How to write blog titles that get the results you need

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woman reading a great blog title

Many factors influence the success of your blog posts, including the value of your content, your writing style, and the strength of your call to action. But no matter how great your post is, you won’t get results if nobody even reads it.

Your title, or headline, has a very important role here. Its main purpose is to spell out what people can expect to read about, in a way that gets them to click through.

Brian Clark of Copyblogger estimates that only 20% of the people who read a title will continue reading the rest of the piece. Often your title is all they have to go on, whether they see it in search results, in their Twitter feed, or somewhere else, so it’s super important that it grabs their attention, or all that time you spent writing an awesome post will be wasted.

Here are a few factors to consider when you write your blog post titles.

What makes a good headline

Word Choice

Certain words are more appealing to readers than others. One of the most compelling is the word YOU.

Other than YOU, words that tend to encourage click-throughs and sharing include: new, now, free, secrets, easy, and surprising. There are many others, if you wish to explore this further.

Limited Capitalization

Using sentence case rather than capitalizing every word makes it much easier to read. This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially if your heading is long, or if you’re using an app or plugin to automatically send your post titles and links to social media.

Use of Keywords

Potential readers have to find your post before they click through to read it, so don’t underestimate the value of using the right keywords or key phrases in your post title. Ideally, these terms should appear near the beginning of your title, especially if your title is long. This signals to the search engine robots what your post is about, so when someone searches on that phrase, your post is more likely to come up in the results.

Use of Numbers

People seem to like numbers, especially odd numbers – and especially if they’re written in numeric format rather than spelled out.


It’s a good idea to keep your titles straightforward. A wacky title might be fun, but if someone clicks through and it’s not what they were expecting, they’re probably not going to say, “This isn’t what I came here for, but I might as well stick around.” They’ll probably just leave.

The other side of that is that someone who needs the information in your blog post might not click through, because they had no way of knowing from your title that it was relevant.

It’s also helpful to make your title specific. So instead of something general like How to get better at organizing your day, try The 5-minute guide to organizing your day for more focus and productivity.

On the other hand, don’t supply so much information in your title that they don’t need to click through!

Test your blog titles

When I sat down to write this post, I wanted a title that would attract your attention. Fortunately, there are free tools to help with this process.

Co-Schedule’s Blog Post Headline Analyzer analyzes your title for structure, readability, length, and other factors, and offers actionable tips to help you improve it.

Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer measures how well your headline reaches readers emotionally, on one or more of three levels: Intellectual, Empathetic, or Spiritual.

I tested a straightforward title, How to write blog titles that get results, which scored 75 (out of 100) on Co-Schedule, which isn’t bad, but only 25% EMV on Advanced Marketing Institute. Most professional copywriters will have 30-40% EMV words in their headlines.

When I changed it to How to write blog titles that get the results you need, my score increased to 76 on Co-Schedule and 36.36% EMV, so I decided to run with it.

You can also test different titles on Twitter by entering various phrases as a tweet, along with the link to your post, and seeing which one gets the most click-throughs. You can always go back and revise your title later.

It’s worth taking a bit of time to experiment with variations on your titles! Please note that I’m not always this thorough in testing and tweaking, but for this post, I wanted to demonstrate the process.

Photo © Wavebreakmedia / depositphotos

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Avatar Andrea Sharb on May 10, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Good reminders Janet! Thanks for pointing out Co-Schedule’s Blog Post Headline Analyzer. I look forward to checking it out. I always use the AMI when coming up with a title. It’s kind of like playing a game to see how high you can score. : )

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      If you like that, you’ll love CoSchedule’s – it even gives you grades (A, B+, etc.)!

  2. Avatar Seana Turner on May 10, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    What simple and practical pieces of advice. I never thought of using, “You” in the title. I also never would have considered it better to not capitalize each word of the title. Great tips as always, Janet!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Thanks – glad they were helpful! Now, if I could just be a bit more consistent with my own titles… 😉

  3. Avatar Melissa on May 15, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Great article! For a newer blogger, these tips are extremely helpful! Sometimes knowing what to be aware of and how to attract readers gets lost on me in the focus of just making the content. Thanks for the easy tips to practice!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      You’re welcome, Melissa! Blogging can definitely be a balancing act, with so many separate pieces (content, title, images, etc.) that need our attention.

  4. Avatar Jill Robson on May 15, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I used these strategies in this months blog post, i know the title is a little wordy, but we will see how it goes.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 15, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      I just checked it out and I think it’s a great title! Please let me know if it does well.

  5. Avatar Liana George on May 15, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for the wonderful tips, Janet! I struggle with writing headlines that get people’s attention. I have used the Headline Analyzer and that definitely helps. Thanks for the ideas 🙂

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 15, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      It’s easy to get obsessed with the process, isn’t it? You do have to be careful not to make a career out if it, especially if it’s not one of your most important blog posts.

  6. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on May 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Janet. I love to learn about tips for blog titles. I have noticed that the word “easy” is a popular term in titles these days. I find that it evolves and changes as to what is going on with the world too. Coscheduler was one of my favorites until they changed the website layout. =( I’m going to try the Advanced Marketing Institue instead.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      “Easy” is a good one! After all, who doesn’t want things to be easy? But you make a great point – things are constantly evolving, and you need to be alert to changing trends.

  7. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on May 15, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    As always, you provide a fountain of great tips. You were the one that originally told me about using headline analyzers. I’ve used both of the ones you’ve suggested and mostly use the Headline Analyzer. Interesting too about the capitalization issue that you pointed out. I have always used initial word cap except for small words for titles. You make a good point that they are less readable with that stylization. Maybe it’s time to experiment?

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 15, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      You could try experimenting and see what happens… I have to admit that’s one area where I’m inconsistent, especially when I’m publishing a guest post, where I don’t usually edit the title.

  8. Avatar Sara Skillen on May 15, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Wow, ok, I tried the Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer, and clearly I have some work to do! I hadn’t considered how generic some of my titles are. Thanks so much for all of the great information.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      Always happy to hear when one of my posts is helpful!

  9. Avatar Crystal Barton on May 15, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Limited capitalization, wow I would never have thought of that. I guess I am still old school and capitalize most of the words in a title. Makes sense though. I am definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing such great advice!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 16, 2017 at 6:01 am

      You’re welcome! It probably depends on the title. I recently read a post with the title “Mental Health and Chronic Disorganization” which is clearly a title and might look funny if it were typed “Mental health and chronic disorganization” (or maybe not!) But for long titles that are sentences, whether a question or a statement, using “sentence case” seems to work better.

  10. Avatar Daria on May 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    I have not heard before that limited capitalization is more easily readable. I’ll definitely be making that change in my titles. Thank you Janet.

  11. Avatar Janet Schiesl on May 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    I never knew about Limited Capitalization. I guess I better change my ways. Thanks Janet.

  12. Avatar Paul on May 31, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Great tips Janet,
    The word Clarity comes immediately to my mind. It is a really good idea to be precise and straightforward, at least for me. Even if the heading is a bit long, at first.

  13. Avatar Maureen DeGarmo on August 2, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks, Janet, that is very helpful information.

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