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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

6 Tips for Awesome Blog Headlines

So what’s in a name? In the case of blog headlines it’s everything. The headline of any blog is an important component and it is what will get your post read, or rather not read.  The headline, or blog title must be written well or it will be the only part of your blog read!  Studies have shown that only about 20% of those who have read a blog headline will continue to read the entire post.  Being able to capture this 20% or hopefully even more readers will mean that the headline will need to be topical, informative, eye-catching and clear.  No pressure or anything.
A simple formula for writing an awesome blog headline is to follow a few simple tips:

1. Make it Pop

The use of strong action words will inherently draw the attention of readers.  Check out Blogussion for some great words that will really make your headlines pop out of the page.  Let’s take a blog headline, “Politicians debate oil prices”, which is a perfectly fine, albeit boring headline. Changing the headline to “Political battle over oil heats up” sounds a bit better doesn’t it? Adding an action word “battle” and the emotive term of “heats up” will inevitably draw in readers.

2. Use Keywords

Keywords are what get your content read!  Whether this is because they draw in the attention of browsers interested in your topic or through direct search of your keyword; the more the keyword is used the better.  Keywords in the headline are strongly encouraged as search engines more favorably select them when the keyword is found in the URL of your post.

3. Capitalization Consistency

There really isn’t a strict guideline on how to properly capitalize your blog headlines. Typically the purpose of a blog is a more casual forum to share information than a mainstream media outlet.  Whether you choose to capitalize every word in the headline or only the first word as it would be written in a sentence is up to you. It is important that there be consistency in your capitalization policy.  If you bounce back and forth your blog may come across sloppy.

4. Stay Short

Rule of thumb states that a good blog headline should fall between six to ten words long or in other words around 60 characters. This is about the right length to describe concisely what the blog post is about as well as catch the attention of the reader but it’s not so long that the entire content of the blog is in the title. 

5. Be Clear

Reign in that creativity.  A cute play on words or a fancy pun will likely confuse your reader rather than draw them in.  You also run the risk of frustrating the reader if they think the blog post is on a certain topic when in reality it’s something completely different.

6. Don’t Forget the Subheading

Very nearly as important as the headline, the subheading is so important to drawing in the reader.   A subheading should be around 20 or so words and add to the description of your headline.  Use of the keyword in this section is also strongly encouraged to reaffirm your topic.  A great subheading will summarize your article while still enticing the reader to read further into your blog post.
Deciding on an appropriate headline for a blog post is usually much easier if it is written after the content of the post is complete.  Once the entire content has been fleshed out the topic headline may have transformed from what you originally imagined the blog post to contain.

Source: http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/2012/03/02/6-tips-for-awesome-blog-headlines/
 

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