Blogger Tips: How to write an intriguing blog post headline

You’ve written a fantastic informative blog post and now you’re stumped and don’t know how to write the headline. I’m sharing my tried and tested top 6 formats, and explain why some work better than others.

I’m going to openly admit that headlines aren’t my natural forté, I’m never going to be the genius who writes those punny splashy ones for The Sun. I have to work at this just like everyone else. Try as I might I’m actually a bit turned off by all the click-baitey blog posts and facebook posts that I see. I’ve taken a straw poll of my friends and colleagues and they feel the same. **I feel equally annoyed about stolen Pinterest pins – where images are stolen and redirected to other sites (and some of it can be quite seedy I’ve discovered)**

So how on earth, with a one-liner, do you manage to grab the fleeting attention span of most people? You might be like me, and completely flummoxed when you’ve just finished typing up your most recent blog post about an interiors-focused trip to Europe. You’re ready to share your most insightful tips with the world and there’s a gaping hole where your title should be. What’s going to grab the attention of your readers? How do you make sure you’re optimizing your readership? Having done a bit of navel-gazing recently, and reread the course notes from a long forgotten blog course, here’s my two penny’s worth.

How to write an intriguing blog post headline, blogger tips, image of bathroom design with terrazzo
A beautiful but unrelated image, a tactic often used by click-bait articles. This bathroom was designed by Melissa Jenkinson, of Heirloom Studio

The first way to write a catchy headline is to consider the number of tips in your post, the keywords you have selected, the rationale behind your post, and what your reader will get out of reading your it when you select your title. This for me is the most logical and methodical approach.

Headlines are important because they are the first thing your readers will see and they provide initial context, so make sure to give this step extra time and attention. After all, a good headline is the difference between someone clicking to your post and straying elsewhere. There are many styles of title, but which one is right for your purpose and audience?

  • Numbered list headlines, such as ‘5 Must-See Milan Hotels for the Design Tourist’ are both highly readable and easy to title. Research shows that numbered list headlines are the most widely shared on social media. I use this one fairly consistently and it seems, on the whole, to get a fairly good click through (and does well on Pinterest too)
  • Guide headlines, like ‘Choosing the right stone for your interiors project’, ‘Flying made easy with a Toddler‘, or ‘The compact guide to planning a bathroom renovation’, tell the reader exactly what they will learn to do by reading your post. These posts provide your readers suggestions about the best way to do something complicated. You’ll see these fairly regularly with DIY bloggers.
  • How-to headlines tell the reader how to solve a problem they have and educate them on a specific topic or skill. Some examples include, ‘How to light your Bathroom for the perfect finish’, ‘How to declutter your home’ or ‘How to plan the best design-focused trip to Tokyo’. 
  • Urgency headlines compel the reader to feel that they NEED to have the information in your blog post. Titles such as ‘Don’t make these mistakes when choosing fabric for your sofa’ highlight obstacles already faced by others that your readers could avoid by reading.
  • Everyone is forced to make decisions, and comparison headlines promise to help readers respond to these decisions. ‘Why use an interior designer instead of doing it yourself, (especially when you love Pinterest)’ will provide the reader with details about both choices so that they can make sure theirs is informed. I don’t think I’ve used this type of heading but they seem very popular.
  • Curiosity headlines trigger a FOMO (fear of missing out) and encourage your readers to think and understand why. These headlines make your readers feel as if you’re letting them in on some of your trade secrets. ‘Are you playing fair with your clients?’ is an example that really prompts thought and reflection.   It’s not necessarily ‘Fomo” but titles like ‘Your essential​​ Christmas shopping destination‘ feed into this “insider” information desire that exists in so many people – me included, sharing info on a hot new tip.

I hope that this blog tip 101 has helped. If you’d like to see more of my blog tip articles, take a look here.

How to write an intriguing blog post headline, blogger tips, image includes black taps
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