7 Reasons Why Your Article Titles Suck!

by Alex on February 16, 2011

how to effectively write article titles that increase conversions

Headlines are the most important attribute any article can have.

I don’t care how well optimized that post is, or how long tail the targeted keywords are – if your title sucks, then you are doomed from the offset. But writing good titles isn’t just about being clever with words or promising the world – it’s about getting into the head of your potential customer/reader, and doing that – quite seriously is not all that difficult to do.

Whether you are writing a headline for a blog post in the make money blogging niche or you are writing an article on how to build a Speaker Box for a 2006 Hummer – the idea is the same. You want to sell your story to your potential readers and the only way to do this is to relate to them. If you can’t understand the needs of your audience you are never going to be able to fashion a title that will encourage them to click through, so let’s take a look at some headlines, analyse why they suck, and then see how I can improve on them – and more importantly, why I think mine are more effective.

increase click throughs and conversions with good sales copy in your title

Who am I to assume to know all about writing good headlines?

I’m not, but I know my headlines are pretty good, I get told enough – and I also know I can do a shed load better than so many of the titles I see on Ezine and CommentLuv.

Besides, I’m not asking you to agree with me or take what I say as gospel, in fact quite the contrary, I encourage your retorts and mutterings of irritation :)

Timeless Classics.

the old classic sales copy works by playing on human emotionSome of the great Headline Types have and will never change – and that is because the basic pyschology of human thought stays pretty much the same.

  • Lists work because they promise information in a quick and easy to digest format
  • Specifying a number adds the same premise – and for some reason the number 7 seems to be the most common one to choose.
  • Playing on the negative works because no one wants to make mistakes.

That is why a title like ’7 Link Building Mistakes Every Blogger Makes and How to Avoid Them’ will always work. It promises a direct answer – 7 of them in fact and it plays on the fear of failure.
(What happens here is your subconscious screams at your conscious ‘if you mess up the link building later simply because you did not take 5 seconds to scan that post?!? Seriously – it’s only 7 Mistakes you have to read through, not 70!’ and you happily click through to find out more.)

It’s not Always about the Money.

The problem with most posts that focus around how to write a good headline is that they are focused on the make money online niche, talking about basically what I have done so far – the power of lists, and the importance of promising something quickly, being unique and catchy and basically standing out. This is important in the high stakes niche that is make money online but we are not all in this niche – and even many of us that are – are only in it because we are making money with sites in different niches. (huh?)

Basically I want to look at how to write Headlines that literally Sell.

Before you can do that though, you need to understand who you are trying to sell to.

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What do they want?
  • Why would they be searching for this solution/product in the first place?

Let’s take a look at a specific niche and the thought processes that go into crafting the best possible heading for your articles.

Niche Example 1:

you need to understand the parent before you can sell the baby car seat

I have a baby car seat site, this is no secret – so when I want to write an article for this site I can’t go and write about how to install your baby seat and call it ’7 Baby Car Seat Install mistakes every parent makes and how to avoid them’ – well I could, but it just would not be as effective. I need to think of a whole new approach to writing headlines then…

OK so I just wrote an article on how to install a baby car seat. First I need to establish who my target audience is, and in this case it’s parents and parents to be.
This is where understanding your niche comes in handy because as a parent myself I am my target audience, so getting into my own head (although quite scary) is relatively easy.

What do Parents want?
They want to know that the child is safe and comfortable in their seat.

Why would they be searching for this solution in the first place?
They are new parents – infatuated with their bundle of joy and concerned only for their health and well being. The husband or wife (most likely the husband -sorry but I have to be realistic not politically correct) has tried to install the car seat once or twice and it did not go according to plan. He is frustrated and she just wants some clear instructions on how to do it. He however is looking for confirmation that it’s the seats fault, or maybe it’s the cars? ;)

Now all of a sudden the options for good titles increases enormously. You know who your customer is, and more importantly you have a good idea why they are looking for your answer

New Article Titles:

  • How to Safely and Securely Install your Baby Car Seat in 5 easy steps.
  • Why Your Car Baby Seat Won’t Sit Right and 3 Steps to an easy Install.
  • Installing Your Car Baby Seat. How to Make the Thing Actually Fit!
  • Is Your Baby Safe and Secure? The Baby Seat Install Guide for worry free motoring.
  • How to Install a Car Baby Seat. The Guide that Actually Works!

