How to Choose a Good Title to Attract ReadersMarch 3rd, 2013
If readers aren’t attracted by a headline, they won’t be losing time reading the article. The title is what sells newspapers – and it is what sells your articles as well. The Internet is full of fascinating information. Lots of interesting content gets lost just because authors don’t know how to sell the article. Take care that your articles don’t meet the same fate. Read our tips and learn how to create razor sharp titles.
If you’re thinking about what title would interest your readers, first think about what would interest you. It would probably be a dramatic headline promising an absolute sensation. Try to create such a title! Our 5 tips help you with that.
1. Give It an Action
The title must be dynamic. Words lacking imagination don’t deliver results: “The Soho Playhouse – Best Off-Broadway Theater in New York.” The following headline sounds better “The Soho Playhouse offers viewers erotica and poetry readings.” Every title should include a verb. It’s also great to prompt the readers to do something, for example: “Come to the Soho Playhouse and enjoy entertainment by burlesque dancers, comedians and Simon Lovell”.
2. The Title Should Inform
“It’s awesome!” yells at you but it doesn’t have much effect. Why? Because it doesn’t convey any important information. Rather, you feel that you just saw some more advertising. A good title should reflect the content of the article and sum up the text in advance. The title should include keywords, so your article gets more reads from search. The more specific the topic the better: it’s favored by both search engines and your readers.
3. Play Around With Language
Readers are interested more in vivid language that is full of imagery than dry text. Use quotes, detailed information and figures. People like articles like “10 tips on how to…”, because then they have an accurate idea of what to expect from the text. If you can, use numbers instead of words, it will be easier to attract readers doing this.
4. Be Cautious With Exclamation and Question Marks
Use exclamations only in moderation. Yes, the exclamation mark is like a raised finger so readers will pay more attention to it. But it might seem like a tabloid title and there’s a bigger chance the reader will skip it. If you want to fire up your readers, or if you feel like an exclamation mark in the title is effective, definitely use it, but if you add an exclamation to each title, their importance is lost in the eyes of the reader.
Be careful when using question marks. If you put a question in the title, provide an answer to it too, or provide it in the article. For example: “Do you know how to make friends? In this article, you’ll find out. ”
5. Create the Article First and the Headline Second
Oftentimes you dream up the perfect title, but then your article is about something completely different than what you originally wanted and has nothing to do with the title. Do the opposite: write the whole text first, and then start thinking about an apt title. Always create at least three different titles and select the most interesting one from these.
The best way to learn the rules is practice. So let’s start writing! And if you’re not sure what to write about, check out our article 10 Ways to Find Inspiration for Writing.
How to Choose a Good Title to Attract Readers by Vojtěch Žák
Do you have your own tricks up your sleeve for writing a good headlines? Share them with us in comments of this article!