for words and phrases that represent and trigger emotion.
2. Content element
What type of post is this? What detail will they find inside?
3. Topic element
What’s the post about? This is a good place to slot in your keyword
4. Format element
What type of post is it? Is it a tutorial, a list post etc?
5. Promise element
What value will readers get from your post?
Here’s Buzzsumo’s graphic illustrating the elements with examples:
I’ve applied that format to my terrible headline and I think it’s improved it
STUDY: WATER LABELLING, A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO SAVE WATER
Far better but I know I can do even more.
Strategy 2: Power Words
Is your headline is a bit lacklustre? A power word can add a bit of magic to your title.
Power words and phrases encourage readers to take action on what they read. In our case to click through and read more.
I added a power word to my headline, I think I’m getting somewhere:
STUDY: WATER IS SCARCE, COULD LABELLING BE THE SIMPLE SOLUTION WE NEED?
Strategy 3: Ann Handley
I read Anne’s book ‘Everybody Writes’ earlier this year and it has stayed with me. One thing you writes and talks about is making sure your writing is recognisably you.
To achieve this in my blog titles I imagine sitting down and saying it out loud to someone. I do actually say it out loud. Try this with your headline, how does it sound? Does it trip off your tongue or do you stumble over your words?
When I read my water headline out loud I realised the word ‘Simple’ was clunky and unnecessary. So now we have:
STUDY: WATER IS SCARCE, COULD LABELLING BE THE SOLUTION WE NEED?
Other headline tips:
If you need a little extra help here are some tips that could also make your blog title catchy and clickable.
By adding a number to your post you are showing your reader there is value in the post. If they click they’ll learn 5, 6,7,9 things.
My ‘how to’ posts have consistently been the best performers on my blog. Again, it’s about value, we know we are going to learn something if we click.
Ask a question
Readers will want to click to find out the answer or contribute their idea
Set a challenge…
Yes, that’s this post. You clicked you read, are you in?
Head over to the Facebook group and join up to get started
Get a headstart on Google Analytics 4 & understand the lingo with the GA4 phrase book