How to Write Hypnotic Headlines That Drive People to Your Blog

People will never read your blog posts if the headline is more fizzle than sizzle.

Even people who’ve subscribed to your blog by email will read the headline first to decide if they want to read the post or not.

Sadly, if your blog headline doesn’t seem to help with their problem, or doesn’t arouse their curiosity, they’ll never read the post at all. You can put those violins away though and make sure your blog posts get read by learning how to write hypnotic headlines that people actually click on.

I can’t teach you how to write good headlines, give you any set formulas or wave a magic wand to turn you into a top writer overnight, but I can give you some ideas, resources, and motivation so you can learn the art of headline writing for yourself.

A blog headline should immediately tell people what the blog post is about and give them a great reason to read it. If you write a hypnotic headline, you’ll:

  • Get more readers
  • Win incoming links
  • Gain new subscribers

Hypnotic Blog Headlines to Get You Started

Some of the most popular types of blog posts and are easily translated into great headlines. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Ask a question – Questions are a good way to arouse readers’ curiosity, make them want to find out more and give them a pressing need to go ahead and read the full story.

  • Is starting a blog the hardest part?
  • Are anti-wrinkle creams all they’re cracked up to be?
  • Confused by affiliate marketing?
  • Would you Travel 1,846 Miles for this Man?
  • Do you know why networking’s crucial for blogging success?

2. Ask Why – Try to solve a common or persistent problem your readers have.

  • Why you need to write killer headlines for your blog
  • Why I got headhunted for a vacation
  • Why do people love to travel?
  • Why time management is dumb
  • Why I’ll always back up my work from now on

3. How to – Help your readers do something better, faster, in simple steps or with confidence.

  • How to work out what your dream is fast
  • How to break the blogging rules with panache
  • How to sleep soundly
  • How to stay focused in 9 words
  • How to use Twitter as a motivational tool

4. Numbered lists – A popular staple for a reason because people love numbered lists. I was scathing of this when I started blogging and wrote 101 ways to feel happy as a joke because I hated the idea of list posts. The joke was on me as it went on to become one of the most popular posts on my blog at that time. List posts are also a great fall-back plan if you’re in a hurry. Compared to other types of blog posts they can be written quickly and easily.

  • 10 ways to get the life you want
  • 3 keys to living your dream life
  • 101 ways to feel happy
  • 5 instructions for better writing
  • 7 good reasons to go for a walk

5. Best or worst – Make your readers curious and give them a handy reference they’ll keep coming back to.

  • Best and worst things about living in Australia
  • Worst blogging mistakes and how to fix them
  • Best blogs to go for blog writing tips
  • Worst blog designs ever
  • Best ways to network using social media

Advanced Headline Honing Techniques

If you’ve read this far, great!  You must have liked the post headline and you deserve to know that I had fun brainstorming and wrote over 30 headlines before picking the one I thought would work best. Here are a few other headline techniques I’ve experimented with:

  • Court controversy with your headlines – “Why time management is dumb”
  • Experiment with rhyme – “Don’t delay, subscribe today”
  • Use alliteration – “Best business blogs”
  • Use buzz words like ‘killer’ or ‘awesome’ that will appeal to your readers – “Killer ways to travel for less”
  • Cite celebrities or popular culture – “A surfer’s guide to success” or “In bed with Seth Godin”
MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU  Blog Post Editing: 5 Steps to Take Before You Hit "Publish"

Those are just a few ideas for writing hypnotic headlines. Now you just need to practice.

Lot of practice.

Remember that even top copy writers like Brian Clark,  Roberta Rosenberg, and Sonia Simone have spent years practicing and improving their writing skills.

If you want more ideas for writing blog headlines, I recommend Copyblogger’s Magnetic Headlines series.

Another great resource is Sean D’Souza’s report: “Why do most headlines fail?”

Last Word on Blog Headline Writing Tips

  • Focus on creating headlines that show you give useful value to your readers.
  • Get in the habit of scanning newspapers and magazines to see which headlines stand out. Make a note of great headlines and see how you can customize them to make them work on your blog.
  • Plan your attention grabbing headlines first then write the post to fit them.
  • Try to keep your blog titles short but if they have to be long don’t worry, just bear in mind that people may not see the whole headline so get the most important words in first.
  • Make sure the font size for your headlines is big enough so people know they’re headlines. You’ve spent time creating headlines you can be proud of, now make sure people can read them.
  • Finally the most important tip of all is to have fun writing your blog headlines.

