How to Write Great Blog Headlines

blogging headlines

Got Great Headlines?

Browsing the web looking for information on a particular subject can be quite overwhelming these days. You sit down at your computer, enter your search criteria, and voilà! Watch the magic happen as literally thousands of informative articles instantly become available to you. This is great for variety, but how does one decide which website to visit and which blogs and articles to read? The headline, of course!

It could take you hours, even days to read the articles written on a single subject! Therefore, readers make their choices based solely on the headline.

Headline Importance

The headline of your blog will determine whether someone decides to read your article. Writing a great blog headline takes careful thought and should never be underrated. It needs to grab the reader’s attention. So how is this done? By thoughtfully picking and choosing the right words and placing them in the right headline position.

SEO

A great blogging headline is designed not only capture your readers’ attention, but to also improve your search engine rankings.

Keywords. According to SEO practices, putting keywords into the first part of your headline is the single most important thing you can do to get your article found. A great tip? Avoid the most popular keywords and/or keyword phrases and, instead, search for a few niche keywords that are also relevant to your blog, as there is more likely to be less competition. This can give you that edge that can help you pull away from the rest of the pack.

Before or After?

Should you write the headline before writing the actual article, or after? There are cases for both so it’s truly a matter of preference and what works best for you.

The Case for Before. Choosing a headline first allows you to focus on a specific idea. This provides a great foundation for writing your article, as you must give the audience whatever you promised in the title.

The Case for After. If you have a general idea of what you’re going to write about, you can simply write the article and then when finished, scan through to pick out your main keywords and/or keyword phrases and turn them into a title.

Got Blogger’s Block?

When you’re a writer, more likely than not you have found yourself stymied when trying to write that really great blogging headline. You know the title is floating up there, somewhere inside your mind, bobbing just out of reach, until suddenly the dam breaks and the flow of words pours into your consciousness; meanwhile, you’re just waiting. You are not alone! All writers reach a point where seemingly nothing comes to mind. So what can one do? Below are a couple suggestions that have been proven to be quite effective in breaking the dam.

Shhh… You Can Cheat!
It’s called swipe files, or headline templates, and they can be used when in a pinch. Examples include the ubiquitous “How To’s”, “Give Me ____ and I’ll Give You ____” and “If You Don’t ____ Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.” Get the idea?

Find Other Blocked Bloggers
Many times, just being able to voice your frustrations about your blogger’s block concerning new and interesting headlines with others in the same position can really help.

Be Honest
If all else fails, write about not being able to write! This will allow you to (professionally) vent your frustrations and who knows? It could become the go-to article when others find themselves to be in the same position.

Aaron Fletcher

Aaron Fletcher is a small business marketing coach, speaker and author of STAND OUT: A Simple and Effective Online Marketing Plan For Your Small Business. He founded Geek-Free Marketing to help entrepreneurs become leaders in their markets through smart content marketing. Get more from Aaron on Google+, Facebook and Twitter
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