By John White
CREDIT: Getty Images
I had a call the other day with an entrepreneur who told me that his blog articles are like an echo chamber; it feels like he is talking to himself. He’s investing a ton of time and effort into creating posts, but they are not getting any engagement. In fact, hardly anyone is even reading them at all.
Does this sound familiar? Well then, let me ask you a simple question. How much time do you spend crafting the title?
One thing I’ve learned writing over 100 articles on Inc. is that the title is critical to the success of the piece. The first step to getting engagement is getting people to click. If you can’t get the readers excited enough to click, they will never know just how great a post you’ve written.
Since your headline sucked, they never bothered clicking on it. Let’s face it: Writing bland headlines kills blog posts.
Here are some can’t-miss strategies I’ve used and seen others use to get people clicking on posts.
Write at least five titles
Think of writing blog titles like playing darts. You need to throw a lot of darts before hitting the bullseye. Write at least five potential titles and choose the best one.
Use this free tool to help you analyze
If you’re like me, you might have a hard time choosing which potential title to use. Here is an amazing free tool that I use to write the titles for every post I write. It provides an analysis of the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline and assigns a score to each potential title.
The name of the tool is called Co-Schedule. It’s free to use, and I’ve found it to be quite handy in helping me determine which title to pick for maximum impact.
Use large numbers in the title when appropriate
Large numbers tend to catch people’s attention. They can boost your headline if used in the right context. Here is an example of what I mean:
Original: How This City in Bolivia Improved Their Drinking Water
Improved: How This City in Bolivia Improved Drinking Water for 1.5 Million People
Use calls to action and strong adjectives to get people to click
Writing bland titles hurts your readership. To get people clicking, try using a call to action in the headline.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
Original: How to Become a Better Writer
Improved: Try These Strategies From The World’s Top Bloggers to Improve Your Writing
Write emotional headlines
Research shows that emotional headlines get shared the most on social media. Readers want to learn something new and be inspired. Your headline should contain power words that elicit an emotional response from the reader.
Use power words like:
- The Truth
People are emotional, and it’s been proven over and over that emotion sells. People reading blog posts want unique information that they can’t get elsewhere.
Here’s an example of how to write a headline with power words
Original: How to Get More Customers Using Our New Cloud Platform
Improved: How Using Our New Cloud Platform Enabled This Company to Sell More and Triple Their Profits
Always avoid click-bait
You want to sensationalize your titles, and make the post sound grand and full of value. However, never use a click-bait title. Your title should be a roadmap for what the reader can expect in the post.
If your title does not deliver what it says it’s going to, it turns readers off. And if they feel like they got tricked into reading something, they won’t ever read anything of yours again.
It’s a science
Writing headlines that will drive clicks and shares is a science, and it takes time to get it right. You invest a lot in writing the piece and sourcing the ideal images, so don’t settle for a less-than-perfect title.
Now that you’re ready to write better headlines to get more people to start clicking, learn more about how to create colorful and engaging content within the body of the post from this infographic from MyTasker.
Read the full article here.
This content was originally published by Inc Magazine. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By Inc Magazine