Catchy titles drive clicks. It’s that simple. In a world saturated by content, unless the post’s accompanying image is incredibly compelling or has a cat, the title is why people choose to read more.
That begs the question, “What makes a title good?” Writing catchy titles is an art form. Writers often struggle over crafting the right title that sells the article, reflects the content, and represents the brand without it being clickbait.
Content marketing research has found certain title formats generate more open than others. Use these formats as inspiration to start generating your blog titles.
1) The List
Yes, you probably see the list everywhere but there’s a reason for that. Sometimes the best solution is to say what it is: a list of tips, strategies, and advice.
List titles typically start with a number and the list theme. The exact number is not important, but some suggest odd-numbered lists gain more clickthroughs than even numbers.
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2) The How-To
Content marketing is supposed to solve your reader’s problems. Enter the the “how-to” or the step-by-step blog. It’s no surprise these kinds of titles perform well. When people search the internet for something they need to learn “how to” do, they’re most likely to type “how to (do something)” in the search engine.
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3) The Punny
Titles with the chuckle encourage click-throughs. Playing with words, common expressions, and catchy song titles hint your brand has personality. Just don’t let your reader down on the title’s promise with a dry read. Deliver with an active voice in the content.
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4) Twist That Cliché
A good man is hard to find? No! A good title is hard to find, but one way to a reader’s open box is a clever title. Warp a popular cliché and embrace the corny. Just be careful that the twisted cliché isn’t overdone with the topic by googling before hitting publish. Sometimes great content writers think too much alike.
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5) Get Factual
Titles using numbers and facts receive significantly more traffic to their posts than others that don’t. That’s because it suggests a well-researched article that’s backed by success and experience.
Informal research from different sources provides different results in the click-through rates. For instance, Conductor found headlines with numbers generate 36% more clicks than those without.
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6) Tell a Story
Anecdotal content tends to win big with readers. Look at today’s blog influencers. Their personal stories resonate with followers and become some of their top-read posts. When you incorporate your experiences a blog, and wrap it into the title.
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Appeal to your reader’s emotions, but in a good way. Use powerful words that convey the resonance of the content.
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8) Power Phrases
Do your readers need something? Turn to a power phrase, like “need to know” or “you can improve!” Part of this reflects back on why people search the web–they’re looking for a solution to a pain point.
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9) Pose a Question
Start with a question, and then use the blog to answer that question. When readers see a question, they automatically start to respond, even if subconsciously. They click through to compare their answer to yours. Combine the question-style with other title strategies that appeal to their emotions or suggest your authority on the topic.
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Remember, good blog titles are only as good as the content that backs it up. Keep the title aligned with the what the blog has to say. Deliver on the promise! Finally, play around with different title styles. Find the ones that your audience seems to click-through the most and create a personalized title style.