I know your pain: Writing compelling blog article titles is no walk in the park.
Give me a virtual hand raise, if coming up with creative blog article titles is one of your least favorite recurring tasks?
[Both hands up here]
Personally, I extremely dislike writing blog article titles (also referred to as headlines). When that task pops up in my calendar, whether it’s for my own blogging efforts or my clients, I cringe and go to a dark place. I’m just being honest here. I find it difficult, tedious, and at times creatively frustrating.
But instead of moaning about it each week, I set off to find the most helpful and immediately actionable information online about writing effective blog article titles. I am breaking up my findings into a 2-part blog article series: Part 1 will provide blog post title formulas and examples (this post), and Part 2 will provide free tools for coming up with blog post title ideas.
Don't miss out! Click here to subscribe to our blog so that you receive the next post in your inbox as soon as we publish it.
And bookmark this article for future reference. You’ll want to refer back to it when it comes time for you to develop new titles, and we’re going to be adding to this list as we discover new tools and resources.
Let’s get going.
A great way to come up with clever and effective titles is to use blog title formulas. In my research I found about a dozen different articles citing and sharing blog title formulas, and I gathered the best and put them here.
Using the formulas is simple: just fill out the [brackets]. Because one size doesn’t always fit all, plan on tweaking the formula/title to best suit your needs. These formulas should not replace your own creative thinking, rather they should be used as a jumping off point to inspire your title creation.
Now it’s time to get to the title formulas. Each formula has a few examples so you can see how the formulas can be used.
How-To Formulas (16)
How to [Blank]
How to Read
How to Write Headlines That Work
How to Increase Your Blog Subscription Rate by 254%
How to Be [Desirable Quality]
How to Be Interesting
How to Be Creative
How to Be the Life of the Party (Even If You're a Closet Introvert)
How to [Blank] (Even If [Common Obstacle])
How to Lose Weight (Even If You Can't Stick to a Diet)
How to Make Money Online (Even If You're No Good with Computers)
How to Save $10,000 on Your Taxes (Even If You're a Tax Dummy)
How to [Blank] Without [Objectionable Action]
How to Get a Guy's Attention Without Dressing like a Slut
How to Take Your Family to Disney World Without Spending a Fortune
How to Work at Home Without Quitting Your Job
How to [Do Something] While You [Do Something Else]
How to Get Smarter While You Watch Television
How to Be Productive While You're Waiting in Line
How to Create Dreamy Content While You Sleep
How to [Blank] and [Blank]
How to Work from Home and Get Twice As Much Done
How to Do Less and Get More
How to Eat Junk Food and Still Lose Weight
How to [Do Something] That Your [Target Audience] Will Love
How to Pick a Movie Your Date Will Love
How to Give a Toast Your Boss Will Love
How to Build a Treehouse Your Kids Will Love
How to Use [Blank] to [Blank]
How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business
How to Use Food from Your Freezer to Create Napalm
How to Use the "Rule of Three" to Create Engaging Content
How to [Blank] in [Year]
How to Write an Ebook That Sells in 2012
How to Meet Your Soulmate in 2013
How to Dress like a Rock Star in 2014
How to [Blank] -- The Ultimate Guide
How to Attract Links and Increase Web Traffic -- The Ultimate Guide
How to Conquer Writer's Block -- The Ultimate Guide
Speech Recognition for Bloggers -- The Ultimate Guide
How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb [Group]
How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Drivers
How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Shoppers
How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Investors
How [Your Field] is Like…
How Social Media Marketing Is Like “Dungeon And Dragon”
How a Restaurant’s First Year is Like the NFL
How my Internship with Google was Like a Vacation in Mexico
How PR work is like Middle School
How I [Did Something Unbelievable]
How One Non-Profit Is Raising Thousands Using Facebook
How I Made my First Million from Investing in Light bulbs
How Our Gym Revolutionized Cardio for Women
How I Went Bankrupt and Brought it all Back
How do you do [Activity]?
How do you Balance your Checkbook?
How do you Ensure your Architect Knows what They’re Doing?
What Kind of Website Works Best for Retailers?
How Do You Use Twitter Lists?
How [Blank] Made Me [Blank].
