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How To Write A Powerful Title

Do you know how to write a powerful title? One of the hardest things for new writers to write is a great title. Sometimes writing an article can be easier than writing the title which will sell it. I remember when I first started writing, I came up with what I thought were imaginative titles – titles which made web users want to read the article because it kept them guessing.

I told myself that if (in the title) I didn’t explain to the potential reader what the article was all about he/she would want to read it to find out. Big mistake! And don’t worry, I’ve learned my lesson.

People on the web are so bombarded by articles to read, they become over stimulated. They’re looking for certain things and have no time for the read-to-find-out strategies I formally employed. You have to show them that they’re getting exactly what they’re looking for and the way to do this is through your title. Here are some ways to show you just how to write a powerful title. Don’t allow your potential reader to click past your post. Make them stop and take notice of you!

How to write a powerful title

Research your niche

Research your niche to know exactly what people are looking for. Use Google Keyword tool to find popular searches in your topic. Once you know what they’re looking for, you can write topics to fill the need and any gaps that may exist. Researching is also a fantastic way to get ideas about articles you may want to write.

Once you find your titles, keep a record of them in a notebook or spreadsheet. You will forget them if you don’t. Based on your search, you can also make a quick list of keywords you want to use with each title (but don’t keyword-stuff). Great titles lead to great inspiration for even greater articles.

Write your titles for humans

I know us writers have been well trained to think of SEO as we write. This is all well and good, but search engines don’t search for titles and articles, people do. Think of them when you write your title, think of what they’ll be typing into their browser as they search and try to mimic this as closely as possible.

And while you’re thinking of this, be as brief and as descriptive as possible. I know, we did say that titles can be the most difficult thing to write!

Use an active voice when writing your title

For example, ‘How powerful titles are written’ is expressed in a passive voice, while ‘How to write a powerful title’ is an active voice. Passive voices are for boring topics and maybe college theses. Online articles need to show action, enthusiasm and power. You only get this effect with active voice titles. Active voices are concise and transparent. They encourage and motivate. They involve a direct person doing a particular action. This is what web writing thrives on. Use only active voices for your titles, or you and your article will be left behind in a cloud of virtual internet dust.

Use proper grammar and spelling in your titles

If you were looking for a particular item on the web and you came across a title with a misspelling or with an ‘I’ which was not capitalised, would you click on it? The answer is no, and neither would your potential readers.

Don’t write your titles as though you’re texting. You’ve spent too long on your article, and on thinking about your powerful, call-to-action title than to let it and yourself down with bad spelling or punctuation.

While on the subject, sometimes apostrophes and other punctuation like question marks and exclamation marks don’t convert well on certain browsers or pages. Therefore it’s best to leave these out of your titles if at all possible. It would be a shame for your fantastic title to be spoilt with a ‘*amps&pos’ where your apostrophe should be.

Be careful about the length of your title

Including spaces and punctuation, your title should be about 70 characters or some of it will get lost in your url and in searches. Make sure that your power words or key phrases appear within the first few words.

Some examples of article titles that will get read more easily

Readers like to know – on average how many points they’re getting in an article. This is why titles like, ‘Five Ways to…’ or ‘Ten Tips on…’ work very well.

Readers are searching for things they don’t know. They come to your article to learn something they didn’t know or hadn’t thought of before. They’re not looking for run-of- the-mill pieces that tell them things they are already versed on. This is why titles like, ‘The Secret to…’ or ‘The Key to…’ make them feel you’re disclosing quality information.

Readers also like things being made easy for them. In this case, words like, ‘simple’, ‘easy’, ‘quick’ and ‘effective’ work well in titles to show them they’re getting something priceless that they can apply to their lives today, easily.

The whole point of searching on the Internet is to answer questions. This is why ‘How To…’ articles work so well. In addition, they’re easy to write and follow a definite formula that web users have grown to expect. You can’t go wrong with ‘How to’ articles.

Do you have a process you follow when it comes to writing titles? How do you create powerful titles for your articles and do you find them difficult to write? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below and give us your take on writing titles for articles. Please also share, ‘How To Write A Powerful Title’ on your social networking sites. Thank you.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author and prolific blogger. She shows writers and others how to build confidence at her blog, ‘How To Build Confidence’. If you need a shot of confidence to boost your title-writing stamina, visit her blog. You’ll be hooked on confidence!

