Are You Ready to Kill Those Boring Blog Post Headlines?

Let’s get more specific about how to write blog post titles that get clicks.

I shared my process with you for writing my headlines.

It’s something I’m still working on for sure and sometimes I get a hit, other times my titles flop.  The only way to get better is to study, test, and watch the results.

Like blogging.  Or business.  Or life.  Jump in and give it a shot.

Here are 5 strategies you can use for any post to spice up the title.

1.  Numbers & Tips

Like the “5 Easy Ways…” headline I used for this post, putting a promise of X number of tips or solutions in your headline is a great way to go.

I’ve found headlines with numbers see to get more social networks shares as well as more clicks.  7 of my top 15 posts on this blog had numbers in the title.

2.  Power Words

Power words are words that grab our attention.  Strong verbs and spicy adjectives.

Like these:

  • Free
  • Powerful
  • Surefire
  • Unleash
  • Explode
  • Discover
  • Learn
  • Easier
  • Truth
  • Secret

3.  Word Plays, Knock Offs, and Pop Culture References

I used “snap, crackle and pop” in the original title for this post (see the list below for some of the titles I brainstormed) and most of my readers will recognize that.  I occasionally weave other word plays or references into my titles.

You know your audience.  What TV shows do they watch?  What music do they listen to?  What phrases would they recognize?  Do cute word plays go over well?

Maybe you can pull off a bit of snappy innuendo.  I once titled a post “Monogamy Not Required: Love More than One” about social networking.  It got clicks.

If your headline makes your potential reader smile, you’re closer to a click.

4.  Evoke Emotion with Benefits (or Loss)

What will the reader gain by checking out your post?  Tie it to an emotion.

What might the reader lose if they don’t read your post?  How about trying a “Stop Feeling X and Get Y…” title?

5. Pique Curiosity

If you can create a headline that creates irresistible curiosity, you’ll get more clicks.

Throw in the unexpected.  This works well if your post compares two totally different things.  Like pirates and blog traffic.

Or try a question instead of a statement.  Like “Do Your Headlines Snap, Crackle, and Pop?”

Three More Headline Tips

1.  A fun way to brainstorm headline ideas is to visit your favorite websites and look for their most popular posts.  If you look to the right on this page you’ll see that my most popular tend to either be “10 Ways to…” or “How to…” type posts.  My audience likes those.

2.  Twitter is a great place to test out your headlines.  When you write a new blog post, brainstorm 3 or 4 titles, then use those to tweet a link to your post  over the next 24-48 hours. Like this:

  • 5 Ways to Make Your Headlines Snap, Crackle, and Pop
  • Use These Strategies to Get CLICKS! to Your Blog Posts
  • Please Write Better Blog Post Titles – Tips to Make it Easier
  • Can Pop Culture Get Clicks to Your Blog Posts?
  • 5 Ways to Kill Boring Headlines and Get Traffic to Your Blog
  • Stop Writing Headlines that Get Ignored – Here’s How
  • Discover 5 Simple Strategies for More Magnetic Headlines
  • Are Your Headlines Boring?  Fix ’em with these tips!
  • How Getting Emotional Can Build Your Traffic

Some of those won’t work.  Some will.  I’ll test ’em and see what results I get.

3.  Use templates.  If you haven’t yet, get the free download from Headline Hacks.  It’s awesome.  You don’t want to use the same template for every headline or you’ll start sounding a bit like a robot.  But they’re great for getting started and that download has enough you’ll have plenty to choose from.

Image Credit: ba1969/Sxc.hu

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31 Comments

  1. These are some great tips! I am definitely in need of writing better headlines. That will be my February goal LOL I think this month I need to get myself in the habit of just writing posts everyday :)
    Kimberly ~ Gypsy recently posted… Disable Comments on Pages in WPMy Profile

    1. One thing at a time. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Write Firecracker Headlines that Get ClickedMy Profile

  2. OK, let’s see: As you know, Michelle, I love #3 so you’ll see that a lot on by blog: 3 tips in particular. Should maybe change tips to secrets, sounds much better.
    I love discover, learn, and free as power words, writing on my list to use them more often.
    The idea of asking a question is great, I noticed a lot of click for those and I really like them to. Or an invitation like “join the conversation”, “put your 2 cents in”, “have your say”, that kind of thing.

