Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Blog Post Headlines That Go Viral – Or At Least Get Opened

You can write the greatest blog post, but it won’t even get read if the headline doesn’t lure people in.  So what kind of headline will get readers to click?

·         The short one
·         An intelligent one
·         One that plays on words
·         A headline that seems timely and relevant
·         One that is understandable and clear
·         A headline that evokes controversy

Here are some types of headlines that tend to work:

*        How-to-do-something: tips, strategies, keys, ways, pro-cons, steps
*    Ask a question
*        Challenge the wisdom of the day
*        Assert a wild claim
*         Make a newsy revelation or expose a secret 
*         Alert people to a threat
*         Promise of a better, happier, successful life
*         Response to a crisis
*         Making something under the radar an issue
*         Predicting or projecting the future
*         Advocating or lobbying for action
*         Claim to solve a problem
*         Jack the news of the day
*         Ride the fame of celebrities or major brands by highlighting them
*         Use humor
*         Be contrarian
*         Reference something so unusual that they must read on
*        Make a comparison of A with B that makes people think
*         Lodge a complaint
*         Call someone a liar
*         Reference sex, money, politics, religion, sports, or entertainment
*         Vow to change your ways – or to help others change theirs
*         Show how to do something in a short amount of time

With headlines, it helps to put a number on things:
·         Lose weight in 12 days

But be specific
·         Lose five pounds in 12 days

Where possible, use drama:
·         7 Ways to save your sexless marriage before he strays

Headlines that repeat the same letter can be memorable (alliteration):
·         Communication challenges cut careers

Tap into emotions:
·         How you can parent your teen without tears

Explore one's curiosity:
·         Do sluts have better sex than you?

Remember, the headline’s only goal is to get someone to open an email or click on a post.  The headline doesn’t have to be a summary of the post nor does it have to reflect something that’s in the post.  For instance, if your post is about why we love dogs and it doesn’t reference Snoopy, you can still use a headline like this: 7 reasons to bark for dogs that are more charming than Snoopy.

The litmus test of a headline is this: Does it provoke a response?  Does it say something that moves one to action?  If not, try again.  Keep switching out words or the order of them.  Toss in a number, a question or an exclamation mark, and use an economy of words.  Test for clarity, ambiguity, or double meanings.  Make it sing.  No, make it scream.  The louder the better.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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