Your Blog Titles are Boring

If your blog titles don’t grab the reader’s attention, they aren’t going to read your blog posts. While it might seem that people want to see something positive in these challenging times,  negative titles often work better than positive ones. Look at the newsfeed on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Posts with negative titles stand and are more likely to be read, create engagement, and be shared.

These blog titles work because people are are afraid of doing something wrong or the title connects with something they were feeling but hadn’t been able to put into words.
This blog post could have been titled “5 Ways to Improve Your Blog Titles”, but I didn’t. Why? Because that would be boring.
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Don't Bore Readers with Weak Language

When you open with words and phrases like improve, common mistakes, and tips for success your blog titles look like all the other articles on the same subject.

We all want to improve, so you would think these safe blog titles would work, but they don’t.  These nice, helpful blog titles are a serving of broccoli, we know it is good for us, but the Devil’s Food cake is so much more enticing.

One of my most successful series of blog posts, white papers and seminars were built around the theme of Why People Hate Your Website.

The series was, and still is effective because the word “hate” stops readers in their tracks. It is such a strong, negative word. No one wants to be hated, so they stop and learn more. 

Edgy language, phrases somewhere between polite language and vulgarity, words you might not use in front of your grandmother get people’s attention. 

These edgier terms won’t work on every blog, you have to know your audience and our brand before you add this language to your mix.

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A little fear is a good thing

If edgy is not your thing, there are other strong phrases which can draw a reaction because they tap into your readers fears. Consider words like failure and waste

Search on Google search for the word fail or the hashtag #FAIL and see how many blog titles catch your eye. 

One of my favorite scary words is “waste”.  For example: “Is your sales team wasting your marketing?” and “Don’t waste time trying to be good with social media.”

The first struck a chord because of the inherent conflict between sales and marketing and the second resonated with both people who think this whole social media thing is a waste of time and those who want to convince their bosses it isn’t.

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Go negative with caution

Too much of a good thing isn’t good. So, when it comes to negative blog titles use them cautiously. Just as simple, sweet or helpful won’t stand out in a sea of bland content, neither will a steady stream of negative.

Try mixing it up and reserve the really edgy language for those special occasions.

Go write a negative headline

And because I can’t end on a bad note…. Have a Nice Day!