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Catchy Blog Titles: 8 Tips to Hook Your Readers

Five seconds or less. That’s how long it takes for someone to decide whether or not to read your post. In that flash of time, you’ll need to put across the main message of your blog and reel in your readers in with a hook so irresistible they just can’t scroll on by.

Quite simply, your blog title will make or break your post. If your title is dull, vague or irrelevant, you may as well not bother writing the rest of the blog. Here are some tried and tested techniques for writing effective titles that haul in the readers.

Every great blog post starts with a headline that grabs the reader's attention

1. Make it Clear

Vague, fluffy titles just won’t work. Your aim is to tell readers exactly what your article is about, and why they need to read it. People often use idioms in titles e.g. Best of Both Worlds or Method to My Madness. However, it is impossible to guess the subject of the blog from these titles. Clarity is key.

2. Watch the Length

Analysis of Twitter and Facebook has revealed that the ideal blog post title length is 60 characters. Headlines between 8 and 12 words are shared most often on Twitter, while on Facebook, titles between 12 and 14 words are liked most often. There’s an exact science to title writing.

3. Add Intrigue

While you want to reveal your subject matter, don’t reveal all the answers. For example, The One Thing All Successful People Have in Common, tells you exactly what you’re going to find out, but you have to read on to discover the answer. Curiosity is a powerful thing and it’s simple to take advantage of.

4. Answer a Question

Even if your readers don’t have a question in mind, finding the answer to a question is always rewarding. Titles such as This is Why You Check Your Phone Every 2 Minutes puts a new spin on a well-worked topic.

5. Pull on Heartstrings

High traffic blogs are often ones that use humour, sadness or even shock to emotionally connect with their readers. For example: A Dog Lay Dying in a Gutter. What Happened Next Will Make You Cry. Only the hard-hearted won’t want to find out more.

6. Call on the Experts

We’re all aware the internet is filled with information that isn’t entirely factual or well-researched. So now, more than ever, it’s reassuring to find quality advice from a genuine professional. Blog titles such as The Experts Weigh In On The Latest Weight-Loss Craze will boost readers’ confidence in the article.

7. Take a New Angle

A highly successful approach is to take an old topic and give it a new angle. Instead of 5 Ways to Start Running From Scratch, try turning it on its head. If you mention the pitfalls to avoid instead, you’re tapping into people’s natural insecurities. The 5 Mistakes New Runners Always Make will draw more traffic.

8. Play the Numbers Game

You’ll probably have noticed that many blog titles include numbers. There’s a reason for that: it really works! People naturally gravitate towards numbers. A list of 10 tips also tells the reader that they’re going to get the information in a simple, straightforward manner. There’s no waffling when it comes to lists.

Personally, I spend more time crafting my blog title than I do actually writing the blog itself. It’s such a crucial element that you can’t afford to throw away good traffic for the want of a little more work. Draft it, rework it, rework it again, leave it a while, rework it again, and then give it one last tweak. It’s worth it.

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