How a “Fool Stunt” Made Me a Star Salesman
How an Obvious Idea Made Me $3.5 Million
How Moving to Iowa Improved My Sex Life
Numbers Formulas (16)
7 Warning Signs That [Blank]
5 Warning Signs That You're about to Get Audited by the IRS
10 Warning Signs That You Chose the Wrong Blog Topic
7 Warning Signs That You're Drunk on Your Own Words
101 [Blank] for [Event/Cause/Process]
101 Hors D'oeuvre Ideas for Your Next Dinner Party
21 Traffic Triggers for Social Media Marketing
72 Home Remedies for Curing Insomnia
72 Killer Resources for [Audience/Process]
72 Killer Resources for Modernizing Your Kitchen
87 Killer Resources for Incoming Freshmen
101 Killer Resources for Making Money As a Stay-At-Home Mom
The Top 10 [Blank]
The Top 10 Beaches in South America
Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2009
The Top 10 Anniversary Gifts Your Wife Will Adore
7 [Blank] Secrets Every [Audience] Should Know
7 Sex Secrets Every Cosmo Girl Should Know
14 Bedtime Secrets Every Parent Should Know
5 Secretarial Secrets Every Salesperson Should Know
7 Surprising Reasons [Blank]
7 Surprising Reasons Why You Feel Depressed during the Winter
11 Surprising Reasons Cops Pull You Over (and Not the Guy beside You)
21 Surprising Reasons Why Your Teenage Son Won't Talk to You
The 5 Laws for [Blank]
The 10 Laws of Super Bowl Parties
A Dad's 7 Laws for Dating His Daughter
The 5 Immutable Laws of Persuasive Blogging
7 Steps to [Blank]
7 Steps to a Seven-Figure Restaurant Business
10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
3 Surefire Steps for Beating the Boring Content Blues
Get [Blank]! 10 Ideas That Really Work
Get More Traffic! 10 Ideas That Really Work
Get a Great Man! 10 Ideas That Really Work
Get Rich from Home! 10 Ideas That Really Work
7 Things Your [Target Audience] Needs to Hear You Say
7 Things Your Teenage Son Needs to Hear You Say
Want a Promotion? 7 Things Your Boss Needs to Hear You Say
5 Things Your Wife Needs to Hear You Say on Your Anniversary
10 Ways to [Improve in your Role]
10 Ways to Make You a Great CEO
50 Tips to Maximize your Marketing Ability
10 Rules-of-thumb to Make you an Accounting God
48 Tweetable Stats To Make You An Online Marketing Smartypants
Do You Recognize the [Number] Early Warning Signs of [Blank]?
Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of High Blood Pressure?
Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of an Employee Meltdown?
Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of Internet Addiction?
[Blank] Ways to [Blank].
101 Ways to Cope With Stress
21 Ways to Live a Better Life With Less
5 Ways to Write Killer Headlines
[Number] Lies About [Something Common]
X Lies Real Estate Agents Are Telling About the Housing Market
Is Your Veterinarian Being Honest With You About Canine Heartworms?
X Questions That Will Make Your Accountant Squirm in His Chair
7 Ways to [Do Something]
73 Ways to Become a Better Writer
10 Effective Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers
5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post with a Bang
10 Things you Need to Know in Order to Succeed
10 Social Media Facts, Figures And Statistics You Need To Know
10 Strategies for Surviving a Call Center
The Retailers Guide you Need to Read
10 Examples of Failed Cafes (and How you can Avoid their Fate)
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Simplicity Formulas (13)
The Minimalist Guide to [Aggravation]
The Minimalist Guide to Twitter
The Minimalist Guide to Cooking a Nutritious Dinner
The Minimalist Guide to Homework (Keep Your Good Grades!)
10 Shortcuts for [Completing Tedious Process] in Record Time
10 Shortcuts for Becoming an Authority in Your Field in Record Time
7 Shortcuts for Building a Company Website in Record Time
21 Perfectly Legal Shortcuts for Finishing Your Taxes in Record Time
Get Rid of [Recurring Problem] Once and for All
Get Rid of Your Yellow Toenails Once and for All
Get Rid of That Squirrel in Your Attic Once and for All
Get Rid of Comment Spammers Once and for All
How to End [Problem]
How to End Your Fight with the IRS
How to End Writer's Block Forever (And Make Readers Fall in Love with You)
How to End a Dating Disaster Without Being Rude or Losing Your Cool
How to [Blank] in 5 Minutes
How to Reduce Your Junk Mail in 5 Minutes
How to Write an Article in 20 Minutes
How to Knock $127 Off Your Phone Bill in 15 Minutes or Less
101 [Blank] Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for [Blank]
101 Headline Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Writing Headlines That Explode Traffic
21 Homework Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Doing Your Homework in One Hour or Less
37 Income Tax Hacks: An Insider's Guide to Beating the IRS at Their Own Game
Here’s a Quick Way to [Solve a Problem]
Here’s a Quick Way to Get Over a Cold
Here’s a Quick Way to Potty Train Junior
Here’s a Quick Way to Backup Your Hard Drive
Give Me [Short Time Period] and I’ll Give You [Blank].
