Wednesday, 20 April 2016

How To Think Up Perfect Headlines Every Time

How To Think Up Perfect Headlines Every Time - Stop getting brain freeze when it comes to your post titles and headlines! Use these easy steps and ensure you'll have the best title for your content, every single time..

Some days, they come to me in daydreams, in eureka moments and in the most unexpected of places, and sometimes they just forget to come at all. Sometimes I imagine them all gathering around for coffee in the middle of the afternoon, laughing at me for having not found them yet, and sometimes I just tell them to do one and replace them with something silly like 'that post about that something you thought you knew enough about' and just be done with it.

Yes, I'm talking about post titles, the lil' devils.

Your experience with post titles and headlines might not as dramatic as THAT hot mess earlier, but I betcha any money you DO struggle, and you and they are NOT on the best of terms. Even the most exciting, enthusiastic and enthralling post titles you see on other blogs have taken time to create. Some have taken a few minutes, and some have taken a few hours, (psst, some have even taken days, DAYS to come to them!) but like it or not, they're damn well important.

Over 80% of people will check out and read your post title.
But only 20% will actually read the content behind it.


Creating the perfect post title or headline for you post is without a doubt on the most important aspects of creating content. You could have the best, most epic post you've ever created, but if that title isn't cutting it, forget about it. Time wasted. Effort down the drain. You can't simply write it and expect them to come anymore, you have to make them click that goddamn title and read your page of awesome.

But Amanda, it's hard. I can't think of a title. I don't even know where to start.

I know okay, I get it, post titles are hard to think of, especially if you don't have a starting line, but together, we're going to crack this mystery, and we're going to have you creating post titles in your sleep (if that's what you want mind, I won't force you!)

First, it's time to establish what type of post your writing.

There are A LOT of different types of content out there, but there are five main types:
  • How To's and Tutorials
  • Discussions and Thoughts
  • Advice and Experience
  • Reviews and Recommendations
  • Problem Solving and Guidance

It's likely that whatever the subject of your post, it falls into one of these categories. Some posts can fall into more than one, and that's okay too, although it can make coming up with a post title all the more difficult, but we'll get to that in a moment. Establishing what type of post you've written can help you get to grips with a good post title, or at least give you a starting point to build on. For example:

My Instagram Story, and Why Perfection is Overrated falls under the Advice and Experience category, so from there, I knew I wanted to personalise the post title so it was clearly based on my experiences, but that wasn't enough in terms of creating a good post title. If it had been, I probably would have ended up with something like: Lessons I Learnt During My Instagram Story, which is totally center-of-the-universing and not very clickable in terms of a post title.

So, how to fix it?

Establish what feelings you want your content to create.

In order to appeal the most to anybody online, how what you say makes somebody feel is of utmost importance. That's why the media and advertising have it SO right, they pander and target our feelings and our emotions, with cute kittens and hot guys and chocolate fountains. (Mm, chocolate fountains.. ANYWAY!) They know how they want to their target audience to feel and what a difference it'll make to somebody glancing over their ploy for more money, and spending all their dollar on something they don't need.

Related: How To Write Blog Post Titles That Spark Emotions and Get Attention

If your content were a marketing campaign, how would you want your audience to feel?

If you could give your audience a PEP Talk, what feelings would it evoke?

P | Powerful. Does your post give the reader a sense of power? Does it motivate or encourage them to do something, take control of something, learn something and grab their bull by the horns and ride that animal senseless?

E | Emotional. Does your post relate to your audience in a more emotional way? Will your post help the reader personally with a struggle, or does it target a specific soft spot? Will your post evoke emotions in the reader, and what kind?

P | Practical. Does your post help in a practical sense? Are you lending a hand on a sticky situation, or are you teaching somebody how to achieve something? Is the post a resource all on it's own, and will it make something easier in the long run?

Okay, so now what do I do? Do I just slam these two things together?

