If you’re a marketer in any time zone of the world who writes a blog, this is for you.
I know you take the time to research, write, craft, and massage your blog to death before you hit send. But how much time do you spend creating your headline?
Think of blog headlines as marketing tools. They’re the front door to your content—and you. Anyone who mysteriously or not so mysteriously finds your content will read your headline then make a decision. Yes, no, skim, save, or delete. It’s a brutal world out there.
Did you know that about 2 out of 10 people who read your headline will actually read your post? Sure, you’ll get some organic ranking if you’re consistently writing and paying attention to keywords. You’ll also have the opportunity to repurpose your content – but what about creating headlines that get attention?
Should I write my blog headline first or last?
Everyone in marketing has their own viewpoint. Writing the headline first lets you come up with ideas and guidelines to follow as you’re typing away. Writing the headline last gives you the freedom to write all you want and tie a bow on it. Both options work. The beauty is you can change the title any time you want. It’s your content!
How do I make the blog title more creative?
You can find inspiration for a blog headline anywhere. Look at headlines from competitors, check out what’s sensationalized in the newspaper rack at the grocery store, what’s trending in your industry, or what people are writing about on aggregator sites like Feedly.
Better yet, try using a blog headline generator. CoSchedule, HubSpot and Portent’s are worth a test-drive. They generate a wide range of types of headlines and you can take it from there. Permission granted to brainstorm.
If nothing else, a blog headline generator will keep you entertained for a little while. As an experiment, I used Portent’s Content Generator to develop this post’s headline.
Titles ranged from genuinely helpful (“8 questions about blog headlines) to counterproductive (“16 reasons blog headlines are completely overrated”) to nonsensical (“Why blog headlines are more famous than Beyonce”). Keep clicking, and you’ll find something thought-provoking.
Should keywords be included in my headline?
A good headline is supposed to get a reader’s attention. But you can’t even begin to get anyone’s attention if your headline doesn’t include relevant keywords that optimize your page for search. So yes, try to use them but not if they don’t make sense. You should be doing other SEO planning and using keywords in your content for head, middle, and long-tail keywords.
Plan your content in an editorial calendar, keep a notebook with FAQs by your prospects and clients, look at sites like Buzzsumo to see what’s trends are popular, and then just write. If you write a headline and you hate it, change it. You can repurpose it also on your next post or publication.
When I started writing around six years ago, who would have thought that Robin’s Rainmakers would be recognized as a Top-20 small business marketing blog. I had no formal training, I winged it – writing and experimenting. My goal was to help business owners with no-cost and low-cost marketing ideas to grow their business, because I needed to do that as well.
So as far as blog titles, make your best effort. See what gets traction. Don’t worry about mixing it up or being outlandish. Follow your brand personality, just don’t be afraid to color outside the lines.