How to Write Engaging Blog Titles Without Turning to Clickbait

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How to Write Engaging Blog Titles Without Turning to Clickbait

Any good headline should spark curiosity and get the reader to click on a link, but the problem starts when people go out of their way to withhold information and use flamboyant phrasing to, let’s be honest here, trick droves of people into opening a subpar article. Clickbait is just that, bait. It’s like casting a big old web into the water and waiting for just about anything to get stuck in it.

When I click on something entitled “The Most Awesomely Amazing Life-Changing Secrets that Most People Get Wrong”, I go into the article expecting a serious piece with lots of personal stories, mixed with studies, philosophical musings and quite a few resources. If all I get is 500-600 words crammed with of gems like “go out more” and “learn to say no” with a sentence or two on each point, I get very frustrated and disappointed.

And it’s like this for most people. While clickbait may get you more traffic initially, over time, you will lose all credibility in your reader’s eyes, and your conversion rates will suck. People will come, skim and bounce, and that’s just bad business for blogs, news sites and e-commerce sites alike.

If you want to entice people to click and then have them stick around on your page for a few minutes, reading intently, subscribing, sharing your quality content and bookmarking your website, then you need to step up your title-writing game.

1. Stay Away From Topic/Title Generators



There are plenty of online tools that promise quick and effective title and topic ideas, but what they produce is mostly generic, overused and clickbait-ish. There are better ways of getting that initial creative spark going, and it’s best to stay away from title generators.

2.  Scour The Web For Inspiration



There are basically three ways you can go about finding inspiration for your next great blog title:

Websites like Buzzsumo can give you a good overview of popular topics across the web for any key phrase

Check out what the major publications in your niche have written about a specific topic

Use different key phrases and narrow or broaden the scope to get more variety

Let’s say that you want to write about garden sheds. Buzzsumo will give you some interesting ideas to work off, e.g. it’s all about DIY ideas on turning the shed into your own private little heaven, and both women and men are interested in this.

You could then check out some garden shed designs, man cave and lady cave ideas, DIY decorating how-tos, and so on.

3. Look For Weaknesses In The Existing Material



Sticking with the garden shed example, you might find that a lot of DIY lady cave examples have you turning the shed into a gardening fan heaven, maybe a few examples with a “leather chairs and whiskey bottles” vibe, but that very few articles play with the definition of a “lady cave”. You don’t see a lot of good gamer or nerdy lady cave conversions, so you might want to focus on this particular aspect.

Seeing as how ladies dominate Pinterest, you might want to throw in some high-quality images that can be repined.

4. Get To The Point And Create Curiosity



Because you want to keep your title fairly short, about 55-60 characters works best, you need to get the point across using very few words. Here are a few questions to get you there:

-What is it about?
-Who is it for?
-How does it help the reader?
-What makes it unique?
-Why is it totally awesome?

So, we’ve got nerdy lady caves, gamer girls, nerdy themes, garden shed conversions, quick and cost-effective solutions, beautiful and creative designs, etc.

5. Lists, How To’s, Guides, Myth Busting, Mistakes And Colorful Words


Mold your basic idea to fit tried and true formats like lists, pointing out common mistakes and step-by-step guides. You can use enthusiastic phrases that create a sense of urgency or make things seem incredibly tempting:

-Wh- question words
-The most
-Blow your mind

With that in mind, you’d get something like “The 7 Nerdiest Gamer-Girl Garden Shed Conversions”.

6. Let The Ideas Pour Out Of Your Head And Onto The Page

The trick is not to get dead set on perfecting a single title right off the bat – just let the ideas flow straight onto the page. It’s like a brainstorming sessions where you quickly jot down a few phrases here and there, a couple of basic ideas, and then work from that. Mix and match the most alluring elements from all the different examples until you get 2-3, and then try them out on a few people to get some feedback.

You can use your mailing list to perform an A/B split test to find the most engaging of the final titles, if you are really going for high-end content and want to make the most out of it.

These are just a few ground rules to help you choose the right topics and make great headlines that pull people in, but you’ll also have to put some work into creating informative and engaging content, and promoting that content on social media. It takes a bit of time to get a hang of it, but practice makes perfect.

5 Major Mistakes That A Content Writer Can Make - AltusHost 8

5 Major Mistakes That A Content Writer Can Make

If you want to see your website dominate Google search engine results for specific keywords, you need to invest your time and money into creating great and original content.

There’s no real way around it. Content marketing (in combination with great SEO) has become the cornerstone of every intelligent marketing strategy.

It’s what gets you in front of your desired crowd.

For those who are familiar with the perks, content marketing is one of the most cost efficient and arguably the most effective way to achieve great results for SEO. Not only does creating high-quality content produce links at a quicker pace than building them manually, it’s also an easy way to generate social sharing.

When you’re producing content that people find valuable, they’ll share that value with their friends. Simple as that.

Besides giving you the opportunity to beat your competitors for specific queries and grow your audience on daily basis, content marketing helps you share your knowledge and expertise about a certain subject with the world, and thus generate even more quality leads to your website.

Although this all sounds great, a lot of people still fail to make their content marketing efforts work for them.

How come? – Well, because they don’t know how to anticipate their users’ intent, design customer personas and find the right data. They don’t know who they are addressing with certain posts and advertisements, and what type of content stimulates their potential clientele to interact with their brand.


