The industry secrets to writing killer article titles

Scrolling through your social media sites lately, you may have noticed a trend in article titles. Often from fringe news sites, and occasionally the Huffington Post-types, you’ll see videos called ‘This man went for a walk… what happened next will shock you’ or ‘this lady never expected this to happen when she was catcalled’. Etc, etc. They have driven some people mad, but their enticing, click bait nature means that website owners desperate for clicks will keep using them. If you want to be more imaginative, there are better way to attract people’s attention and get them to read your article.

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Try the listicle technique

Buzzfeed has popularised this technique, but actually, dividing your posts into a few points will make it easier for the reader to remember. People often remember things best in groups of three or five. So your article title should follow suit. Three reasons why an annual service is essential to your car. Five ways to speed up your laptop. Keep it simple!

Make it Pun-ny

Puns divide opinion – but good ones also attract attention. If there’s a pun your topic naturally lends itself to, then use it, as it will be a creative and fun way to introduce the subject. The important thing is, don’t force them, make them up or use one so obscure, no one will understand. Think tabloid splash, not Guardian cryptic crossword.

How to

Often these will take a similar format to a listicle, but How To titles can solve two problems – getting clicks and finding your place in the search ranks. How many times have you searched for a solution to a problem and used the phrase ‘how to’? Putting that in your headline tells Google and the reader that you are offering a step by step solution to the issue they are having. You just happen to be selling to them too!

Chuck in a cheeky offer

It’s a low blow in the way of clickbait, but if you’re offering a special deal, there’s no point hiding it away. You want people to see it and use it, so include any details in the most succinct way possible, bang at the top of the article.

People attract people

Remember that people are interested in other people and that is what will entice them to your article. Try not to focus on a mundane point if there is a human angle you haven’t explored. Ultimately, you want to discuss the service or product you’re selling, but it’s got to be a solution to people or you’re not going to shift any.

Article headings can be tough. Once you’ve written your blog, come up with a few ideas for a heading and then step away from the whole blog for a few hours. When you come back to it, you’ll be able to make changes to your content and choose the best headline.

Come up with a really good headline? How about making it a series? Having multiple parts ensures you can really explore a subject and make the most of that cracking title.