How to Write the Perfect Blog Post Title (With Examples)
You’re sitting on the sofa, scrolling through social media on your phone, when a photo catches your eye. You read the title for the post and decide right then whether you’ll click or continue scrolling.
The scenario above is the way we all do it. It takes a reader five seconds or less to decide if they’re going to click on your post. The visual stops their thumb from scrolling. The title makes them decide if they’re going to read or not. That’s why learning how to write the perfect blog post title is vital.
Why Titles are Vital
See what we did there? Nothing like a little play on words to attract your attention. But seriously. The title of your blog post makes or breaks it. The scenario above is real. You’ve done it a zillion times. And you aren’t alone.
The 80/20 rule of blog titles says that about 80% of people will read your post’s title, but only 20% will click to read the post. You don’t want your messages to be for naught. That’s why a perfect blog post title is critical.
A perfect blog post title:
- Attracts attention
- Summarizes the post simply
- Depicts the post’s tone
- Encourages the viewer to click and read the post
But you probably already knew that. We all know we need to write great blog titles. We also know that writing clever, short titles that include keywords is dang complicated. Concise writing is difficult. As Mark Twain once famously said:
Writing clear, concise blog titles that include keywords and entice the reader is hard work. Don’t worry. We’re here to help!
How to Write a Perfect Blog Post Title
Using best practices when titling your blog posts can make people more likely to click and read. Here is some of our best advice for writing a perfect blog post title, with some examples to spur your creativity.
Know Your Readers
Understanding your readers is one of the most important things you can do for your writing. Each time you sit down at the computer to write, whether it be a social media or blog post or just a title, you need to think about your reader persona. First, think about who you’re talking to, then write everything with that person in mind.
This title on Jeff Bullas’s blog speaks directly to a particular reader. Are you a graphic designer? If so, you’ll likely be interested in this post. If not, you probably want to scroll on by.
Keep Them Simple
You missed the mark if your reader has to read your post title more than once to understand it. Instead, use three to five simple words to summarize the post. Then, readers should understand your title at a glance.
We hate to use Poynter as what not to do, but… what?
Avoid False Promises
We know some sites are famous for outrageous titles, but you also know how you feel when the content doesn’t support the clickbait title. Your title shouldn’t make promises that your post’s content can’t deliver on.
We had to go to Buzzfeed for this one. We know it’s all fun (They even say it in the subtitle.), but this quiz isn’t credible.
While this kind of post and title may be entertaining, it’s probably not good for your business. It makes people distrustful of your real news or information.
Use Strong Verbs
Use strong action verbs in your titles. Be creative about the verbs you use. Avoid passive verbs and “be” verbs. Also, be sure you’re writing in the language your audience uses. You want them to see the post title and immediately relate to it.
This title from Lolly Daskal’s blog packs a lot of punch.
Set the Tone
Set the tone for your post’s content with the words you choose. Also, remember that your post titles overall should reflect your blog’s purpose and style.
“Little luxuries” and “pampered” set the tone for this piece on the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog.
Use the most important words related to your post’s content in your title. Using keywords will help search engines identify your post as worthy of sharing with readers. You put time into writing a blog post. You want to make sure people see it. Strong SEO is the best way to make that happen.
The long-tail keyword for this post is “perfect blog post title.” You see it reflected in the title.
Use Good Grammar and Accurate Spelling
Failing to use good grammar will send potential readers away. They’ll think your post is error-laden too. Misspellings ruin credibility. Don’t ruin your blog’s reputation before the reader even has a chance to click on the post.
We agree. And we were curious about what Lindsey Pollack was writing about here. Do you know what it was? Spelling! Apparently, people misspell her name a lot, which she (of course) notices. It happens so frequently that she takes note when people get it correct.
Accurate spelling should be the rule, not the exception.
Note: This is where we tripled-checked to make sure we spelled Lindsey’s name correctly.
Think about how you would tell a friend what you’re writing about. In this case, the friend is your reader persona. Write your title in a manner that they can easily relate to.
This title from Live Bold & Bloom made us laugh. Yes! Those drainers suck the life out of us! While there’s nothing funny about toxic people, this title stands out.
Include a Number
Blog titles with numbers get at least double the clicks of those without digits. This popularity is likely because people like reading scannable lists that they can take immediate action on. Just make sure that, if your blog title contains a number, you have a numbered list in the post.
Twenty-six seems like a random number, but we’ll take these ideas from Buffer!
Readers like you to answer the “What’s in it for me” question. Make it evident in the title why the reader should read the post. What will they get from it? Then be sure the post delivers on that promise.
Yes, Buffer, I would like to save 84 hours. What is this new product?
Readers come to your site looking to solve a problem. So use your blog posts to teach something and make it evident to the reader that’s what you’re doing. “How to” posts also are super popular among blog readers. Just be sure when you write a how-to post that it actually explains the steps for doing the thing.
Check out this simple, straightforward title from Harvard Business Review.
Ask a Question
You can ask readers a question in your blog title, but only if the post’s content provides an answer. Posts with question headlines are also popular, frequently read, and shared among blog readers.
This headline from Marketing Insider Group does double duty with a question and a number.
At Content Journey, we answer the question posed in the title in the introduction, then work to build on the explanation throughout the post.
Use Word Association
Word association, creating mental images, and alliteration are all great ideas in blog titles. They intrigue the reader and make them want to click. But be careful to be intriguing and not confusing. If you have to read it more than once to understand the title, you should rewrite it.
OK, we’re interested, Marketing Insider Group. We normally wouldn’t recommend using the same word twice in a headline, but it works here almost to tease the reader.
Write and Rewrite
Don’t settle for a crappy title. Keep writing until you get it right. We encourage you to keep track of each version, though. You may find something you wrote two titles ago is the best one. Don’t risk not remembering the correct wording.
As you’re rewriting, consider using a tool like CoSchedule’s Headline Studio. It helps you strengthen the words you choose for your title while rating the various versions you try.
How Content Journey Can Help
Writing blog posts isn’t simple. Writing blog post titles may be even more difficult. But strategic content is one of the best ways to serve your audience. Want to know more about how Content Journey can help you with content creation, including writing those pesky, vital titles? Schedule a call with us today!
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