Now let’s pick on some random.

choosing random article titles to analyse for sales copy potentialI am now going to go to EzineArticles and get some Article Headings at Random* from the recently approved articles list that greets you on the home page.
*If your article title is here and  you take offense to the fact I am picking holes in it – take a moment to realise the massive coincidence that is this situation – and then get lost in the implications that this thought process may or may not provoke. ;)

Current Article Title: Problems You May Have in Starting Your New Home Based Business

New Title: How To Start A Home Based Business and 7 Reasons why you will probably fail

Analysis: I assume that the keywords ‘start home based business’ was the targeted phrase so I took the liberty of leaving it in place. The old title however promised me nothing more than a burden to my already growing worry about my home based business. I know there are problems starting my home based business – the last thing I need is to read about yours too!
The new title however promises to show me how to start a homes based business – but quickly points out that I’ll probably fail. Oh but there are 7 Reasons why, so if I read them I can avoid them!!

Current Article Title: Tips For Dealing With High Blood Pressure

New Title: 11 Stress Free Tips for Coping with High Blood Pressure.

Analysis: The first title is straight to the point and tells you exactly what you will get, but the readers are already stressed – they have high blood pressure for goodness sake!
Give them a title that promises those tips but be direct. I didn’t read the post so I don’t know if there are in fact 11 tips, but the number indicates how long it will take to read through the post. The use of the ‘Stress Free’ is clearly a play on words, but at the same time – those with high blood pressure are going to notice the words stress free more than the rest of us. ;)

Current Article Title: Helpful Hints To Enhance Your Home Decor With Oil Painting Reproductions

New Title: ‘Add a Splash of Color with Reproduction Oil Paintings. 12 tips that will enhance your home”

Analysis: The first title although direct, is a little too much so in that it is very niche specific. I personally don’t know exactly what a reproduction oil painting is, but I assume it’s a fancy way of saying ‘a copy’.  I therefore crafted a title that could be understood by all and played to the ‘Art’ side of the niche. This title not only promises a more direct answer, it also appeals to a much larger audience now – because the use of language is more general. The underlining of will, although not permitted on many article directories is a great way of personalising the title. These tips WILL enhance your home. Whether you choose to use them or not is irrelevant – because regardless, they WILL enhance your home. :)

You get the point…

The objective of this post was to share with you the thought processes that are involved with crafting a good headline, and this process can be applied to all niches and all subject matter.

The better you understand the reasons why your customer is online, the more chance you can craft a heading that will be exactly what they were looking for – in the language they were going to ask it in!

Now considering the title of the post promised you 7 Reasons as to why your Article Titles Suck, I suppose I had better give them to you (why did I pick 7?!) so here goes…

7 Reasons Why Your Article Titles Suck

  1. You don’t understand the customer
  2. You don’t understand the product
  3. You don’t understand the context/language required.
  4. You concern yourself with the SEO side of things too much
  5. You couldn’t string a grammatically cohesive sentence together if your life depended on it
  6. Your thinking about the sale before the customer.
  7. You just suck. You always have and you always will. If you had any friends they would probably call you Dyson or something…

What do you think?

  • Do you think SEO is still more important than good sales copy in a title?
  • Do you spend much time on the Title part of your content?
  • Do you…do you do you do you wanna dance? (do you wanna dance?)

No Use trying to come up with Clever Titles if you can’t come up with content ideas!
(and it really is hard to come up with content ideas when you are writing about Italian watches, Cordless Drills, and Baby Car Seats – seriously!! Luckily though…

Mark Bell at BloggersJournal.com recently posted this great article on how to come up with content ideas. Many have written on this topic – including myself, but this post that Mark has created is quite the resource, and I highly recommend it as a great follow on to this post.

Stuck for Post Ideas? Here’s the Solution!


Michael February 16, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Mate I am a big believer in the power of punchy headlines. They are critical to the success or failure of your copy. Your headlines are super duper brilliant and always make me click through. Dude your “There’s a Yeti following me on Twitter” headline is still one of the best I’ve read!!