A lot of content-driven businesses are focusing far more on keywords, than on people that they’re trying to reach.

As I already wrote on this blog once, if you don’t want to see your content marketing efforts go down in flames, you should create content for the searcher, not the search engine.  

Content marketing is all about providing something useful to your audience – information, entertainment, resources, in hopes of gaining their loyalty and love, which will eventually translate into free marketing (through sharing) and sales. The key here is eventually – content marketing is a long-tail game, and before you sell anything, you must create genuine value.

A lot of business owners don’t really see that. They think it’s all about bragging and collecting vanity metrics. That’s why they keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

If you want to see some real ROI from your content marketing strategy, you need to avoid making these 4 common mistakes:

Not Writing For a Single Reader

It’s better to kill two birds with one stone, right?


The success of your content depends exclusively on finding your ideal customer and feeding him with information that he or she might find interesting and useful.

Why? – Well, because he or she is the one that actually might buy what you’re selling.

Without a proper persona segmentation, writing content for your company blog looks and feels quite similar to throwing pennies in the well. Maybe your wishes will come true, maybe they won’t, but you could never know for sure.

Persona-driven content changes all that. It gives you a lot better chance to actually produce some serious ROI.

Having this in mind, you never want to find yourself in a position where you write content about things you know best, and not what your audience actually seeks. It just isn’t good for business.


Although it’s not bad to share some personal information about yourself and your company, you have to accept the hard truth that your readers don’t really care about you.

All they care about is how to resolve their problem. Having this in mind, why keep producing content that doesn’t really speak to your followers?

This doesn’t mean you should discard your POV and your own personal writing style. It means that you need to add some real data to your story in order to make it sell.

Creating and promoting content with a specific buyer in mind is of great importance to your entire business. It will help you understand the value of creating a customer-centric operation.

Writing Content Without Any Defined Measurable Goal in Mind

This one is quite often. Most people just keep writing and writing content just because it helps them create links.

Although this is not that bad, is not good either. If you want to see whether your content is working or not, what you need to improve it, I suggest you create some real goals for yourself. I’m talking about focusing on quantifiable results, like being able to attribute 100 new customers to your content marketing efforts or finding 7 new blogs to post articles in Q1.

One-Way Communication

A lot of business owners think that content marketing is all about writing. You sit down, you type-in some words into your CMS, click publish, and voila – you’re done.

You can kick back and watch people eat up your content and create tons of backlinks.

Well, not exactly.


It’s not enough to just push your content on people. If you want to successfully execute your content marketing strategy, you need to develop real relationships with the people from your industry or niche.

You need to write guest posts for popular sites for your niche, respond to comments, ask questions on other people’s blogs – basically, interact with everyone who’s consuming your work.

Repeating What Your Competitors Have Already Written On Their Websites

Writing content for a living is nothing short of a complete nightmare. It has become insanely difficult to stimulate people to read your content. The competition is insanely high in almost every niche today, and the readers – well, they have evolved into something else.

As I already covered on this blog, latest research has shown that the average internet user has become quite impatient and skeptical about most things he reads online. He knows that he’s the one that runs the show now and that we, as businesses that compete for his valuable time and clicks, are obliged to blow his mind every five seconds. If we fail to do so, he won’t even consider sticking around to read our post from top to bottom.

Customer Testimonials - AltusHost 1

This is not easy, but it’s a necessity if you want to make your content marketing efforts pay off.

Almost everything about anything has already been written and posted online. You have to look for questions that haven’t been asked, for patterns that haven’t been identified. These things are difficult to do. If they were easy, somebody else would’ve already done them. Your challenge is to specialize deeply and write content that nobody else has quite written yet.

Poor Research

Every piece of content that you write needs to have a purpose and a solid background which puts all your thoughts and conclusions into something real and meaningful. Without it, as far as your readers are concerned, you’re just typing in random words in your CMS.

It all boils down to research.

Research was and still is the most important and time-consuming part of creating content. Thanks to the Internet, the whole process of finding relevant information for your white papers, blog posts and case studies has been significantly brought up to speed.


Although this is basically a blessing from the skies for all those who used to spend their days and nights sitting in the library, more often than not, it still tends to chop off some pretty big chunks of your day.

How come? – Well, if you’re interested in finding something truly incredible to write about, the chances are that you’ll have to get your hands dirty. You’ll have to pull up your sleeves and, metaphorically speaking, shovel through all the dirt and mud to reach that shiny piece of gold.

But it doesn’t stop there. Once you find what you’re looking for, you need to spend another few hours checking out how actually valid your new sources are.

There are a lot of made up things online that pass as fact only because people don’t really investigate their sources. I used to write for one satirical website, and we used to publish all sorts of different ludacris statistics that all types of media channels interpreted as hard facts, without even checking our About page.

Don’t be like them. Don’t be an idiot who doesn’t question things he reads.


After that, after you check your sources and determined if they’re worth citing or not, you have to figure out how to incorporate that newly found intel into your content, in an organic and meaningful way.

As you can see from everything written above, quality research tends to suck a lot of life out of you. Every professional writer out there will tell you that actual writing is the easiest part of producing content. Everything that comes beforehand and after is what makes it so damn long.

Thank you so much for sticking around to read my latest blog post from top to bottom. If you have any questions on this matter – I would be more than happy to answer them for you. All you have to do is write your thoughts down in the comments section below, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.

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