While there are quite a few elements that make up a successful blog post , one of the best things you can do to capture readers' attention and entice them to first view your post is to write an awesome blog title. Sure, your post won't ultimately get shared if it's not well-written and doesn't consist of a great idea or concept, but it's the post's title that will initially draw people in, so you better make it count.
To share some best practices for writing attention-grabbing, view-worthy blog titles, I decided to turn to the data. The HubSpot blog has published over 2,000 blog posts in the past 5 years. Some have performed awesomely well, and some have not. Using this data, our blogging team has been able to learn a thing or two about effective blog titles.
Here are several title examples of top-viewed blog posts we've written and the lessons you can learn from them:
Title Tip: Be descriptive, clear, and to-the point. To date, this is our top-performing blog post ever on the HubSpot blog. People reading this title for the first time know exactly what they're going to get. There's no question about it. Do they want to learn how to conduct better Google searches (and do they want to learn it quickly)? Then they're going to read this post.
Title Tip: Create a sense of urgency or importance. If I'm a marketer (and I am!) and I see this title, you're darn right I'm going to be enticed to read it. Apparently, it's going to blow my mind, and I'm going to be out of the loop if I don't read it. And I definitely don't want that.
Title Tip: Use 'How-To's.' People love how-to's! Most people who read blogs are reading them because they want to learn how to solve a particular problem (or problems) they're having. Indicating that your article will actually tell them how to do something they don't know how to do is a great way to draw them into your post.
Title Tip: Use 'How Not To's.' Just like people love to know how to do something, they also love knowing how not to do something. There are quite a few examples of titles like this among HubSpot's top-viewed posts. People like reassurance that they're not doing something wrong, and if they are, they want to know how to fix it.
Title Tip: Use numbers. What do you notice about many of the other titles on this list? They incorporate numbers. Numbers are a great way to set expectations for a post. It tells readers exactly what they're going to get, and exactly how much of it. Readers don't usually want to be kept guessing, so why not give it to them straight? This is also a great example of how successful curated content can be.
Title Tip: Be simple. Try to keep your titles brief and concise. A long-winded title often sounds complicated and can lose a potential reader's interest. As a general rule of thumb, aim to keep your blog titles 8-9 words or fewer.
Title Tip: Incorporate or hint at data. People are always seeking helpful statistics and data. Let them know right within the blog title that they're going to get some awesome data if they read it. You can take this one step further and actually include a stat or data point right within the title.
Title Tip: Indicate timeliness and newsworthiness. We've found that a lot of relevant breaking news-type posts are successful in attracting viewership. Specifically, blog posts with the word "launch" in their title perform particularly well. Use words that indicate the post's timeliness or newsworthiness directly in your title.
Title Tip: Be controversial. Controversial posts tend to spark a lot of discussion and debate, which also makes them spread quickly. That said, don't be controversial just for the sake of being controversial. Make sure you present some solid, well thought-out points within the post to back up your opinion, or this tactic will fail.
One final thought. Always make your blog titles actionable , not passive. One goal of maintaining a blog is to establish yourself as a thought leader and an expert on the topic you're writing about. Position yourself as an authority on your topics and use the titles of your blog posts to reflect that.
What other title tips have you found effective for your blog?