Great article bro!


Alex February 19, 2011 at 12:01 AM

hahaha thanks Michael – although if I remember correctly, you addded the word Help to the front and made it oh so much better (damn why didnt I think to add that?!)

Tanya February 16, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Thanks for the tips,
I am always writing blogs about my child and safety concerns about him, but I don’t get much traffic. I will try your advice and see if Making my title better will help.

Satrap February 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Great post. Really though when you think about it, the title of your article is the first thing your potential readers will see and for many it will be the last thing they will see, if you fail to create the write headline.
One thing I have learned that you also mentioned is that titles with specific questions and letting the reader knwo the exact answer is within the article always do good.

Richard February 16, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Hi Alex,
You really have a talent for writing titles that sell. I find it really helpful that you were able to break down your techniques in this article. I have to work on writing non sucky article titles myself. :) Thanks for the tips.

Alex February 19, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Thanks so much Richard!

I really appreciate your comment mate, more so for validation that I was in fact helping and not just blowing my own horn (which I tend to do too don’t get me wrong)

Thanks again mate, glad the breakdown was helpful!

Hector Cuevas February 16, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Alex, great stuff bro. Your headlines are always awesome man – that’s the reason I came and read this one. I just saw it on Twitter.

But you’re dead on when you say that thinking of the customer is the first step. Writing great headlines is a skill and it takes practice, but even with study and practice some people just don’t get it. THEY JUST SUCK! (Ok.. let’s stop being jerks)

Anyway, this reminds me of an article I wrote on 5 ways to know if your content sucks; I like how you think.

Talk soon

Alex February 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Thanks Hector!

Appreciate the awesome feedback brother!
I like how you reprimanded us for being mean LOL – my how we have grown up ;)

Speak soon Hector, coming over to say hi now in fact

Sheila Atwood@newbielifeline.com February 16, 2011 at 6:10 PM


I like looking at your think process for writing titles that don’t suck. I am the worst at writing titles. I often ask a couple of fellow bloggers to rewrite titles for me. I am one of those Dysons. There now I confessed.

Alex February 18, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Hahaha well Shiela, they say that acceptance is the first step to recovery LOL!

Glad to have helped Shiela, thanks for your comment

Patricia@lavender oil February 16, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Hi Alex

What can I say but right on topic ;-) very helpful too. Off to see what Mark has to say on the subject now.

Patricia Perth Australia

Alex February 18, 2011 at 11:35 PM

hahaha yeah, ummmm thanks for the inspiration ;)

Anne Sales @ Coupon Codes February 16, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Ok, Ok, I get the point. I am very good at reading for style as I was trained to do that. Headlines do have a magnetic effect. That’s what tabloids do, they sensationalize the headline. Now, shall I say, do you have to write the headline first and then the content or you base your headline to your content?

Leo @ Net Accountant February 16, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Great article Alex. I remember reading somewhere (problogger of copyblogger, don’t remember which) that you should almost take as much time thinking about your title than you do writing the article that follows it!

There’s also another tip I picked up: launch your article with a title that will get shared (twitter, facebook, stumble, digg etc…) and after a while change it for a title that will get you good search engine traffic.

Alex February 18, 2011 at 1:55 AM

Hey Leo,

Thanks for sharing mate, that is actually a good tip, although so long as you keep the URL intact, otherwise all that sharing just goes to waste.

Andreas@Online Advertising February 17, 2011 at 1:14 AM

I am fan of controversial topics, for example, someone posted an article titled ‘I’m quitting blogging’ but in his blog post, he wrote ‘… for one day’. The amount of comments he got on this post indicate that I was not the only one who clicked on the title to read the post.

Alex February 18, 2011 at 12:37 AM

hahahaha I like it!

Think Ill remember that one for when the time comes ;)

Thanks for sharing Andreas!

Daniel Sharkov February 17, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Hi Alex,

Awesome job on the article mate! I totally agree that titles can make a huge difference on an article. That is the number one component if you want people to actually read what you have to say. The title examples you described above really came in handy to me, since honestly I’m not that great when it comes to titling. Have to check out some of my articles and alter titles where necessary.


