Why Your Headlines Suck (and how you can unsuck them)

No traffic, huh?  You spent hours upon hours perfecting those posts, right down to the last grammar mistake, only for no one to give a hoot?  Tragic.

Usually, the first thing your potential audience sees before they decide to read your post is the title that you gave it.  So it doesn’t matter how bangin’ your content is because if your title sucks, then so does the rest of the post.

That was mean, Amy.  My post is beautiful.  The kind of post that makes you think of rainbows and unicorns.  Amazing stuff.

So?  How should I know?  I didn’t read it.  Cause your title sucked.

If you’re looking at your headlines and perplexed as to what is wrong with them, here are a few reasons why they may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but were actually the demise of your post:


  1. You discussed three or four different topics in the post and now you want to make sure that your audience knows about each and every one of them in the headline. Please stop doing this.  I appreciate your love for cookies, treasure chests, stuffed animals and socks, but none of those things is going to make me STOP surfing on Twitter to click your link.  I want to know what all those things have in common or which one is the most important, and then I want to know how they will help ME. Oh, you wanted to tell me about the Top 4 Gifts To Take To A Bratty Child’s Birthday Party?  Now we’re talkin’.  (Yes, I WOULD take one of those things to a child’s birthday party… I know nothing about children #dontjudgeme)
  2. Unless you gave me a reason to click your link immediately, I’m not going to click on it AT ALL. If you have a problem that you can solve for your audience, DON’T LET THEM think they have to continue to live with it by offering them the benefit of clicking right now! You’ll be surprised what words like “right now!” and “last chance!” can do to get clicks you otherwise would never have seen.  You don’t want to sound tooooo salesy, but be inviting and express a little urgency.
  3. Too many middle-of-the-road, general, and boring titles make me think you don’t even believe what you’re sayin’. If you don’t make people believe that you believe what you believe, then how are you going to get them to believe you?  More simply: Grow a backbone! Once you decide to share your opinions (or as some people confuse it… your expertise) with the internet, dilly dallying around the subject will only make your thoughts come off like impressionable possibility.  I want to know your opinion in 100 characters or less so that you can spend the rest of the post supporting that idea.

Copywriting is definitely an important skill that MANY writers do not possess.  Don’t beat yourself up over it.  Just start looking at your titles and think “Would I click on that?” and answer from the focal point of your audience.  If you say “YES!” and then see corresponding results, you’ve unsucked your headlines.

What was your last headline to fail miserably?  Get my opinion FREE for how you could improve it by telling leaving it in the comments section.  I promise I’ll be nice 🙂

(photo credit)