For some writers, writing article titles is about creating content; for others, it’s about creativity. For some it’s about making sales; for others, it’s about engaging with their audience. Whatever your goals are, coming up with article titles can be tricky.
When I started writing, I didn’t have to worry about what to call my pieces. I was given instructions on what to write and how to write it, including the titles.
When I became a professional writer and started writing on my own, I realized I had a big problem: I didn’t know how to determine titles for my articles.
So I started reading. I went through a whole lot of other writers’ articles and learned from their methods as well as coming up with my own strategies. In this post, I will share with you my experience and knowledge so that you too can create effective, engaging titles for your articles.
First, let’s talk about why you should put work into your article titles. Your title gives readers the first impression about your article, as it’s the first thing they are going to see. The title determines if someone will read your article, so you have to make the title engaging, interesting, and of importance to your readers.
Your title builds engagement for your content. Once a reader becomes interested in your title and clicks on it, they are engaged with your article, and engagement leads to shares, comments, backlinks, and more readers.
Your title should say exactly what your article is about. That way, readers know what’s inside and whether they want to read it. When creating titles for your content, make sure your title correlates with the article so you don’t lose credibility as a writer or miss out on readers who would be interested in the content.
Now that you know why it’s important to create engagement through article titles, let’s see how exactly you can turn yours from mere placeholders into powerful attention grabbers.
Fact-based titling methods are used when you want your titles to be based on tried, researched, or proven statements and not just on your personal opinion.
You should choose a fact-based method when you are passing knowledge on to your audience about a particular topic or when you need your audience to take action. Let’s see what options are available to you in these cases.
One of the reasons a reader will be attracted to an article is that it offers a solution to a problem that they are having.
An article has a conflict, resolution, and character. Adding conflict, i.e., problem, to your title easily piques a reader’s interest, especially a reader with the same problem. We can say this method is an eyecatcher for readers.
If I were to use this method to create a title for this article, an example would be:
Simple Ways To Create Titles for Your Articles as a Writer
The problem this title addresses is that some writers do not know how to create titles for their articles. Promising a solution to this problem will pique the interest of a reader who is struggling in this area.
Another example using the method is:
A Simple Guide To a Good Night’s Sleep, Even if You Have a Busy Schedule
The title addresses two problems; the first one is the lack of a good night’s sleep, and the second one is the impact of a busy schedule on having a good sleep.
This method is especially suitable if you are a business or sales person, a marketer, or a blogger or if you are sharing knowledge about a particular topic.
I stumbled on this formula when I was learning about copywriting, and I realized it can be used to create titles for articles as well. AIDA stands for:
If I were to use this method to title this article, an example would be:
Try These Easy Ways To Create Titles for Your Articles and Increase Reader Engagement by over 50% in 2020
So for this topic, what grabs the reader’s attention are the tips for creating article titles, what holds interest is the promise of increased reader engagement, what increases the desire to read the article is “by over 50%,” and the call to action is “Try These Easy Ways.”
Another example using this method is:
Sleep Well This Year Using These Methods, Even With a Busy Schedule
So for this topic, what grabs the reader’s attention is sleeping well, what holds their interest is the promise of results even with a busy schedule, “This Year” increases the reader’s desire to know more by giving it a short timeframe, and the call to action is “Using These Methods.”
The AIDA method is used for copy, but it can also be applied to titles as well. From experience, I can say it is an excellent way to create titles if you want your readers to take action, such as buying now, following you, or shopping.
Yes, use facts; use data. When you use data in your article title, readers recognize you as a knowledgeable person who writes trustworthy and well-researched articles.
A title with data assures a reader that your article is reliable, going beyond opinions and personal thoughts.
Using facts in your title can also refer to adding the findings of a research or study or adding proven facts based on your profound knowledge about a particular topic.
When you use data in a title, put into consideration who your audience is. This method is suitable if your audience is business owners in the marketing, investment, health care, and technology industries or researchers and college students.
Examples of titles for this article using this method are:
8 Proven Methods To Create Titles for Your Articles Based on a Research Study by Esther Ilori
My Top 8 Proven Ways To Easily Create Engaging Titles for Your Articles
Other examples using this method are:
Science Claims That These Are the Best Ways To Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Join the 49% of Adults Who Enjoy a Good Night’s Sleep by Following These Methods
Just like the “offer a solution to a problem” method, this one is also suitable for business-oriented people or bloggers sharing knowledge.
This is the easiest way to write a title. People are in love with how-to articles, as they are easy for them to read and understand. Writers also love how-to article titles because many readers engage with this style of article most.
The how-to method is suitable for business and educational purposes. To increase the effectiveness of a how-to article title, make it time-bound, reference a list in the title, and make the title relevant to the audience.
An example title for this article using this method is:
How To Write Interesting Titles for Articles in 2020: 8 Great Methods
“8 Great Methods” represents the list method, “2020” makes it time-bound, and “Write Interesting Titles for Articles” makes it relevant.
Another example is:
10 Easy Steps To a Good Night’s Sleep, Even With a Busy Schedule
If your articles are more about being creative and expressing yourself, creative approaches are ideal. These are less fact-based than the ones we’ve seen so far, and they can really appeal to creative audiences.