Alex February 17, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Just dont alter the permalink or you lose all those backlinks, votes and everything in between!

You knew this of course… LOL
Thanks for your comments Daniel, glad you enjoyed the post :)

Robert Dempsey@Internet Marketing Strategies February 17, 2011 at 2:21 AM

This is truly a fantastic article, and now I know why the first headline for my guest post didn’t past muster, and rightfully so. It sucked hard.

To address the SEO issue, based on my research and testing SEO is more than just keywords, and is becoming even less so (though it will remain a relevant part of it). Moreso, it’s all about connecting the people with the content they want. But not just that, actually getting them into the content. The headline is the first part of that equation. So focus on the people and see how well your keywords can fit into it.

Now, moving past your Beach Boys reference (I was a huge fan back in the day – old skool!) and to answer your second question, I will write an initial headline to get my bearings for the post or article, write the content, and the revisit the headline to be sure it’s a grabber. I’ll also use various swipe files I have to ensure I hit the points you made – psychology and attention grabbiness (yes it’s a word, use it).

Headlines are super important, and considering the way I read RSS feeds, extremely important. Great article Alex.

Alex February 17, 2011 at 11:47 PM

I love that your brought up SEO not even being relevant, because I have to agree that in this modern age of sharing, syndicating and social media – a popular post to the people will end up with more backlinks than the most optimized post ever could.
Grabbiness – hmm, I used it (Happy?) :)

I am not sure what I do, I usually write a headline first, then write the content and then invariably write a new headline because I referenced something in the article – or something…
Last night I finished a post titled How to Optimize a Sandcastle, but when I finished writing it, I renamed it to Jelly Beans and Backlinks – A Child’s Guide to SEO. (long story, and it will be featured as a guest post on WeBlogBetter March 1st nudge nudge hint hint LOL)

Thanks for commenting Robert – Im loving your articles mate

Jason@Make Beats February 17, 2011 at 4:37 AM

Hey Alex,

Thanks a lot for the tips and the different examples throughout the post. I really learned a lot here and will be implementing some of these tips for my titles.

A lot of people have talked about writing good titles, but few have gone into great detail like you just did. I take my hat off to you for that, thanks for sharing.

Alex February 17, 2011 at 11:40 PM

Hey Jason,
My pleasure mate!

Really good to get that feedback, because that’s the reason I structured the post like that (phew you didnt think I was sounding too full of myself LOL)
Thanks for taking the time to comment Jason – I really appreciate it mate

Will @ Every Day Seo February 17, 2011 at 4:39 AM

I guess it depends on who you are writing the article for – if writing for googlebot then I have found, the keywords in the title do help a little. If your writing to get an article dugg/stumbled then then this does not matter and could in fact inhibit the article.

Alex February 17, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Hey Will,

A good tip I found works – only for posts on your own site obviously, is to change the permalink to include the keyword but leave your title as is

Rakesh Kumar February 17, 2011 at 6:32 AM

OK i get it. First impression is last impression. I mean if i don’t have perfect title then we are losing most from our post. Thanks for Guidance.

Lonnie February 17, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Alex – if you’re writing articles to get backlinks to a niche site, than it doesn’t even need to be optimized for a keyword, correct? If that’s the case, than it becomes even easier to write a good headline because you aren’t limited to writing for search engines. Just let the creative juices flow instead.

Alex February 17, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Hey Lonnie,
Ummmm well NO that is not right.
Every article and every post should ultimately be optimized for a keyphrase – it is just that that keyphrase should usually get longtail when you are talking articles for backlinks.
On that note though – my experience has been that you are better off just writing articles, making sure you are using the lowest hanging fruit in keyword land and then forget about SEO from that point forward.

I think if you know your niche well enough then you can definitely just ‘let the creative juices flow’ and forget about the SEO completely!
Thanks for stopping by Lonnie

Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing February 17, 2011 at 8:48 AM

I always try to think ahead to what my ending call to action will be and then coincide the title right from the jump.

Alex February 17, 2011 at 11:36 PM

oooh thats a good way of thinking about it.
I guess every article is indirectly asking the readers to do something so thinking of the CTA from the offset is definitely a winning method.

