How to Write Blog Post Titles that Help You Stand Out from the Crowd
It seems like everyone’s writing blogs. And one of the laments I most often hear from our clients is “I don’t feel like there’s anything new I can write.” What I tell them and want you to know is your perspective on a topic is what will make it unique and new. And the first place potential readers get a glimpse of how your perspective is unique is through your blog post titles.
If you settle for boring or even just meh blog titles, your blogs will never get the attention they (and you) deserve. As a blogger, you’ve got to know how to write blog post titles with Oomph! Something that encourages your ideal clients to click through to your post.
To help get your creative juices flowing, here are 5 ideas for you to consider as you sit down to write your next blog post title:
Pique Your Reader’s CuriosityHave you ever read a blog post title and thought, “I need to know more about that”? If so, then you know what it’s like to have a title spark your curiosity.
Intriguing titles invite the reader to learn more. An easy way to do that is by starting a story. “10 Surprising Facts About Sunflowers” and “The Secret Squirrel-Chasing Strategies That Only the Pros Know” are some silly examples of blog titles that suggest a story. (Although, I’ll bet my puppies JoJo and Cassie would want me to read them the last one.)
Curiosity is a really powerful emotion you can use to get readers to click through to your post.
Be Specific and ClearThe second strategy is to be specific and clear in your title. Readers want to know exactly what they can expect to learn or gain from your post, so make sure your title reflects that. For example, instead of using a vague title like “How to Save Money,” use a title like “10 Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Bills.”
Specificity can also help you get the right people to click. Imagine you’re a physical therapist and your ideal clients have chronic back pain. You could write a blog post titled “5 Pro Tips from a Physical Therapist for Eliminating Chronic Back Pain.” This title will attract people suffering from chronic back pain or people who care about someone who suffers from chronic back pain. The title also tells the reader exactly what to expect when they read this post.
Use Emotional TriggersYou’re more likely to grab a reader’s attention when you use words to trigger emotions like curiosity, fear, excitement, or urgency in your blog post titles.
Fear is always a powerful emotion. And when it’s used appropriately, it can help to make sure the information your ideal client needs is available to them. (Unfortunately, fear triggers are overused by most of the media, so I always recommend treading lightly when it comes to using fear to trigger readers.)
Some examples of titles that could make sense for a physical therapist to use could be “How to Prevent Your Chronic Back Pain from Keeping You on the Sidelines of Life” or “Stop Letting Chronic Back Pain Keep You From Enjoying Your Life.”
Using emotional triggers of excitement and urgency can encourage readers to take action. If you’re a travel agent, you could use blog titles like “10 Must-Have Items You Need to Pack for Your Next Adventure” or “The Ultimate Adventure-Travel Checklist: Don’t Forget a Thing!”
You’ve probably heard that humans like the think of themselves as rational beings, but we’re really emotionally driven. So when you can use emotionally triggering words and phrases in your blog titles, you’ll be able to create a connection with your audience and encourage them to take action and click to read your blog.
Use NumbersNumbers and lists work really well when you want to write engaging blog post titles. It’s because they tap into the specificity tip mentioned above. Titles with numbers in them also tend to sound more authoritative.
And according to BuzzSumo’s research into the most shared, of the ten most sharable phrases with which to begin a blog post title five of them featured numbers.
Using numbers can also help make complex ideas easier to understand. If you’re a coach, you might want to write a blog post titled something like “10 Steps to Finding Your Life Purpose” or “5 Simple Hacks to Get More Done in Less Time.”
Another strategy to help you write effective blog post titles is to use numbers and lists. Titles with numbers often perform well because they provide readers with a clear idea of what to expect from your post. For example, “7 Simple [Topic] Hacks That Will Save You Time and Money” or “15 [Topic] Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make.”
Numbers appeal to our innate desire to gather information quickly and appear more rational. So, they are great to include in your blog post titles.
Use KeywordsThis is my favorite tip and where I start all of my creative efforts when it comes to writing blog post titles. Keywords help you to speak the same language your ideal clients do. Using the same language is vital when you’re trying to write blog post titles that they’ll choose to read because the title will sound familiar and feel more comfortable.
So how do you find keywords? Well, I like to use SEMRUSH’s Keyword Magic Tool. However, you can use UberSuggest or Ahrefs.
In my experience, just putting keywords in your blog post titles doesn’t work as well as using a full SEO strategy. However, using something, even if the keywords across your site aren’t aligned, is better than not using them at all.
And here’s a bonus tip: Keep your blog post titles relatively short, yet still captivating. If your titles are too long, they won’t show up correctly in search engine results.
Making sure you keep your audience in mind is the common denominator of all these tips for writing blog post titles that help you stand out from the crowd. And, yes, it takes some practice to do it quickly and well.
Luckily, there are some resources that can make creating titles easier.
I’ll use this tool to quickly fine-tune a title.
I’ve not used BuzzSumo because it comes with a significant price tag. However, they do offer a 30-Day Free Trial if you want to give them a spin.
These resources can help you get insight into what types of blog post titles work best for your ideal clients. And when you implement the insights you gain, you’ll be able to improve your chances of standing out online.
And don’t worry if it feels like a slog to come up with good blog post titles. It’s one of those things that you become better at with practice. So, keep experimenting, learning, and refining your approach.
This advice applies to me too. As I’m writing this in 2023, I know that my suggestions for writing powerful blog post titles will change over time. So, I’ll be updating it in a couple of years because what works today may not work tomorrow when it comes to capturing the imagination and piquing the interest of people online.