EXTRA! EXTRA! The Real Secret to Writing Irresistible Blog Titles Revealed

Wrting Great Blog Titles

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Writing a great headline is an art. It takes practice. But you know one when you see one–because you’ve already clicked on it. You’re already reading it because the title drew you in so fast, you hardly knew what your click-finger was up to and then *BAM*: you’re reading an article titled “Study Proves Chimpanzees are Better at Video Games Than Children.” Yes, it’s ridiculous, but you can’t help it. You want to know how those chimpanzees got so good at Mario Bros.

A great blog headline is a promise. It promises something of value to the reader, but it doesn’t reveal everything. A great headline is a seductress who hints at glorious benefits–if only you’ll just . . . click . . . that . . . link . . .

You’ll notice, my blog title, while a little silly, promises something that you can’t get anywhere else. “The real secret to irresistible blog titles.” No no no, don’t believe all the OTHER yahoos out there that have advice on writing compelling headlines. I’ll tell you the REAL secret.

And by the by, I didn’t come up with that first thing. Here are a few others I tried:

How to Write Irresistible Blog Titles
The Secret to Writing Irresistible Blog Titles
5 Tips for Writing Irresistible Blog Titles
Get More Website Traffic with Irresistible blog Titles

They all basically promise a benefit to the reader, but I felt that saying the “real secret” made this article seem both exclusive and a little bit confrontational. Who does this wise guy think he is? Who gave him the REAL secret?

I added “Extra Extra!” and “Revealed” because it not only grabs your attention, but also harkens back to a time when paperboys sold newspapers based on sensational headlines.

It’s the “free toy inside” approach. Read this and you’ll get something special. This is why headlines sell newspapers. It’s a promise to the reader that a brand-new experience is waiting for them inside.

And that’s why you’re reading this (or so I hope). I promised you something special (and I’m assuming you’re at least semi-interested in blogging). This is how you grow your audience and get traffic on your website.  All you have to do is promise something that seems both unique and valuable and post it in places where people will see it. If you can add a little intrigue, drama, comedy, or mystery while your at it, even better. Of course you’ve got to back up your title with some real content, because an empty promise won’t build any loyalty.

Easier said than done right? Well, it takes a little practice. Not every title I write kills it, either.

It definitely helps to study the pros. If you need examples of compelling headlines, check out the Huffington Post. Their articles are always full of promises and intrigue. Let me pull a few from their front page right now:

Limbaugh: Obama ‘Hates’ America (How could Rush say that about the president. Is he mad? Let’s read and find out)

BONE DRY: BIGGEST U.S. DROUGHT SINCE 1950s (Gulp. We’re all going to die)

Yahoo Stuns With CEO Hire (Who’d they pick? Bill Murray?)

NEEDLES Found In Sandwiches On Delta Flights (Are they trying to poison us!)

These are high-drama headlines. What they are promising is juicy gossip. The “bone dry” article and the “NEEDLES” article actually use fear to compel us to click. What if there’s no more water? What if I get a needle in my sandwich? I better read these articles for my own safety!

But high drama isn’t the only technique. Sometimes just making the benefits of your article seem simple is all you need. To do this, simply enumerate your advice:

10 Unique Ways to Save Money at Disney World
4 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Singing Voice
6 Meditations for Curing Writer’s Block

Using a numbered lists work great online because people don’t feel like they have time to dive into long-winded articles full of technical info. They want the quick and dirty. A list of quick tips can be devoured in a matter of minutes. Then, *click*: you’re off to the next drama-filled article about Paris Hilton’s pancake diet.

So in your next article use your title to promise something sexy, dangerous, ingenious, dramatic, or just extremely beneficial. See how your readers respond.

How do you come up with your blog headlines? What are some of your favorite headlines? Do you find that some of your articles get more attention than others? Let us know in the comments below.

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