9 Easy Steps to Writing Catchy Titles [Checklist]
Jul 20th - 3min.
An article is as strong as its headline. It needs to convince people, to click through and start reading. All this without really knowing what the article is really about. Not an easy, but crucial job. Learn how to boost your content with the right headline.
How to boost your content with a headline: dos & don’ts
An article is as strong as its headline. Your title is the packaging of your content. And without a proper packaging, your package won’t survive. Your headline needs to convince people to click through and start reading. All this without actually knowing what the article is really about. Not an easy, but crucial job. Learn how to boost your content with the right headline.
Perceive your title as a process
The headline of your article is anything but a static part of your blog. Always follow your gut feeling while writing. Do you want to go for a totally different title in the middle of the writing process? Fine, go for it! If you think your post is ready, it's best to check your headline again. Do you want to start reading? That's what you need!
And now to work! Download our checklist and write compelling and attractive headlines in 9 simple steps.
1. Is your title written according to one of the following formats?
Give away: enter a number at X, enter your subject/name at Y.
- The easiest/the fastest way to Y
- Everything you need to know about Y
- Why you should forget/ignore Y
- Why we/you don't have to Y anymore
- (Research/research:) The (X) best Y
- Why NAME does/doesn’t have Y [And why you also shouldn’t /should do this]
- What I’ve learned from Y
- The ultimate checklist/guide for Y
- X Errors/myths/misconceptions that you shouldn’t make/believe
Potential clients type questions into Google. If they see their search query as a headline, the chance of someone clicking on your article increases considerably. Transforming your title into a question is a good technique. Trigger your target audience even more by giving away part of the answer in your title or subtitle. For example: How can I get more Instagram followers? Content creation, the way to success on social media!
2. Try to play with words, unleash the creative person within yourself!
- Alliterations make your head very accessible and approachable.
Ex. Brilliant Blog Basics!
- Strong (negative) titles
It’s sad I know, but it is the truth. People simply prefer to read "bad news".
Ex. 6 things that everyone hates about Valentine
- Add an adjective
. 9 steps to writing catchy titles easily [Checklist]
3. Did you make clear what the reader may expect?
Set expectations. At the end of your title, add extra info in parentheses such as [Update] or [Download template]. This way you give the reader a reason to click through. According to HubSpot, blog posts with this specification perform 38% better than those without. Moreover, ‘[Template]’ is the most clicked of them all.
4. Check whether your title is specific.
Ex. 5 tips to impress your followers on Instagram
5. Does your title reflect your blog?
Measure expectations. Do you tell in your blog what you’ve promised in your headline?
6. Does your title contain a maximum of 70 characters?
Otherwise, your title will partly disappear in the search results and that’s a shame. Is your title too long? Then rewrite it. Delete the unnecessary words and glue everything back together.
How you shouldn’t do it: Get more followers on Instagram? That is possible through content creation! Get started with these 5 tools. (96 characters)
How you should do it: 5 content creation tools that lead up to more Insta followers! (67 characters)
7. Did you write your headline with your target audience in mind?
An article addressed to a 12-year-old child will use a different approach than a blog for highly educated people in their thirties with their own company.
8. Did you embed the keyword in your title?
Great, those are SEO plus points! Ex. 9 steps to writing catchy titles easily [Checklist]
9. Did you optimize your title for social media?
For Facebook, titles with about 12 to 14 words are ideal. A 'tweetable' title contains 8 to 12 words or about 130 characters. When posting on Instagram it’s best to keep it ‘short and sweet’. Stick to the point and use visuals elements to convey your message.
In snack format: catchy headlines
- Transform your title into one of the formats mentioned in the blog.
- Be creative with language.
- Set expectations: make clear to your reader what to expect.
- Make your title specific and concrete.
- Do you tell in your blog what you promise with your title?
- Your headline has a maximum of 70 characters.
- You’ve targeted your title on your specific audience.
- The keyword is embedded in the title.
- You’ve optimized your title for social media.