Posted by: Leigh Ann Otte | 03/23/10

Why headline-writing tips are bad for your blog

Many headline writing tips are just plain wrong for blogs. I mean, you know, in my humble opinion.

Oh, they’re great for print—magazines, newspapers, advertisements. They teach you how to draw in readers who are flipping through pages or hangin’ out in the checkout line. But blogs are a different beast. Before you intrigue readers, the readers have to find you!

I believe that for most health bloggers, search-engine optimization should usually trump cleverness. Fortunately, I’ve found some great tips to help.


A blog post’s title is a huge part of what brings in new readers. According to SEOmoz, the title tag is the fourth most important search-engine ranking factor. (The first three have to do with external links.) Unless you have a program that allows you to write a separate headline and search engine title tag, your headline is your title tag.

Of course, once people find your headline, they still need to be intrigued. So the goal is to write for both SEO and readers. That’s challenging, even for professional writers. Personally, I strive to put keywords in my headlines every time, but my ratio of search-engine to reader friendliness varies. And I won’t pretend I get it right every time.

To help bring SEO to the forefront, here are my picks for the top-five headline-writing posts—for bloggers.

Finally, here’s a post from ProBlogger that pulls together tips for writing for readers and for SEO value: “How to Craft Post Titles That Draw Readers Into Your Blog.”

After getting the SEO idea down, then you can incorporate some of the other print tricks. Here’s a post from copywriter Sean Lyden to get you started: 5 Must-Read Posts on Writing Headlines That Sell.”

What’s your opinion of SEO versus reader-oriented titles? Which do you write?

I’m a freelance writer, editor, ghostwriter and blogger. One of my specialties is working with doctors and other medical professionals. Read more here.

Image courtesy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: