One Simple Template for Crafting Great Titles

Ali Luke

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You know that blog post titles have to grab attention — but how exactly do you go about that, especially when you’ve got the rest of the post to write?

Here’s one way to craft a great title in a hurry:

#1: Use a Number

List posts are popular for a reason: we’re intrigued by numbers. Putting a number in your title helps tell the reader that your post will be valuable. The exact number isn’t too important — but big numbers (think 25 or more) are great for social media attention.

Don’t forget that “one” is a number, too!

#2: Be Clear What You’re Offering

Your post could use any of the following:

  • Tips
  • Ways
  • Methods
  • Steps
  • Templates
  • Rules
  • Secrets

…and more. What sort of advice are you giving? (“Steps” would be appropriate for a how-to post, for instance.) Which word will be most powerful for your audience?

#3: Add Adjectives

An adjective is a word that modifies another word. You’ll see them cropping up time and time again in titles.

Adjectives can promise:

  • High-quality advice: great, expert, clever, fantastic, brilliant, top
  • Practical advice: simple, easy, handy, straight-forward, no-nonsense
  • New knowledge: little-known, surprising

Be sensitive to your audience here, though. Some readers will be hooked by adjectives like “ultimate” or “astounding” — others will just laugh.

#4: Explain What They’ll Learn or Do

As a general rule, we read blog posts because we expect some benefit: usually, we want to learn or do something. (Even if “doing something” just means being entertained.)

Make a clear statement about what your readers will be able to learn or do. For instance:

  • Ten Easy Ways to Write Faster
  • Five Simple Steps to Set Up Your Blog in Less Than Two Hours
  • Eight Expert Tips for Running Your First Marathon
  • Five Crazy Videos That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

Have you got a favorite “template” for constructing titles, or a great example of a blog post title to share with us? Let us know in the comments.

Ali Luke writes a weekly column on content creation for DailyBlogTips. If you’d like some inspiration for your writing, check out her post Twenty-Five Ways to Come Up With Great Ideas for Your Writing.

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11 Responses to “One Simple Template for Crafting Great Titles”

  • Charles Specht

    Good article, as I’m still trying to figure out how to come with with killer post titles. It never fails but after I publish an article and then send it around the social media world, I want to change the title. Ugh!

  • Ali Luke

    Thanks, everyone, very glad you enjoyed this post!

    Galina, I definitely prefer your second version — you might want to keep something about SEO into the headline too, though. How about “One way to understand PageRank — and Improve Your SEO” or something like that?

  • Amandah

    Great tips! I look at Cosmopolitan, newspapers, and tabloids to get ideas for headlines. These are great resources and contain some of the best headlines. I also collect direct mail too. I have a good file that contains examples of winning headlines.

  • Tony Lum

    This is a fantastic post! It widens up my mind totally to better writing! Thanks! I really appreciate this post. 🙂

  • Benny

    Simple tips for everyone to learn how to write the titles in the blogs. Thanks for share.

  • Galina

    Very helpful and actual tips for me. I´ve titled my new post “PageRank role in SEO”, but now I´ve changed the title like that:”One way to understand PageRank”. It is better, isn´t it?

  • Rahul kuntala

    I really love your writings Luke 🙂

    It’s so simple and goes with the flow. #2 and #4 are important for any blogger. Without offering anything new to the readers, no one gets interest to read the blogs.

    Thanks for sharing your valuable post like every time 🙂

  • Jay Castillo

    Thank you Ali for a very timely post! Just applied this to a very boring (but essential) topic for my readers and I hope what I did would really grab their attention. Thanks again!

  • Joe

    Think This is so important, a great title helps grab your users attention, and it’s what they see first about you.

    I always add keyword + Verb + Hook and if possible add number, this strategy works for me 🙂

    Great Post!

  • Jamie Northrup

    I love list posts or case studies that give precise numbers, so if your title has either of those, chances are I’ll be ready it.

  • Leif G.S. Notae

    Always good to see articles from you here Ali, happy you share your knowledge.

    I have a general idea in mind on what the title will be for an article, but there are times when I finish, the original idea wouldn’t fit for what I intended.

    Suffice to say, I still have some work to do, but I am learning everyday. Thanks for sharing with us, happy you did!

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