Ingrid Abboud February 17, 2011 at 10:52 AM

This is take 2 which I guarantee you isn’t as good as take 1 was :( . But I’m gonna try!
Hey there @youknowwhatyournameisbutimnotgonnaembarrassyouhere :)

Every so often, I come across a post where I say to myself, “Damn, I wish I had written that!”
This is one of those times!

I have often been told to pick a functional title instead of a creative one – and if you know me well enough, then you know that would pose quite the challenge for me as I would hate to put my readers and myself to sleep by simply reading the title! So, it’s not great for SEO maybe, but at least it won’t sound bland and make you want to say “blahhh, next!” Maybe after a few months, you can go back to that post and make it more SEO friendly – just an idea – not sure if that would work – but I have heard a few people mention that in the past.

Knowing your audience is always key to anything you undertake. Even a simple blog post. That’s why I always write for ME as well. Cause if I don’t want to read it or the title doesn’t hook me, then probability is that my audience won’t want to either. And it’s a pity really cause some posts are well written and entertaining but don’t get to see the light of day cause the title sucks!

This post is the bomb on every level – your train of thought, your writing style, the examples you described and analyzed and the 7 reasons you gave – all spot on! Always nice to hear a no BS approach with good reasoning behind it.

Now, Im sure you may be tired of seeing your name in my SuperPost roundups but I’m truly sorry again my friend – cause you will most definitely be getting pinged this Sunday!

Loved this piece for so many reasons. I wish I could make it go viral somehow ;) .

Nicely done Mr. Whalley – but then again, I would expect nothing less!


Alex February 17, 2011 at 11:35 PM

I feel your pain Ingrid!

THere is nothing worse than having all that heart felt effort dissapear into some vortex somewhere. Especially from You Ingrid – I know that first comment was incredible because the second was!

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your awesome insights and feedback (twice!) it is always a pleasure to get the Nitty Griddy on things :)

Darren Scott Monroe February 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Alex I like you LOL We are on the same page in many ways.

Here are a few more headlines for Baby Seats

Your Baby Might DIE If Your Don’t Follow This Easy Guide
How to Secure Your Child in a Dysfunctional Car Seat Environment
Avoid Your Child’s Fatality with These Easy to Follow Car Seat Steps
They Lied about Your Babies Safety in Car Seats See How
Mommy is OK But Baby Didn’t Make it: 3 Easy Steps to Car Seat Safety
Shut the Buck Up: How to Keep Your Child Safe in Car Seats

Alex February 17, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Jesus H Christ!
Now they are some headlines guaranteed to get clicked – just not sure why yet….LOL!
Thanks mate – I do like the way you think,,, and you know, I might actually steal a couple of those.

Shut the buck up indeed… :)

Libby Fisher February 18, 2011 at 1:37 AM

Hi Alex,

I have been thinking a lot more about my article titles lately, not necessarily for the reason of making sales or gaining clients or anything like that – but for the reason of trying to get more targeted traffic. I kind of mentioned this on another comment I left on an older post of yours, but for a while I was getting a lot of traffic for the key words “essential character traits” because I had a post titled “Essential character traits of every successful freelance web designer” or something like that. Of course, the visitors that showed up to my site looking for personality advice left right away, so the bounce rate for those keywords was really high. I changed the title to “Do you have what it takes to be a successful freelance web designer?” or something along those lines, and what do you know – no more traffic from people looking for “essential character traits!” :)

So, anyways, that’s a tiny bit unrelated to your point on why to write better article titles – but it is yet another reason to think twice about what you are calling your posts! :)

Alex February 18, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Hey Libby, yeah I remember reading that comment – very interesting indeed (sorry for not replying to it actually, now that I think about it – very rude of me)
Yours is a great story and a perfect example of how the search engines make no sense because within that story is another story of a thousand people optimising their pages for ‘essential character traits’ and getting nothing where you are.

It makes no sense to me, and I am really glad you shared this example here Libby!

Really appreciate it, especially considering you had to do it twice

semmy @ wp design February 18, 2011 at 3:44 AM

Hi Alex, this is really nice post!! You give me an idea for new title blog! thank you very much for your post!! I’ll waiting for your next post!!