Category: writing

23 Comments on "How To Write A Powerful Title"

  1. Anca says:

    Good food for thought! In the past year I’ve been using as a reference Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks free report which is available through his boostblogtraffic.com. For those who haven’t seen or heard of it yet, it’s a simple shortcut, a series of of fill-in-the-blank templates that can be filled in for nearly any topic in any niche.

    Before that, I used to focus on the SEO & keywords analysis only, but Jon’s report got me thinking and the results were visible in terms of views and shares. It’s now like my bible that I keep on my desk next to me and whenever I’m in doubt or have new ideas I always use it.

    • Anne Lyken-Garner says:

      Thanks for telling us about that resource, Anca. It seems to be a powerful one indeed.

  2. Edison says:

    This is a valuable post for me to read. I do sometimes try to figure-out what are the best title to write. These tips can enlighten me in identifying some convincing title for the readers.

    • Anne Lyken-Garner says:

      Thank you for dropping by, Edison. I’m glad you’ve benefited from this post.

      • Edison says:

        Your welcome. I have been a loyal reader to your web. I have gained a lot on blogging tips which I feel my blog looks better than before.

  3. Koj T. Tajo says:

    Hey Edison, I have always worked on title of my post. More I try to make it attractive more it goes longer. Here I like the Active mode tips. regards – Koj

    • Edison says:

      Agreed with you.

  4. Use of the Long tail keywords really make Title powerful and I always use this technique at the time of writing my blog post titles. Thanks.

    • Anne Lyken-Garner says:

      Thanks for the input Avnish. Yes, long tail keywords is a great tool to use for writing blog titles.

  5. Kamrun says:

    Yes, afterall readers stop by looking at the Title. I really stress while writing titles, I think it has to be simple yet attractive, where readers has to feel it is worth to read. You have provided some really good tips, thanks a ton.

    • Anne Lyken-Garner says:

      You’re welcome, Kamrun. I hope that you can apply some of the tips mentioned here in this article.

  6. Steve says:

    Fantastic post! Blog titles these days are just as important as the post itself- with users skimming through their large list of RSS feeds or social media links, the headline is your chance to grab their attention. Thanks for sharing this useful tips to start writing striking blog titles!

    • Anne Lyken-Garner says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Steve. And yes you make a valid point. We all have large lists to go through, sometimes many lists each day. Even if your article is the best in the world, it may not get read if the title doesn’t pop out and say just what your reader wants to hear.

  7. Karlon says:

    Whether you work as a copywriting professional or just dabble in blogging, it can be tough to summarize hundreds or thousands of words into one, short headline. You have shared some perfect tips to make a best title. Good post, thanks for sharing.

  8. Jack says:

    Nice and informative post! For me, titles must comprise of power adjectives because I think there is a certain magic in those words, and although it might take a little time to tap into it, once you do, you will have the world at your fingertips. Some of which I most often use are: appealing, fabulous, vivid, new, and powerful.

  9. Daniel says:

    I have been victim of so many articles, I see ‘earn millions in a year through online marketing’ & later when I click it, the same old story, buid links, do affiliate marketing. So I think putting stress on writing title absolutely make sense. You have provided some really points, thanks for sharing.

    • Anne Lyken-Garner says:

      Hi Daniel, putting emphasis on your headline is important, but it’s equally important to follow up a great headline with a magnificent and helpful article. You’re right that some people have great headlines with no substance.

      Thanks for commenting.

  10. Keith says:

    Some amazing tips, I think all of your tips are quick and easy to use. I feel like I write great titles, but there’s always room for improvement! Thanks for the post.

  11. Stenn says:

    I found your hub to be very informative. Great tips on how to write attention-catching titles! I think length and vocabulary plays a major role here. If implemented correctly you can get striking titles. Great one! Thanks for the share!

  12. marty says:

    For me the title have always been the most difficult to write becuase they can morph the more you keep and change from what you originally planned.I never thought about the difference between passive and active before but it makes a big difference.I love the examples I had to bookmark so I can use them as reference later on

  13. Plaban says:

    Article title is the first thing visitors notice in search engine result and social networking sites. It should be catchy and attractive so that visitors click on the link and read the article.

  14. Elina says:

    I prefer search engine optimized title for articles. I always perform keyword research and then decide the title of an article. I try to make article attractive.

  15. Kyriakos Tofi says:

    I read that most people read the first and last 2-3 words of a sentence so does that make a 70 words (max) title efficient?

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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