Content marketing is one of the best strategies for building a promoting a brand, but planning and strategizing is hard work.
After all the initial work of establishing a blog and choosing a broad strategic direction, you’ll need to start coming up with topics and titles to fill your editorial queue—and fast. Most content marketers (especially newbies, but seasoned vets as well) struggle coming up with new topics as their campaigns roll on. Fortunately, there’s a practically endless supply of title “frameworks” that, with a little modification, can serve as ideal slot-fillers in your campaign.
In this guide, I’m bringing you 101 of them.
You might be thinking to yourself, why just the titles? That doesn’t give you much meat to work with. However, titles are especially important to the content creation process for a number of reasons:
Many of these titles have blanks in them, generally referring to your industry, your products, a specific action or task within your industry, or some other niche-specific item. I’ll guide you where appropriate on each individual blank, but there’s a lot of flexibility here. Additionally, wherever you see “X,” you can replace X with any number.
Without further ado, here are 101 title ideas you can use on your blog:
First, we have a simple entry. The blank here can be any process you can think of related to your industry. It could be how to solve a technical issue with one of your main products. It could be how to learn a new skill if you have no experience. It could even be how to start and manage a business like yours. Because of the broadness of this topic, you’ll be tempted to choose high-level concepts here, like “how to drive a car,” but the more specific you are, the better, like with “how to drive a two-wheel drive car in snow.” You’ll face less competition and have higher relevance this way.
This is a variant on the previous title, but offers the distinct advantage of including a number in the headline. Numbers automatically make headlines more appealing and clickable, which gives it an immediate edge. Part of the motivation behind this is that it illustrates that your concept is simpler than it may appear; breaking down a task like “how to draw a dog” into six steps makes it more approachable, and makes it seem faster to learn. Plus, you’ll give yourself a framework when it comes time to write the actual article, helping you break down the process.
(Image Source: Activity Village)
Here, we have another number-based headline that should get users’ immediate attentions. As you’ll see in the titles throughout this guide, a common thread is heavily implying that your readers are about to learn something new. Here, that effect is made bluntly; you’re directly stating that you’re about to tell your readers something they didn’t know before about the subject of your choice. The word “secrets” also adds a layer of mystique here, making your readers feel like they’re about to get some privileged information. Just make sure you have something juicy to back up this headline’s power.
This is a powerfully attractive headline for click-throughs; it tells users you have some piece of information they don’t have, but doesn’t give that information away, and also offers a kind of dare—that they aren’t supposed to know this. As for the blank, that’s usually some kind of authority figure, or someone that your readers are paying money to—for example, “what your accountant doesn’t want you to know,” or “what big-box retailers don’t want you to know.” The only problem with a headline like this is that it borders on clickbait, which can damage your reputation if you traditionally offer straightforward content.
The thread continues with this title, which again offers privileged information that readers previously haven’t gotten. There’s a teasing element, which will lure more clicks, but this title is interesting because it uses the word “lies.” Lies are deliberate actions taken to deceive someone, leading your readers to believe that not only do they believe untrue information, but someone actively wants them to believe it. For most readers, this is reason enough to click through—again, just make sure you have something good waiting for them on the other side.
This title forces users to confront the fact that they might believe something that isn’t true, but instead of putting the blame on some authority figure that’s “lied” to them, you resort to something more innocent—a myth or misconception. This title also automatically implies that you’re an authority on the subject; you’ve somehow risen far enough about the common myths to not only recognize them, but work actively to correct them when you see them. And of course, there’s a number at the beginning, so it’s automatically more clickable.
Though not always a rule, in many industries, it’s advantageous for your business to attend conferences, tradeshows, workshops, and seminars. These are valuable opportunities to promote your business, network with others in your space, learn new things, and walk away with some new direction for your business. Unfortunately, not all businesses or workers get to attend these events, so you have a critical opportunity to share your knowledge with them—and lead with a powerful title at the same time. Reduce the hours you spent at the event to a handful of key takeaways, and start capitalizing on the keywords associated with the event.
(Image Source: Media Planet)
This is another title that shows off your expertise—and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t taken advantage of it. Human beings are naturally curious, so we’re always speculating about the future, wondering what’s about to come next. Seeing this headline, projecting what’s coming next in quantifiable, segmented bullet points, users won’t be able to help but click through. Even if they don’t agree with your predictions, you’ll satisfy their curiosities and show off your knowledge of the industry’s past and present.
Remember everything I said about human curiosity naturally wondering about the future and apply it to this title. It’s a slight variant on the original model, but note a couple of key differences. Rather than making concrete predictions, you’re talking about the future in much more vague terms—so you can chart paths of development rather than quantifiable milestones. Plus, you’ll be drawing on quotes from influencers in your industry rather than coming up with them yourself (either through interviews or by finding this information online already).