Give Me Five Days – And I’ll Give You the Secret of Learning any Subject!
Give Me Three Minutes a Day – and I’ll Give You a Better Complexion.
Give Me 3 Minutes and I’ll Make You a Better Blogger.
The Lazy [Blank’s] Way to [Blank].
The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches.
The Lazy Dad’s Way to Quickly Getting Dinner on the Table.
The Lazy Blogger’s Way to Write Great Post Titles.
See How Easily You Can [Desirable Result].
See How Easily You Can Learn to Dance This New Way.
See How Easily You Can Own a Lamborghini Miura.
See How Easily You Can Increase Traffic With Social Media.
You Don’t Have to Be [Something Challenging] to be [Desired Result].
You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Retire on a Guaranteed Income for Life.
You Don’t Have to Be a Geek to Make Money Online.
You Don’t Have to Be an A-Lister to Be a Kick-Ass Blogger.
Get [Desired Result] in [Desirable Time Period]
Fix Your Poor Eyesight With a Simple 2-Hour Procedure
How To Become Debt Free in 90 Days or Less
Master the German Language in Record Time
Can't Keep up? 11 Ways to Simplify Your [Blank]
Can't Keep up? 11 Ways to Simplify Your Gmail Inbox
Can't Keep up? 21 Ways to Simplify Your Search for New Clients
Can't Keep up? 7 Ways to Simplify Your Wardrobe for Tonight's Date
Mistakes Formulas (9)
Do You Make These 9 [Blank] Mistakes?
Do You Make These 9 Parenting Mistakes?
Do You Make These 7 Mistakes When You Write?
Do You Recognize These 10 Mental Blocks to Creative Thinking?
7 [Blank] Mistakes That Make You Look Dumb
7 Email Mistakes That Make You Look Dumb
Five Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Dumb
9 Silverware Mistakes That Make You Look Dumb at a Fancy Restaurant
5 [Blank] Mistakes That Make You [Look/Sound] Like a [Blank]
5 Grammar Mistakes That Make You Sound like a Chimp
7 Resume Mistakes That Make You Look like a Loser
10 Overreactions That Make Moms Look like Maniacs
11 [Blank] Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making
11 Fashion Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making
21 Accounting Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making
5 Cholesterol Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making
Don't Do These 12 Things When [Blank]
Don't Do These 12 Things When Writing Headlines
Don't Do These 5 Things When Passing through Airport Security
Don't Do These 7 Things When You're with a Guy You Just Met
Are you Making this Mistake that’s [Leading to a Bad Result]?
Are These 6 Stupid Blog Mistakes Costing Your Business Leads?
Are you Making the 5 Mistakes that Cost your Business Sales?
Have you Fallen into the Shoe Store Trap?
Avoid Bankruptcy by Following these 5 Accountancy Rules-of-thumb
Get Rid of [Pain/Problem] Once and For All
Get Rid of Your Unproductive Work Habits Once and For All
Get Rid of That Carpet Stain Once and For All
Get Rid of That Lame Mullet Hairdo Once and For All
Do You Make These Mistakes?
Do You Make These Mistakes in English?
Do You Make These HTML Coding Mistakes?
Do You Make These Mistakes With Your Blog?
Fear Formulas (12)
How Safe Is Your [Valuable Person/Object] from [Threat]?
How Safe Is Your Husband from the Secretary Sitting Right outside His Office?
How Safe Is Your Family's Land from Developers with Powerful Friends?
How Safe Are Your Shoes from These 10 Types of Dogs?
Warning: Use These 5 Surefire Headline Formulas at Your Own Risk
Warning: These Over-The-Counter Medications Can Kill Your Dog
Warning: Testimonials without Proof Can Land You in Jail
Can We Really Trust [Person/Company/Product]?
Can We Really Trust Barack Obama?
Can We Really Trust PayPal?