Remember those top copywriter I mentioned before ~ Brian, Roberta and Sonia? They didn’t get good at writing by reading about writing. They didn’t get good at headline writing by thinking about writing. They got good at headline writing just like you will: by practicing it lots and accepting that it’s never going to be perfect but can only get better.

Blog Headline Writing Practice

1. Come up with 5 headlines for your blog from the styles above: How to, why, question, numbered list and best or worst. If you’ve got categories on your blog, come up with 5 titles for the headline styles above you could use on your blog.

For example, if you have 5 categories on your blog that will be 25 headlines. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the information you need to actually write the post. Just try to come up with titles your readers should find interesting.

Have fun with it, channel you inner tabloid newspaper editor and concentrate on writing as many titles as you can. You can always edit and refine them later.

2. Go back through your blog archives and see if there are any boring headlines. If you find some improve them or come up with better headlines on the same topic that you can write about another time or just change the headline so more people read it.

3. Leave a comment with your favorite headline from your blog and or any other blog or if you need help with a blog post headline, tell us the original fizzer headline, and we’ll see if we can come up with ways to make it sizzle.

Don’t Delay, Subscribe Today

If you like what you see here remember to subscribe so you don’t miss out on the rest of the Blog Writing Magic series. In the weeks to come I’ll tackle:

  • Blog content writing
  • Post layout
  • Editing
  • Writing practice

I look forward to seeing you here again soon. Thank you for reading and happy writing!

Click here to get your free “Blog Writing Magic” eBook.

87 thoughts on “How to Write Hypnotic Headlines That Drive People to Your Blog”

  1. Hi Sue,

    thank you for an excellent list of tips. You're definitely right when you say great headlines matter… they're like the 'hook' that catches the reader before the rest of your article reels them in.

    Practice is important too- with trial and error, the writer is better able to judge what kind of headlines work with which type of article.

    It's amazing how many different styles of headlines there are. Experimenting and 'mixing them up' is good fun 😉

    • Thanks Scott, I'd love to know a few of your favourite headlines. I'm quite prone to crummy puns myself and am some Great Scott headlines are popping into my head now!

      • Hi

        I think one of my favourites- especially as a guide- is based on a book:

        "How to Win Friends and Influence People".

        As a headline, it works brilliantly because it's got double benefits- who wouldn't want one, the other – or both!

      • That's a classic:) I love the book too and the title inspired me with the first line of my about page: Want to win business and influence people online?

  2. Hi

    Wow, what an article! I absolutely agree a great deal of emphasis must be placed on headlines . I've struggled with them myself, but I think with more practice I will get better with them. This post will help.

    Your writing is sublime and very eloquent (I think I've said that somewhere before?). I eagerly await the next chapter of this brilliant series.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Michael

    • Hi Michael, normally we should avoid repetition in writing except when complimenting bloggers on their posts:) Thank you! Glad it helps.

  3. Nice ones!
    I also prefer statements with commands (imperative) like:
    – Feel the fear and do it anyway
    – Step up and dream big
    – Manage your time
    – Watch how you feed your mind
    – etc…

    or just intriguing or shocking statements like:
    – Genes are not our fate
    – I’m A GOD, but not THE GOD
    – You are not your body, you are not your mind
    – Ego vs Spirit
    -etc…

    • Hi Goran, thanks for joining us and sharing those headlines. That last command is speaking to me. Watch how you feed your mind – it makes me think there must be some dangers I need to avoid and I want to read more. These 2 controversial ones make me want to find out more too: – I’m A GOD, but not THE GOD
      – You are not your body, you are not your mind. So out there I have to find out more:)

  4. I agree the headline needs to grab you, but I sometimes wait til I'm finished with the post before I come up with the headline. Sometimes I think I know what I want it to be, but when I'm finished with the post it becomes something else.
    And if the topic is controversial, like my recent post on gay marriage, the headline writes itself.
    Thanks.