People love a good quote—especially when those quotes are conveniently assembled into one nice, neat package. Pick a topic related to your industry (or maybe just choose your industry in general) and hunt down some inspirational quotes on the subject—you can use an archive like BrainyQuote to get the job done. Make sure you acknowledge where the quotes came from, and try to dress them up, if you can, with images or meta-commentary.
Have you ever wanted to achieve a goal, like losing ten pounds or hitting a certain sales figure, but found yourself consistently unable to meet it? Most of us have at some point, and it’s an unbelievably frustrating experience. In that moment of frustration, if someone offered you a simple solution to bypass your failures and finally achieve your dream, how excited would you be? This is the emotion you’re playing with here. The biggest obstacle in using this title effectively is finding a problem your target audience faces that’s significant and common enough that most of your readers have experienced it—then finding a one-size-fits-all solution.
It might be a sense of morbid curiosity. It might be a comparative way to see how good you’re actually doing. It might be a way to learn by contrast. Whatever the case, we all seem to be borderline obsessed with reading about bad advice. Take it a step further to make it the “worst” advice, and you’ll capture a ton of attention in your field of expertise. As for the source of your inspiration, that’s up to you. This can be advice you’ve actually heard, or a mistake you’ve see made reduced to advice form. As long as it’s a bit nasty, you’ll be in business.
Let’s not get too negative, though. For every person squirming to learn what the worst advice on a given topic is, there are just as many people who want to know the positive corollary. Tracking down the “best” advice on a subject is tough work, and most of the time, there’s no such thing as one bit that’s objectively “best.” However, you can back up your claims with evidence, or even an anecdote, to make your topic resonate with audiences. It’s also valuable to point out other pieces of good advice that didn’t make the cut as the “best” to show you did your homework.
One of the most effective ways to secure visibility online is to stir up debate or disagreement. When people disagree with each other, they become more emotionally invested, more vocal, and the piece itself attracts more comments, shares, and reactions. All of these are good things, so how can you imply discussion and debate with just a title? This title fits the bill. You’ll track down a number of experts, find their views on a given subject (hopefully disagreeing with each other), syndicate the article, and let the fun begin. Also note that the title isn’t sensationalized; it just presents the situation as it is.
People increasingly rely on recommendations to make their decisions. They’ll even trust reviews from strangers rather than relying on their own devices because we’re social creatures who like to see human-backed evidence that a decision is correct, or at least worthwhile. If readers have any sliver of trust for your brand, they’ll see a title like this and will want to know more about what it is you’re recommending and why you’re recommending it. The only caveat here is that your blank space shouldn’t be overtly self-promotional; stick to things your target audience will find genuinely useful.
When there’s a topic you know nothing about, but want a briefer on it so you can hold your own in a discussion or prepare to be immersed in the field, what do you do? You Google it, just like the rest of us, hoping to find an all-in-one guide that explains the high-level view of the subject with a handful of practical takeaways to boot. Introductory classes in college are frequently referred to as “101” courses, so labeling your introductory guide is a good way to secure some immediate attention.
You may see this title and think it’s almost identical to the 101 guide I covered in the last entry. However, a 101 guide covers everything there is to know about a subject—from its history to the basics to long-term strategies—while a beginner’s guide is custom-made for people trying to get started in a field. For example, a “101” guide for SEO might give you a high-level vision of what SEO is and how it works, while a “beginner’s” guide might give you some fast tips to start actually optimizing your website.
The title says it all, both to you and to your readers. Generally, if you’re going to go this route, you’ll want to start with a beginner’s guide first; that way, you’ll prepare your readers for a series to come next, and you’ll be able to capitalize on a single stream of audience members throughout the process. Your intermediate guide should target the same audience, but be a bit more advanced in scale; you’ll want to go over some common misconceptions, more technically demanding tasks and skills, and how to develop a long-term plan.
The last guide in this chain, as you might imagine, is the “expert’s guide.” This will be sure to attract a number of people in your industry—from self-proclaimed experts who want to check to see if there’s anything they’re missing, to entry-level newbies who want a glimpse at what they’re in store for in the long run. Referring to it as an “expert’s guide” will make you seem like an expert yourself—but only if you can successfully back that claim up with quality content. This guide should be packed with valuable information, living up to its title and then some.
No matter how good your blog is, it’s not a comprehensive resource for everything there is to know about your industry. Even if you somehow provided all the information all your readers needed, there would still be trade organizations, networking opportunities, and other organizations who offer what you can’t. That’s why an “ultimate” list of resources is so appealing; it aggregates all those sources and puts them in one convenient place. The title alone will encourage readers to click through, rather than hunting down all those resources individually—and you might get some extra shares from people “bookmarking” this guide for later reading. You can see one good example of this here.
