Why Your Headlines Are Hurting Your Blog and How to Fix Them

blog headlineThe title is perhaps the most important component of a written piece. It’s the title that draws in a viewer, hopefully sparking their interest at a mere glance. Writing a catchy, intriguing headline can make the difference between lots of views for your work, or none. And why have a blog if no one will see it?

If you’re struggling to lure in readers, try making some tweaks to your blog headlines. These tips will assist you in crafting charismatic titles that are sure to boost traffic on your site:

Know What People Want

Most of the time, you probably know what you’ll be writing about, but you’re not sure what to title the piece. If this is the case, it’s helpful to find what exactly people want to know about your article’s subject matter.

Search Google for the topic covered in your content, and then base your headline off of the top-searched phrases regarding this topic. If, for example, you’re trying to promote one of the top rehab centers in Florida, type “rehab” into the Google search bar. If you find that the leading automatically generated search terms include “rehab after work”, try to incorporate this into your content’s headline. Naming your piece, “The Top Rehab After Work Centers in Florida” would probably attract a higher number of eyeballs to the blog.

Keep the Audience in Mind

If you don’t know the type of people you’re trying to captivate, your headline will probably fall flat. Knowing the intended audience will help you perfectly mold the wording and format of your headline, catering to the interest of those specific individuals.

Note: “specific individuals.” Your intended audience shouldn’t be limited to simply male or female. Think “females seeking partners,” or “people who want to lose weight.” You need to consider exactly what these men or women will want to take away from your work, and create a headline that fits this desire.

Phrase It

By creating a headline in the form of a phrase, rather than a complete sentence, you make the reader want more. And if your headline does read as a complete thought, do not include ending punctuation in your headline. Punctuation subconsciously tells the reader that they’ve reached the end of the point; they don’t need to read more. Avoid a complete sentence, or at least the punctuation, and the thought will be left unfinished, only to be concluded when the entire article’s content has been digested.

Also, if you’re not worried about creating a complete sentence in your headline, you have more flexibility to create something snappy and memorable. In addition to other methods, this can be achieved through:

  • Alliteration: Mad Men Making Money
  • A headline written as the second half of a sentence: Because Women Love Attention
  • Rhyme: The Prime Time to Climb


Raising a question to the audience can personally engage them in the matter at hand. Ask, for instance: “Confused About Social Media Marketing?” or “Struggling to Attract Twitter Followers?” and it’s almost as if you’re talking directly to potential readers. When they feel connected to the title, they’re much more likely to read the entire article.

“Why” question or answer-formatted titles can be particularly intriguing. People know that ladies love chocolate, for example, but a headline like “Why Women Love Chocolate,” draws in those that can relate to this issue. People believe they can uncover relevant information by clicking on this blog entry; they believe that reading the article will provide firsthand benefits.

How-to Solutions

Most people scour the Internet for answers to their problems. Whether it’s cookie recipes, makeup tips or travel routes, people have endless questions for search engines. If you word your titles in ways that guarantee answers, more people will be interested. “How to Train for a Half Marathon” and “How to Bake Gluten Free Banana Muffins,” are examples of effective how-to titles.

Numbered Lists

Incorporating numbers in your titles, like “5 Ways to Look Hotter,” can generate attraction. When people suspect that they can absorb relevant information without having to read numerous pages, they’re more likely to click on the article. The lack of commitment associated with list articles is appealing to those wandering the web.

Match It to Your Content

No matter which tactic you use in devising a headline, you need to be absolutely certain that it matches the content of the article. The blog should send people away with the information promised in the title. If your blog title is “Healthy Ways to Eat in the Car,” and the piece is about healthy eating in general, having nothing to do with driving, you fail to deliver your guarantee to the audience.

Don’t get caught up in making your title as compelling as possible, because if it doesn’t match the content, it shouldn’t be your headline.

Note: This post is a guest post from a member of our DMR Insider Community.

Image credit: Shane Pope via flickr