How to Write a Good Blog Title that Attracts and Excites Your Audience

Did you know that 7.5 million blog posts are published online every day? With numbers like that, you need to know how to write a good blog title, or there’s little chance of your content being read. 

Why? It all comes down to the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 Rule of Blog Titles: What Is It?

Before blogs, there was a well-known rule among traditional news journalists:

80% will read the headline, but only 20% will read the full article.

It seems that people do judge a book by its cover, or a blog by its title.

The blog title is your main (and in many cases only) chance to make an impression, ignite curiosity, and entice readers to click and dive into your blog article. 

The downside? This approach can lead to ‘clickbait’, sensationalistic headlines full of superlatives and false promises, designed to tempt clicks rather than educate, inform, or entertain the reader with relevant content.

To create a truly outstanding blog title, you need to achieve the right balance – make it exciting enough to drive clicks, but also honest, explanatory, and relevant. In short, the ideal blog post title.

What is the Ideal Blog Post Title?

The ideal blog post title doesn’t exist, because a good-performing one depends on many variables and factors. What is the content about? Is it a fun and playful topic, or serious and informative? Who is the reader, and what matters to them? What voice and tone will appeal to the target audience? 

So we can’t give you an example of the ideal blog post title, but we can give some guidelines, based on insights from headline experts.

According to Co-Schedule, the brains behind the Headline Studio, a headline performs best when it:

  • Is around 10-12 words long (50-60 characters).
  • Is clear and concise.
  • Contains emotion-triggering words.
  • Includes the keyword or blog topic in the first or last three words of the headline.
  • Consists of 20-30% common words, and 10-20% uncommon words.
  • Contains at least one power word or phrase.
  • Has a positive sentiment (although negative sentiment can also work, when it adds an element of surprise or curiosity).
  • Is at a reading grade level that is easy for most readers to understand.

Even with all these technical guidelines, writing the most effective headline is still challenging, because the possibilities of how exactly to write it are endless. 

So let’s discuss how to write the best blog headline you can, even if it can’t be the ‘ideal’ one.

How to Write a Catchy Headline

Beyond the creative part of writing blog titles, there are several practical tactics you can do to make them more appealing and effective:

Use AI and other headline-generating tools

Crafting effective blog titles is not easy, but there are lots of tools to help. The Headline Studio by Co-Schedule (mentioned above) is a popular tool that analyzes headlines and assigns them a score. It also provides suggestions for improvement based on set guidelines, including SEO principles, skimmability, clarity, and more. The headline generator feature creates titles automatically for you, taking some of the work off your desk.

Outbrain’s AI-based title generator is built into the dashboard so advertisers can instantly create variations of headlines for their native campaigns on the Outbrain network, with audience personalization based on several factors, including age and tone of voice. A huge advantage of automated and AI-based headline generators is speed. With these tools, you can create many titles quickly, so you can A/B test and iterate faster and boost your headline performance. 

Focus on emotion

It is a well-known psychological principle that emotions drive behavior. How we feel has a powerful influence on what we do. Headlines that trigger emotions do a better job of attracting readers than those that don’t. So how can you write a headline that focuses on emotions? It’s not as hard as it sounds.

First, drill down on the topic of the blog. What question or problem does it try to solve? What feeling does that problem trigger among the audience? For example, take a look at this headline on an Outbrain blog that taps into emotion in a subtle way:

Content marketers spend a lot of time creating blogs, many of which won’t get a lot of visibility or clicks. This headline not only identifies with and reflects the frustration of content writers and marketers (the target audience for the article) but also provides them with a welcome sense of relief: “actually gets shared”.

Keep it practical

At the same time that your title connects with the reader’s emotions, it is important to provide a clear and actionable benefit too. Let’s again examine the blog title above, “How to Create Blog Content That Actually Gets Shared”. The purpose of the blog (how to create shareable content) is clear and leaves the audience with no doubt as to what the article is about and how it could help them. 

Now imagine that headline without the practical element. It might sound something like this: “Shareable Blog Content is Rare but You Can Create It.” This title is vague and lacks a stated goal. Another benefit of practical, “how to”-style blog titles is that they work great for SEO, often including the keywords that people are searching for.

