Imagine you are leaving for work in the morning and are quickly browsing through the morning newspaper. Do you actually go through the fine print or skirt through, scan and then zero in on a few articles? Which are those articles? You would be surprised to know that more than the field or the news itself; it is the headline that catches your attention within a short span of 2-3 seconds. In fact, statistics suggest that while 8 out of 10 will go through the headline, a mere 2 will actually read the entire article.

Hence, the title to your work needs to be just as creative and should scream for attention, leading the readers to the body of work. Whether there is a specific persona of readers that you are targeting or are writing for anyone out there, while the intention remains the same: that is to catch his attention and lead him to the article; the ideas and titles are a little different. You would need to identify the problem that the reader may be battling with, and address that. Whatever you do, never forget that the intention is not to merely disburse information that you know, but give solutions to the problems that the reader is facing.

Though nobody can do the thinking for you, there are some article-title ideas that will set the ball rolling:

1. Arouse curiosity: it is human nature to get drawn toward anything that arouses curiosity. Hence, titles that include phrases or start with ‘Did you know’ and ‘Here’s the Secret to…’ as well as ‘What You Ought To Know About…….’ are sure-shot hits.

2. Establish a sense of finality: this will work especially when the target reader-group is known to you, as is their problem. Then addressing and suggesting a solution, with titles such as ‘Get Rid of…..Once and For All’ and ‘Finally…’ can work wonders in terms of attracting browsers to your body of work.

3. Give more than he expects: providing a solution and something extra, is a magical mix that always delivers wondrous results, a classic example being: ‘Have your Cake and Eat it Too’. You can also team it up with a ‘how-to’ as in ‘How to have your cake and eat it too’ adds impact.

4. How-tos: they never fail to work. The secret lies in teaming it with the right mix of words that give an idea of what is to come in the article. ‘How-to’ articles, address the issue at hand, without beating around the bush.

5. Mention a benchmark: these will usually entail the mention of the word ‘like’: Speak French like a diplomat’ and ‘How to type like a Pro’. There are greater chances that the reader will be attracted to the material in its entirety once the title engages him.

6. Targeting the innate need to be appreciated: a fail-proof idea, the article should be along the lines of ‘Have a Blog That You Will Be Proud of’.

7. Reassurance: again, this might be a combination of ‘How-Tos’ and other categories of title-ideas. An interesting example may be “How to lose weight and never gain it back’. Recognizing the problem being faced; and the fact that he has (maybe) been struggling, rather unsuccessfully and reassuring that help and solution is at hand is a powerful combination.

8. Wield the numerical wand: including numbers in the title is a sure-fire way of getting more attention. Hence, titles like ’15 ways to increase sales’ almost always end up attracting readers.

9. Strategic use of psychologically-powerful words: certain words are known for their instant psychological impact. Thus, inclusion of words like always, never, immediately, unexpected etc, in the title, will help lead the browser to your article.

10. Confront and question: the title should do the work of engaging your reader (who until then is merely a browser) and involving him. This may be done by creating titles that perhaps present a very strong-sided argument on a topic and thus engage his attention. He would want to read on, and find out whether the argument being presented is agreeable to him or not; if it is not, then why not.

Go absurd, go crazy, brainstorm but come up with a title that is eye-popping and attention-grabbing. Because like it or not, browsers will always judge your book by its cover and the cover had better be good! Only then, will they convert into readers and then fans and customers.

About Ananya Srivastava

Ananya Srivastava, a tech writer working with EnablingBiz eSolutions - a leading Integrated Internet marketing agency that offers a wide range of Internet marketing, copy writing, web design and development services. EnablingBiz also provides white-label services to design and development firms in North America and Europe. Join us on Facebook

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