This is a form of content aggregation, which can be both powerful and efficient if you use it correctly. The idea behind aggregation is to collect bits of content that other people have already created, assemble them on your own space, and add a bit of your own flavor to it, either with commentary or by unifying them under a single theme. There are many options here, but the key advantage is obvious; you don’t have to create the videos yourself. Instead, you merely need to find interesting videos that already exist and collect them in a way that makes them even more valuable to your readers. The headline also makes the notion compelling: you “have to” watch these.
Podcasts are seeing a massive resurgence in popularity, for a handful of reasons. People are crazy about them, and are always looking for new ones to follow and listen to. That’s where this headline comes in; it’s another form of content aggregation, but this time centered on podcasts. The burden will be on you a little more here—since users can’t listen to full podcasts on your site, you’ll be relegated to describing them in detail. Make sure you do a sufficient job of giving your audience what they need to make their listening decisions, and choose from the best podcasts you can find.
At first glance, you might think this is another form of content aggregation. For your readers, certainly, it fills a similar role; they’ll be scouting this type of post to find more content for their wants and needs. However, it also serves as an engine for recommendation. You won’t be featuring any specific posts from these blogs on your site, but you will be listing them. Spend some time finding some of the top blogs in the industry, and make sure you justify each of your recommendations.
One of the worst feelings is putting something together with excitement and high hopes, only to realize it’s not working the way you expected it to. For example, you might have started a new marketing campaign expecting a certain increase to your traffic flow, or you might have attempted a DIY project that didn’t turn out quite right. In any case, you’re confused, and this title promises to correct that confusion. Plus, even if you aren’t experiencing any immediate problems, if you’re interested in the subject, you might see this title and read the piece proactively to learn what could be done in the future.
Troubleshooting can cover a lot of hypothetical ground. You might write a troubleshooting article on a problem with your software or products, or help correct people in their approach to solving a certain problem in their life. In any case, the word “troubleshooting” bears most of the significance in this title; either your readers will be interested in correcting a problem, or they won’t be. If you want to add a bit of flair to the title and possibly get more impulsive clicks, you could amend the title by adding “in X steps.” Such an addition also implies more certainty and finality, which is always good in problem solving.
This is another kind of prediction article, similar in premise to the titles I introduced earlier in this collection, but with a slightly different viewpoint. Rather than making predictions about how an industry or subject matter will develop, you’ll be trying to take a snapshot of how it looks like after a number of years have elapsed. For example, rather than making claims like “SEO will become more conversational,” or “search engines will adopt more machine learning updates,” you could try to illustrate the totality of SEO as it will stand in 2025.
There are two obvious trigger words here, and the first is “misconception.” This implies that there’s something your readers believe to be true that isn’t—and that compels them to find out what that is. Even if they don’t believe themselves to hold any misconceptions on the subject, their curiosity will drive them to check to be sure. The other word is “common.” These aren’t just misconceptions that happen to pop up from time to time; instead, there’s an implied likelihood that most readers harbor these misconceptions, making the article appealing to more people.
Taking a break from somewhat serious matters like troubleshooting and correcting misconceptions, this title is less practical but far more entertaining. Depending on your readership and the makeup of your other content, this could be a standout title in your syndication efforts. It promises your stories to be amusing, and also gives you lots of options. These are just “stories,” so you’re unrestricted about how to attain them; for example, you could tell anecdotes about your own experiences, or explain something that happened to someone else, case study style.
This is a form of content aggregation, but the spin in the title makes it that much more appealing. First, note the use of the word “tweet”—you could substitute another medium of content (like “quotes” or “blog posts”) but tweets imply something succinct. Combined with the number at the beginning, your readers will immediately understand that this is a rapid-fire means of consuming content. This also implies a degree of significance; these tweets are informative and surprising enough to make you rethink your strategy entirely.
(Image Source: Offbeat)
There are a few titles about influencers on this list, whether you’re listing them outright or drawing quotes from them, but this one is different; this one is about the influencers on social media that your readers should be keeping tabs on regularly. Why is this differentiated? First, it qualifies influencers not on how influential they are or what they have to say, but the consistency at which they have good things to say. This is a subtle, yet important distinction. It also implies that these are people “everybody” follows, piquing readers’ interests and drawing them in.
Some of the guides I’ve mentioned earlier in this article are in-depth, such as “how to” posts, or the history of your given industry, but not everyone has time to wade through long-form material. Just like the “tweets” title implied a degree of urgency and lightness, this title boasts a similar appeal. Here, you’ll be coming up with a number of “quick tips” to guide your readers in the right direction. For example, “quick tips” on driving wouldn’t be a comprehensive guide on how to operate a vehicle; instead, it would boil down to easy-to-follow improvement tips like avoiding slamming on the brakes or slowing down in inclement weather.
This is a sister title to the one above it. People love to get small nuggets of information, which is why “did you know” style pieces of content and trivia are so popular. Here, you’ll let your readers know that they won’t have to spend much time on your piece to get something valuable about it, which is compounded by the fact that there’s a number in the title. The blank for both of these titles can be pretty much any subject you can think of related to your brand, including your brand itself; why not show off some of the facts that make your company unique?
