One of the trickiest parts of successful niche blogging is writing compelling headlines for your blog posts. Somehow, bloggers have to find that perfect balance between compelling copy and sparkling SEO while avoiding spammy clickbait. Although it isn’t always easy, there are several tips that can make it much easier!
If content is king, why is the headline so important?
First impressions are everything. The title or headline of your blog post is the first thing your readers will see when they perform a Google search or spot your post on Facebook. It’s what they’ll see in email newsletters. Even the Google bots will judge your content based on your headline.
Basically, content is king… but your title is the crown. It needs to sparkle.
There are three things you absolutely must remember when writing headlines.
There are a few things you need to remember as you craft the perfect headline for your blog post:
Always be accurate. Accuracy protects your brand. Do not mislead your readers by misrepresenting your content. The best way to build a successful niche site is to build a trustworthy niche site.
Make it optimized. SEO helps your content gain organic traffic from search engines. Your headline is a critical component of your SEO, so make sure you include at least one keyword in your headline.
Keep it short. Short headlines (62 characters or less) are not truncated by search engines or social media. If your headline exceeds that length, only part of it will be displayed to your readers and it won’t be as effective.
The recipe for the perfect blog post headline is simple – and it isn’t a secret.
A simple Google search for “blog post headline ideas” will yield hundreds of suggestions, types and layouts for your blog post headlines. Most of these are redundant, unproven and just invented to bloat someone else’s blog post.
We don’t do that.
In my experience, the most effective blog posts focus on one of these approaches:
Solve a problem. If you’ve written an article that solves a problem, tell them in the headline! One of the most popular posts on Low Income Relief is our article about how to get dirt-cheap Internet service. Since many of our readers are piggy-backing off their neighbor’s lousy Wi-Fi or hunkering down at the library for their Internet access, this solves a very pressing need for many of our readers.
No guesswork. No need to be fancy. It works because the content sells itself. You’ll notice that a lot of our titles here on SkilledBlogging.com do the same thing!
Ignite the reader’s curiosity. Ask questions, hint at the content of your articles and ignite the reader’s curiosity just enough that they can’t resist clicking on your headline. Yes, this sounds a lot like click bait… but bear with me.
The most popular type of click bait is misleading, it degrades brand trust and it annoys the crap out of your readers. They usually illicit a strong emotional reaction and promise shocking results with leads like, “Man tries to hug a wild cheetah. What happens next will blow your mind!” How can you not click on that?! Don’t you just have to know what’s going to happen next?! Exactly. Don’t participate in this most dreaded plague of social media.
Of course, marketers use click bait headlines because they work. Creating emotional suspense is a wonderful motivator that drives readers to your content. While I don’t support using outlandish, stereotypical clickbait leads, I do think there are elements of clickbait that can enhance your headlines.
This is the most popular series on Low Income Relief (and the first one that went viral). It’s a comprehensive list of all the discounts and deals that food stamps recipients can receive. I phrased the title as a question that clearly implies a surprising outcome and it’s been quite effective at bringing in traffic.
Give them advice. When your headline clearly instructs the reader, it presents value and establishes your authority on the subject. These give your reader compelling reasons to click on your headline.
These headlines typically include phrases like these:
- Why You Should…
- Why You Should Never…
- What You Should Do When…
- Never Do This If…
- What I Learned From…
- … Mistakes That Might Cost You …
- Everything You Need to Know About…
- How To…
Use science and statistics. In this era of fake news and photoshopped facts, let your readers know your content is backed by data. Headlines like this include phrases like “Research-Backed,” “Science Shows,” or “Backed by Science.” They may also include statistics (“How I Increased My Search Traffic by 500% in 10 Days”).
Use adjectives and lists. Many people include words like “fastest,” “best” and “easiest” in their search terms. These are especially effective when paired with list-type articles. Headlines may include things like “The 3 Best Free WordPress Themes” or the “30 Easiest Ways to Make Money on Your Smartphone.”
Still stuck? Here are some apps that can help you develop the perfect headline for your blog post.
There are a few online tools that can help you when you’re stuck on trying to find the ideal headline for your blog post. Here are a few headline generators that may be able to help you when you just can’t come up with the perfect headline. Let one of them inspire you today!
Got your headline? Great! Now let’s find some great images for your posts!