How to Write a Compelling Blog Headline That Guarantees Clickthroughs

Across search engines and/or Pinterest, what is the first thing you notice about the search results? What compels you to pick a particular blog post? Is it the image and its styling? Is it the author/website’s name? Is it the headline or title?

In most cases, it has to be the headline. Here’s why:

You query the search engine for specific information. By default, the search engine result pages (SERP) display the most relevant results for your search query. That means within each page, it now comes down to the competition among all the listings. Now, you will either default to viewing the results top-down, i.e. in the order the search engine displays the results or you will pick the result that aligns closest with your requirements the most. This alignment comes from nothing but the title and the meta description.

Related Post: How to grab your readers’ attention

If your title and description aren’t engaging, then the chances of anyone clicking through to your post are remote. Consequently, all the time you toiled over creating the awesome content for your blog will be a waste.

So what can you do to make your post title compelling enough to guarantee a click-through?

How to Write Compelling Blog Titles That Guarantee Clickthroughs

Tips to drive massive traffic to your website or blog by writing an amazing blog title or headline

Let’s begin by writing regular blog post title:

How to be Productive

Now, let’s learn about the tips and apply it to the chosen headline.

Make it about the reader

If there is only one thing you can take away from this post, it’s this: everything you do, it’s for your readers. For your title to resonate with your readers, they need to see the benefit they will derive from your post. Instead of writing a headline that focuses on your achievements or failures, make it about the reader: what can they learn from your success and failures.

The ultimate goal of your blog is to provide solutions to your readers. Make those solutions the hero of your post.

Old headline: How to be Productive

New Headline: How YOU can be Productive

Related Post: 6 lessons from my first 6 months of blogging

Use emotion-driven words

You are writing for human beings, not robots. Use this fact to your advantage. Humans love emotions and they are drawn to emotions. Whenever possible, bring in a personal element in your blog headlines. For example, instead of saying: ‘5 Ways You Can Run Your Household Productively,’ you can say, ‘5 Surefire Ways You Can Be the Productivity Queen.’

Depending on your niche and style of writing, it may not always be possible to write an emotional headline for your post. But you can surely explore the possibilities while crafting your social media (including Pinterest) graphics.

Old Headline: How YOU can be Productive

New Headline: How YOU can be a PRODUCTIVITY QUEEN

Use power words

Power words are a derivative of emotion-driven words but focus on higher emotions—both positive and negative. Examples include fear, elation, curiosity, suffering, guarantee, etc.

Old Headline: How YOU can be a PRODUCTIVITY QUEEN


Related Posts:

How to create memorable and effective instructional content? (Part 1 of 2)

How to create memorable and effective instructional content? (Part 2 of 2)

Use action verb

This is a great way to introduce a sense of urgency and performance in your readers. Using action verbs encourage your readers to…take action. Ensure the verbs you include in your title are positive because your aim is to play a facilitator who will take your readers on an upward journey.



Use numbers

“How to…” articles are one of the most popular types of articles. That’s because 99% of the time, your readers search for ideas on doing something. Using numbers in your titles sets reader expectations even before they click through to your post.



Remember, the aforementioned tips are not a complete sequence. You can use these alone or in any combination, as your post and niche demand.

Additional tips

Be counterintuitive

Sometimes, going against the grain is the best thing you can do for your blog. In a sea of positive headlines, try playing with a negative headline. For example, instead of saying “Why you should buy XYZ product,” consider saying, “Why you should NOT buy XYZ product” or “Why I Hated XYZ product.” The idea is to pique your readers’ curiosity as to why you are saying not to do something while everyone else is recommending. In your post, you could either stick with the negative review or construct the post in a way that actually praises the product. For example, “If you are happy living in a dusty home, don’t buy XYZ vacuum cleaner because it will not leave a speck of dust in your home.”

It’s a fact that out of 10 comments if 9 are positive and 1 is negative, that 1 negative comment will affect us more.

Don’t make it a habit though 🙂

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Read it aloud

Most blog writing is meant to be informal and conversational. But thanks to the writing lessons we all received in school, it’s difficult to break away from that (guilty as charged!). Formal writing is devoid of emotions and therefore, goes against the aforementioned tip to include emotion-driven words.

One way you can check for formal language is by reading it aloud. If it flows well and elicits the emotions you want to associate with the headline, you are good to go. If not, rework the headline.

Use headline analyzers

Wouldn’t it be cool if you had someone review your headlines for effectiveness? Luckily, there are plenty of headline analyzer tools available in the market. These tools measure your headline against parameters we discussed earlier. Based on their calculation, these tools give an effectiveness score to your headline.

A tip I discussed in my How to Grab Your Reader’s Attention post is, to begin with several headlines (say 8-10) and shortlist them (4-5) based on the tips discussed earlier as well as the effectiveness score.

Don’t ignore the meta description

Once your headline catches your readers’ eyes, many are likely to read the description below the title. Use this area to convey the specific objective of your post. Begin with a problem statement, then tell them how your post is going to help them address that problem. This is your second but last chance to convince someone to click-through to your post.

Have you been implementing all these tips in creating your blog titles? If not, go ahead and try implementing them.

Remember you can apply these tips not only to your blog posts, but also to your emails, landing/sales pages, forms, products, and images.

Additional recommended reading

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You can drive massive traffic to your website simply by writing a compelling blog title or headline. This post lists tips to create amazing blog titles or headlines.

How to create 10 blog posts from just one idea | FREE 300+ blog post ideas

You started blogging with great intentions. You started with a bang and in the process exhausted all of your awesome ideas. Now, a few weeks in, you are struggling to come up with topic ideas. That spells trouble for anyone with true intentions of blogging professionally.

Or, perhaps you are great with ideation. You are religiously publishing a new post every week. Now, you want to ramp up your publishing schedule and publish more blog posts every week.

Even if you don’t see yourself as either of the above examples, it’s always good to have a list of ideas to work with.

So, what can you do to come up with more and more ideas? Sure, you have to use the tried-and-tested techniques (Google Keyword Planner, Pinterest search bar, BuzzSumo, etc.) But once you come up with an idea, what if you could create multiple blog posts using that single idea?

Yes, it is possible! Let’s call it the multiplier effect.

The process is simple: you pick one idea and spin it to create the following types of blog posts:

  • List / Top 5
  • (Expert) roundup
  • Ultimate guide / Long-form / Research-based
  • How to / Tutorial / Instructional
  • Case study / Problem and solution / Success or failure story
  • Infographic
  • Podcast
  • Video
  • Opposing view / different perspective / guest post
  • Opinion-based / review

That’s 10 blog post ideas right there!

Let’s work with an example.

You want to publish more blog posts. But you are running out of ideas. But what if you could create multiple posts using a single idea? Click the image to learn how. You also get 300+ blog post ideas across 9 profitable niches if you sign up.

Suppose, per research, you have come up with the idea ‘KonMari techniques of decluttering.

Back to your chosen topic: ‘KonMari techniques of decluttering.

At the outset, determine which types of blog posts you can create with this idea. A little thought reveals that your chosen topic lends itself to all of the aforementioned types of blog posts. Cha-ching!

(Okay, let’s be real for a second here. Not all ideas may translate to 10 blog posts, but if you put your mind to it, you can easily come up with at least five. That’s great too, isn’t it?)

Now, let’s see how we can use the KonMari idea to create 10 blog posts. The objective of each of these posts will be to help your readers determine whether they should adopt the KonMari techniques in their daily life.

  • List / Top 5: This could be a list of advantages and/or disadvantages of the KonMari techniques.
  • (Expert) roundup: This could be a roundup post citing short reviews of the KonMari techniques from organizational experts.
  • How to / Tutorial / Instructional: This could be an actual tutorial of the KonMari techniques of decluttering. Create a step-by-step guide aka user manual for your readers.
  • Ultimate guide / Long-form / Research-based: This could be an extensive post evaluating the KonMari techniques. Think of it as an in-depth review.
  • Opinion-based / Review: This could be a subjective post about the KonMari technique. It will highlight what YOU think about the techniques. It is NOT an in-depth objective review.
  • Opposing view / different perspective / guest post: This could be an opposing view of the KonMari techniques, i.e. why your readers should NOT adopt it. Essentially, by writing this post, you want to go against the grain. Or, you could write a pro post while a guest blogger can write an anti post or vice versa. Write it as a narrative.
  • Case study / Problem and solution / Success or failure story: This could illustrate an example of a KonMari follower and their story from point A to point B. You could begin with a problem statement of the user and then show how adopting the KonMari techniques did or did not help alleviate that problem.
  • Infographic: This could be a visual chart of the KonMari techniques. Summarize your findings of the methods (such as statistics, techniques, advantages, disadvantages, etc.) and present them as an infographic. Great boost for your Pinterest account as well!
  • Podcast: This could be an audio version of your findings of the KonMari technique. Make it long or short.
  • Video: This could be an audio version of your findings of the KonMari technique. Make it long or short, but videos usually work best when they are short (5 minutes or less) and focus on the key points.

There. One great idea. 10 awesome blog posts.

It’s time you get started with your own multiplier effect.

How do you come up with ideas for your blog? Share in the comments section below.

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You want to publish more blog posts. But you are running out of ideas. But what if you could create multiple posts using a single idea? Click the image to learn how. You also get 300+ blog post ideas across 9 profitable niches if you sign up.