You can slam them together if you want, but yes, once you've gotten a grasp on the type of post and what feelings you want to create through the post, it's time to play around and mix the two and pied-piper your audience right to your content. However, let me recommend one of my favourite online tools created to help you do just that..

Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer

I've been using Co-Schedule's Headline Analyzer on Holly's recommendation for around a month now, and in that time I've seen some serious growth in terms of page views, shares and a generally larger amount of readers checking out my content and that's because it works. You don't need an account and the tools is totally free to use as much or as little as you want. A total must-have tool.

Using it is pretty easy as pie too. Simply input your post title idea into Headline Analyzer and Co-Schedule will get to work checking out your post title idea. Once it's finished it's magic, it'll:
  • give your title a rating (1 being bad, 100 being rad!)
  • rate your choices of words throughout the title
  • tell you the type of post it thinks your title hints at
  • count the characters and words in your title
  • sow how your title looks in Google Search Results
  • show how your title looks in the subject of an email
  • share the first and last 3 words of your post title
  • share the keywords related to your optioned post title
  • show the overall feel and sentiment of your post title

The whole point of Headline Analyzer is to tweak and change your post title from innocent beginnings to awesome post title. A simple change in choice of words, or switching out a mediocre middle ground emotion for a more powerful one in it's place can turn somebody on or off your content, and this tool helps you get the best out of your titles.

Related: 101+ Popular Blog Title Templates That Work!

Let's see what a difference all these steps make eh?

Post Title Example: How To Find Your Best Social Media Posting Times (For Free!)

Using the first step of establishing the type of post, you can quite easily see that it's a How To based on it's role in the title. You're going to learn how to do something, or achieve something. The use of find also implies that what you're about to learn isn't something everybody knows nor knows about, it's lost to them, which means you're getting exclusive information other people don't have.

This makes the post title personal to your reader, as you're making them feel special, but further use of your makes the reader feel as though the post even more personalised to them. You're going out of your way to help them find their personal something, (go you!) and you're going to show them how. How awesome are you? I know, very.

Using powerful words such as best and perfect evoke some pretty intense emotions, and like a moth to a flame, we all want to be best at things, or want to know how to find perfection, and this post title says it can show you how to find the best of your something, win win. Then, just to tug a final time on the heartstrings, throwing in the for free makes the advice and offer you're prepared to share so much better.

Taking a look at Co-Schedules Headline Analyzer, you can we pretty much agree.

Related: Download Co-Schedules Workbook of Common, Uncommon, Emotional and Powerful Words

At this point, it's all a case of experimenting and exploring with all the different options available to you. You'll find that by knowing what type of post your writing and how you want your readers to feel will give you a boost when it comes to generating a headline from co-schedule's analyzer, and the chances are, you'll be onto something much sooner than you would have been without establishing these points. Creating post titles and headlines don't have to be a chore or too much effort, and with these tools in hand, you'll be an expert in no time.

Do you struggle with post titles, or nail them every time?


  1. What an informative post! I admit I always struggle with post titles, because I have a personal inclination to like long and flowery titles and most people don't lol
    But I've never given it this much thought. I'll probably try using that analyzer, though I think it will be very hard for me.
    Thanks for the lovely post!

  2. Omg I love the headline analyser thingy! Well, I did until I was using it and all my headlines scored really low. 😂 BUT I CAN WORK ON THIS. That's so so helpful, omg, Amanda, you are AMAZING.
    I totally do struggle with post titles. 0_0 Especially how to make them clickable and interesting. Wah. Discussions can be hard, but it's nearly impossible to figure out how to make a review title tantalising. D: STRUGGLE IS HIGH.

  3. Oooooh headline analyser looks amazing!!! I have the annoying tendency to make my post titles really long which isn't great for SEO (I can't help myself). Although saying that, I put a few of my titles into the analyser thing, and the ones that get the most views are some of the lowest-scoring, so maybe I'll just stick to my non-method of just coming up with whatever :')