You’ve got a great idea for a piece of content—you spend hours researching, writing and putting the finishing touches on it—it’s AMAZING! Now, what should the blog post title be?
Before I go any further, I have to take you on a quick walk down memory lane, when it was school to name your blog posts something funky and creative. I had blog posts titled “Stripes & Cheers”—uhh, what? Turns out the post was about a striped dressed I was wearing and some beer garden we stumbled upon in Chicago, ha!
My point is that blog post titles like that will do you NO good these days. Your blog post title is actually so so dang important! It’s the thing that grabs people’s attention, tells them what the post is all about and entices them to click and read. And, maybe an unpopular opinion, but I think your blog post title should be the FIRST thing you write in your post.
That title is also an amazing tool for SEO!
If you’re using WordPress for your blog (and you should be!), your blog post title’s are already set to be an H1, or header 1 tag. You should have one of these per page, and these tell Google and other search engines what the content on that page is about. So, now you can see why it’s essential that your blog post title is doing its job.
So, let’s start working on writing blog post titles that don’t suck!
How to Write Blog Post Titles That Don’t Suck
Do Some SEO Research
First and foremost, it’s important to do a little SEO research before you write your post to make sure it’s something people are actually searching for. What good is writing a kick-ass blog post on a topic no one is searching for? What I love about doing this is that sometimes, you’ll end up finding a slightly different topic or approach to your topic that more people are searching for. It’s always worth spending at least 20-30 minutes doing some quick research.
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What Types of Blog Post Titles Convert Best?
There are a few types of blog post titles that drive more traffic naturally. I remember when I first started using blog posts like this and WOW, my organic traffic skyrocketed! I mean, now that you know what some of my original blog posts were titled, it’s probably not that big of a surprise!
The other thing that’s great about writing your post title upfront is that it actually makes writing your content easier because you know exactly what people are coming to get, so you can make sure you’re hitting all those points.
Here are a few of my favorite types of blog posts to write that always grab people’s attention!
List Posts ( “5 Ways to…”)
These are some of my favorite posts to write, and always fun to read. Having a defined number lets the reader know exactly what they’re getting into and what they’ll get from the post. It can be any type of list too—10 Places to Visit While You’re in Europe, 15 Tips for Increasing your Monthly Income, etc. Get creative!
How to Posts (“How to Write Blog Posts that Don’t Suck”)
Most of the time when we’re searching for something on the internet it’s because we’re looking for answers for how to do something. “How to” posts are a great way to teach something helpful to your audience. Again, they know exactly what they’ll be learning from that post.
Guide Posts (“The Ultimate Guide to…”)
When writing a guide type post, remember, it’s a guide—this type of post should be thorough, in-depth answer lots of questions and provide tons of value. Make sure to do your keyword research here (and always), as this could become some amazing content for your audience and help drive traffic when it’s done well. A few other examples:
- 10 Step Guide to Launching a Business
- Locals Guide: Best Hidden Spots to Eat in Chicago
Why, Where or What Posts
These types of posts are great for piquing interest in a topic your reader maybe didn’t even know they were curious about. It lets them know they’re going to learn something new and exciting after reading this content. A few examples:
- Why People Live Longer in the Blue Zones of the World
- What 5 Influencers Will Tell you About What It’s Really Like to Work With Brands
- Where to Find the Best Vietnamese Food in Your City
I used to use question posts a ton in the past. I find them to be interesting and often give a more personal take. Pose a pressing question your audience has and then share the answers in detail. For example: “What Digital Product Does your Audience Want to See? 5 Steps to Create Exactly What your Readers Want”. Tell them what they will get within the post as well!
Creating suspense and interest are great ways to draw readers in, please be sure to actually deliver on the other side though. No one wants to click through a tempting post title to find a lackluster article! Here are a couple of ways to do this:
- 8 Things No One No One Will Tell You About Becoming a Mom
- 10 Mistakes I Made When I First Started My Business and How You Can Avoid Them
This is not every type of blog post title you can write, but these do perform well and are a great place to get started.
At the end of the day, you want to write a post title that would make YOU want to read the article, right? Use emotional and unique word choices to help you stand out. When in doubt, look at Thesaurus.com for more ideas.
Write Multiple Headlines
On average, I think you should write at least 5 different options for your blog post title. You can use different styles of post titles above or the same kinds, but change the way you phrase it. Writing multiple headlines gets the creative juices flowing and will help you land on one that’s perfect.
Analyze Your Blog Post Title
Now that you have a handful of headlines, how do you know which one is the best?
Thankfully, there are some great tools out there that can help us grade our blog post titles and give us input on how to make them better. Hop over a headline analyzer like Coschedule’s free headline analyzer, make a free account and drop in your headlines. It will grade them and give you some feedback (more feedback if you join their Pro account).
Some topics might be better as “how to” posts and others will be better as “list” posts, etc.—try a few different ones until you find one that ranks high and sounds good!
I usually aim to get a score of 75 or more. Of. course, higher is better, but when it’s in that green area, I’m pretty. content and it’s served me well on my own blog.
RELATED: Get my Top 12 Business Tools
Write an Amazing Blog Post
Now, write that post! Make sure it delivers on the promise your headline gives. The last thing you want to do is become clickbait—the internet hates that, and it’s not good for your bounce rate either. Plus, when you deliver amazing content to your readers, they stay, click around, read more and maybe even subscribe or buy something.
Make sure to use header tags and more keywords throughout your entire post. Check out this post for tips!
Bonus: Update Old Post Titles & Recirculate
You might have some great content that you’ve written in the past, but for whatever reason, it didn’t get the attention it deserved. A fun exercise, and one that can improve your traffic, is re-working blog post titles and re-publishing the content. The trick here is that you cannot change your blog post’s permalink—this will break any previous links that are going to it, so don’t do that! Your permalink is the actual URL to the blog post.
Instead, just change the actual post title itself. Read through the post and re-write a few new headlines that would work better, test them out to decide on the best one and then change it and re-publish. This just means changing the publish date to that day, or the next day so it appears like new, fresh content. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can update that content and make some changes to make it better too—Google loves that!
Writing content is time-consuming, I get it. But don’t stop and give up when it comes to the headline. This can end up being one of the most important things you do because it’s the thing that will make or break people from actually clicking on it and reading it. I hope this post was helpful and gives a little bit of a formula to follow when writing content for your own blog or business blog!