Want more people to click on your blog post? Want to drive more traffic and generate leads? Want to get to the top of Google?
Sure, of course you do.
The biggest problem when it comes to blogging is that too many people have this “if you build it, they will come” attitude. I’m here to tell you to let go of your Field of Dreams mentality. Running a successful business is hard work. Writing unique, focused content several times a month is hard work. If someone has told you otherwise they are lying. You get out what you put in!
Want the real truth? Most people are self-absorbed. It’s human nature. So are your customers. And your potential customers.
They aren’t interested in your content just because you wrote it. They’re interested in what you can do for them. So, if you aren’t grabbing your potential customer’s attention with your headline it doesn’t matter how many posts you write… they aren’t going to click on them.
That’s why I’m going to talk about one of the most important parts of your blog post. The Headline.
No-Fail Blog Post Headline Formula
[Number] + Keyword Phrase + Curiosity Phrase
This no-fail formula can be used in all kinds of ways. Are you familiar with Buzzfeed? They use this for almost every article! In fact, this article is using the formula.
Using a number seems to always generate more interest in your blog post, especial when using this no-fail formula. Some people like to go with even numbers, some go with odd. My method is to write my article then count up the number afterwards. Really, the actual number is insignificant.
The second part to the no-fail formula is the keyword phrase. This part is for Google and search engine optimization. Before you write your article you should do some keyword research and find out what your target audience is searching for. If you have a Google Adwords Account, you can use the Google Keyword Planner Tool to find out this information. Just go to the keyword planner, and type in a key word or key phrase that is relevant to your post. The keyword planner will generate a list of the searches on that term and similar terms on Google in the past month.
Easily find the best key phrase:
- Type in a key word or phrase you want to optimize your blog post for, and click “Get Ideas”
- Sort the results by the highest number of searches by clicking on the column heading “Avg.monthly searches”
- Scroll down the list and find a relevant key phrase with Low competition. They key is to find something that a lot of people are searching for but there’s not a lot of content out there about the topic.
- Do a Google Search on the Key Phrase. You need to do this because Google’s Keyword Planner Tool is really for advertising metrics. It’s meant to show info for pay-per-click and other advertising. So, the “competition” column may be deceiving when used in this way. Run the goo
- Look at the first page of results. Are these articles relevant to what you want to write about? What can you do that would make you stand out from the other links? Maybe add a video or great tutorial, lots of photos, etc.
- Think you can get on page one? Great. Your article is worth writing.
- Use this new key phrase in your headline, url, and pepper it throughout your blog post.
The third part of this formula is the curiosity phrase. Now, it’s great to optimize your blog post headings for key phrases, but it will do you NO good if you don’t get anyone to click on it! So the curiosity part is super important. You have to peak the interest of the reader. What will make them HAVE to read your article? What do you have to offer them? What will they learn? Being a little cryptic in your curiosity phrase will force the reader to click.
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Morbid Curiosity Headlines
Ever drive past a horrible car crash and catch yourself just staring as you go by?
“I wonder what happened? I hope everyone is ok,” you say, as you pass. This is human nature… we all tend to do it. Also known as the “rubberneck effect”, humans, by nature, have a morbid curiosity. Why do you think shows like Criminal Minds, Dexter, and Breaking Bad are so popular? We just can’t turn away. If there’s something bad, we want to see what’s going to happen next. That’s why morbid curiosity blog post headlines work so well.
These types of blog post headlines may force you to reconsider a topic you’ve already written about, which is also a great way to increase your post reach. Instead of writing about the “Best Ways To [X]” try to think of the wrong way to do it. Is there a particular warning or scheme that people can get sucked into? Write about that!
Use the morbid curiosity inside all of us to peak your customers interest and make them HAVE to read your blog post.
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The Mysterious Headline
Creating mystery with your blog post headline is another way to grab your reader’s attention. Most of these techniques are different forms of curiosity. They play on your readers emotions. Humans are generally curious and want to know everything. We also like to learn. By peaking your readers interest and being a bit mysterious in the process, you are going to drive more clicks to your blog post. They key to this method is to give a general subject in the headline, but don’t give away any of the secrets. They have to click to get the secrets. Make it mysterious enough that they will want to click.
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Problem Solver Headline
Solving a problem right in your headline is a great way to target a specific audience. Think about what questions someone would type into google, and solve those questions with your headline. You can check the Google Keyword Planner tool, or even your own Google Analytics search data to figure out what your target audience is looking for answers to. Sometimes, I like to just start typing into google to see what comes up
Solve their problem in the headline and you are sure to get them to click. I find that this is effective, but to a much narrower audience. This can be good, because you are really specifically targeting your audience. The most effective way to use this is with a call-to-action at the end o the article letting them know that you are here to help with any questions they may have. Your readers will appreciate the information, and also your willingness to answer their questions. After realizing how complicated or time consuming the problem may be, they may even ask you to do the work for them. So, make sure you include some information about getting in touch with you directly for help.
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The “Point Out Mistakes” Headline
This technique for blog post headlines is pretty straight forward. Simply point out mistakes your target audience is making. While effective, it’s not something you can use on most of your blog posts you’ve created. It takes an “opposite” approach, so instead of giving your target audience advice, you are giving them anti-advice. To use this headline formula, tell your reader common mistakes they are making and how to remedy them. For added curiosity, you can put “today” or “now” at the end. No one wants to be wrong or make mistakes, so when they read that they are making mistakes right now… well… they will be enticed to click.
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For further reading, you may want to check out this infographic by Hubspot. It contains a lot of information backed by data from studies they have done. While I personally question some of these, you still may find the guide useful.
Now you know how to create awesome blog post headlines that will get your target audience to CLICK. Creating headlines for your blog posts is the first step to gaining followers and readership. Not only is it important, It can actually be a lot of fun and be creative. And, if you don’t have a creative bone in your body you can still do this. Just follow these 5 fool-proof blog post headline formulas:
- # + Key phrase + Curiosity statement
- Shock tactics (aka: the rubber neck effect)
- Add mystery to your headline
- Be a problem solver
- Point out common mistakes
I’m always available to answer ANY questions you have, and would love to hear what you think. Please comment below!
Leave it to the Geek!
Not interested in doing it yourself? You are in luck. I am a geeky web professional and would LOVE to help you out.