Creativity is different for everyone. For some, creativity comes naturally, and they spend a lot of time being creative and building creativity. For others, it is a learned and practiced process that involves a series of steps:
Creativity is how we portray and express ourselves whether it’s inborn or a process we have learned and practiced. There is no other individual like you, just as there is no other creativity like yours. And so, creativity is unique, personal, and something we all have.
For me, creatively coming up with titles was a process: I identified the problem I wanted to solve, which was how to create titles for my articles, and then I researched and read a lot about how to solve my problem.
I unconsciously processed the knowledge for days, and then I started having all these ideas in my head. I wrote them all down, worked on them, and applied them to my problem.
As I said earlier, when I started writing I was given instructions on what articles to write and how to write them. Creativity was not part of the picture. As a result, it took me a while to realize I could also express myself in writing and through my titles. But after I did, creativity began to enter the picture.
As an example, using the creative process,
Here is the title I came up with:
8 Ways To Craft Article Titles That Will Engage Your Audience
You can use your creativity to make the title interesting and to attract your audience by collecting knowledge on the topic, processing this knowledge, creating ideas and solutions, working on them, and then sharing or using your ideas.
Depending on what kind of writer you are, you might have formats, steps, methods, and disciplines that you follow, but there is always room for creativity.
If you want, give yourself a little exercise! Use your own creativity and try to come up with a title for this article.
Figures of speech and common expressions have a way of attracting people to your article, as most people can recognize and relate to them.
I once wrote an article with the title “Use SEO to Kill Two Birds with One Stone,” and a lot of people wanted to know what exactly the “two birds” were. I am sure you are wondering what they were, too. So, as you can see, a figure of speech in a title can intrigue and attract readers.
Now, when using a figure of speech, you have to use one that fits what the article is about.
My two favorites are metaphors and idioms because they make you think outside the box. They make the title lively and relatable and help the article become more creative and interesting. My readers love it!
If I were to give a title to this article using an idiom, an example would be:
My Two Cents on How To Write Titles for Your Articles
I don’t use figures of speech all the time because it can make a writer lazy, and at some point it might become redundant. Just use them cautiously and minimally.
Still, if your readers want a lively, relatable, and eye-catching title, then using figures of speech is something you ought to consider.
Making a title personal is one of the best ways to make your article connect with others on a personal or emotional level. I have written titles for articles where I spoke about my pains, a story, lessons I learned, mistakes, and many other personal things.
The fact is some other people have gone through the same experiences you have, and when you talk about these experiences in your article title, it intrigues readers. This makes it easier for you to reach your target audience and build a relationship with them.
To make a title personal, you have to consider your readers’ pains or problems, or issues that they have and then think of the pain or problems that you have, which you can use to relate to theirs. Talk about the lessons you learned or how to solve their problems.
If you want to go further, you can limit the title to an age, a geographical location, or an occupation or gender. All of these can be included in the title of an article, as you can see in the examples below.
Like I said earlier, I didn’t know how to write titles because I was always given the titles to use. If I were to title this article based on this experience, it would be:
Don’t Make the Same Mistake I Made: Learn Simple Ways To Write Exceptional and Interesting Titles for Articles
Another example will be
8 methods I Use To Create Exceptional and Interesting Titles for my Articles Without Sounding Like a Novice
This would be an interesting article title because if I had learned how to create titles for my articles at an early stage, I wouldn’t have had problems when I started writing on my own. This title is just telling readers to learn from my mistakes and that they should learn how to create titles for articles at an early stage.
An example for an article on sleeping well is:
10 Easy Steps I Use To Have a Good Night’s Sleep as a Busy Writer in Lagos.
Since I’ve been writing for a while now, I can predict what kind of title my audience is expecting. Some readers will tell me what they want through comments, and I also can see which kind of article title my audience engages with the most. Once you understand who your audience is and what they want, it should be quite easy to create various article titles.
Obviously, this begs the question of how you can find out what title your audience responds to. Take notes of which article titles bring in more engagement and impressions, and observe the pattern in those articles. This will help you figure out the kinds of titles your readers find engaging.
Also, you can ask your readers which article title they loved the most through comments, forms, or even emails. Another way is to read through comments on your blogs, as readers always have something to say, and they always have their own opinions.
An example of a title for this article using this method based on comments for a blog I write for would be:
How Can I Create Engaging Titles for My Readers?
Thinking about your audience and what they want is suitable if your goal is to increase your engagement and number of readers.
Creating titles for your articles to engage your audience just became easier with these eight methods. You can choose to offer a solution to a problem, use the AIDA method, be creative, use a figure of speech, make it personal, use facts, use the how-to method, or think about who your audience is and what your audience wants.
As I’ve shown you, your choice depends on your audience. Some approaches need to be fact-based, as with business-oriented audiences or when you’re sharing knowledge about a particular topic. On other occasions, such as when your audience consists of creative people who want to express themselves, creative methods will likely be more suitable.
Try these methods out, know which ones work for you and which you are really good at, and share your success stories with others.
Esther Ilori has been a content writer since 2017 and she currently works as a digital marketing manager at Delor Marketing. She brings her years of experience to her current role where she is dedicated to educating and inspiring the world on how to effectively use content writing and digital marketing in various companies, careers and to achieve various goals. Links to her published articles can be found here. You can find Esther on LinkedIn or Twitter.