“Cheat sheets” are fundamentally reference materials, which makes them appealing to anyone trying to get ahead in your industry or with a specific subject. Your cheat sheet could be a list of reminders, a boiled-down set of instructions, or even a list of reference materials to consult. It can be whatever you want it to be as long as it provides some fast, helpful information on your topic of choice. The title is also persuasive because the phrase “cheat sheet” implies that your readers are getting away with something borderline “wrong,” or something exclusive that only exists for the in-crowd.
Avoiding the positive and negative aspects of “cheat sheet,” a checklist-style post is a sure way to get interested readers. Checklists are helpful for almost any task you can imagine, and they’re also usually speed-reads. If you can make your checklist interactive, you’ll engage your audience even further. Try to be as comprehensive as possible here; if your checklist is effective enough, your readers will likely bookmark your page so they can return to it later the next time they’re working on this project.
Note that there’s no stand-in “X” variable for the number here. It’s entirely possible and valid to have “top 5” or “top 8” or any other types of posts, but “top 10” has a ring to it that makes it stand out from all the others (my hypothesis is that it’s due to the alliteration). In any case, you have a lot of room for creativity here. You could do the top 10 influencers in your industry, the top 10 software management products for a given application, or the top 10 innovations that sparked change in your industry. The sky’s the limit; almost any top 10 post will attract ample attention (and may even spark a debate).
This is ideal for companies that are selling tangible products. You’ll be creating content specifically tailored toward people looking to buy products like yours, and telling them exactly what to look for when they buy. Try not to be too salesy, though; you’ll want to create a legitimate buyer’s guide that walks users through all the steps in making a decision, presenting your competitors on somewhat equal footing. You can go the full-scale interactive route, like in the example below, or work on something more concise; this depends on how much time your target audience needs before finalizing a decision, which will obviously vary.
(Image Source: Product Chart)
One of the best ways to drive attention to your blog posts is to strike up a controversy, and with this title, you can do it before your readers even click the headline. Immediately, you’ll call out a product, a strategy, an approach, or even an influencer (be careful with that, though), and declare it to be getting more attention than it deserves. You’ll probably get some shares and comments on this type of post from people who haven’t even read it, but don’t rely on that to help you succeed—make sure you back up your bold claim with compelling evidence.
This is another title with tons of potential applications. You could list alternatives to solving a problem, alternatives to a prominent brand or company, or go more conceptual with alternative ways to think or brainstorm. The word “alternative” is the obvious focal point here; it appeals to anyone looking for more options on a given topic. Even if you’re satisfied with the way you’ve been handling something, you can’t help but be curious about what those alternatives are.
This post serves as a kind of gentle warning, zeroing in on an audience that’s about to take a given action, such as making a major purchase or pulling the trigger on a new business strategy. This type of post offers a handful of important considerations before following through, from a kind of mentorship role. Readers see a title like this and immediately view you as an authority with some kind of experience in your chosen topic, lending some extra weight to the headline.
It’s natural to be curious about the ways that other people have messed up. There are some clear motivations for why this the case. First, there’s the amusement factor; it’s kind of funny to read about someone else’s mistake, and the playfulness of this title implies that level of amusement. Second, there’s the education factor; we like to read about how other people screwed up so we aren’t doomed to the same fate. In fact, there’s some evidence to show that we learn more from other people’s mistakes than we do our own.
This one’s for all those potential customers on the fence about your products or services, or those who aren’t quite sure what they need in a given area. The brain gravitates toward certainty; when we don’t know something, we’re compelled to find an answer (regardless of what that answer is). The quiz element shows a degree of both interactivity and personalization, distinguishing it from the usual types of “filler” content posts, and indicates that once taken, this quiz will lead a reader to a final, definitive answer.
This is a direct challenge to your readers, and one that you’ll find works quite effectively to draw people in. This is one of the most ambiguous headlines on this list, which means you have the flexibility to transform it into almost anything you want. You could use it as a platform to uncover little-known facts about your industry, or highlight the fact that few people know much about your products. In any case, this forces an introspective thought in your readers—“how much do I know?”—followed by an urge—“I want to find out.”
This headline gives you a chance to show off your products and services (though of course, your content will have to remain neutral and informative for the most part). The blank here is something you sell, whatever that happens to be. There are two main keys in this headline, the first of which is “X signs,” giving readers a certifiable blueprint they can use to come to a decision. The second is the word “invest.” Investments are different than purchases—it implies you’ll get more out of the transaction than what you put in, elevating your value immediately.