  5. Hi,
    Yes, this concept was quite elusive to me at first… I think some of my early headlines missed the mark. I have been paying much more attention now. Here are some concepts I'm working on now….
    • The 5 Myths about Being a Millionaire
    • Why you Can’t Afford to be Cheap
    • Why Your Boss is Going to Fire you
    • What they Don’t Teach you at Harvard

    Thanks for the tips… it will help me hone future posts. I have always written the blog first and the headline gets short shrift. This would be a reverse engineering for me.

  6. Fantastic tips.

    I'm like you – writing doesn't come easy and it can be painful to hit the Publish button. I know I need help on my headlines so I'm bookmarking this advice.

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips 🙂

    Karen

  7. Thank you so much much for offering this! I have not really been writing very long, other than school and then business letters, etc, so I feel I can use all the help I can get! It also takes me forever to get a post written, as I painstakingly go back over it again and agian. I will definitely be coming back to study this more in depth and look forward to whatever wisdom you impart!
    Bernice http://bernicewood.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/life-

  8. What a terrific resource. Well done. I love writing headlines and as managing editor of an aggregate blog, I'm often baffled at how few people know how to write good ones. Not only do they grab your reader, but they help get you positioned better in an aggregate. I think this workshop is much needed and extremely well put together. Nice writing too!

  9. This is going to be a great series, I can feel it! Glen Allsopp had some similar info, yet you went deeper and provided more examples. One take away I got from Glen's post that should be added, is to follow up on the promises of your title. I've seen many titles that promise secrets, and instead of secrets, I find the same old info that's posted everywhere else.

    I also have another tip, if you are using someones name in a title, for heaven's sake, spell it correctly. I've seen a few of these mispellings lately. This is true of any word, but especially so with names.

    One more tip and then I'll give you my favorite headline from my blog. When possible, make it keyword heavy so the search engines can find it. This is especially true when doing reviews or interviews. For example, instead of "An Interview with Annabel Candy" you could do "An Interview with Annabel Candy from Get in the Hot Spot." You could spice it up a bit, but including the extra keywords will help Google find you.

    My favorite title from my blog is "There's a turd in my nest." I've never seen another title like it. Although much to my suprise, it doesn't rank well in Google; Turd and nest used together are more popular than I would have thought.

    I also had one really bad title that I went back and changed after I published it. The original was "I Couldn't Sleep but I Can Now," and I changed it to "Sleep… How I Learned to Fall Asleep Fast, and You Can Too!" I shudder at the original title, it was so bad.

  10. Hi

    A good headline has to be one that makes people want to read the post – coming up with that headline, that "grabber" is never easy.

    Some great ideas here that anyone can use to make the process much easier.

    When I write speeches, I always write the title last. People find that strange but I know that the title will come out of the speech. There is always a line which cries out to be the title and when you find it, you know it's the right title.

    Perhaps we should do the same with posts… write the title last.

  11. I can write a whole post and then just sit there, staring stupidly at the screen for ages, trying to think of a title. When I wrote a piece about Chelsea Clinton's wedding for Huffpo, I made a visiting friend sit with me and discuss titles for about 20 minutes. Neither of us could think of anything catchy, and the title ended up being pretty bad. I NEED TO LEARN HOW TO DO THIS!!!!

    You always point out the things I really need to work on. And as much as it pains me, it's helpful 🙂

    Hope you're well!!

  12. P.S. Someone just interviewed me about blogging, and asked if I'd made any friends in different parts of the world through it. Guess who I mentioned?

  13. Annabel,

    Super brilliant post – with a great headline too! When I first started freelancing for the newspaper and magazines editors would change my titles all the time – then I started paying attention and figured out what they were looking for.

    My total immersion learning came when I was writing promos and teases for cable television…now that has to be catchy!

    A good headline is definitely half the battle of getting your piece read.

    Great tips and a great article. Thanks so much!

  14. Hi Annabel:

    This was very timely for me, and as always, useful.

    I,too, once said "no way" to lists since my blog is more personal essays than useful tips. But while thinking about the last one, I had a bit of writer's block becasue I simply had too much to say on the one topic. A list helped me clarify and simplify, and if I want to expand on on or two points in upcoming entries, fab. At least I got the buggar posted!

