How to Write Grabbing Blog Headlines

15 November, 2017

Headlines are the smallest and most important component in your content marketing strategy. They are also the biggest challenge when it comes to content marketing. What’s the secret formula? While there is no single secret formula, there are a few reliable rules of thumb. We’ve summarized a few of them for you below.

1. Six words is all you get. Thought fifteen seconds was a challenge? According to KISSmetrics people only tend to read the first three and last three words in a headline, which means no matter its actual length you’ve got exactly six words to make an impact. Six words. That’s all you get. Titles and headlines are the quintessential content marketing tools. The difference between a conversion and a missed opportunity often lies in whether or not a headline entices a click.

2. Use bold language, but don’t hype. Online users are becoming increasingly sensitive to hype. By that we mean they don’t like it, and they don’t trust you when you use it. Be careful about “click bait” headlines.


Avoid statements that aren’t provable, or more importantly that could be misleading. “Click bait” titles often smudge the actual value of the content, and purposefully avoid telling readers what the actual post contains. While they might get you an initial read, chances are a disappointed reader won’t come back.

So what language should you use? You should still be daring, but authentic. That way people can find what interests them quickly.  Every word is vital. Treat headline writing like a particularly restrictive form of poetry, every syllable scrutinized.

3. Play the Numbers Game. Numbers are powerful tools, especially in headlines. If it’s possible, it’s usually a good idea to format a blog post into a numbered list of questions, answers, tidbits, life hacks… Etc. Not only does this help you with the post format, giving you subheadings to break up the copy, it helps with your title. Five reasons to do ___, seven ways to improve ___. Numbers are attractive because they convey an immediate promise of value. They say to the reader; in exchange for your precious attention you will receive exactly this many Cool Things. Make sure you deliver on the promise!

4. Break formula, take risks! New things lose their sparkle quickly as they’re used. It’s never long before a particular headline format loses its impact. So don’t feel locked into a particular set of guidelines, even if they are great guidelines. There are always ways to innovate, the English language is constantly changing.
5. Use ONE keyword or keyword phrase. Keywords serve two purposes. Search engines like them, sure, but people do too. That’s why they search for them. Stuffing them into every nook of a page is a flawed strategy, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be artfully woven into text. A single keyword in your title tells the reader they’ve found the right link. Read more about keywords in our post about the elements of successful web pages.

Whichever strategies you decide to employ, remember that attracting mouse clicks requires innovative and expert use of language. We call it insurance copywriting craftsmanship. Need expert assistance? Learn more about our blog writing services and contact us today.