Don’t forget SEO

On the topic of SEO, always include the main keyword or phrase in the headline of the blog. While this may seem limiting from a creative point of view, it is a critical part of an SEO strategy to gain top rankings in SERPs. As noted above, Co-Schedule recommends using the keyword/phrase in the first three or last three words of the headline. This improves “skimmability”, meaning that the reader can understand the topic just by glancing at the headline. This is much harder to achieve if the keyword is stuffed into the middle part of the title.

Always do keyword research for your blogs before writing the article and headline. You can use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs, but even a simple Google search can give you insights about what people are searching for and what keywords or phrases might be best for your blog post.

Test variations of your headlines

There is so much at stake with blog headlines. Remember the 80/20 rule? The more readers you can tempt with your headline, the better your blog will perform. It’s as simple as that.

Use A/B testing to try out two variations of blog headlines, so you can figure out what works best for your audience. Once you have your answer, you can refine the title again and A/B test it against a new variation to see if you can get even better results.

AI headline generators can help you. These tools are much smarter than earlier ones, providing automated suggestions based on enormous amounts of aggregated data about previous headline performance. With an AI tool, the whole process is much faster, so you can test and optimize your blog titles with exponentially greater efficiency than if you were to do it manually.

Check your analytics

This may sound like a no-brainer, but content marketers should track and analyze their blog performance with Google Analytics or other analytics tools. Less than 30% of bloggers say they regularly check Google Analytics, and just under 5% say they don’t even have access to it!

If you don’t follow up on the performance of your blogs, it will be difficult to know whether you are writing great blog headlines that convince people to click and read. You can know how well a blog title is working by analyzing metrics such as click-through rate (CTR) and page visits. You can see whether people continue to read and engage with the article via metrics such as page on time and bounce rate. 

3 Blog Title Examples to Inspire You

Now it’s time to see these principles in action, with several blog title examples demonstrating what we’ve discussed so far.

1. “The Truth About Affiliate Marketing – Is It Worth Your Time?”

This title heads up one of the best-performing posts on the Outbrain blog. The headline creates a feeling of authenticity and trustworthiness. The article is not just about “affiliate marketing”, but “the truth” about affiliate marketing. This hints to the reader that they are about to discover something hidden, perhaps even secret. The second part speaks directly to the fear and concern of the blog post’s target audience, which is wannabe affiliate marketers – “is it worth it?” Direct, clear, compelling, and catchy, everything a good headline can be.

2. “The Upside of Google Killing Cookies for 30 Million People”

We love this blog headline by, because it catches your interest while also making you think. The perfect combination! The topic (cookie depreciation) is rather dry and already well-covered by many industry players. Yet this headline uses power words such as “killing” and “30 million” to build a sense of the topic’s scale and gravity. At the same time, the title promises to tell us about the “upside” of all this mayhem, a clever and curiosity-driving twist. Plus the big name “Google” in the middle of it all will certainly help to capture eyeballs. 

3. “The Diamond Industry’s Most Burning Topic: In One Word, SUSTAINABILITY”

Sarine Technologies is a world-leading company in developing technologies for the diamond industry, In this blog title, that authority shines through. The title indicates that the brand knows exactly what is happening in the diamond industry, with the power phrase: “most burning topic”. Plus, the all-caps font on the keyword “SUSTAINABILITY” is a clever touch that adds to the overall sense of urgency. On top of that, the title is a solid 10 words long, and is very “skimmable”, with the topic’s keywords at the beginning (“the diamond industry”) and end (“sustainability”), just as the experts at Co-Schedule recommend. 

What is a Powerful Headline?

Now that we’ve laid out the tactics for writing catchy blog titles, and provided some examples, here’s a final piece of advice: Don’t get bogged down too much by the rules and technicalities. A powerful headline also reflects your unique creative spirit, which can be irresistible to readers overwhelmed with content at every turn. If you keep your audience in mind, along with some fundamental guidelines and SEO rules, you can still have fun and explore the possibilities of your blog titles.


What is an ideal blog headline?

There is no such thing as an ‘ideal’ blog headline because every blog and reader is different! An ideal blog title is the one that will work best for your content goals and target audience. 

How to write a catchy blog headline?

To write a catchy blog headline, tap into emotion, include power words, and make sure the headline is ‘skimmable’. This means that the reader should be able to understand what the blog is about just by scanning the title. 

What are 3 tips for creating effective blog titles?

1. Stick to 10 to 12 words.

2. Incorporate the main SEO keyword in the first three or last three words of the title. 

3. Use AI tools to quickly generate title variations and A/B test them. This will help you understand what headlines work best for your target audience.

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