Writing a good blog post headline is sort of like figuring out how to do alchemy.
For some reason, this is a step that ALWAYS trips beginning bloggers up when they’re writing new posts, and I think I know the reason why..
They’re just not spending enough time on them.
Well, that and they don’t really have a “process” for writing them.
Why should you listen to me? Well, because I’ve built an audience of 20,000 followers on Medium.com (it’s AMAZING there) and average about 65,000 monthly page views on that platform.
I know a thing or two about writing headlines, and I really quickly wanted to share a few insights with you that I’ve learned after writing over 500 blog posts.
You ready to read about my two-step process?
1. Clearly Convey What The Article Is About
Do you know how many times I see articles with a shotty two-word headline? For example:
“Out Of Touch With Reality” or “When Life Beats You Down”
These headlines aren’t that good at all. They would be good if they were written by Steven Spielberg (because I would want to read anything he wrote), but for everybody else I don’t know yet, you need to provide a little more context.
How do you do that?
Let’s transform the above headlines..
“I Feel Out Of Touch With Reality“
“Here’s Some Words Of Wisdom When Life Beats You Down“
These are much better headlines. At the very least the audience knows what they’re about.
The first one is going to most likely be a ramble about how the author feels down and out.
The second is going to be an uplifting piece about what to do when life beats you down.
As writers we might become so lost in our work that we don’t realize the context of our piece is severely lacking.
Make sure to stay as vigilant AFTER creating as you were WHILE you were creating.
2. Throw A Benefit In There (Here’s 3 To Try)
What the heck is the audience going to get from this article? A benefit can come in a lot of different forms, but here’s three you can try..
1. Show them how to be a better person.
2. Help them feel validated for feeling a certain way
3. Help them feel better about their pain.
To understand good headlines you need to understand human psychology. We all feel lost as hell. We all feel a lot of pain. We all just want to know that we’re moving in the right direction when it comes to our decisions in life.
I’ll go ahead and put our shotty headline “Out Of Touch With Reality” through these three benefit “lenses” to show you something important. I’ll go in order down the line.
- “Why Feeling Out Of Touch With Reality Will Make You A Better Person”
- “I Feel Out Of Touch With Reality, And That’s Okay”
- “Why Feeling Out Of Touch With Reality Is Needed Sometimes”
Feeling a little lost can lead to so much good in life–trust me.
And that’s really what all three of these headlines point to in their own way.
Number 1 shows you why feeling lost will make you a better person.
Number 2 validates the reader for feeling lost by showing them it’s okay to feel that way.
Number 3 eases the pain of the reader because they know they’re going to grow through it. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
You can implement these tactics in any of your stories from here on out. Study human psychology. Try to understand what we want and don’t want. Then you can use that knowledge to draw people in with your headlines to read what you have to say!
Want to build an audience of your own on Medium? I have a free 5-day email course called “Your First 1,000 Followers” that will teach you how I did it! Sign up for it below!