What essential elements do you need in viral blog titles to make Facebook users stop their endless scrolling and engage with your content?
On social media, there is a lot of content vying for our attention. Our friends, colleagues, businesses and brands. So what will make your potential customer stop scrolling on their feed, and read the content that you’re putting out there?
Here are 7 elements of a viral blog titles:
1. Numbers and Lists
Listicle headlines are among the most viral blog titles out there. A Listicle is a fancy word for saying a headline that has a number or a list in it. We’ve come across them all the time:
- 10 celebrities you want to have dinner with
- Grow your business with these 5 marketing hacks
- 7 reasons you should take a vacation to Disneyland today
We see content titles like these all the time and we’re more likely to click on titles with numbers.
2. Appeal to Emotions
Write for the emotional person inside of us. When you can write to activate someone’s sense of smell, sight, taste, or touch, they’re more willing to buy into what you are writing. They can imagine what it’s like to smell your bath bombs. They can imagine what it’s like to go on this beach vacation.
Catering to emotions in your headline, and within the poll blog itself is a great way to capture their attention and really get them engaged with your content.
Give people a reason to read your article right now and not save it for later. If they save it, chances are they’ll never go back and read it again (I’ve saved so much that I still haven’t read years later). Include some sort or urgency in your title like “5 Ways to lose 10 pounds before summer.”
4. Embellish a bit
Just a tad! If you’re a business owner, you’ve seen these headlines before: “How to 10x your business this year” and “The one strategy that will get you 20 new clients in 20 days.” These are a bit of an embellishment, but if you can back it up with proof points these are some great viral blog titles. As a reader we’re intrigued by how your strategy or method or product will do this for us.
5. Don’t oversell (aka lie)
If you’re selling me a running shoe, don’t tell me that I’ll be able to run a marathon next week, if I’ve never gotten my butt off the couch before. That would be a little bit of an oversell. Just be careful about any results you are claiming in your viral blog titles. Please don’t deceive the reader!
6. Use second person
Refer to the reader as “you.” For example “This is why YOU and your family should visit Disneyland this fall.” This way the reader feels you are speaking more directly to them. It helps them step into your shoes. You’re helping them imagine what it is you’re trying to communicate by using that word to you by addressing them that specifically.
7. 70 Characters
For best readability and SEO benefits, headlines should be kept under 70 characters. This includes any spaces that you have between words and punctuation. The reason for this is, as of now (this could change), Google Search Results Pages (known as SERPS), only display up to 70 characters of text. To avoid getting your title cut off and truncated by Google keep your headings concise and to the point.
And if you think about it, when we’re scrolling through our social media feeds, If it take us too long to read something, we’ll keep on scrolling! To read a three or four line headline, we’ll maybe read the first maybe second line, anything after that will just get lost. So make sure that you are being very succinct and specific in your viral blog titles so you can keep it under 70 characters.
Here’s an example of a viral blog title that meets 6/7 of these parameters:
5 Ways Attending a WriterGal Seminar Will 10x Your Business This Year
- I used a number “5.”
- I used urgency because it’s “this year.”
- I embellished a little bit because I said “10x” times but that’s not too unrealistic.
- I didn’t oversell because it’s very possible to attend one of my workshops and grow your business 10 fold.
- I used second person, I said this will grow your business. And ironically, this heading is exactly 69 characters.
Next time you craft a headline for an article or blog post, think about these 7 tips and maybe your next blog post will go viral!
Want more? Read about 5 Blogging Tips for Small Businesses.
It’s going to be a great event, please check it out (and you’ll get some amazing free gifts from all the speakers too)!