This is a simple, straightforward headline, but it works well to appeal to history buffs and anyone especially interested in where your industry came from. You can do your industry, or some segment of it, from a high-level perspective, but it’s better to go after something more specific if you want to attract more attention. You can also transform this post into almost any kind of medium you want—generally, visual is better, like the infographic examples below. It’s easier to acquire and retain information this way, especially when dates and timelines are involved. We’ve done two examples of this type of headline with the following infographics:
This one may make you feel arrogant. After all, how are you to know how to solve the biggest problems, even if they’re in your area of expertise? If the top minds of the industry haven’t been able to completely solve them after decades of work, how could you hope to address them in a single post? That’s what your readers are going to be thinking, too, and they’ll want to see what suggestions you have to offer. Remember, you don’t have to completely eradicate these problems to “solve” them—instead, you could merely offer advice on how to work around them, or mitigate their effects.
Ever since the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was released, people have loved the idea of studying the habits of people who have already achieved success (they did before, too, but not with such a specific name). The idea is that by mimicking the actions and habits of people who have already accomplished greatness, you can accomplish greatness in your own right. Of course, most of this is usually anecdotal evidence affected by human bias, but it’s still interesting to study and will undoubtedly earn you clicks in your core niche.
You clicked on this post, didn’t you? Take a moment to think about why. Maybe you’ve been struggling to come up with title ideas and you wanted some extra inspiration, or maybe you feel confident about your ability to come up with ideas and were curious about what I had to say. Either way, the notion of reviewing a list of someone else’s ideas for your own use is appealing (not to mention practical). The higher the number here, the better, as it implies a higher value for brainstorming and utility. The ideas themselves can be anything—strategies, creations, recipes, dates, or anything else you can think of.
We like to classify and organize things; it helps us understand our subject matter better. That’s why this post is valuable—it takes some big, complex group, like social media followers or donuts, and reduces them to a number of different “types” that can be separately studied and analyzed. If there are categories out there that already exist—like powdered sugar donuts—feel free to use them. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to invent some categories of your own. The tail end of this headline—the “need to know” gives it some extra oomph.
Human curiosity once again enters with this title—and you already know its power. You’re implying that the items you’re listing are not only “amazing,” but they’re currently unknown to the reader. What you’re actually promising here is a surprise, and the magnitude of that surprise is intensified by your “amazing” adjective. Of course, you’ll want to back this up by offering some truly surprising tidbits about your audience’s interest, but the title alone will help you sell them.
Some of the best blog ideas are ones that give users some practical value, almost like drawing water from a faucet. This is a promise for pure practicality; once a reader is done with this blog, they’ll walk away with X brand new tools to leverage in whatever context you choose. More isn’t necessarily better here; sometimes, offering a sheer quantity of tools is helpful, while other times, it’s better to delve deeper into the pros and cons of each one.
This is another title that’s partially reliant on the type of audience you’re serving. If you want to exclusively cater to readers who have been in your industry for years, or more advanced experts, this isn’t going to work. Otherwise, it’s a great way to appeal to the entry-level crowd. You may even attract some intermediate-level professionals who want to catch up on everything they might have missed in their first few years.
This is a more personal post than most of the others on this list, but I always recommend leveraging personal brands to make your content more powerful. There are a number of appeals here. First, the “I” alone makes this post resonate more powerfully, as it’s the relation of a personal experience. Next, the creation—the blank, which can be money, a business, or any kind of achieved goal—gives the title some measurable weight. Finally, the “X” referring to a measure of time makes it seem possible for any reader to achieve a similar goal within those time constraints.
The one thing that makes us all the same is our desire to be different. We all like to believe we’re special, and that we’re different from everybody else. We see ourselves as innovators, in whatever space we’re in. That’s why this title resonates with such power; it gives people a chance to see a certain topic from the perspective of someone who thinks “outside the box.”
This is another variation of the “common” guide template, but focuses on more practical takeaways. This is ideal if your audience is impatient, or if they’re focused on bottom-line figures, like incoming revenue, goals, or other specific accomplishments. The title also implies that it’s been stripped of any superfluous additions, like fluff content or other wasted material.
When it comes to startups, small business owners, parents, fresh college grads, and about a hundred other potential demographics, frugality is a virtue. Few people, excepting the very rich, actively enjoy spending money, and with all other variables being equal, prefer more cost-effective options. We like to get the most for our money, and the raw appeal of this title somewhat proves it. You can spin almost anything into a frugal version of itself, from buying cheaper pizza to managing human resources more wisely.
The power of this title comes from the fact that, if there’s a “right” way to do something, there’s also a “wrong” way to do it. Even if your target readers are absolutely confident they’ve been doing something the “right” way, or at least an effective way, some small part of them will be curious to figure it out for sure. Is there some other way to go about this? You can also put a variant on this title by adding “in X steps,” which makes your promise of a strategy more concrete.
The exact structure of this title doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the presence of the word “hacks,” which has become a buzzword thanks to the takeover of life hacks in our common lexicon. A “hack” is basically any kind of shortcut or trick designed to make something more effective or more efficient, and they exist in almost any area of life or profession you can think of. Introducing “hacks” into your title makes people curious about what insider information awaits them.
