I know the feeling. You’ve spent hours and hours slaving away at your laptop creating a super detailed blog post full of valuable, useful information. You’ve included beautiful images, broken up your post into easily digestible chunks and have proofread like a grammar nazi. You eagerly and proudly press ‘publish’, share your post across your social media network and excitedly check back in a few days with the expectation that page views will be rolling in, that there will be a bunch of comments awaiting moderation and your post will have been re-shared around the web. Except… none of this has happened. There’s been barely a click on your post. And actually, far from being a hit, no one seems to be reading your blog post at all.
You know what? I’ve been there. I’ve written my fair share of blog posts that have been met with nothing but the sound of crickets. No comments. No engagement. Maybe a couple of clicks and that’s it. I had no idea why no one wanted to read my blog posts and it would hit me like a punch in the guts. Am I crap blogger? Why am I even bothering with updating this blog? What’s the point if no one is even reading it?
Back in the early days when The Department of Wandering was a baby, I knew nothing about the importance of crafting click-worthy headlines. It didn’t even cross my mind! And looking back at some of my early blog post titles now, it’s no wonder that the posts weren’t getting the views I naively assumed they would.
Whilst there could be many reasons you’re not attracting many readers to your blog, one of them might simply be that your blog post titles just aren’t that interesting. Sure, your readers might see that you’ve published a new post and even read your headline, but what’s going to actually make them click through to read it? I’m telling you, it’s all in the title my friends! I’ve learnt a lot about creating clickable headlines through trial and error over a number of years here on The Department of Wandering. Here are my best strategies on how to write clickable blog post titles that will prove irresistible to your readers!
8 tips on how to write clickable blog post titles:
1. Solve a problem for your target audience
One of the best ways to write clickable blog post titles is to offer a solution to a problem that you know your audience faces. Readers come to blogs looking for advice, tips and to learn from you about topics that interest them. Having your blog post titles reflect this will definitely go a long way into improving your page views.
In order to do this, try to create a blog post title that is actionable; you need to make your readers believe that by clicking through, they’ll be given the answers to a problem they face. Of course, you then need to offer up the goods otherwise you’ll quickly lose trust with your audience! Some phrases that work really well in these kinds of posts include things like ‘little known ways to…’, ‘here’s a quick way to…’ and ‘what everybody should know about…’.
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2. Make it fun using catchy adjectives and adverbs
Let’s face it, nobody is going to click on a boring headline. Try and make your blog post title sound interesting by creating a catchy headline that stands out. One of the ways you can do this is through including adjectives and adverbs in your title to add some colour. The stronger they are, the bigger the chance that you’re going to inspire your audience to click through and find out what all the fuss is all about. Some that work really well in blog post titles include words like, ‘epic’, ‘ultimate’, ‘essential’ and ‘disastrous’, just to name a few.
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3. Use digits instead of words
When reading online, digits are much more eye-catching than spelled-out numbers so be sure to use digits in your blog post headlines. Interestingly, odd numbers are said to work better than even numbers, so think about using that strategy as well!
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4. The 5Ws are your friends
Back in school you probably remember learning the ‘5Ws’ – ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘why’. Although the word ‘how’ is not technically part of the ‘5Ws’, it’s definitely used in the same way and serves a similar purpose. Framing your blog post around one of these words makes you appear commanding, knowledgeable and ready to share your precious content!
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5. Keep it short, focused and specific
Your readers need to be able to get a very clear sense of what your blog post is about by glancing at the headline, which is why complicated, long and wordy titles just don’t work. Also, blog post titles that are over 70 characters long are cut short by search engines, which is bad for SEO. Your blog post title needs to be short and sweet.
6. Hint at a personal revelation to pique interest
If your blog post title refers to something personal, honest and reflective, it will be very appealing to your audience. Hands down, the most successful blog post title I have ever written was this: My German Spa Experience: WARNING: Nudity Expected. This post alone attracts hundreds of visitors to The Department of Wandering every single day, simply because of its interesting title. If I had titled the above blog post simply as ‘Visiting a German Spa’, the average reader might not see this as inherently interesting. By including references both to nudity and my personal experience of what was obviously a confronting situation, I’ve made it virtually impossible not to want to click through and read all the juicy details!
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7. Reference insider knowledge that is irresistible to your readers
As a blogger writing about your niche, you’ve established yourself as somewhat of an authority on your topic. Use this to your advantage when crafting new blog post titles. Your readers want access to your insider knowledge and want to read your opinion on things. Try and craft an irresistible headline that points to essential information you know would be tempting to them.
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8. When in doubt, use this formula!
If blog post title writing is still stumping you, there’s always the magic formula to fall back on. That’s right, you can use a formula to write your headlines!
Number or trigger word + adjective + keyword + promise
Go on, why not give it a try?
If you’re looking for more tips and guidance, Neil Patel has a great resource on writing powerful headlines here.
Keen to read more blogging tips? Why not browse the Blogging category?
Do you have a strategy for writing clickable blog post titles? Share it in the comments!