Inspiration

The Little Secrets of Writing Powerful Headlines

A man reading an interesting article online

In the beginning of my career as a blogger and a writer, I wondered how to get the attention of my audience just after I had written over 20 intriguing articles on my PC. The question was how to appear on the scene. There were not that many bloggers around and the tags were not popular at all.

The times changed through the years and today all these things are totally different nowadays. What hasn’t changed much is the importance of the titles and the headlines of the blogs and the articles.

 

The importance of the titles and the headlines

Is not a secret that even if you have created the most incredible story in the world this will remain a hidden treasure unless someone comes around and read it. This is one of the first things people who start a blog for their very first time find out at some moment.

In a world full of any kind of information, how would you get people to actually read what you write? Choosing the right title and a headline accompanies it for me is as important as the topic of my article, book or blog is.

 

Title vs. Headline

To be the clear-the title is the name of the story, while the idea of the headline is to tell the readers what this story is about, in short. The headlines can be long, while the same is not recommended for the titles. I often spend hours playing around with words combinations and tweaks until I come up with the “successful” headline and title for my post.

 

Why really each and every title and a headline are so important for your articles, books or blogs?

The title and the headline of your article (when there is a headline present) are the first part of your post and their purpose is to grab your visitors’ attention. This means the whole thing takes more than just a good or even great content or nice design.

Woman reads an article
The successful title and headline grab the reader from the very beginning           [Image: Shutterstock]

The properly chosen title and headline combination will lead to increased traffic to your website, the growth of the social shares and respectively yours and your blog and website popularity. High popularity means more readers, more attention and at the end-more audience and customers.

 

How to Engage the Audience with a catching Title and intriguing Headline?

The good blog title or article title shouldn’t be very long. Try to make it about 64 symbols. This is about the SEO. It should be different, intriguing (or catchy) and distinctive.

If you check the top articles of the week, the top trending news stories or the most read articles on the internet you will notice that most of them have a catchy title. Note that catchy doesn’t necessarily mean the headline must be clickbait. Beware the clickbaits.

 

Here are some examples of catchy titles for articles:

 

12 Reasons Why Your Next Vacation Should Be A Cruise

15 Reasons You Should Never Take A Cruise

10 Reasons To Visit Nevis This Winter

12 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Switzerland!

 

How To Write Headlines that Grab the Reader’s Attention

There are at least two common things between the shown above list of catchy titles. All of them have numbers and at least one “catchy” word. In this case, the word is “reasons”.

The following words should be present either in the title or in the headline of your articles, or in both if you really want your published post to go in the “top articles names“ list.

When you read them you’ll find they can be seen everywhere, used to populate the trending stories on the web, for example.

 

  • A (carefully chosen) number – see the above patterns.
  • What/Which/When/Why/What Is
  • Amazing/Outstanding/Wonderful/Astonishing/Brilliant/Astonishing/Top/Best/Better
  • You/Your
  • People/Men/Women/Social
  • Reveal/Unknown/ Not Well Known /Unbelievable/Mystery/Myth/Secret/Story/Code
  • Now/New/Newest/Latest/Hot/Trending
  • Tragedy/ Terrifying/Horrifying / Drama/Kill/Killing/Death/Worse
  • Facts/Curious/Buzz/Well Known/
  • Don’t/Shouldn’t/Should/Could/Did/Didn’t
  • Shopping/Bargain/Gift/Deal
  • Absolute/Unique/Exclusive/Limited
  • Successful/Proven/Recommended
  • Tips/How To/Hints/Suggestions
  • Develop/Improve/Boost/Increase/Breakthrough

 

Is important for you to notice the use of Capital Letters where you want to stress a word. An important role for stressing the significance has the type of the used font.

 

An Example for article Title combined with a good Headline:

10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric

Attracting a new customer is just too difficult and expensive to lose the relationship because you didn’t treat them right.

 It seems to be similar to the trending news worldwide isn’t it?

 

How to Find Headlines or Titles that Really Work for Your Blog?

The effective title is concise and short, but long enough to convey the message in the best possible way. The headline must be concise, but at the same time descriptive. And the most important – to grab the readers’ attention.

But, Attention (this time for you!)- don’t write a killing headline that everyone will click on but that has nothing to do with the content. If the article doesn’t meet the readers’ expectations, they will probably never come back to your blog or online magazine.

A clickbait
Headlines and titles have to be interesting, but not used as clickbaits only  [Image: Getty ]

Here are some catchy headlines examples.I’ll use the words customer/customers and the related to the words, plus number 7 (seven)  for some of the examples below:

 

7 Key Benefits of having Unsatisfied Customer.

A Simple Anatomy of the Satisfied Customer.

