Although writing effective and interesting content is one of the most important aspects of blog ownership, you also have to put a good bit of effort into coming up with effective headlines.
Your headlines are the first part of your blog posts that your readers will see, and writing an ineffective headline is a good way to lose your readers very quickly.
Although we have all probably made up some pretty bad headlines in the past, you can learn to write effective headlines for each and every blog post with a bit of effort and by following these tips.
1. Grab your readers’ attention
One of the most important things to consider when coming up with effective headlines for your blog is how well it will command attention from your readers.
People who read blog posts have a pretty short attention span, and they also have plenty of content on the web to choose from, so it is important to make your headlines as catchy as possible.
There are lots of ways to make your headlines catchy. Some people like to use a bit of controversy in their headlines. This can be effective, but make sure that you do not offend your readers.
Asking a question or promising to explain how to do something are other great ways to encourage your readers to continue reading.
2. Get straight to the point
We have probably all made the mistake of creating a long, overly saturated blog headline. However, the most effective headlines are comprised of only ten words or less.
For example, which headline sounds best to you?
- Ten Reasons Why It Is Better To Buy Locally Grown Produce Instead of Imported Produce
- Ten Good Reasons To Buy Locally Grown Produce
The first example has far too many words that don’t really change the meaning of the headline at all. In fact, “instead of imported produce,” is completely unnecessary, and it just bogs the headline down.
The second example, however, conveys the same meaning in only eight words.
It’s important to remember that your readers often have a short attention span because of the overload of web content that they see each day.
Keeping your headlines short and sweet is a good way to ensure that more readers will take the time to read them.
3. Be specific
Although mysterious headlines do have their time and place, they often result in readers passing them by because they do not know that your post could contain relevant information for them.
Instead of leaving your readers wondering exactly what the post will be about, make it clear in your headline.
- One Thing That You Need To Know could pertain to web design, parenting, cooking, finances or a broad variety of topics
- One Thing That All Blog Owners Should Know is much more specific, and all of your blog-owning readers will be more likely to read the post.
4. Use keywords
For the best search engine rankings, it is important to use keywords in your headlines. However, as with any type of blog writing, you do not want to make it clear to your readers that you are writing your posts for the search engines.
The quality of your headline should not be sacrificed because of keywords.
Instead, keywords should actually make your headline even more effective.
Everyone knows what you are doing when you string together several keywords in an awkward attempt to get as many search engine hits as possible — so do not do it!
If you do, your readers will catch on to your gig. Not only will you lose loyal followers because of it, but potential readers will think that your blog is nothing but spam.
With that said, however, you should incorporate one good keyword or keyword phrase into each of your headlines. This is good for search engine rankings, and it can also help you to come up with a good headline when you are feeling a bit of writer’s block.
5. Keep your promises
Although effective headlines can encourage readers to read your content, you want to make sure that they are not disappointed after reading what you have to say.
If your headline promises to answer a question, make sure that you answer the question well in your post.
If your readers do not feel like your blog post has lived up to its headline, they will not trust your headlines in the future.