Attention Grabbing Blog Titles: Why You Fail at Writing Them

Posted by Margaret Muir in Uncategorized

blog titles

You’ve got 10 seconds or less to get the viewer to click.

Can you do it?

How good are you really at writing blog titles?

You've got 10 seconds or less to get a viewer to click on your #blog title. Can you do it? #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Because of this, your blog title is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT parts of getting more eyes on your blog. Take a look at these titles I found in my LinkedIn newsfeed this morning.

boring headline 2

Why should I care about you, whoever you are, starting a coaching biz? Who should care about this? Does anyone care about this?

boring title 1

Who is ‘we’? How do I know if this workshop is something I’d want to attend?


Neither of these made me want to read them. Nothing in them told me that it would apply to me or that I’d find it interesting.


Don’t fall into this trap. After you’ve put hours into researching and writing your blog, make sure it gets seen, and ideally, seen by the right people.

Prospect profile for pinterest

Before Writing Your Bomb Ass Blog Title…

Before you get to writing your awesomely catchy headline, here are a few specific things you must do.

1. Know your audience.

This should be a no brainer, but I’m going to say it anyway. You know what topics your ideal prospects want to read about. If you're off the mark here, your blog title doesn't even matter.

If you can’t tell me what your prospect ate for breakfast, you need to go through this exercise.

2. Choose your keyword.

This is important for SEO purposes. After doing all the research, writing, and editing involved in writing a blog, make sure your prospects will be able to find it!

If you’re publishing a blog with a cinnamon roll recipe, you want to make sure anyone googling “best cinnamon roll recipe” will find it.

But just any keyword won’t do. You want to make sure your keyword has these things:

  • Related to your topic (duh)
  • Short and concise 1-3 words
  • Decent amount of search traffic
  • Bonus: Not much competition

A good tool to answer these questions about your keyword ideas is the Google Keyword Planner. This is geared towards people who are paying for ads via Google Adwords, but it is a free tool. They use it to understand what kind of search traffic there is around keywords they’re thinking about targeting and how much competition they’ll have if they choose one of them. Why not use it to learn about the search history of the keyword you’re thinking about including in your blog title?

My favorite tools in the Keyword Planner are under the “Find new keywords and get search volume data” section.

keword planner

The first thing you need to do is come up with a couple variations of your target keyword. If you’re having trouble, type in your idea(s) under “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. You can add all sorts of information about your location, language, date range, and more, but I like to keep it simple. This is just a general search. See what other options Google has for you.

find new keywords

After choosing your top keyword combo’s, move on to the next tool on the list – “Get search volume, data and trends”. Fill in your keyword options, separated by a comma, and submit. Google will let you know how many searches per month and how much competition (i.e. how many other people are targeting that keyword) you’ll have.

cinnamon roll search

Now, it should be simple to choose the best keyword option. Making full use of that keyword, in terms of SEO, is grounds for another post, but make sure to use in your blog title and throughout the blog.

Writing Catchy Blog Titles

After choosing your keyword, writing your blog, and adding graphics, you’re ready to write a title. Get out your scratch pad and jot down at least 5 versions, but I’d recommend doing more. Think about all the different ways you could introduce your topic, and don’t be scared to get creative.

If you need a little inspiration, check out The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas from Digital Marketer. Here are some of our favorites.

  • ‘How To’ or ‘Learn to’ Titles – People love to learn. It’s how they can solve their pain points themselves. Include one of these phrases to get people excited.
  • List Titles – List posts generally perform pretty well. Try one version of your title that leads with the number of steps or tips included in your post.
  • Inflammatory Titles – Some of the most fun headlines to write are the snarky ones. It can be fun to be sarcastic or rant a little bit. Different levels of rudeness work for different brands, so consider how your audience will react if you use curse words before posting.
  • Current Event Titles – Prove you’re up to date with what’s going on in your industry, or in your prospects lives. If you’re an accountant, publish a post on prepping for your taxes, right before tax season rolls around. If a popular platform in your industry just made some big updates, write a summary.

The number one thing to include in your blog title is the WIFM or ‘What’s in it for me?’. Make sure your reader knows why they should care about your post and/or what they are going to get out of reading it. This is what is going to get you the clicks.

'What's in it for me?' is the #1 question your #blog title should answer #WIFM Click To Tweet

Check the Quality of Your Blog Title

After you’ve brainstormed some blog titles, it’s time to put your favorites to the test. Here are two tools you can use to judge the quality of each option.

Advanced Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer

analyzer 2

Post each of your sample titles (one at a time) into the analyzer and check out the score. It scores your headline based on its ‘Emotional Marketing Value’ or EMV. This is determined by calculating how many intellectual, empathetic, and/or spiritual words are included.

types of words 3

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

analyzer 1

This headline analyzer scores your blog title based on the balance of Common, Uncommon, Emotional and Power words.

based on types of words

Your Audience

If you’ve got a really engaged audience on social media, consider A/B testing a few options. One way to do this is to tweet out your top blog title choices, and see which one gets more clicks.

Try the same thing with email. Send an email to a subset of your mailing list that includes one version of the headline. Then send another to a different subset with the other version. Which one got more clicks?

After Writing Your Bomb Ass Blog Title…

Now you’ve got plenty of information to choose a really powerful blog title! It’s time to publish and promote the hell out of it. Remember, this is a process you can perfect over time. Pay attention to which types of headlines perform best, and try to recreate those. Good luck!


What is your most popular headline of all time?

Share some inspiration! Post your best performing headline in the comments below. I’d love to see what sorts of headlines have worked well for you in the past.


Pulse Strategy Ad

  • My top Headlines from my LinkedIn posts (Organic Traffic Only):
    – You Might Be the Reason Your Business Isn’t Growing

    – Social Media: The Infinite Source of Topics for Your Content Marketing

    – How Entrepreneurs Can Connect and Sell to Hard to Reach Prospects

    – Content Marketing: 5 Things That Make Entrepreneurs Give Up