7 Simple Rules About the Clickbaits.

Seven Facts You Didn’t know about Your Customers.

7 Great Tips On How To Get More Traffic To Your Online Store.

Seven Things Your Customers Won’t Tell You.

 

And so on, and so on.

You can use these catchy article titles (or headlines, depending on the case) examples as a pattern. Soon you will find out creating amazing article headlines or catchy article titles is not that difficult. And it can be fun, sometimes.

Stay with me now because there’s another way to create stunning titles or headlines. An Easy Way.

If you are a newbie this way will help you to understand better the previously highlighted items above and to give you sometimes great ideas about the sentences you look for. Have you ever heard about catchy titles generators?

 

The Easier Way to Get into the List “Top Articles of All Times”

The good news is nowadays there are tools which can save you time and efforts to come up with the right ideas. The below tools, for instance, will help you with finding the best title for your article or headline for your blog.

They are known as blog topic generators or headline generators.

Set of tools
The right tools can save you time and efforts [Image: Shutterstock]

These tools can help you with ideas to start or continue to generate unique, inspiring and clickable content.

 

The Blog Post Ideas Generator

This tool is ready to serve you when your brain is out of service (a nice motto, isn’t it?).

 

Link Bait Title Generator

You have to enter the subject of your post and the machine will create suggestions for you. Except for the Link Bait Generator on the same site, you can also find a Word Count Tool, plus the useful Hashtag Finder. A great tool you can use with ease.

 

TweakYourBiz Title Generator

Another outstanding tool that I recommend. Use it to generate amazing and distinguishable titles for articles and blog posts. You have the option to use the Tweak Your Biz Thesaurus to generate even more ideas.

 

Portent’s Content Idea Generator

An easy to use tool with a nice and user-friendly design. You’ll love it, especially if you are wondering about topics and content when starting a new blog.

 

Inboundnow: Blog Title Idea Generator

A simple and easy to use tool that will help you with brand new ideas with a click of a button, in case you got stuck.

 

HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

This is another free helper you can use. Compared with the results obtained by using the Link Bait Generator, the Blog Topic Generator provided by HubSpot was a bit disappointing to me.

However, when you input 3 different nouns it will serve you back 5 blog topic ideas that you can use either for inspiration for writing new content or as a ready to be used topic for your already existing articles.

 

Headline Analyzer

The headline analyzer will not help you with generating an idea but will analyze how strong is your suggestion. A great instrument to check and analyze already created or existing titles or headlines.

 

Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

This is an interesting tool that really worth testing it. Having a tool that helps you analyze the emotions in your headline is a must have a tool to make an even more compelling headline.

 

A Tip: With or without the help of online generators, try to include in your headlines or titles more verbs and adjectives from the following list. This will help a lot when picking up the right title or headline.

Motivate, Enhance, Disturbing, Show, Keep, Insane, Build, Exclude, Play, Start, Seductive, Get, Optimize, Useful, Shocking,  Grow, Include, Stop, Efficient, Fabulous, Engage, Easy, Overcome, Controversial, Spiffy, Savvy, Sizzling, Maximize, Clever, Manipulate, Gain, Formulas, Winning, Bring, SpiceUp, Motivate, Crazy, Snazzy, Move, Juicy, Sleek, Increase, Beautifully, Benefit, Fascinating,  Promote, Break, Terrible, Drive, Perform, Define, Search, Useless, Make, Outrageous, Illustrate, Fail, Fantastic, Trendy, Proven, Valuable, Delicious, Prepare, Epic, Gorgeous, Powerful, Describe, Tasty, Successful, Prove, Generate, Irresistible, Eliminate, Beautiful, Seriously, Recommended, Beautify, Discover, Create, Maintain.

Tag Cloud made of powerful words
Try to include in your headlines and titles more verbs and adjectives from this list       [Image: Thomas Saacke]

The Final Thoughts:

Your headline should always be aimed at grabbing the attention of the readers and to draw them into the main story, but be very careful. In case the reader reads the actual post and it does not reflect the magnitude of the headline, readers might be left disappointed.

The powerful headlines must be a carefully chosen combination of words. Although they must grab readers attention from the very first moments, headlines or titles used only as cheap clickbaits have to be avoided.

Best headlines and titles should represent the intriguing content that follows in an appealing and a provocative way.

 

If you are interested to read further, I would recommend you to read also these topic related articles:

10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work 

 74 Attention-Grabbing Blog Titles That Actually Work

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