    Cheers, darling.

  15. Annabel, I confess to having serious blog writer envy – envious of your captivating post titles in general and totally jealous of the terrific title you have chosen for this serious! But I'm also so joyful you are so talented and wish for your talent to continue growing endlessly.

    I've been have more fun with blog titles recently inspired by some of your hot ones. Here are two good ones (I think):

    1) Expert advice on writing faster blog posts – my latest post

    2) Is Everett Bogue right?

    Here's a really boring one: Identifying food sensitivities

    I can't end without saying that you have a very unique writing style. I would call it "buoyant." Despite your humble words, I know there is so much you can teach us about writing. Thanks for this series.

  16. This is excellent, Annabel. Of course, I would have preferred you to have given away one or two of these outstanding tips and then packaged the rest for sale as a video-pdf in your shop. 🙂

    Best, Robin

    Helping you succeed in business 🙂

  17. Hi Barbara, I often write the post first and then wish I hadn't when I can't come up with a sexy headline to go with it. Lol. I like the Gay Marriage Yay or Nay? headline. It makes me want to read it. I'll read it later but for record I'm giving gay yay all the way:)

  18. Hi Rob, great to hear you're working on it. It took me a while to come round to it too:) I'd drop the from the first one and go with just 5 Myths about Being a Millionaire. Are you too cheap for your own good? Would grab me. The 3rd one is funny and gets me interested. The 4th one I'd like more info – What they don't teach you at Harvard about what? Business I suppose? Maybe Brilliant Business Advive You Can't Learn at Harvard or something like that would get my attention more:) I could have fun doing this all day!

    • Thanks for the great input… how about this one:

      "BE-ing passionate is EXPRESS-ing with passion"

      I got inspired and wrote the blog and am now working on the title… as long as you are enjoying doing it 🙂

  19. Hi Karen, that's fabulous to hear you've bookmarked it. I just want everyone to know that really we're all the same, we all worry about our writing but we all have the chance to improve it by contuinuing to write anyway and having fun with the process:) Look forward to seeing what you come up with for your blog. As the name is Meaningful Existence I wonder if you've ever written anything about: Are you really living or just existing?

  20. Hi Bernice, it's such a different style than business letters. I was taught to be very formal in my writing and it's bliss that all that goes out of the window with a blog. Make it personal, have fun with it and keep blogging:)

  21. Hi Katie, thank you for the compliment and for giving us another good reason to keep honing those blog headlines:)

  22. Hi Eric, this information has been brewing and growing in me for 15 years so I'm glad to share what I've learned with my readers. I learned the importance of having series at the Problogger conference and a blog writing series was the natural place for me to start. I want us all to grow fabulous blogs, be proud of each other's achievements and help each other get hotter in every way:)

    Thanks for raising a great point. It's so important to actually deliver on the promise you give readers on your headline and I love the other tips too. I didn't want to confuse people by mentioning SEO at this point but it is important.

    Haha, that title is hilarious – There’s a turd in my nest. I'll have to check that out:) And yes, the second title is genius compared to the sleepy sounding I Couldn’t Sleep but I Can Now. I had one called How to Sleep which I chose hoping people wou;ld think they had to read it because what is there to learn. I'm sure I could do better next time!

  23. Hi Keith, great to see you here and thanks for leaving a comment. Lol, I think we're on the same page! Write the title first, last or in the middle, it doesn't matter as long as it grabs people's attention.

  24. Hi Kate, ooh that post about CC's wedding sounds interesting. I'd love to hear what you chose! My tip is don't just think,write them down, as many as you can as fast as you can and keep an eye on newspapers and mag covers too for daily inspiration. Oh yes, I'm feeling great. I really feel as if I'm hitting my stride here and it's great to have you on the team:)

  25. Hi Angela, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment for us. You sound like a real headline pro. Off to check out your blog now and would love to hear what are your favourite headlines ever:)

  26. Hi Molly, lovely to see you back here again:) I noticed that list in your last blog and loved it. Lists are perfect for tired, overloaded brains like mine. I'm obviously not alone in that as people love them. Now I wonder if more people would have read that post of you'd changed the headline from Ahhhh Paris to 20 Reasons to Visit Paris Before You Die. Well that's a poor example but something beginning with 20. I know you can do better than me:)

  27. Hi Sandra, don't be jealous, you've got some hot titles on your blog too and lots of numbered lists which is clever. I need to do more of them:) We're growing our talent together and it's so exciting to be involved with such a talented and diverse bunch of hotties. Yes, I would definitely read both of those and I will, later. It sounds as if Expert advice on writing faster blog posts is tailor made for me!