    Excellent ideas, I will try some of the ones I haven’t yet, thank you!
    Delia recently posted… How to write tweets that get clicked and retweetedMy Profile

    1. That’s a good one, it works well for me to put that number in the title. And combining the ideas – numbers and power words – works even better.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Find the Right Image, FasterMy Profile

  3. I’ve actually been working on this and know I need to improve. This was a very timely and helpful post. Thanks a bunch!
    Donna Marie Johnson recently posted… This Really Sums It All Up On How To See Lasting Change In Your Life and BusinessMy Profile

    1. You’re welcome, Donna! Glad it was good timing. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… “Cool Kid” Secrets to Getting Social Network Traffic to Your Blog PostsMy Profile

  4. Great post. I tend to struggle to come up with headlines at times. This definitely helps.

    1. I’m thankful it’s an “art” that can be learned. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  5. Excellent tips! This is an area that I still need to work on, but I’m sure these tips will help. Thanks.
    Tony recently posted… The greatest source of information on being self-sufficientMy Profile

    1. Yep, just a matter of practice and implementing good strategy, Tony. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Six Secrets Strategies for 15 Minute Blog PostsMy Profile

  6. Thanks Michelle
    Have saved this post to refer to at a later stage. A wealth of information here.

    Madonna

    1. You’re welcome, Madonna. Glad it’s helpful!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Six Secrets Strategies for 15 Minute Blog PostsMy Profile

  7. Thanks for the great tips. Time to put this new knowledge into action

    1. You’re welcome, Rob, and putting it into action is the key.

  8. Great post Michelle and thank you!
    This post certainly inspired me to write my first post for today.
    I truly appreciate you.

    1. Yay! Glad to hear this inspired you to write, Marjorie!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  9. Great Michelle! very relevant tips for writing headlines to catch up the attentions of our readers. Thanks!

  10. Awesome ideas Michelle.

    Headlines do really make a big difference so you want to craft something that is attention getting and these are all great ideas.

    Being specific like saying ‘5 tips to ….’ instead of saying ‘tips to…’ works well and evoking emotion with stating a benefit is also what works well for me.

    Nice post. In fact this is one to tack to the wall.

    Thanks, Liz :-)
    Liz recently posted… Time Saving Tips for Promoting Your BlogMy Profile

    1. Yep, that’s the way to get me to click — tell me what value is waiting for me on the other side, but in an exciting way! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Find the Right Image, FasterMy Profile

  11. Great advice- I have been trying to do this but have great difficulties with my Blogs on Jewelry. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thankyou!

    1. Hey Cindy, I’m sure we can brainstorm some ideas for you. Can you share some ideas of what you’re writing about and what titles you’ve been using that we can help you around?
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Six Secrets Strategies for 15 Minute Blog PostsMy Profile

  12. Thanks Michelle! Where were you 6 months ago–when I started blogging? LOL–printing these tips & posting on the wall by the computer… : )
    Jenny recently posted… It’s Fabulous Friday–Here are your Fitness Tips!My Profile

    1. Here… but quieter. I’m getting louder. ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Six Secrets Strategies for 15 Minute Blog PostsMy Profile

  13. I like the headline tip about posting it on Twitter. Seeing as you have a certain number of characters, it forces you to get right to your point. What are you really saying in your title that will entice people to click. I’ve noticed that if I can get a good response from my Twitter followers (retweet or response to my post), these are good enough to actually write on my blog. I use StatCounter quite a bit to see how people found my site. Normally, the keywords in the title are ways I draw in the visitors. Great post! It’s a very slept on concept!
    John recently posted… Use the power of blogging to help your business expand greatly!My Profile

    1. Twitter has definitely made me a better headline writer. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Write Firecracker Headlines that Get ClickedMy Profile

  14. @Michelle, as always, great pointers – #1 and #2 are those I often share with my readers when it comes to copywriting tips.
    Hope you don’t mind, but here’s a post related to pointer #4 – it’s about making emotion part of your promotion so I thought you & your readers would find it worthwhile.
    http://www.writedirection.com/copywriting-tip-emotion-part-promotion
    Enjoy.
    Debra

    1. Awesome, thanks! And nope, never mind great resources being shared. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Why Blogging Might Be the Perfect Answer to a Business SlumpMy Profile

  15. I love the way you took a bunch of big concepts that people have written books about (Yeah, I wrote some of those books) and distilled them into one easy-to-read blog post. Well-done, Michelle.
    Shel Horowitz – Green/Ethical Marketing Expert recently posted… How I Started on the Green PathMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Shel. There’s definitely worth in studying much deeper into each of these. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 7 Hot Resources for BloggersMy Profile

  16. Thanks for the great ideas, Michelle. As a novice blogger, I need all the suggestions I can get.

    I liken this to being the headline copy writer for a large circulation newspaper.

    Cheers,
    Marc

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