Alex February 18, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Hey Semmy, my pleasuire mate ;)

You realise you spelt Label wrong in your last post? or is that a longer tail keyword to go after in this case?

Alex@Jocuri February 18, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Well, we all know that titles are the bits of your content that make or break your article success. If you choose a bad title, not matter how good your article is it will probably never be read by someone, of course, the reverse is also true.

I think, that the most clicked titles are those that have a positive premise and the hint that it may teach them something new that it’s useful and might be used by them.

Now, when choosing an article you should have a lot of factors in mind, just like Alex detailed, but in the era of search engines your should also think, what will the exact query your potential customer will make, because now with Google Instant search you can take advantage of this and rank for phrases that google suggests the searcher, this way you will target the exact customer and will most likely click through to your article, because it’s actually want he was searching for while also considering SEO which will bring more exposure.

So, I would suggest, just like Alex, to write titles that promise the information fast, suggests that it can improve something about your subject, don’t be negative unless you want to negate that negativism (like 11 things you shouldn’t do) and of course follow Alex’s advices.

P.S. “You just suck. You always have and you always will. If you had any friends they would probably call you Dyson or something” damn it, Alex, I knew there was something wrong with me, now I know what :(

Alex February 18, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Were you talking like that because it was ambiguous enough to leave me wondering whether you were talking about me like I was not here or talking about yourself? LOL “and of course follow Alex’s advices”
Yeah people – follow the advice of Alex who was advising you to… oh never mind.

Thanks for your awesome comment Alex, I highly doubt you are the Dyson amongst your friends mate LOL!

Alex@Jocuri February 19, 2011 at 1:53 AM

Well, I always talk like you are not here, because I am sneaky like that :) ).

About the advices, I think you put in the form of reasons. Hmm, arent reasons some sort of advices ?

I think I just confused myself.

P.S. brb, going to kill my English teacher for not teaching me how to correctly write in English.

steven papas February 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

thanks Alex. Titles have to captivate the reader. It’s very
important if we want to increase our “readership”. The other day I
saw a title “124 tips for….”! I didn’t even click on it. 7 is the
perfect number to go for

Alex February 18, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Hahaha Exactly!

Thanks so much for validating my point for me Steven, have an awesome day!

TJ McDowell@Photography Education February 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Would you say that your talent for writing titles has come more from practice or more from natural skill? I think we all can learn to find which title makes the most sense for SEO, but often using a phrase so it doesn’t seem odd in the middle of a title is tough. I’m looking through my last 10 post titles, and they’re pretty much to the point. The posts that are product reviews are especially straight to the point – do you usually worry about spicing up the titles for product reviews?

Alex February 18, 2011 at 10:53 PM

TJ – first off, Thanks for the indirect compliment! You’re awesome :)
I would say – and this is just being frank here, that it comes from natural talent. I have always had a flair for writing and language in general and I guess it has come to the fore in my blogging.
With that being said, the reason I outlined my processes here is because – all clever and witty grammar aside, a good title comes from understanding your audience and knowing what they want and why they were looking for it in the first place.
With Product reviews I think it is very important to spice up the titles. Granted you want to rank for ‘your product Review’ but for the most part, you are reviewing a product that will help oither people, so crafting at title aimed at how it helped and why you need it can increase interest and in turn – sales.
Hope this helps ;)
oh one more thing – since you have a blog, why not make a title that is for the people and then change your permalink to be your to the point SEO review title. Then everyone is happy :)

TJ McDowell@St Louis Photographer February 19, 2011 at 1:39 AM

I’ll have to start spicing up my titles then. With your suggestion about using different text for the title and the permalink, it seems like that would work, but it wouldn’t add quite as much SEO value. Page title is a pretty important ranking signal, plus then the anchor text in a commentluv link would contain my non-seo’d title. Something to think about anyway.

BTW – the blog is still putting out some pretty amazing content. You’re a content producing machine!

Adam Paudyal @ endeavor online February 19, 2011 at 4:37 AM

Right on mate! Good titles are not just about promising your readers this and that – It is about getting into their mind so that they would take action! I totally agree.

