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Secrets to Writing Good Headlines Guaranteed to Increase Traffic 

If you are writing a blog post or an article, you need a headline or title that compels people to click on the link. The title needs to have keywords that will be noticed by the search engines but it needs to also entice the readers to go to the site to read it. I personally love catchy fun titles but I found that people don’t click on those titles. I have written posts in the past only to find no one reads the post. Book titles do not follow the same guidelines unless you are doing a business book or self help book. Book titles will be covered in a later post. 

The most common titles start with: 

  • The Top 10 Ways To...
  • 7 Common Mistakes ... and How To Avoid Them
  • The 3 Things Your Mother Didn’t Tell You About...
  • How to Make Money...
  • How to Lose Weight Doing...
  • The Secret To... 


Weak – Do You Need an Editor for your Book? (it has a keyword but no call to action)
Good – The Top 10 Reasons You Should Get Your Book Edited.

Weak – Ready Set Go Here I Come. (There are no keywords and the reader has no indication of the content)
Good – 4 Things Your Mother Didn’t tell You About Self Publishing.

Weak –I Am a Mean Lean Machine. See How I Did It. (There are no keywords but you might be intrigued)
Good – The Secret to Losing Weight in Just 15 Min. a Day. (There are keywords, and losing weight is always attractive)

Weak –Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, My Book is Done, Now What Should I Do? (A cute title but there are no keywords)
Good – 5 Marketing Strategies to Promote Your book.

If you want some additional ideas on headline templates, you should visit and read   10 Sure- Fire Headline Formulas that Work. 

Share with us your titles. If you need help let the group help you write a good one. If you have an example of how you have used these guidelines please share it with us. If you have other examples of great templates that worked for you, we would love to know about it.

We are also sharing our titles on our Facebook page come and have fun with us.


Reader Comments (21)

G'morning! Thanks for the post and examples of weak and good titles. Mine today is How To Open Your Heart And Mind. What do you think?

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn Jones

I use a headline analyzer at - It has always served me well. I tend to use titles like, Turn Speed Networking Elevator Pitch into a Flow of Positive Connection. Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer helped me to tweak it to rank across their three domains of intellectual, empathetic and spiritual. According to their research, the three main levels of emotions.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Weber

You have a "How to" statement. I would read it because it appeals to me but you may want to ad a "what" at the end. How to open your mind and heart to .......

Thanks for the tip. I will check out the site. I didn't think about appealing to the three domains. It definitely would attract all types of readers.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey

Julia, whenever I include the name Obama in the headline I get more readers. Basically writing tabloid headlines is that makes people curious. But it also get you nasty comments. Guess it's a question of take it or leave it?

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatarina Alexon

This is such a good post for me to read. My titles don't contain key words, I realize. I much prefer the catchy ones, so I have to sacrifice my preference here if I'm going to have readers!

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudy Stone-Goldman


This post is an eye opener! I'm glad to see this early in my blogging experience. Thanks for sharing it.

Chris Paulsen

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris Paulsen


What a great tip. If you use any celebrity name you will get more traffic. I was on stumbleupon and someone had over 3000 likes for Martha Stewart brownies. Your blog is so perfect for name dropping. I should use best selling authors.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey


I love the catchy titles better too. If you are writing a book a catchy title would work. If you are trying to get interest in a post you need to solve a problem.

Someone pointed out to me today on a LinkedIn post that you can never Guarantee that someone will read the post. The word guarantee will make someone curious. I

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey

Thanks for the tool to check the headline - just read another article from Copyblogger that said the 2 most powerful words for a title to have is You and because

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoberta

Thank you so much. I needed this reminder!

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSherrie Koretke

This is a great post - thank you! I'm very new to blogging and am realizing that I have so much to learn. You inspired me to participate in the Blogging Challenge (via Linked In) and I expect to learn a lot over the month of August. I'll need to keep coming back for tips if I want to keep up with all of the great blogs out there! Thanks again.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAJ LoRe

Great article Julia. The list concept seems to work well. I do find higher CTR on those types of titles. Also, as you say - having a compelling reason to read more is a good way to get interest.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWynne

Hi Julia! A

ctually, I was just lamenting the title for my current blog post. I just posted it and added the word "favorite" to "what's your story?" but I really am not crazy about either version. When I was writing my blog posts a couple of weeks ago, I tried to create compelling titles but some of them just did not seem to lend themselves to good titles!

Those are good guidelines you mention. I'm curious, now, to try again and see if I could have created a title with a number in it related to the topic.

Thanks for the suggestions! ~~Jeanine

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeanine Byers Hoag

Hi Julia,

Thanks for the information. I am not great with headlines, however the one thing I know through testing is that it does in some part depend on your readers. I liked your examples and being more drect does make sense.

Thanks for the tips.

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Oakes

Fantastic post and very timely. I have signed up to participate in the Ultimate Blog Challenge but I'm struggling already so this is hopefully going to work wonders to give me a bit of a kick start. TFS.
Zoe x

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

Hi Julia,

This is an important message about creating a headline as a hook that draws people in. I know I have much to improve upon with my headlines.

Question: What is an appropriate length for a headline? Also, how do you determine the success of a headline - is it views, comments, search engine placement, or some other metric?

Thanks again for sharing this!

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Serven

Great post Julia. My latest post title was "How To Train Yourself To Be In The Mood You Want". This was actually a post that referred to another blogger's post that had 21 comments and 197 retweets but did not generate any interest in the #blogboost. It was off topic for my blog. I would be interested in any comments by the group.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Arthur Burks

Spot on article. Thank you. The examples you gave on how to recreate the snazzy title into an effective one are incredibly helpful.


The traffic on my blog has picked up since starting to use your advice in this post. Thanks again for sharing!

Chris Paulsen

August 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris Paulsen


Thanks for sharing this wisdom on writing titles that work for blogs!

I have seen that when I write provocative titles, my hits soar. For instance "How to Lead Ugly People" was quite popular and "Properly Using The "F" Word at Work" was my most popular post this year (of course, to clarify I mean "how to lead ugly BEHAVING people" and the "F" word is "fun.")

I also have tried the headline analyzer that Patrica Weber mentions. It is very interesting! For instance, I scored an 88.89% with this title "How to Lead Godly People to Kill Cute Babies."

In researching best titles for a business book on leadership for which McGraw-Hill Professional wants me to submit a proposal, I asked my LinkedIn group of 15k members to vote in a poll and found some great advice ( You are so right, the book title thing seems much different than the blog title thing!

Thanks again for your advice. I will be following you!

Tom Schulte
Atlanta, GA USA


August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Schulte

A good and attention-grabbing headline is half the written article. Unless your headline is powerful enough to create inquisitiveness in the mind of the reader, your article will not receive its due credit.

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Collins

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