Can We Really Trust Tylenol? 7 Things You Should Know
The Shocking Truth about [Blank]
The Shocking Truth about Twitter
The Shocking Truth about Bank Of America
The Shocking Truth about Tiger Woods
The Great [Blank] Hoax
The Great Google Haox
The Great 9/11 Hoax: What Is Congress Really Hiding?
The Great Income Tax Hoax: Proof That Taxes Are Unconstitutional!
How [Blank] Gamble with Your [Blank]: 7 Ways to Protect Yourself
How Doctors Gamble with Your Life: 7 Ways to Protect Yourself
How Clients Gamble with Your Reputation: 5 Ways to Protect Yourself
How Your Host Gambles with Your Blog: 11 Ways to Protect Yourself
9 Lies [Group of People] Like to Tell
9 Lies Telephone Con Artists Like to Tell
14 Lies Playboys Like to Tell Their Dates
7 Lies the Media Likes to Tell about the Conflict in Israel
13 Things Your [Trusted Person] Won't Tell You
13 Things Your Financial Advisor Won't Tell You
21 Things Your Website Designer Won't Tell You
7 Things the School Principal Won't Tell You about Your Child
5 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your [Blank]
5 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Divorce Settlement
7 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Search Engine Rankings
9 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Baby’s Intelligence
[Your Audience] Alert: The New [Blank] Scam to Avoid
Mom Alert: The New Daycare Scam to Avoid
Home Buyer Alert: The New Financing Scam to Avoid
Traveler Alert: The New Mexico Scam to Avoid
If You Don’t [blank] Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.
If You’re Out of the Market Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.
If You’re Not at SXSW 2014, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.
If You Don’t Edit Your .htaccess Now, Google Will Hate You Later.
[Threat] + [Promise of a solution]
7 Legal Cheats That Keep The IRS Out Of Your Pocketbook
Sidestep A Leaky Basement In 5 Easy Steps
Insurance Nightmare: A Natural Disaster Checklist To Review With Your Agent
Insider Advice / Expert Advice Formulas (9)
New! Never-before-seen Insights into [Your Job]!
New Phone App Makes Home Delivery a Breeze
New Micro-Durable Fiber Changes Winter Jackets Forever
New Technology Makes your Blueprints Obsolete
Exclusive Strategies from [a Sector Expert]
23 Pay-Per-Click Lessons From Marketing Masterminds
10 Tips for Keeping You Looking Young (from the Health Guru)
How I Brought my Restaurant Through the First Year
Staying Sane in your Cubicle (by a 25-year Middle-Manager)
The Secret Trick to [Achieve a Goal]
4 Journalist Secrets Every PR Person Should Know
The 10 Secrets For Keeping a Non-Profit Afloat
15 Corporate Law Secrets you Weren’t Taught at School
The Secret Behind Apple’s Success (and how you can do it too)
Who Else Wants [Desired Result]?
Who Else Wants a Great WordPress Theme?
Who Else Wants a Higher Paying Job?
Who Else Wants More Fun and Less Stress When on Vacation?
The Secret of [Specific Subject Matter]
The Secret of Successful Podcasting
The Secret of Protecting Your Assets in Litigation
The Secret of Getting Your Home Loan Approved
Here is a Method That is Helping [Specific Person(s)] to [Get Results/Gain Pleasure]
Here is a Method That is Helping Homeowners Save Hundreds on Insurance
Here is a Method That is Helping Children Learn to Read Sooner
Here is a Method That is Helping Bloggers Write Better Post Titles
Little Known Ways to [Get A Result]
Little Known Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill
Little Known Ways to Hack Google’s Gmail
Little Known Ways to Lose Weight Quickly and Safely
Now You Can Have [Gain Pleasure/Something Desirable] [Results in More Pleasure/Great Circumstance]
Now You Can Quit Your Job and Make Even More Money
Now You Can Meet Sexy Singles Online Without Spending a Dime
Now You Can Own a Cool Mac and Still Run Windows
[Undesired Result] + [Mysterious Solution]
How To Avoid Public Embarrassment: A Professional Speakers Secret Revealed
17 Little Known Email Hacks That Keep You Out of Productivity Hell
A Misunderstood Home Remedy For Reducing Heart Disease
Do Something Great Formulas (6)
[Do Something] Like [Famous Person]: 20 Ways to [Blank]
Launch like Steve Jobs: 7 Ways to Build Buzz for Your Next Product Launch
Do Your Taxes like Donald Trump: 20 Ways the Rich Cheat the IRS