In this post, you’ll be breaking down the makeup of some element related to your business. If you sell products, you might demonstrate the anatomy of one, like “the anatomy of our smart can openers,” or “the anatomy of a perfect mattress.” Otherwise, you can focus on more abstract ideas, like “the anatomy of an ideal meeting agenda.” The point is to imply some kind of deeper analysis, breaking down the components of a given subject to better understand how it works, like the “perfect landing page” in the infographic example below.
(Image Source: KissMetrics)
People love to watch trends. Evergreen content topics are good, and generally preferred due to their indefinitely long lifespan, but the appeal of trends is sharper and faster. They’re new, they’re fleeting, and they need to be acted on quickly if they’re going to serve your purpose, so they make for a perfect injection into your headlines. The fact that there are a concrete number of them is just an added bonus.
The blank here can be any verb that relates to your business, though generally, this headline applies more to business owners than direct consumers. If you want to make it more consumer-centric, you’llhave to swap out the word “competitors” for something more relevant, like “peers” or “managers.” As an example, if you’re an SEO agency, you can offer X reasons your competitors are “outranking” you, or you could go with the general “outperforming” if you include some specific industry terminology elsewhere.
This title can be tricky to pull off, and certainly works better in some contexts than it does for others. The problem is there aren’t many general products that everyone “should” own—there’s too much differentiation in needs besides food, water, and shelter. However, if you substitute “everyone” with a more specific, industry-related term, you can expand your range. You can even change the word own to “use” if you get stuck. For example, you could offer “X efficiency tools every marketer should use.”
This is a great title for any business that sports a long buying cycle, or one that requires significant consideration from clients and consumers. The vast majority of people consult the web before making any kind of purchase, so if your target market is struggling to finalize a decision, this is the perfect chance to capture them. Here, you’ll let them know exactly what they should be thinking about and what they should be asking their prospective dealers. It’s also a perfect opportunity to lead potential clients or buyers in your direction.
This title follows the same core concept as the last one—consumers want to do their research and learn more information before making a final buying decision. Here, instead of telling them what questions to ask or what to consider, you’ll be telling them how to conduct their research. For example, you could tell them to ask friends and family members, find referrals, or get quotes from multiple providers before finalizing.
Everyone’s trying to get somewhere. For some people, that’s becoming a doctor. For others, that’s becoming physically fit. Some people just want to be a “better” version of what they already are, like a “better writer” or “better golfer.” You can use that desire to feed into this title, giving users executable strategies they can use to get wherever they want to go. You can also substitute more specific phrases in for “ways,” such as “avenues for becoming” or “ideas for becoming.” Just keep it focused on that end goal.
In our culture, time is precious, to the point where we count every second of our days. If you imply that your readers are spending their time in inefficient ways, or that they’re wasting time altogether, they’ll be desperate to figure out how to correct the problem. This article will imply that many of your readers are wasting their time in some area of their lives, and that you have the knowledge necessary to fix it.
This article title is ideal if you’re targeting users early in the buying cycle, but can be a good way to optimize for your target keywords, too. Here, you’ll be outlining the main benefits of whatever it is you’re offering, whether that’s a product or a service. It’s an entry-level piece, to be sure, but it’s got lots of appeal to anyone who’s completely unfamiliar with the subject.
If you’re trying to take a more unbiased approach, or speak to readers who are debating whether or not to move forward with their decision, you can list out the pros and cons of your product or service, or some other element of your business. For example, you could discuss the pros and cons of hiring a contractor versus doing a job yourself, or the pros and cons of hybrid cars.
Typically, there are at least a handful of ways your clients will be faced with diametrically opposed options. Should they hire a freelancer or full-time worker? Should they get cake or ice cream for a birthday party? Should they choose vinyl or wood siding? This comparison title promises to permanently resolve the dispute (even if all you’re doing is objectively comparing the two against each other). Some sites, like Diffen, have dedicated themselves exclusively to this approach due to its popularity with users.
(Image Source: Diffen)
People want to make sure they’re spending money in the right way, and that their investments are going to pay off. This title immediately shows readers that you have empathy for their position; the wording implies you’re familiar with the struggle—and that you have a genuine answer. In most cases, the answer will be “yes,” giving you the opportunity to pitch your business to new readers, but stay as objective as possible.
These days, when someone feels unmotivated or can’t bring themselves to do a task, they turn to the Internet, where they can browse the news and discover new articles. If they see a title that addresses and responds to that lack of motivation, they’ll be highly likely to click through—and hopefully find some inspiration to get back to whatever it was they were doing.
I’ve already presented a post idea for simply presenting new ideas to your readers, but that’s a “give a man a fish” method. This title is a “teach a man to fish” approach. Instead of merely presenting ideas for your readers to use, you’ll be giving them ways to come up with their own ideas. For example, instead of giving you 101 titles for your blog, I could have recommended strategies like word association games, reading competitor blogs, and social listening to come up with them on your own.