I have to say mate – you are real good at creating titles that attract readers like bees to honey (O:

Michael@ Bingo Promotion February 19, 2011 at 5:23 AM

Very useful article. I really haven’t thought about my headlines for article. The thing I worry about most of the time is will it fit on the first line. Other then that I really don’t think about it much. But you are so right, I was just thinking about why I click on your website when I saw the title, and guess what? It was for the reasons you just pointed out.

Steve@Internet Lifestyle February 20, 2011 at 1:27 AM

It is all in the title. For sure! A title is undoubtedly the most important part of the whole article and your only real chance to grab someones attention get them interested in what you have to say.

I must say I have always thought you are one of the kings of title writing. Nice short snappy prose that makes people HAVE to read.

Frieke Karlovits February 20, 2011 at 1:48 AM

Hey – sharp headlines are the key – sure. With ahrping on negativ eissues you probably are with the trend, yet htere are otheres who succeed in different ways too. Fortunately people are very diverse and most find their match :)

Frieke Karlovits

Alex February 20, 2011 at 6:08 PM

I think your last sentence is brilliant and pretty much sums everything up! Thanks Frieke

Mark@Frugal Living Tips February 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Hey Alex,

Great points there. I think that so much lies in the title. You need to sell the entire article and make it worth reading in only a few words. It’s something I try to consider more and more.

Big thanks for the super link love – I’m feeling it! Glad you like the article btw :)

Alex February 20, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Hey Mark. Mate that was great timing on that post, love it when I can send the readers somewhere relevant, it was a nice one too!

Bryan@Work From Home February 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM


I like the last part the best. The list of 7 things why your article sucks :D And your examples are really good. And as always, your headlines are classic. It has the “Alex-ness” about it. I’m still trying to get there, writing punchy headlines. Time to apply it to my niche site articles!

Alex February 21, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Thanks Bryan,

I appreciate the awesome feedback, unfortunately now I’ve set the bar though… damnit

Savio February 21, 2011 at 8:42 PM

hey Alex
great article,
for any post a heading is must coz thats the first thing a reader will notice….
your headings are always good ones and just by reading the heading i look forward to read whole article and your articles are really good too.

Alex February 21, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Thanks so much Savio!

I appreciate the support and the feedback – and I am sorry that you keep ending up in the spam folder :(

Savio February 22, 2011 at 3:50 PM

thanx Alex this shows that you really take the time out to interact with your readers. thanks for approving my comment, looking forward to see some great posts in near future.

Alex February 26, 2011 at 3:11 AM

Pleasure Savio :)
My readers are my blog, so I have to be nice to you ;)

Alex February 26, 2011 at 3:17 AM

Thanks Savio!

Shucks, now I’m all flustered.
You do know how to get in my good books!

nazimwarriach February 23, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Alex, this is another inspirational and informative post by you.
Title is the more important than content to draw the interest of people when they are searching online as they are focusing on titles when they get results from any Search Engine and from the title they will decide to pick up one or two from millions.

Alex February 26, 2011 at 3:09 AM

Thanks Nazim,

I appreciate your insightful response. Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

James - Intrahost February 24, 2011 at 1:10 AM

Hi Alex,

I agree it’s important to have strong titles. Headlines are still important. I am going to bookmark this page. It’ll help me with my blogs. I like the 7 reasons why your article titles suck.

Alex February 26, 2011 at 2:54 AM

James mate!

Good to see you again – how’s the intrahost service going mate?

Appreciate the bookmark and the comment, al lthe best man

sven@ strumpfhosen February 25, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Thanks Alex !

I think I have enough clues now to figure it out!

Alex February 26, 2011 at 2:43 AM

haha no worries Sven.
CSI Blog – at your service :)

Shane Ryans March 11, 2011 at 10:02 AM

It also helps to say something totally off the mark to get their attention.

Daca June 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Hello Alex!
No wonder this is one of my favorite places on the Web. You have great posts here.
I suck when it comes to writing a title! Yes, it’s true. So, I will stole few of these tips in order to improve my posts a little bit. :)
Since I read your posts all the time, I know that you write great titles, so I think you have every right to write a post on this subject. Nice work!

WordPress Hosting August 14, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I think the first impression always let people decide whether will they continue reading your entire post or not.. Just like when you date a girl/guy. First impression counts..

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