It’s the first thing people see when they do a Google search, when they scroll through their newsfeed, when they’re browsing through articles to read — the headline of your blog post. It’s crucial to the success and traffic of that page, and oftentimes, people are unable to get more readers because of an uncatchy title.
But we’re here to help you out.
Okay, let’s get back to the topic. Here are two crucial problems that are associated with making blog headlines:
It’s true. The headline templates can eventually become a bore. “Top 10 [interesting topic]” or “15 Ways to [do something cool].” Cliche, right? But really, there are plenty more templates to work with, such as “The Secret of [Blank]” or “What you ought to know about [Blank].”
A quick Google search of headline templates will result in tons of workable material for your blog. What that means is that you don’t have to keep making up the most creative, original headline that gets everyone confused because it’s “deep” and makes obscure references.
Templates are a great starting point, a foundation from which you can branch off when you feel comfortable with the fundamentals of headline-writing.
I’m going to sound like I’m going against what I’ve just said, but it’s important to play around with your templates as you’re developing your fundamentals. If your niche of bloggers tend to write blog headlines in so-and-so fashion, take what they do and change it so you stand out.
Again, I don’t mean make your title obscure and ultimately unattractive; I mean keep the ideas and the charm of the template in tact, but experiment with the structure and look to make your post stand out.
And this is also related to originality: desperate headlines. When a headline sounds flashy, bordering on absurd, it’s just begging to be read, and the content will only be disappointing. Original, yes. Deceptive, also yes. Pitiably desperate, double yes.
The best headlines have to remain related to the post; the best headlines don’t break promises about the quality of the content; the best headlines are to the point and only a guide to get your brilliant material noticed.
Ignoring the Crucials:
Your readers know what they want to read. Your headline can only do so much. Remember my previous point, that headlines are only a guide for your content. Yeah. I’m drilling this point into your brains as much as possible. If your readers aren’t interested in your stuff, the best title will not help. Don’t ignore your readers.
Second to your readers are the peers, the other bloggers within your niche. Even the best content has to get noticed in the first place, and what better way to get recognition than through other bloggers writing in your field of interest? Make headlines appeal to both your readers and your peers. Don’t ignore them.
Your headline is the start of a beautiful friendship with your social media followers. Get that going if you really want the traffic. The headline is what social media users see first (along with a nice thumbnail). Each platform has its own tastes and set of audience members, so you need to cater to their wishes. What does each community within a platform want to see in a headline that will get them clicking and get you views?
Okay, okay. You gotta tailor to your readers, your peers, and now your social media audience? It’s easy to end up losing your own personal style along the way. But your followers, the really loyal ones, should be able to identify your blog from just looking at the headline. They should see your voice, your style in it, even after you successfully cater to your audience.
I understand how difficult this must all feel. Do this, but don’t do this. Use templates, but be original. Cater to your audience, but be yourself. Finding a middle ground for these is a real challenge, but play around, don’t be afraid of failure, and be quick to forgive your flops.
You can only improve from here. Some final advice: don’t use a headline until you really feel satisfied with it and don’t ask friends for their opinions; trust your instincts. You alone have what it takes.