How to Compose a Killer Blog Headline in 5 Simple Steps
Although a working title might be vital to good content writing, it’s not necessarily what the blog should be marketed as.
As content marketers, we’ve all been there.
You’ve written the perfect piece of content: it tells a story, you’re targeting your buyer persona at the right time, and it’s SEO optimised.
But then comes the daunting task of creating an appropriate headline, one that will capture the hearts and minds of your audience and, most importantly, make them click on it.
Although a working title might be vital to good content writing, it’s not necessarily what the blog should be marketed as. Imagine if this blog titled “blog headline writing” popped up on your social feed. Would you have clicked on it among the variety of other articles promising to solve your day-to-day marketing challenges? I didn’t think so.
So, without further ado, Catch the Cat presents its blog headline best practices for composing a killer title that will leave your audience with no other option but to click.
Read on to learn:
Keep it Relevant
Yes, we want people to click, but we also need to ensure the headline is still relevant to the piece of content in question.
For example, this blog could well be called “Free blog headline generator!!!”. Sure, it might get more clicks but more importantly, it would mean we were misleading our loyal readers, which we’re definitely not here for.
So, before you do anything else, make sure it’s clear in your mind what your blog is about, who it’s for, what challenges it solves, and how it serves your audience in their buyer journey.
Pro tip: Write your content with a core keyword in mind, preferably something your target audience is likely to search for. Build your content and your headline around this keyword, making sure you’re always focused on what your audience can gain from your content.
Decide on a Key Takeaway
You don’t have to be an SEO expert to know how to identify keywords in your content. Whatever your blog may be about, there’s probably one key takeaway you want your audience to walk away with after reading it. The purpose of this blog is to provide you with the tools to create a killer headline, so that’s what we’ve called it. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple and explain to your audience what reading your content will do for them. After all, isn’t that all we’re looking for as consumers?
Do a brain dump!
Ever heard of a brain dump? Well if not, prepare to have your life changed!
A brain dump can be any short period of time (let’s say a minute or two), where you pick a topic, then dump down all your ideas onto paper without thinking about them.
In this context, why not try brain dumping down as many headline options as possible for your content within two minutes? Then, go back and pick the “best” one, taking into account the steps in this blog.
Clickbait may have had its moment in time – admit it, who hasn’t been tempted to click on one of those “Celebrities You Never Knew Dated” listicles before? – but that time is well and truly past us.
In 2019, clickbait-y titles should be avoided like the plague. Not only can they mislead the reader, but you’ll also risk alienating your audience.
Trust issues aren’t exclusive to relationships; a clickbait title might garner your website hundreds of hits the first time around, but it could mean your audience no longer trusts you as an authoritative source. Plus, you could be penalised by Google’s ever-changing SEO algorithms.
You might have found yourself asking the question, “How long should a blog post headline be?” Well, length may not always be the most important thing, but in the case of writing blog headlines, it’s definitely up there.
It might be tempting to include as many keywords as possible in your title but keeping headlines short is usually a safe bet.
That being said, if you’re marketing your content on social media it’s a good idea to get an understanding of how headline title lengths perform on each platform. For example, you definitely ought to veer away from lengthy headlines when sharing posts on Twitter, given the character limit for tweets sits at just 280.
Pro tip: According to Hubspot’s research, the most effective headline length if you’re looking to increase social shares is around 8-12 words.
Writing a good headline isn’t a science, but it’s definitely a skill you can learn and one that’s vital in the process of content marketing.
We hope these steps will help you nail your content writing, but if in doubt get in touch with the Catch the Cat team via the form below!