5 Tips for Compelling Clickable Headlines

Updated: Oct 6

You have just written the best blog post ever. The content is truly helpful, engaging, and to be eagerly consumed by your intended audience.

There is just one problem…


You don’t have a title, at least not one which is going to grab their attention.

You don’t have anything to get that CLICK!


Whether it is an email, social media post, blog, or another form of content, eye-catching headlines are critical to getting clicks.


I recently spoke about this topic in more detail in a podcast -


Tips for Getting Clicks

  1. Start With a Working Title It sounds obvious but you shouldn’t be writing an article without a working title. The reality is that even though it may change as you write, a working title means that your piece will naturally be including a keyword from your title. You will be naturally compelled to include those phrases as you type — this may improve your rank, but it will certainly help your work flow and keep you in a mind set when you come to tidy up your title.


  1. Be Specific There are millions of articles available on Medium. There are billions available on the internet. I have authored thousands of articles. There is nothing worse than trying to find a resource to be met by a dull headline “tips for X” “the best way to do Y” — it won’t grab my attention, it won’t grab the attention of anyone looking for a useful resource or a story. The reality is that anyone looking for something online either wants to read (absorbing shared videos on social is part of this) or they want to take action, there isn’t anything in-between. To grab these eyeballs we need to really be specific about what we are talking about in our titles, “6 effective ways to do X” “fortnites rarest skins and how to get them today” “12 ways to upgrade your vauxhall insignia grand sport” … make it specific to your audience.

  2. Add an Action As with ‘being dull’, readers want to know they can achieve something. They want to know if something is easy, actionable, interesting — by adding action words to a title you can grab that little coiled spring in someones mind and get them to engage a little more with a post and title — you can earn that click. Some examples of this are: “5 clever ways to X” “7 easy ways to write Y” “A simple formula to X” “3 reasons we all hate Z” “Research shows this is the easiest way to B” …

  3. Focus on Pain Points One of the keys to gaining traffic with any article, whether from organic search, social media or through algorithms such as those here on Medium is through understanding what the end user / your target audience is struggling with — and talking to this. If you can then specifically target this within your title you can really pull them in and gain further attention, not only gaining visits but getting more likes and shares too. Examples of this are “Are you struggling with X? 7 simple ways to train your dog to stop” “We all miss going to the pub! Here’s how you can make your own at home”

  4. Use Your Data I am not going to tell you which of the formats is going to be the best for you and your audience (using a question, leading to a question, using research etc). For me and my audience, I’ve found that a mix of lists and asking questions has worked well. My clear advice is to use any analytics available to test similar articles with different titles. Pump the same social media and paid traffic if you can, see which gets traction and not.


If you want to know how to write great content, take a look at our 7 tips for writing better content here.

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