Build a Better Blog Challenge – Day 2
How to Craft Great Blog Post Titles
Hi everyone and welcome to Day 2. Yesterday we started by looking at our categories. You created sub-categories and brainstormed some blog post ideas. You now have a (long) list of ideas for future posts. Today we are going to look at one of the most important parts of our blog post. Yes, that is the title. Without a doubt, the most important part of your blog post.
How well you write, how well-researched your content is, or how pretty your images are means nothing if you can’t get readers to click through and start reading your post. And the single most important thing when it comes to getting readers’ attention is your blog post title.
It’s also the most important on-page factor when it comes to SEO. So, if you’re hoping for lots of free traffic from Google and all your favourite social media sites, you need to get good at crafting great attention grabbing blog post titles.
Have a Working Title
Some people like to start with the title and plan their content. Others write the content and then create the title. I am in the second camp.
Start with a working title for your post and craft your content. Then come back and work on the finalized headline, implementing as many of the tips below as you can.
Interesting but Truthful
You want to write an attention grabbing headline. With that comes the temptation to hype it up and stretch the truth just a little bit. While that may get you some extra clicks, there’s a trade-off. You’ll lose credibility if you’re exaggerating or telling little (or big) white lies. You see a lot of those headlines on social media. You click through and end up disappointed because the post doesn’t fulfill what the title promised.
Instead, make it interesting without all the hype and stick to the truth. A great way to do that is to think about what’s in it for your readers.
Keep it Short but Engaging
Shorter titles tend to do better both with click-through on your blog and social media. However, these are often harder to write and harder to get your keywords into. Keep it short and to the point and think about engagement straight from the title of your post. Ask your readers a question. Make a statement that makes them think. Put numbers in your titles to get them thinking about what’s in the content (i.e. My 5 Best Tips To …)
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Keep an eye out for titles that catch your attention. Copy and paste them into a swipe file and see how you can tweak them for your own needs and market.
Get Your Keywords In
Don’t forget to work your keywords into the title. I tend to do this last. Always write for your readers first and then work in what you need to do to make sure the search engines recognize what your content is about.
The key with great blog post titles is to strive for a balance between a title the search engines will like and one that your readers will find interesting and engaging enough to make them want to click on it. To get that balance just right, start with a keyword or key phrase that you want to rank for in the search engines.
Open up your favorite keyword research tool – like the Google Keyword Planner for example – and play around with it until you come up with the keyword or key phrase you want to rank for.
For the sake of illustration let’s say our keyword example is “best blog hosts” and the post will be a review of five of the best hosting companies for WordPress blogs. So, “best blog hosts” is the keyword we want to rank for in this example.
Make it Interesting
Now that we have the keyword, it’s time to make it interesting for our readers. There are plenty of different ways to turn our example keyword into an interesting blog post title. Here are a few ideas:
- The Three Best Blog Hosts Reviewed – Read This Before You Sign Up
- Looking For a New Home for Your Blog? The Best Blog Hosts Reviewed
- My Top 5 Best Blog Hosts Revealed – Here’s Who I Recommend
- Wondering Who The Best Blog Hosts Are?
- Is Your Host One The Best of The Best Blog Hosts List?
Do you see how this works? Start with the keyword and then try to think about why your readers would be looking for this information. Focus on what’s in it for them by sharing content that will help them out.
Be Authentic and be Yourself
Last but not least stay authentic and stick with your own style. This is particularly important if you’re an established blogger. Don’t just copy and paste the blog post titles above. They may not reflect the style and tone of voice of your blog posts. In other words, they may not be you. Balance the need of the search engines to easily find what you’re content is about, the need to keep things interesting for your readers, with your own voice.
You may find it helpful to write a few different blog post titles down and then chose the one that resonates most with you (and hopefully with your readers).
Implement these tips and get a few blog posts out there. Pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. Each market, each blog, and each readership is different. Use these tips as guidelines to help you find your own style that resonates well with your audience and gets you the results you want.
Your homework is to come up with a great title for your next post!
- Pick a post from the list you wrote down yesterday.
- Come up with the keyword you want to target.
- Think about what your readers would search for, if they were looking for information on this keyword.
- Come up with a couple of headlines then pick the best.
- Be authentic to your own voice and style.
Previous Days Posts
Click here for the post from Day 1