Title Power: A Guide to Great Titles

Writing Great Titles for Beginners

In an instant, readers weigh, measure, and decide whether they will click-through or move on. What do they use to decide? Your article’s title.

Writing titles that your audience wants to read doesn’t have to be an agonizing process. All you need to do is practice, execute, and monitor the article’s performance to see what’s working for you.

Best Practices of Great Title Writers: Keep an Idea Journal

First, a good habit to get into is keeping an idea journal that will double as your title stockpile. Get a notebook and draw a vertical line down the middle of the page. In the left column, jot down ideas, topics, questions, keyword research, etc. In the right column, brainstorm possible titles related to these concepts. Leave no idea left unturned!

For reference and inspiration, create a word cloud in your idea journal that addresses all of your audience’s wants, hopes, needs, desires, values, emotions, etc. For example, some words might be “Freedom,” “Money,” “Happy,” “Health,” and “Free.”

10 Title Ground Rules to Keep Your Titles in the Game

Next, bear the following ground rules in mind to increase your chances of success:

  1. Titles should be written for humans, not search engines.
  2. Titles should be descriptive while maintaining brevity.
  3. Titles should use proper grammar, capitalization, and spelling.
  4. Titles should be relevant to the article.
  5. Titles should be approximately 70 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
  6. Titles should not be keyword stuffed.
  7. Titles should use keywords distributed using the Long Tail method.
  8. Titles should be exclusive and original to you.*
  9. Titles should use active voice.
  10. Titles should use positive power words.

* Title Success Tip: To avoid cannibalizing your articles or having your own articles compete for a reader’s attention as well as search engines, create original titles for each article.

5 Tips to Writing Titles That Will Get Your Article Read

Finally, readers tend to gravitate toward certain titles. Try the following 5 angles in your titles:

#1 – 10 Tips … or 10 Ways … Readers love to be promised a numerical amount as well as multiple tips or options.

#2 – The Secret to … Mysteries, secrets, keys, and intrigue make the reader feel like you’re disclosing privileged information exclusively for their benefit.

#3 – Club Members Only … If your article targets a particular group of people, socially or geographically, let readers know in the title. Examples of this might be womens issues or mens issues, teachers or students, etc.

#4 – It’s Positively Easy … Seamless, easy, efficient, and effective – these are words readers like to hear. Focus on a positive message your readers will respond to. Readers are more likely to read “Reupholstering Chairs in Five Easy Steps,” than “Reupholstering Chairs in Five Exhausting Steps.”

#5 – The Question on Everyone’s Mind … From “Where Is” to “How to” to “What Is,” use questions your audience is asking to engage their interest.

Bonus – What and Why … “What Everyone Should Know About …” and “Why” statement titles promise the reader a thorough explanation that will fulfill their needs.

Use these beginner title writing tips to get your articles read! Have you tried a title journal or idea notebook? Have any more title tips? Let us know in the comments section below.

25 Comments »


1

Great ideas. I write a lot of humorous and informative senior’s articles and these hints will help me get them into the information I provide to them. Thanks

Comment provided October 17, 2012 at 12:59 PM

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Gulzar writes:

Great Piece of Information. People should what is the right way to write article. This information is very useful. Thank You.

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2
Ricky writes:

Great tips. As for title length, I prefer about 50 characters. It fit better for a blog page.

Comment provided October 17, 2012 at 1:29 PM

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3
Randall Magwood writes:

Adding the words “how to” or “secrets” or “10 ways” (etc) are great ways to catch a scanning reader’s attention. Great tips for writing great article titles. Awesome copywriting strategies. Your article title should be a mini-headline.

Comment provided October 17, 2012 at 3:05 PM

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4

What about the title to my new E-book, “Nursing: The Profession You Love to Hate!”?

Comment provided October 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM

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5
SenseiMattKlein writes:

Very helpful guide, especially the five tips on the bottom. Thanks.

Comment provided October 17, 2012 at 4:32 PM

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6
Karen writes:

I love your title suggestion tool. It always gives me great ideas for a good title.

