A Guide to Writing Interesting Article Titles

The art of writing a compelling article title that your readers will…

The art of writing a compelling article title that your readers will come back for isn’t one that can be learned overnight. But if you keep a few key things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating an exciting title for your readers. The goal is to make interesting, compelling, and concise titles.

If you’re struggling with getting the right title for your article, this article is here to help you out. We’ll discuss everything from why a title is important down to tips on how you can make an interesting one. Keep reading, and you’re sure to get some great ideas for the title of your next article.

A laptop next to an open notebook and a cup of coffee.
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

How Your Article Title Can Impact your Readership

The title of your article is, without a doubt, very crucial. Without a catchy and attention-grabbing title, even the most amazing content can go unnoticed by the online community.

You need to understand how to write great titles and understand how to inform, intrigue, and influence the target audience.

Whether it’s for your blog, a landing page, or a press release, a catchy and attention-grabbing title is the first thing that readers see. Remember that your titles are displayed in the bookmarks and search results menu. It has to be interesting enough to convince readers that your article is worth their time.

Characteristics of a Good Title

A good article title is easy to understand but enticing enough to make people want to read more. Choose descriptive words and follow up with a question that leaves the reader wondering what you are talking about.

1. Predicts the Content of the Article

The title you choose should provide a bit of a sneak peek into what your article is all about. You can include clues on what the reader can expect to learn from your article.

Try to encapsulate the entire article in your title. Or at least give the reader an idea about what they can expect from your article.

2. Should Pique the Reader’s Interest

Interesting titles are crucial to luring readers to your article. You can pique the reader’s interest if you use words that give a positive impression.

Another effective way to get their attention is by using a unique or shocking title. Don’t get carried away with using too many catchy phrases, though. You should still make sure that your title is relevant to your content.

3. Reflects the Tone of Your Writing

If you’re writing a formal research paper, your title needs to reflect that. Or, if you’re writing a controversial opinion piece, use a strong title to capture the reader’s attention.

The world of publishing is crowded; impressive titles are the way to get your work more exposure and make more people aware of it.

A pen placed on top of a blank page on a notebook.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

How to Write an Interesting Article Title

Let’s face it, writing interesting article titles can be tough. Here are some easy tricks to help you out for your next article title.

1. Know Your Audience

Considering your target audience when writing your article title is a good idea. The title you choose should appeal to your audience. It should bring them along on your journey to learn about the different topics in your subject matter.

If you’re writing a research paper, consider if your readers are specialists in your specific field, are cross-disciplinary, or are they, non-specialists?

2. Keep it concise and informative.

The length of your article title will vary depending on the piece you’re writing. For research articles, it can be anywhere from 10 to 12 words long. The more well-crafted your article title, the more impact it will have on those reading it.

Check the journal guidelines for character limits in your field of work, and look at some articles published in your area. Keep title length to a minimum and check for journal word limits.

3. Entice the reader

Your title doesn’t have to reveal everything about your article. It just has to give your readers enough info to keep them interested in your content. To entice your reader, you can use suggestive words and phrases and offer them a glimpse of what they can expect.

4. Improve Your SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to help increase your chances of ranking well in search results. Being able to rank well in search engine results means more exposure, which increases your opportunities to reach more readers.

5. Write in sentence case.

For research articles, titles are given in sentence cases. Capitalize the first word of the text, genus names, and proper nouns only. For personal essays, however, the title case is more casual. The first letter of the text should be capitalized, and the rest of the words can remain lowercase.

6. Avoid unnecessary words and jargon.

Keep your title readable by avoiding any unnecessary words or jargon. You want a title that will be understandable even to people who may not be experts in your field. The more readable your title is, the more people it can reach. 

Different Kinds of Title Formats

There are many ways you can go about writing your title. Here are just some of them.

How-to Headlines

This type of headline has proven effective for famous blogs and websites. The classic how-to piece focuses on the action of explaining the process of something and gets straight to the point.

It often starts with a verb or noun and clarifies the action with a step-by-step process. For example, “How to Unclog a Drain.”

  • How to Use Microsoft PowerPoint
  • A Guide on How To Adapt to the New Normal
  • How to Create a Habit

Problem-Solving Titles

A lot of top companies use this type of title format. This is because readers often look for articles with a solution to their problems. Problem-solving titles use emotional triggers. It is a classic style that has proven effective in enticing readers.

  • How People Get COVID-19 and Ways You Can Avoid it
  • Scientifically Proven Ways to Lose Weight
  • Gene Breakthrough restores the sight of individuals with inherited eye disease, saving thousands from blindness

Ranking Titles

These titles are very common for blogs. The topic should first be optimized for popular search terms. You should then make an “emotion-provoking” description.

Numbers are great ways to draw attention and show your audience you are an authority figure. It lets them know you have something concrete and accurate to offer.

  • Top 5 Marketing Strategies to Help You Succeed
  • 11 Ways You Can Live a Healthy Life
  • 8 Golden Rules to Motivate Your Team

Controversial Headlines

Adding a bit of controversy to your title is a sure-fire way to ensure your article receives ample attention. However, be sensitive to what you are implementing on the readers.

  • Why Marriage isn’t for Everybody
  • 5 Unethical Life Hacks Schools Don’t Teach You
  • Why I Regret Being a Straight A Student

Direct Statements

Direct Statement titles are probably the easiest ones to make. Pick a title that says what your article is about, whether a quote from an individual or some other established source.

Be careful, though, because this type of title will usually have a negative connotation. This is because it is forcing an opinion that might not be true. Just make sure that you have information to support your statement.

  • The effects of high-fructose corn syrup on obesity
  • Thousands Already Make Millions Online, And So Can You
  • Guaranteed Ways to Make Money Online

FAQs

  • Should I use a full sentence title?

Remember, full sentences are overly wordy. In a full sentence, strip the title of essential nouns and strong, active verbs, and make sure your verbs are correct. Research articles in life science often possess either nominal or full-sentence titles.

  • Is it a good idea to use a question for a title?

This will depend on the type of article you’re writing. Question-type titles are common for blogs. For research articles, about 10% of all published articles contain questions.

  • What are article subtitles?

Article subtitles are the title of a specific section of the article. They are typically included in web articles to help readers navigate the text. If you’re considering including subtitles in your article, it is important to decide if they are relevant or not. 

Wrap Up

Developing an article title that will attract your audience will reward you greatly. In many cases, your readers will remember your headline more than the content itself.

An engaging headline that captures your readers’ attention is key to the success of any article. Use the tips you’ve learned here and get started on your next great title!

A Guide to Writing Interesting Article Titles

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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