    The boring one made me laugh too. I have a few real flops here too but the good news is we can always change them when inspiration hits. The good news is that at least we know when we're not hitting it:)

    Can anyone help Sandra change Identifying food sensitivities from a fizzer into a sizzler? Here are a few ideas:

    9 Common Food Allergies That Could Be Bothering You
    Irritating Food Sensitivities and How to Identify Them
    Could You Have Unidentified Food Sensitivities?
    Are Undiagnosed Food Sensitivities Making You Miserable?
    The Sherlock Holmes Guide to Idenfitying Food Allergies

    PS. I love the "buoyant" writing description too. Thank you! It's buoyed me up for the day:)

    • I love those last two!!!!!

      Are Undiagnosed Food Sensitivities Making You Miserable?

      The Sherlock Holmes Guide to Idenfitying Food Allergies

      fabulous…

  28. Hi Robin, well I did mention that they're valuable hopefully paving the way so that when I finally release my book about blogging people will buy it because they know I deliver the goods:) That's the theory anyway! Not sure about the video though, it's not my strength. Compared to my video delivery my writing is definitely Purlitzer Prize worthy:)

    • Great post Annabel,

      Really great information not overloaded with filler just great facts and examples.

      I would be very happy to pre-order and pay for your book about blogging. Keep us posted about how it's going. This is a great example of what's to come.

      On the video front I wouldn't say that Problogger is a rockstar performer in front of the camera, if anything it's his really simple humble delivery that's so appealing. I think you would be surprised how much people would enjoy SEEING you discuss blogging making it even more of a conversation.

      Thank you for this post it adds value and helps me win business online.

      kind regards

      Tony

  29. Annabel, a smashing post and one that I need very much. Believe it or not, here is the process with prolificliving: Farnoosh writes the post – all of it and it takes her several hours still – Farnoosh comes up with "great" blog titles – Andy comes over for 35 seconds, hangs out, and gives one smashing suggestion that blows away all Farnoosh's titles- Farnoosh publishes the post with Andy's title. The end ;)!

    I don't know how he does it but I am going to use your tips to beat him, Annabel! Here are some of my favorites – at least I like them :)!

    Back on the Bike: Reawakening the Cyclist Within

    The Soundtrack of Your Life: Living with Music

    Amsterdam Memories and Why to Travel Spontaneously

    The Amazon Kindle: Expand Beyond the Printed Word

    The Power of Traditions, Iranian Culture and Stories from a Cup (I came up with this one!)

    Anyway, this was a very timely post for me, dear Annabel. Merci mille fois!

    • Hi Farnoosh, sounds like a great team to me and I'm right into all those headlines although the one you wrote is a bit long and has a lot of different ideas in it:) Don't tell Andy I said that though, we don't want it to go to his head:) These are my faves: The Amazon Kindle: Expand Beyond the Printed Word and Back on the Bike: Reawakening the Cyclist Within.

      • I know!!! He is so good at this – and it takes him all of one minute. In fact, I have stopped worrying about deadlines. this is not good Annabel. Ok I will go through the headline exercise :))!!!

  30. I read just about every blog post that talks about writing better headlines. I sometimes struggle with writing them, but there's no doubt I'm improving.

    They're one of the most difficult parts of writing blog posts, but also the most important. I will continue to strive to get better at them.

    • Hi Ryan, good on you for keeping practising. We have a deep pool of talent here and I'd love it if we can help each other when we get stuck on a headline – it does happen and sometimes a second opinion helps or as Farnoosh found someone who didn't write the post can do a great job!