Run like Adrian Peterson: 10 Ways to Be the Back They'll Never Bring down
[Famous Person’s] Top 10 Tips for [Blank]
Tiger's Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Golf Swing
Ernest Hemingway's Top 5 Tips for Writing Well
David Bach's Top 10 Tips for Saving for Retirement After Age 50
The [World-Class Example] School of [Blank]
The Tony Soprano School of Leadership
The House M.D. School of Torturing Your Employees
The Yogi Berra School of Persuasive Writing
The [World-Class Example] Guide to [Blank]
The Pixar Guide to Storytelling
The Winnie The Pooh Guide to Blogging
The Ramons’ Guide to Killer Content
Secrets of [Famous Group]
Secrets of NFL Hall of Famers
Secrets of the Fortune 500: 22 Tactics That Keep Them on Top
Secrets of Hollywood A-Listers: How to Look like a Movie Star
What [World-Class Example] Can Teach Us about [Blank]
What 9/11 Can Teach Us about Sticking Together and Surviving a Crisis
What Tiger Woods Can Teach Us about Fidelity
What the Horizon Realty Fail Can Teach You about Social Media
Powerful Results Formulas (11)
How to Take Charge of Your [Unruly Problem]
How to Take Charge of Your Husband's Gambling Problem
How to Take Charge of Your Junk Mail Folder in Microsoft Outlook
How to Take Charge of Your Blog's Comment Section
Amazingly Awesome and Sexy things you Should Read Abou
3 [Awesome] Ways To Identify Your Biggest Fans & Collect Customer Testimonial
10 Amazing Strategies to Ensure your Pet Store Succeed
5 Life-changing Choices to help you Run Without Pai
How the (Incredible) Ultra-Comfort Mattress Saved my Marriage
The Zen of [Blank]
The Zen of Rush-Hour Traffic
The Zen of Writing with Kids around: 11 Ways to Quiet Your Mind
The Zen of Team Meetings: How to Never Lose Control Again
[Do Something] like [World-class Example]
Speak Spanish Like a Diplomat
Party Like Paris Hilton
Blog Like an A-Lister
Have/Build/Create/Get a [Blank] You Can Be Proud Of
Build a Body You Can Be Proud Of
Have a Smile You Can Be Proud Of
Build a Blog Network You Can Be Proud Of
What Everybody Ought to Know About [Blank]
What Everybody Ought to Know About ASP
What Everybody Ought to Know About Adjustable Rate Mortgages
What Everybody Ought to Know About Writing Great Headlines
Are You [Blank]?
Are You Ashamed of Smells in Your House?
Are You Ready to Learn Chinese for Your Next Job?
Are You a Courageous Blogger?
If You’re [Blank], You Can [Blank].
If You’re a Non-Smoker, You Can Save 33% on Life Insurance.
If You’re an Accountant, Our Frequent Flyer Program Really Adds Up
If You Love Scuba, You Can Dive Belize This Week Only for a Song!
[Provide Social Proof] [Ask a Compelling Question]
Millions of Dollars Refinanced: Can You Afford To Ignore Changes In Mortgage Rates?
Derek Jeter Trusts Us: Do You Know If You Are A Good Candidate for Lasik Surgery?
Do You Know Why Thousands of Cancer Survivors Gather In Central Park Every October?
The [Previously Untrusted or Unproven Product] That [Authoritative Person/Group of People] Now Endorse
The Emerging Trend In Skin Care That Julia Roberts Swears By
A New Way To Talk Business: Why Every IBM’er Is Now Using Android Mobile Phones
The Water Substitute Thousands of Fitness Trainers Are Using To Hydrate
[Respected Person/Group of People] + [Exclusive/New Information]
Steve Jobs Reveals All About Apple’s Revolutionary Design Process
A Fresh Look At An Ancient Problem: How Los Angeles City Planners Overcame The Energy Crisis
A Behind The Scenes Look At The Latest Technologies in Movie Making
There you go, 92 blog title formulas that you can use today to blow the wheels off of your editorial calendar!
Creative Ways To Use The Formulas
Not only do I want you to have these formulas, but I also want to give you some clever ways to make the best use of them. Here are some ideas:
Do a “How-to” series that you publish once a week for X weeks then repurpose those blog articles into an ebook!
Focus on each category for a week/month. Let your subscribers know that you’re doing an “Insider advice” month or a week of “Simplicity” themed article.
Customize one title from each category and produce a blog article for each, start over when you reach the end.
Write your own versions of all 92 titles, and have enough content for months!
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