A Black woman types on her laptop; by Daniel Thomas via Unsplash.
Blogging Tips

Writing The Best Blog Post Titles

Having the right blog post title can make the difference between enticing readers to your writing or turning them away. Requiring a mix of creativity and technical know-how (like sentiment, readability and SEO); coming up with something that captivates and resonates with your readers (and you) can be a little tricky. 

Simply put, a blog post title maintains two purposes; one is to grab the attention of readers and get them curious about what you’re sharing; the other is to make sure your work is search engine friendly (showing up clearly and potentially ranking well on Google, for example). The objective of both is to encourage clickthroughs and get eyes on your site; however, the most essential aspect of writing a blog post (and its headline) is to connect with/engage your readers.

Foreground Text: Writing The Best Blog Post Titles; a Blogging Tips post on Transatlantic Notes. Background Image: a Black woman types on her laptop; by Daniel Thomas via Unsplash.

Readability

One of the first things to consider when trying to create a captivating blog post title is readability; you want the most people possible to be able to easily digest what your headline says. Using extremely niche or highly technical vocabulary can establish a barrier; the average reader only scans the first 6 words of a title so making comprehension simpler will be beneficial. Additionally, it allows your visitors to quickly determine what your content is about; hopefully encouraging them to read on further.

If you can, aim for a blog post title that is between 5 to 7 words long; not only does this fall within the range of what most people scan to decide if they want to continue reading; this headline length won’t usually get cut off when being shown as a search result. Equally important in this regard is character count (letters and spaces); if you want a more realistic chance that search engines won’t truncate your blog post title (impacting meaning and readability), keep it at around 60 characters or less.

Sentiment

The next noteworthy consideration when headline writing is all about sentiment; which is basically generating an emotional connection or response from readers (either positive or negative). Whether it’s intrigue, support/encouragement, anger or problem solving, etc. you want web visitors to feel like they can relate in some way to your blog writing. 

Adding sentiment can be done through the use of power words; certain expressions or persuasive terms that evoke a feeling or reaction. A title like ‘Mental Health Quotes’, for example, is not only too short, it’s not as inviting or descriptive as Uplifting Quotes to Boost Your Mental Health’. By adding power words (underlined) the title communicates the purpose of the post more clearly; easily facilitating a connection with a potential reader.   

A Muslim woman wearing a yellow head scarf sits at a table and works on her laptop. Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova via Pexels.
photo via Ekaterina Bolovtsova/Pexels

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Improving your site’s chances of increased visibility when people search online for content related to what you’re blogging about is principally what SEO aims to do. You’re more likely to attract new and return blog visitors if search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo, for example, list your post in their results.  

Using keywords with low-competition and high search volume is a really useful SEO component for both blog title and blog post writing; potentially increasing the chances of your site being noticed — just don’t stuff your writing full of them. You want keywords that rank easily (low-competition) and also indicate that readers are searching for the topic you’re covering (search volume). The most convenient way to perform keyword research is to use one of the many free or paid sites/apps that will do it for you. If you don’t want to purchase a subscription to tools like Ahrefs, Moz or SEMrush; to name a few, then search for free alternatives like WordStream (I make use of this quite a bit because it’s so simple to understand). 

Making It Work

Enjoying what you do is the best way to authentically connect with visitors to you site; if your focus is on consistent and engaging content, people will want to click onto your work and spend time reading it — learning a bit of technical mastery shouldn’t detract from that.

Going through all this may seem like it’s even more difficult to come up with the right blog post title; remember, these are just tips to help you make the most of your headline writing. Nothing is set in stone, and everything can be adapted to fit what you’re trying to achieve; the points included here simply provide a solid knowledge base from which to build success.

What advice do you have about writing blog post titles? Do you sometimes struggle to think of a snappy headline?


Further Info:

Blog Post Title Headline Generator – Fat Joe

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO – Moz

70 thoughts on “Writing The Best Blog Post Titles”

  1. Great post! I have been very aware of making my titles SEO-friendly since switching to WP and even in the land of book blogging where the title of the book and author are important word placement is very important to SEO score. Thanks for sharing to help guide me further.

