5 Easy Tricks for Writing Catchy Titles

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While high-quality content is crucial to the success of any article, a good title makes all the difference in the world. It can be the difference between having your post widely read and shared across the Internet, and getting just a tiny amount of traction. However, too often, the headline is the most neglected part of writing an article—readers just gloss over it without taking the time to consider it. For them, a headline is merely the cherry on top, but in reality, a good title can be considered as important as the content.

In the noisy world of the Internet, how do you get people to read your post? It takes more than just a well-written article or an attractive design to keep your readers coming back or to even get visitors click on your post. A catchy headline draws a potential visitor into the subject. It garners attention and entices people to click on your article, and more importantly, it makes people remember you and come back for more. An average headline that lacks a punch will be overlooked and get lost in the sea of information online.

As a freelancer, your article is a marketing tool in itself as it will appear in archives, links, search engine results, and social media sites. This is why it’s important to put some effort into coming up with a good title—after all, it’s the first thing that readers see and you only get one shot at giving a first good impression.

If you want to take things up a notch, here are 5 easy tricks to take your title from okay to click-worthy:

1. Use numbers - Perhaps you clicked on this post because it has a number. Readers are naturally drawn to headlines with numbers because there’s a psychology behind it—numbered headlines mean that the content could tell them something based on facts and that the content can be broken up into lists that can be quickly read.

2. Use interesting (but not exaggerated) adjectives - Adjectives like ‘quick’, ‘important’, or ‘essential’ can be effective in headlines. But negative adjectives and superlatives like ‘worst’, ‘never’, and ‘don’t’ play on the element of surprise and curiosity.

3. Use ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘what’ - These trigger words could make visitors curious enough to click on your article. Do not use a trigger word together with a number as rarely do they sound good when combined.

4. Ask a question - The only risk there is to using a question in your title is that you could accidentally sound cheesy. However, when done right, questions can get your reader involved. Questions in headlines can also urge the reader to answer with yes or no, or at least get them interested enough to want to find out more.

5. Tell your reader what to do - A command headline that’s clear and direct provides an instant benefit and tells your readers what to do in a way that’s acceptable to them. These types of headlines aren’t supposed to be conversational but it works when the approach is applicable.

In the end, people don’t want to be tricked into reading something that has nothing to do with the title, which is why it’s important to stay true to your headline to make it worth their while. Remember, your headline should describe your content in an honest, interesting way.  

Posted 2 November, 2015

Angela Gaddi

Freelance Writer

Angela writes about IT security, privacy, free speech, politics, social media, and the intersection of business and consumer tech. Has a special aptitude for privacy, cult literature, film noir.

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