This title obviously caters to a crowd that relies on strategies to accomplish some goal. This is often, but not necessarily, relegated to the business world. For example, you could list sales strategies or bear hunting strategies your audience hadn’t considered. The key point of interest in this title is the “hadn’t considered,” leaving your readers to feel like there are strategies they haven’t been able to come up with on their own, further enhancing your expertise and value.
As we’ve seen a number of times already, “strategies” are almost always a good angle to go. You can come up with strategies or approaches for almost any subject matter, and people will eat them up because they’re valuable. Here, the differentiator is the word “underrated,” which implies two things—first, that these strategies aren’t used or appreciated, which makes them rare and appealing. And second, that these strategies are highly effective.
The blank here can be anything, but is best served as one of your top products or service offerings. For example, you could reference the most popular types of cheese, or the most popular forms of advertising. People have a vested interest in knowing what other people think—it’s the whole reason things go viral. People tend to value popular things more, which drives their popularity even further.
This is a variation on a buyer’s guide, except there may not be any purchasing involved. For example, you might write about “which management style is right for you?” or “what type of pants are right for you?” You can also vary this based on specific situations, like “what type of pants are right for a wedding?”
This certainly isn’t the first post idea on this list that’s targeted toward beginners—we’ve also seen “101” and specifically designated “beginner’s guides.” But this one takes the approach from a slightly different angle, reducing the entire process to a specific number of fundamentals that people need to know. The article also has an appeal for more experienced members, who can use the article as a refresher or even as a teaching aide.
There’s never a magic formula for anything, no matter what you might have heard. Common clickbait titles use this gimmick to try and get people to buy weight loss supplements, but you can use it as a way to draw people into your products or solutions. The only drawback here is that it can come across as a gimmick—so be sure to explain yourself in the body of your content.
This goes along with the “alternative” angle I’ve mentioned a few times already. Finding creative approaches to solving problems or creative ideas in general is appealing, because it implies a break from the norm. It’s also a fun title to write (in most cases) because it forces you to think outside the box.
People are always striving for more efficiency. More efficient work can lead to more money, while more efficient lifestyles can lead to more satisfaction and less stress. That’s one reason why life hacks are so popular—but here, you’ll be explaining how to make something more efficient in a number of steps. These should be able to apply to anyone even close to your target demographics, so use it wisely.
It’s good to talk about subjects, but sometimes it’s better to simply demonstrate them. For example, rather than writing about what makes a great music video, you could write a post containing some of your favorite music videos, and why they work. This title gives you a good platform to showcase items within your realm of expertise and offer commentary about how they do or don’t work. There’s a lot of flexibility here, so you can showcase ads, foods, performances, products, or anything else you can think of.
You know how the For Dummies series got to be so popular? Part of the reason was the excellent content in their books, but an almost bigger reason was probably the title. Like it or not, we’re all “dummies” and “fools” about some things, even ones in our own field of expertise. Few people feel like they’ve truly mastered their respective niche, and this article title calls upon that. The tactics and tricks you present will all be “foolproof,” meaning anyone can use them to their greatest potential, which is highly appealing for novices and fools alike.
This is a pretty thin title as it stands, so as you can imagine, its power comes from what you choose to fill in. There are limitless possibilities here, but a few broad categories to consider. You could imply a danger such as “ways to stretch without hurting yourself” or imply a lack of resources such as “ways to market your business without a massive budget.” Or you could imply that this is a list of alternatives such as “ways to find leads without cold calling.” It’s a differentiator, and can be highly appealing based on your direction.
I’ll be the first to admit that the word “supercharge” is buzzy, and borders on the clickbait line. However, people love the idea of taking something effective and making it even better. Supercharging implies that it’s already achieved some kind of baseline; for example, if you’re “supercharging” your social media following, you’ve already got a respectable, active following to work with. This suggests there is a “next level” to achieve, and that this guide will give you the means to achieve it.
As we’ve seen in dozens of titles so far, it’s effective to imply that your readers don’t have the knowledge you’re about to provide. That effect is amplified when that lack of knowledge is causing active harm to something valuable to them. Self-sabotage is a real phenomenon, and can manifest in a number of ways. So how is your audience of readers sabotaging themselves? Are they failing to learn enough to move forward? Are they running with cheap, ineffective solutions?
People look to successful individuals in all areas with a sense of grandiose admiration. These people have already done something impressive, but the simple advice of “work hard and be persistent” isn’t as appealing as the idea that there’s some kind of secret or shortcut that got them to where they are. This allure will draw readers into your post immediately, and you don’t have to worry about these being actual “secrets.” They can just be habits, pieces of knowledge, or approaches that are not commonly known.