Comment provided October 17, 2012 at 8:20 PM

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7
Lisa Shah writes:

Good tips, thanks!

Comment provided October 17, 2012 at 9:33 PM

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8
Andres Martinez writes:

I appreciate your great tips. Thank you very much.

Comment provided October 17, 2012 at 11:27 PM

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9
Amidjah writes:

Thank you for your post. exactly what i was looking for :)

Comment provided October 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM

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10
Ray writes:

Many thanks for sharing! As always, great nuggets to be had from your article. Regards, RV

Comment provided October 18, 2012 at 1:52 AM

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11
Salihu S Dikko writes:

Thanks, these tips are very good and very great. Before now, I use to think that, one can just cream any title and call it a tittle, only to discover that, it is better and more than that. Now, any time, I see any tittle, that is not of EzineArticles standard, I use to give it a smile in my mind. Saying that, they are yet to know that they are lagging behind. All, we the new babies should try as much as possible and keep ourselves posted in these great developments, so that, others else where, will not smile at us in their minds and say we are lagging behind too.

Comment provided October 18, 2012 at 3:51 AM

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12
Robert Magda writes:

Such a nice Post Really Good Information and content..
nice images

Thanks

Comment provided October 18, 2012 at 7:53 AM

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13
Nolan Wilson writes:

This is a great post. Too many people overlook the importance of a great title. And, the truth is that without a great title, its unlikely that people will click on your article, no matter how good it is.

Comment provided October 19, 2012 at 2:16 PM

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14
Joan Verlezza writes:

I love the idea of keeping a title journal. Sometimes in the middle of a day you think of a great idea. You tell yourself you’ll remember to wirte it down when you get home. But so often, you forget and loose the thought. I’m going to start carrying a little note pad with me and make sure I write those ideas down.

Comment provided October 19, 2012 at 8:13 PM

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15
John writes:

Great post! Writing great titles has always been my problem. People say that I write well but I am sure that my titles are a drawback. I have found a few answers in this article, already after the first read. Thanks a lot EzineArticles.

Comment provided October 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM

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16

This is insightful.

Comment provided October 21, 2012 at 4:04 AM

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17
Sven Cooke writes:

A good summary. It’s always good to review the basics as they are easily forgotten.

Comment provided October 21, 2012 at 2:39 PM

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18

Thanks for the helpful tips, everybody wants to do things faster,easier and quicker. That’s one of things I always keep in mind when crafting my titles. It really makes a difference.

Comment provided October 22, 2012 at 7:27 PM

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19
Steven Clare writes:

These are some great tips and it is all about drawing your readers in. No point writing great content if nobody reads it.

Thanks for the tips.

Comment provided October 23, 2012 at 4:44 AM

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20
Beverly Smith writes:

Thanks Penny, I will consider these wonderful tips.

Comment provided October 24, 2012 at 5:47 PM

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21
Betty L Eriksen writes:

Love these tips especially the last 5.
Thanks for a well composed article, covering so much useful guidance, Penny

Comment provided November 2, 2012 at 11:57 PM

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22
Veronique writes:

Fascinating. Ever since I was a teenager and started writing, titles were always the first thing that came to me before i even had a story. I would actually develop a story based on the title. My titles are ideas that pop into my mind in the middle of the night a lot. If I don’t follow up with an actual article (or blog), I can’t sleep. I am lucky that I never had to struggle with titles. I loved the tips in this article.

Comment provided December 14, 2012 at 3:25 AM

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23
Chris Roxburgh writes:

Excellent article with some great tips. I’m off to rewrite some blog titles now!

Comment provided December 27, 2013 at 1:12 PM

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24
Romana writes:

Dear EzineArticles editor your email on best writing was extremely helpful. Clearly stated ideas with examples. What about articles where the theme is general and conceptual. Can a writer use a similar method to target an audience on an issue such as a rise in interest rates or the effects of local tax. Is there scope for this on the internet?

Comment provided December 28, 2013 at 12:09 AM

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