How to Create Titles to Hook Your Readers

by | Feb 10, 2016

Are you sometimes stuck when it comes to adding a title to a blog or article? Have you ever used a mundane title for a blog, article, or gulp … your book?

Sure, keywords and phrases are ideal in every lead title. But they aren’t always enough. Your titles need “juice” –the secret sauce to hook the reader to think or say, “What the heck!” or “OMG, I need this.” or “Tell me more.”

Would you like to create one with some snap, crackle and pop? I’m always on the lookout for tools that will stir up my creative juices. During my annual three-day summer event, Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, one of the days is spent on gizmos and gadgets—identifying, demonstrating and then implementing a variety of tips and tricks for busy authors.

My Favorite Tools for Creating Titles

Here are three of my favorite tools that always generate responses from “Cool!” to “This is awesome!” for boosting the power of headlines and titles.

  1. – Title Generator

    Get ready to have your eyes opened. Inserting your keywords or topic into the submission box will increase your open up rate for a variety of usages, including social media posts.

    TweakYourBiz screen shot 1

    For “book publishing”, Tweak Your Biz came up with:

    • Lists
    • Questions
    • Best
    • How to
    • even Snarky

    Over a dozen categories were displayed in seconds. Most likely, many of the suggestions will be tossed … but Book Publishing on a Budget: 5 Tips from the Great Depression might create some pull.

    Great title examples

  2. – Idea Generator

    Get ready to have a little fun with Portent—it creates a variety of twists and turns, even goofy … but hey, sometimes goofy may be the perfect hook. Portent’s process is simple—don’t use capitals unless it’s a proper name; use the singular version of your keyword; and keep revising to create a grammatically correct headline that is often laugh-out-loud.

    Portent screen shot 1

    My keyword phrases often have “book” or “publishing” in them. When I inserted “book publishing”, one of the options was Why Book Publishing Is More Tempting than a Cinnabon—sounds delicious. I don’t know about you, but comparing book publishing to munching on a Cinnabon wouldn’t normally be something that I would think about for a title hook—but millions enjoy Cinnabons weekly and the odds are many of them are authors or authors in the making. My market.

    Portent screen shot 2

  3. – Headline Analyzer

    Created by the Advanced Marketing Institute, the Headline Analyzer is an excellent way to “goose” up your emotional pull with the reader.

    Step 1 – Enter your “working title”.
    Step 2 – Click on a category.
    Step 3 – Submit for analysis.

    As you tweak your words, you will note the percentage of emotional marketing value change—or in some cases, disappear.

    AMInstitute screen shot 1

    Ideally, you would like to pull a score of 40% or higher. Most copywriters and headline pros will do a happy dance when they hit that magic percentage.

    For a recent blog I did, the title The Secret to Author SMARTs Is Being DUMB garnered a 57.14%. That surfaced after I played around with just a few words. The theme of the blog was that being dumb was OK … learning new things delivers the smart tag; that being ignorant on a topic isn’t a crime.

    Note: punctuation will be removed by its software when the results of the analysis are revealed.

    AMInstitute screen shot 2

    The higher your score using the Headline Analyzer, the probability of an open rate accelerates. I would suggest you copy your headline so you can simply paste it in again and again as your tweak, adding/deleting/changing words until you get a headline that works for you.

    For this blog, I submitted my ideas for the title to AMInstitue’s Headline Analyzer. Starting with Create Titles with Snap, Crackle and Pop to Hook Your Reader, the score popped up at 30. Adding “how to”: How to Create Titles with Snap, Crackle and Pop to Hook Your Reader, the score increased to 38.17. Refining just a bit to How to Create Titles to Hook Your Readers, it leaped to 50.

    I could have continued to play with words, but there was this thing called “deadline” … 50 was good enough.

What say you … do your headlines pull in readers? Do they have the right combo of emotional juice that will entice your open rate?


tbd advanced publishing starter kit