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    1. It really is — and sometimes you just have to focus on one aspect rather than try to get all these elements in. As long as it’s coherent and informs people about what’s in the post then you can’t go too wrong!

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  2. Argh! I am not a fan of headlines! The way my theme works, I have the SEO Title, then the Headline. This post is pretty timely because I updated a lot of my headlines last weekend. Even as I type this, I am playing around with headlines for Friday’s post. None of them are working to convey what I’m trying to say. I’m still new to all of this, so I hope that this ends up being a muscle that I just need to build up. Great post, thank you for the guidelines and the tip about Wordstream.

    ~ Cassie |

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    1. It definitely gets better over time … but also don’t worry if your title doesn’t hit all the key elements (readability, sentiment and SEO); sometimes they don’t all gel and you kind of have to choose which one to focus on. I’ve used titles that are terrible from an SEO standpoint but great with everything else and also vice versa. Ultimately, if you can write a title that helps your reader relate to what you’ve written about then it’s a win.

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  3. This is an extremely helpful post. We will definitely implement this advice. Thank you for sharing, and don’t forget to check us out to see what you are all about and to see our latest post!

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  4. All great points here! Sometimes I’ll write a title, but then change the order of the words which occasionally gives me a better title idea

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  5. Truncating is usually an element seen with mixed feelings. I find it difficult to keep within 60 characters that’s usually a challenge I’ve seen with many and in Google top pages too. But uts a good practice keeping all socials in mind. And yea, also the mix between long and short tail keywords in the title. Thanks for an seo needed dose haha. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger

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  6. Even after years of being a blogger and loving it so much I do many times have creativity issues when it comes to naming my blog posts. I prefer to keep it this way and learn slowly about all the details — I realized I enjoy blogging and want to keep doing this as a hobby. Sometimes I put too much pressure on myself do to all the bloggers stuff.

    The naming part still having trouble with it.. underlining is a thing I’m gonna try out.

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    1. I’ve been doing this a long time and still have issues with title creativity and making them work; you’re not alone with this issue so don’t worry about it too much. The love you have for blogging is what will shine through and relate well to your readers. You got this!

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  7. This is a really informative post- thanks for sharing. I also find titles tricky – the SEO title doesn’t really say what I want it to say. I guess it’s just practice! Thanks for sharing!

    Jade

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  8. Very informative post. There are so many things to learn about blogging. Most of my blog posts are recipes. Sometimes it hard to capture a title in 5-7 words. Will be considering some of your tips. Thanks for sharing 👍

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    1. Recipes are difficult but you don’t have to stick to between 5-7 words; finding what works for you is key. It’s good to know why this amount tends to be more favoured (covered in this post) so it’s not set in stone. Thanks for reading!

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  9. Amazing post, Molly! This was very helpful for me, as sometimes I struggle to come up with catchy post titles. I have heard about the power words and I’ll definitely check the other suggestions. thank you so much for sharing. x Penny

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  10. I usually start with an idea and then do some keyword research to find highly searched but relatively low competition words which I can use in the title. I don’t want to sound like a robot but equally I want what I’m publishing to be read as well! Great tips, Molly, especially the power words. It’s also worth checking on Pinterest for title inspo too 🙂

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  11. Coming up with an engaging, SEO-friendly title is a pain sometimes. But, I think I’m getting better at it. I use this free headline analyser to help me: isitwp headline analyzer

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  12. All amazing tips! I sometimes struggle with finding catchy and SEO friendly titles, but as you said it’s so important to get readers in and express the sentiment of the article!

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  13. I personally struggle sometimes with writing blog post titles. I hope many times they are not too long or too short. I try my best to tell my readers as much as possible in the title so they can get interested and read the blog post.

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    1. I struggle too and have come to the conclusion that you just have to find a balance that works for you. Sometimes my title SEO will be off but the sentiment is right, or any other combination; I think as long as you’re happy it conveys what you want it to then that’s the best place to start.

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