  31. Thanks Sue. I shall print this and keep it handy for future titles. Strangely enough, one post I wrote, was requested by the Orange County Register online blog: "Did I Cry When I Said Goodbye?" It was about my son leaving for college. Another one which I did a search on Google first was, "What Does Number 11 mean?" also "The Coffee Pot War," a true story I wrote about my husband "hurting" my sleek Italian lover (my coffee maker) while he has a cheap one from Target. Those three surprised me in their popularity. My blog is about healing our family on a Caribbean island, and covers, family, relationships, being Gutsy and living your dreams.

    I'd like to know something. Please can you explain why WordPress Thesis is supposed to have better SEO, whereas Blogger, run by the biggest search engine Google, doesn't? I know there are videos explaining Thesis, but whenever I ask friends who've switched, they simply say, "I got it because I heard WordPress is for professionals." Perhaps another blog post?

  32. Hi Sonia, that's brilliant and I love the three titles and the coffee story. Hilarious. I'll have to find out what 11 does mean too:)

    Great question re Thesis but I can't really explain it here – you're right, maybe in a post:) Basically Thesis is better for the search engines, combined with WordPress it offers more options and better results. Sorry, you'll have to trust us Thesis fans on that one. For people who don't understand search engine optimiastion it offers easy ways to get decent search engine ranking. I hope that helps:) As you say more info on Thesis is available on their site and there's an affiliate link to it at the bottom of my blog too if you're considering getting it:)

  33. Wow! Look at all the comments! It's pretty lively in here.

    Lot's of good tips for me. Where do I start?

    Love all the headline advice. Never have I seen such depth and detail.

    When you see it all spelled out it all makes such total sense.

    I did like Eric's tip about doing a Google keyword search.

    Your friend Robin is also right. You could charge for this stuff!

    Thanks Annabell

    I'm definatley tweeting this one!!

    • Hi Randall, it's getting hotter thanks to all the lovely people who visit, plus the comments, tweets and stumbles. I'm blown away by the response. Thank you!

  34. Search engines find certain words — no? Is it worthwhile considering certain words in headlines — to be found by the search engines

    ??

    • Hi QwkDrw, thanks for asking a question! Not quite sure if I understood it though. Search engines look for the key words people enter and pay special attention if they find them in an H1 HTML coded headline. Hope that helps:)

      • Thank you for addressing an unintentionally redundant question — one that another reader already mentioned. I now see Eric previously brought up the "make it [the headline] keyword heavy so the search engines can find it" issue. Just not sure if "an H1 HTML coded headline" requires the blogger to apply special attributes to the words, or if just using specific keywords is enough for the search engines

        ..

  35. Hi Suellen, thank you, so happy to inspire you. I'm nuts about blogging and I want everyone to do it well so they can experience the joys of it too!

  36. Hi Lisa, great to hear you subscribed and wonderful to have you on board. I'd love to hear some of these hot headlines! I know you'll be picking up tips from reading them and hope you'll play around and come up with some of your own too:)

  37. Hi Cam, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. We're all curious cats aren't we?! That's why a good headline needs to be based on psychology and arousing that curiosity:)

  38. A brilliant post and a series I'll definitely stick around to read. 🙂

    Blogging continues to surprise me. I think I have a grasp on something, and then a blog post comes and goes with very little traction and suddenly I realize that I don't know much after all! 🙂

    My last post – "Confessions of a Crybaby" – was meant to draw people in for being both intriguing and humorous, but I can pretty safely say that it failed on both of those counts. Haha! I'm thinking I shouldn't have tried to be funny and should have just gone for something simple and direct, though I'm still trying to figure out what that could be.

    I'll let you know when I figure it out! This post is great food for thought, so thanks for writing it. 🙂

    • Hi Matt, thanks for sharing that! You don’t get successes until you’ve had a few flops though. I’m sure there are plenty of fizzers lurking in my archives and will be more in the future. If we don’t try stuff we don’t know what works and what doesn’t!

  39. Hi Anabel, Looks like this blog post – the first of a series – is a real hit and justifiably so. I've been racking my brains for titles after writing the post and half the time, I'm too tired mentally to come up with a good one. In retrospect, several, I didn't like or could have done better. And now I know why a couple, Tijuana – A Dangerous City? and My Three Culture Struggle had the highest stats and most comments. You've given me motive, method, and reasons to write killer headlines. This post is definitely a keeper (as are several of your posts) because of the valuable info/tips it contains. Thanks for sharing your blogging smarts with your readers.

