By BookSavvy Team | October 26, 2022
So, you just wrapped up your latest blog post! It’s timely, relevant, and all it needs is a title before you share it with your readers. If the thought of crafting a title for your blog post gives you grief, you are not alone. Your post can feature the best content out there, but no one will click on it unless your title pops. What’s the secret? Here are the eight questions you need to ask yourself before you publish that post:
1. Does My Title Define What the Article is About?
Now is not the time for intrigue. Don’t expect your readers to click and engage if they don’t have the foggiest idea about your topic. Make sure your headline lays out what you’ll be discussing in your piece. Is it a how-to article about starting a nonprofit? Think “Starting a Nonprofit: 10 Things You Must Do” versus “Nonprofit Organizations.”
2. Is My Headline Speaking Directly to My Target Audience?
Your blog is tailored to a specific readership, right? It should be. In today’s blogosphere, people are looking for specific content, and your title should reflect that. Giving your niche a shoutout in your blog title is a great way to boost SEO and draw in leads.
Think about who you are trying to attract and reach out to them through your title. In a previous post, I shared TV interviewing tips from our media professional. I titled the post, “Nailing your TV interview: tips from our media trainer from her years at CBS, NBC & Bloomberg,” in a bid to grab the attention of readers who are actively looking for resources to help them ace a television interview. I wanted the post to convince my target reader to take a closer look, so I made sure that title was as specific as possible.
3. Is My Language Powerful?
A good title will state, in a few words, what you are sharing. You can have the most important message to share, but it’s not going to resonate unless the delivery is on point. Your writing is the vehicle for your content, so make sure you style it to grab attention. The title of your post is essentially your sales pitch. Now is the time to let the reader know they will benefit from reading your post. Use brief, active language to sell it, and appeal to your reader’s emotions. Thing heartstring words like win, lose, master, delight, and surprise.
4. Could This Be a Call to Action?
Think of your post as the prize in a scavenger hunt. You want your reader to feel like something is at stake and take action. If your title urges readers to “find out,” or “get the inside scoop,” you’re extending an invitation for action. A good CTA whets the reader’s appetite for more information. Encourage them to dive in and learn more. The key is to make it a no-obligation chance the reader can’t possibly pass up.
5. Am I Making the Most of Target Keywords?
Now that you’re looking at your title as a way to reach out directly to your niche, think about all the keywords you can use to improve SEO. Dig in and do some research with Google and a multitude of other free tools. What is your reader looking for? Include the words that will satisfy their desires and increase the likelihood of clicks. You’ll want to make a list of all the words or phrases that apply to your topic, then do a little role play and Google that list as if you are your target audience. What do the results look like?
6. Could This Title Use a Number?
Numbers in titles are hard to resist. The piece you’re reading this second has a number in the title! A number boasts value and ensures a quick, structured, and organized read. They also let the reader know exactly what to expect. Got a great, informational piece on how to choose the right dog breed? Use your title to convey how many tips you’re going to share, and break your copy into chunks accordingly. Featuring a number in your title is also a good way to help you keep on script.
7. Am I Asking the Right Questions?
See what I did there? Questions are a wonderful way to put your reader front and center and get them to apply your article to their own life. If you lead in with a personal question, the curiosity factor will leave your reader with an itch they can only scratch by clicking to find out more.
Question headlines are a fun way to tease your content. Try phrasing your title question in a way your reader just has to read more to answer it:
- “Are you using this genius hack for your social media?”
- “Do you do these 5 things in job interviews? If not, start now”
- “Have you done your 2019 taxes yet?”
8. Am I Being Authentic?
Today’s reader is savvy. Clickbaity headlines aren’t going to cut it. While it’s important to load them with choice keywords and be provocative enough to draw in your target reader, make sure your headline stays true to your voice. Your blog is a window for your audience to peer into for insight into you and your brand. Each blog (and title) is a chance to build trust and long-term relationships with readers and potential clients. Your title is the promise of what’s to come, so be sure to deliver.
Writing great headlines is a skill that can take your blog to new heights and land you guest post spots on like-minded blogs. Click-friendly headlines also create posts that get shared. You’re good at what you do, and you have knowledge to share, so why shouldn’t that new post get shared a thousand times?
Mastering the art of the headline isn’t an overnight thing; but, if you practice, you’ll get there.