6 tips to Create the Best Headline for Your Blog Post
Actually I am going to give you 6 tips and 1 bonus TIP which makes the whole process a lot easier, more effective and less time consuming!
But still you need the other 6 tips to come up with variations (you will understand after reading the post). So without further ado, here goes:
1: Make it Catchy
If you are able to make your headline catchy, people are more willing to click through. Make it unique and striking to hook a potential reader. Always good to check out other blogs in order to find great examples.
2. Be Specific (SMART)
Be specific about what people are going to read in the article. You can look at the smart abbreviation for defining goals. Ask yourself what the goal of the post is. Or better what goal your readers can achieve by reading the post. Add numbers to the headline if appropriate. Or even a time frame. For instance; "how to create a pro looking website in one week". But numbers and time frames are optional. The essence is that your headline is specific and targeted.
3. Choose Your Words Wisely
There are a lot of guidelines about choosing words as it comes to blogging and content marketing in general and creating headlines in particular. Like;
"don't use a word in your headline more than once". (You can use google to come up with synonyms if you need to use a word more than once.)
"use strong or emotional words". (Again; google is your friend here.)
But most importantly is to stay authentic to your own voice. The voice known to your audience. That is more important than all the general guidelines you can find online. Be true to yourself 🙂
4. Acceptable and Realistic Expecations
Back to the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting abbreviation: Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time bound. It is important to get the attention from your readers. But it is more important to not leave them empty handed after reading. Expectation management is about putting yourself in the shoes of your reader. What is the experience of your reader at the end of the post? You want them to read more from you. Maybe signup for your newsletter service, follow your recommendations or purchase your products and services. So the blog has to be valuable. And has to deliver what is promised in the headline.
I am not a big fan of search engine optimization (SEO). I find it much more important to serve the readers eye than the google bots.
2 things; a little love from google might attract more readers = equals = more ideal clients. And, more importantly, keywords are also related to the topic of the blog post. And hopefully in line with your brand voice and your audience's "slang". If not, choose the word most in line with your personality and ignore SEO. Go for HEO = human eye optimization.
6. Research Other Bloggers
You probably have other blogs you like to read. It's great to get inspired for your own work. Doing a search online on a keyword of your topic helps. To gather new ideas and explore what is popular and what works. Tools like evernote, onenote or google keep help with keeping your results organized and being able to explore on the fly.
7. (BONUS Tip) Optimize Your Headlines Automagically
Imagine being able to test different headlines and know which one performs best after a fixed time. It's not that hard to come up with 3 to 5 different variations of headlines. It is the decision which makes this a gamble. Not when you use this tool!
And the best part is, it's set and forget. After that fixed period of time this tool will automatically decide the winner based upon the metrics you put in, like click through, scroll on page and time on page.
What tool am I talking about?
It's a wordpress plugin and is called Headline Optimizer. It's part of the, Thrive Themes Suite which comes with a bunch more themes and plugins I am using on this website. So this gets my warmest recommendation.