    • Hi Penelope, that's brilliant feedback thank you! Yes, I agree those 2 headlines are definite attention getters and make me want to hear the whole story:)

    • Hi Samuel, great to have you join us and thanks for leaving a wee comment:) Don't worry, I'm on a roll now, nothing's going to stop me!

  40. HI Sue,

    I'm is complete awe of you girl! Such a wealth of information in this post…wow!

    I am learning everyday to write better headlines. But I don't think I ever focused on it that much…up until now of course 🙂 Thank you for stirring me in this direction. Who knows I might come up with some awesome headlines too 😉 Wish me luck 🙂

    Lots of love to you,

    Z~

    p.s.have been meaning to email you….just been so busy 🙁 Expect an email from me soon

  41. In my (humble) opinion, the best writers take LOTS of time to write. Even for a blog post. I know I do.

    Even those posts of mine that I can dash off will get tweaked SEVERAL times before I hit publish. And the fact is, for new bloggers like me, we need to do the tweaking because our readers are not going to be as forgiving of errors as they might be for someone like Brian or Sonia.

    I also have to laugh because the post that I have had the most views for so far had a somewhat salacious title though the actual post was encouraging chastity not discouraging it! On the other hand, the post was actually a link to another blog that's had over 2 million visitors so a lot of the traffic came from there. I just thought it was humorous that my little home-schooling blog had the best readership on a post about sex. Gotta love it.

    • Hi Anne, thank you, I love this proof that sex sells! I must admit some of my saucy headlines like In Bed With Sex Godin or Would You Travel 1, 486 Miles For This Man? were based on that premise:) If I can find a way to make potentially boring topics like Internet marekting fun I will:)

      Interested to know how your post was found by the readers on the other blog. Was it one of those trackback things so your post was listed below theirs because you linked in to it?

  42. Hi,

    Always enjoy your writing, btw, you are an excellent writer. So keep it up!

    I am always looking for great headlines and 5 suggestions above are a great addition.

    The best headline,I incorported the list (numbered) into it:
    World’s Easiest Quiz 10 Questions You Oughta Know The Answers To

    Keep up the great work!

    Mark

  43. Hi,

    A great post. Thank you for being courageous and exposing your own vulnerabilities about the writing process. You are right on the mark about the length of time it takes to write a thousand or so words and then edit and revise them umpteen million times before publishing a post. It does take a loooonnnnng time! Other writers need to hear that it takes time and there's always that sense of vulnerability about publishing our own work–especially if it comes from the heart. For some reason, when we're writing about something we care about or it's personal the stakes go up.

    You are right about the magic of catchy titles for blog posts (or any other published material for that matter). But I think sometimes we can try a bit too hard to come up with a catchy or clever title and then it feels contrived . As for whether it's easier to come up with the title before or after writing the article, my sense is that by trying to write the headline first we inadvertently end up forcing the direction and content to fit the title and then the writing feels a bit stilted, instead of allowing what wants to come through from our inner wisdom onto the page. (I give full credit for the wisdom of "allowing what wants to come through" to a good friend of mine, Kate Sutherland and it's the best suggestion I've had around not struggling with writing or anything else in life.)

    And on that note, I'm off to see what eye-catching title wants to come through me for my next post or two!

  44. How about:

    Is your food killing you?

    Is your food biting you back?

    When good food goes bad…

    Sensitive Guts

    Just a few ideas. I like the blog Sandra, keep up the good work!

  45. Hmmm, so that was secret to your awesome writing. I am going to steal it from you. LOL. Sue that's true, writing skill will polish with passage of time and with more practice. As far as crafting of titles are concerned, I believe in writing such titles which are not revealing the whole story but should show a glimpse of the idea. If I call it Appetizer title, this won't be wrong. After reading it, readers can't leave it without reading the whole content. Only problem is, we have to trade off the btw SEO and attractive titles. But here we have a great quotation "Write for humans not for search engines". So it would be best to craft the title for our lovely readers. After all, we are doing all this hard work for our readers. Thanks for your great article.

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