How long do you spend creating the perfect blog post? Answers vary between writers, and the discussion surrounding how much time to spend is never-ending. But, how long do you spend creating the perfect headline for your blog posts? All too often, headlines are chosen at random or from a catchy line in the article without much thought being given to their effectiveness. Do you wonder why it seems no one is reading your posts? It could be your headlines. Okay this post is about headlines but if you are still struggling with content ideas here are 13 creative ways to find ideas.
How important are blog headlines? Roughly 80% of potential readers will not read your post if the headline does not grab their attention. What’s more, you have maybe 5 seconds to grab a reader’s attention. So headlines must hook readers and hook them hard. One study revealed that your headline can make a 500% difference in your traffic. That’s the difference between being viral and being static. And for solopreneurs who depend on blog traffic to generate business, it can be the difference between success and failure.
Before you get discouraged, let me offer assurance that you are not alone. The best copywriters sift and discard dozens of titles before settling on one they believe will be a winner. However, the best copywriters also know how to utilize tools to speed productivity, and headlines are no exception. While you can follow the proven (and somewhat stagnant) formulas for catchy headlines (how-to’s, begin with a number, etc.), using a headline tool can provide fresh insight and wording to add that necessary hook.
Let’s look at a few.
Answer the Public
One of my all-time favorite title generator is from Answer the Public. This tool collates the auto-suggest results surrounding your keyword from Google and Bing and provides a visualization or listed batch of results that provides literally hundreds of suggestions. Using the keyword ‘headlines’ I received:
- 117 questions using ‘headlines’ (when, which, where, who, what, why, how, and are)
- 71 prepositions used with ‘headlines’
- 371 uses of ‘headlines’ with letters of the alphabet
As mentioned above, these are provided in list form that can be downloaded, or in a visualization that demonstrates how each word connects. The image is also available for download. Users can even choose what particular country to use in order to narrow the usage of a particular keyword to that region.
Inbound Now Blog Title Generator
The web-based headline generator tool from Inbound Now is simple to understand and use. Click the “Generate Title Idea” button and it repeatedly gives you inspiring new titles to fit the keyword you enter. Here are some examples from my experimentation:
- Make [keyword] Work for You = Make Headlines Work for You
- [Number] Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your [blank] = 7 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your headlines
- The Myth of [Keyword] = The Myth of Headlines
For more assistance, click the “Need More Inspiration” button and Inbound Now provides a Google search of existing articles using your keyword. From these you can choose a title that has obvious appeal to your audience.
Blog Topic Generator by HubSpot
HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator uses three nouns or keywords to randomly generate a week (5) of blog topic ideas. Using the words ‘headlines’, ‘blogs’, and ‘topics’, I received the following 5 titles:
- The History Of Headlines
- The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Blogs
- 7 Things About Topics Your Boss Wants To Know
- 5 Tools Everyone In The Headlines Industry Should Be Using
- The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Blogs
Some of these are admittedly vague and even off-topic for our topic, but they do provide some ideas for further searching and consideration. In addition, you can fill out a brief online form about your business and receive a year’s worth of free blog topics. The key to this tool is trying various word combinations until something clicks and produces what you need.
Impact’s Blog Title Generator
BlogAbout’s Impact Blog Title Generator is a user-friendly tool that can provide hundreds of titles with the press of a button. Simply enter your keyword and continue pressing the refresh button until something you like appears. Here are the first 5 choices I received for the keyword ‘headlines’:
- The [Headlines] Your Customers Really Want
- 10 [Headline] Habits That Kill [Headlines]
- 3 Ways to Get Up to Speed on [Headlines]
- 3 Secrets of [Headlines] That Everyone Misses
- How to Cash in On [Headlines]
In addition, when you locate a title you can use, click the heart icon and save it to your own notebook. The list you generate can be sent to you via email when you’ve completed your search. Also, if you’re having trouble with ideas, click the ‘Writer’s Block’ tab on the right side of the screen and use the doodle pad to draw your idea!
TweakYourBiz Title Generator
The TweakYourBiz Title Generator tool allows you to choose a keyword, indicate whether it is a noun or verb, and discover literally hundreds of titles, from every conceivable direction. Print or download a particular list or all the lists for later use. Here are some random samples from the keyword ‘headlines’ chosen as a noun:
- Apply These 6 Secret Techniques to Improve Headlines
- Best 70 Tips for Headlines
- 6 Reasons People Laugh About Your Headlines
- Want an Easy Fix for Your Headlines? Read This!
- How to Become Better with Headlines in 10 Minutes
- Do You Make These Simple Mistakes in Headlines?
While many may not be relevant to a particular keyword (6 Ways Headlines Will Improve Your Sex Life), different words fit better into different sentence constructions. This is a valuable tool that gives many options from varying subjects. Definitely worthwhile to bookmark and use.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer Tool
The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is a tool I use often. This great free tool checks your actual chosen headline for viability and reports back in just a few seconds. Headlines are given an overall score out of 100, and a grade. Then, each feature of the headline is analyzed for type, character count, and word count. Moreover, with each analyzed section CoSchedule provides additional tips and resources for raising your section and overall score.
For instance, the title chosen for this post generated the following score:
“Tools for Creating Great Headlines for Blog Posts”
Overall Score: 59 (Red) Headline type: Generic
Length Analysis: 49 characters, 8 words = Correct length
Headline shows a positive sentiment but contains no emotion or uncommon words to catch the eye.
On the other hand, look at the difference when I settled on this title:
“How to write exciting headlines that generate traffic”
Overall Score: 75 (Green) Headline type: How-to
Length Analysis: 53 characters, 8 words = Correct length
Headline shows a positive sentiment. Headlines that convey positive emotion perform the best.
Experiment with these tools to see which one(s) serve your needs the best and become adept at using them. With practice, they will serve you well as you seek to gain attention for your blog posts. Arresting headlines mean traffic; traffic means readers; readers mean followers; followers turn into clients. Continue writing great content; but invest the effort to generate headlines that hook.