Blog Tip Friday: Why a Bad Headline Can Kill Your Blog Post

“You have one chance to make a great first impression.” 

The old saying holds true for your blog. And what’s your first impression? The title of your blog post, or your headline.

Think about it. Which of these would you be more likely to click on:

A trip to the zoo


The day a monkey romanced my daughter

Your blog post title needs to inspire someone to click on it. Whether your potential readers are seeing your headline in their Facebook news feed, in their email, or on Twitter, they are going to pass right by it if it isn’t interesting.

What it comes down to is this: You may have written the greatest post in the world, but if your headline sucks, no one’s going to read it.

This also goes for headlines you use in linkups (like, ahem, Honest Voices). You’re competing for readers’ clicks with lots of other bloggers. You need something snappy or that pulls at the heartstrings so people will click.

Here are some great headlines (just a few – there were a lot of winners!) from the last linkup I hosted:

Gay Rights, Chicken and Fireballs – by Something Clever 2.0

20 Things I Learned in College (but not in class) – by Funny Is Family

Naked Happy Hour – by Outlaw Mama

Shaken, Not Beaten – by Momma’s Time Out

I Will Not Be Silent – by Motherhood On the Rocks

All of these inspired me to click.

By the way: A great headline doesn’t need to be super short. In fact, one of my most-viewed blog posts ever is “I have no patience with my little kids.” I hear you. And here’s how I’m managing.

This headline isn’t super-short and catchy. But it immediately tackles a subject that lots of moms struggle with.

And it is a search-engine winner: It’s the top two results that come up when you search “no patience for my kids” (which apparently a lot of parents search for because I get a lot of traffic for that term!).

So when you’re creating a title for your blog post, think short and catchy or descriptive SEO winner. I know thinking of a great title can be hard. But it’s worth it to spend some time on it so you can be sure all that hard work you put into your post actually pays off.

What are your tips for thinking of great titles for your posts? Or do you struggle with headlines?


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16 Replies to “Blog Tip Friday: Why a Bad Headline Can Kill Your Blog Post”

  1. Really good tip! I always think of my title as the headline in an ad. I guess that’s the benefit of having worked in advertising for years before this, eh?

  2. In the blogosphere there are many fish in the sea, so your title has to reel them in initially, but if your content doesn’t keep them reading them, then you have bigger fish to fry…badump bump!! Hey, it’s a Friday during lent, so I have fish on the brain, but you get my drift 😉

  3. Very well said. I’ve also learned the hard way to make sure the title doesn’t unintentionally mislead people. I once used Sunday Morning Nookie as a title, but the post was actually about having to bleed brakes instead.

  4. Thanks for using mine as an example. I have to admit that sometimes my headlines aren’t the greatest. I’m often torn between having a descriptive post and one that is intriguing. I’ve been working hard on incorporating both, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. In that case, I always go with something that’s more intriguing. Great advice, by the way!

  5. I hate my own headlines and consider myself one of the worst headline writers around. Like most of my headlines would make for a good “how to be dull and unoriginal in headlines” post. I struggle with trying to be creative (I’m not) or trying to clearly identify what the post is about and (yes I’ll admit) get a little Google love with keywords.

  6. Great post! (And not just because you mentioned me.) I find titles very difficult, but I’m MUCH better at it than I was when I started. SEO isn’t even on my radar, though. Thanks for pointing out that very important piece!

  7. Yes Of cores, The blog tittle have great role in the blog. When we select a Headline we must choose a impressive as well as very usefull headline which includes the whole meaning of the article, which helps to catch the visitors attention.

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