This title will help you guide users in a direction of your choosing before they take some action relevant to your brand. For example, you could tell users X things to do before buying a house, suggesting they contact a real estate agent (you or your contact). Or you could tell users X things to do before starting a workout regimen, suggesting they work with a personal trainer (you or your contact). The sequence of steps here is informative, and seems highly significant to the average outsider.
Disaster can strike anywhere, whether it’s fire damage to your home or a negative ROI for your latest marketing campaign. Big disasters, small disasters, and disasters of all varieties can make you feel defeated, but there’s always a path to recovery. This title offers that path, and does so in a quantifiable number of suggestions—which is extra appealing to those dealing with stress and confusion. You could also vary this title by making it “how to recover from ____ in X steps.”
Not everything in your industry is pretty, and this title instantly implies that. Listing the harsh realities about your situation, your industry, or even your brand is a way to prove your integrity, transparency, and honesty to your readers. Not all businesses are willing to disclose these less-than-perfect details, so the fact that you are instantly makes you more trustworthy. Plus, there’s something irresistible about learning the “dirty” details behind a business or industry you respect.
Embarrassment often triggers a sympathetic response, but it also calls upon our senses of humor. Other brands and consumers have already made some powerful mistakes, so why not take advantage of them to give your readers a good laugh (and some helpful information along the way)? Be careful who and what you list here—if you tell the embarrassing story of someone who takes it personally, they could go after you—but otherwise, try to have some fun here.
There’s always something to look forward to, in every industry, in every community, and in every subject. It could be a convention or gathering, a new technology coming out, or a fundamental change in how you’re doing business. In any case, this change is accompanied by some kind of monumental shift, and your readers know it. Behind this title, your readers will find out whether or not they’re truly ready for the changes to come.
This title is specifically targeted toward team leaders, entrepreneurs, or other professional roles responsible for managing individual employees. If that isn’t your demographic, you may wish to alter it in some way (for example, you could change “employees” to “students” or “children” without altering the main idea of the title too far). Either way, this article title implies a couple of things that draw readers in; first, that your employees don’t know something, and that this article will tell it to them. Second, that your employees should know this, increasing the perceived significance of the work.
Again, this title’s relevance is partially dependent upon your chosen target audience. If you’re targeting employees who have bosses and supervisors, this will work fine. Otherwise, you may need to find a substitute, such as “teachers,” or “mentors.” This one has an extra appeal because there’s an incentive in presenting new information to a higher authority; not only are you providing interesting reading material, you may be helping along their careers by helping them impress their boss. If you can provide this information, these readers will be much more likely to stick around.
The blank here is an open gateway to almost anything you can imagine. Maybe it’s an event your company attended. Maybe it’s a current event in that national news. Maybe it’s an experiment your company performed. There are only a few stipulations here; the blank must be recent, it must have given you some new information, and of course, it must be relevant to your audience. From there, you’ll come up with surprising lessons you didn’t expect to learn; this can help you pique the interest of readers who have already heard about your “blank.”
The magic of this title is that it implies there’s a best way to do something. The very first entry in this list was a “how to” post, which can tell you how to approach a given task (let’s say cutting a pineapple). It may get the job done, but is it the most efficient way to do it? Is it the fastest? Is it the easiest? The word “best” implies that this is somehow better than the “normal” way, and therefore has mass appeal for readers. But you can also substitute almost any superlative here for the same effect; i.e., the “simplest way to cut pineapple.”
Here, the first blank is going to fill in with your target demographic; this gives you the opportunity to speak directly to your audience, not to mention optimizing for related keywords. The second blank is going to refer to your main area of expertise (or your current target). People are enthralled by their own identities, and if you imply that they’re doing something wrong in their own area of expertise, they won’t be able to resist clicking through to find out.
Even though you might have established an impressive reputation in your niche community, you aren’t the only influencer out there. People love to see different influencers because they need different perspectives, different viewpoints, and even different voices to get a complete experience. That’s why this simple list post can be so effective; all you have to do is identify some key influencers in your industry and list them out—or if you want to get fancy, you can hit them up for some quotes that best represent their opinions on a given subject.
There’s nothing psychologically special or subtle about this headline, which is a big reason why it works; it simply lets readers know they’re about to see a timeline on a given subject. This implies it’s a start-to-finish history on a given subject, explored in some graphic or visual way, which readers always love to see. You could easily turn this post into an infographic and reap even greater rewards.
Depending on your industry and target audience, this could be an immensely fun post to write. AlternateHistoryHub has developed its entire brand around providing information on alternative histories. The NFL has a fun video series dubbed “N ‘if’ L” that explores alternate realities about players, games, teams, injuries, and the like. You could also approach this as present-day experimenting; what would happen if your customers suddenly did something to their cars? The what-if model is appealing because it strikes a chord with our imaginations. It forces readers to come up with a hypothesis before clicking through, and encourages them to see if it’s right.
Remember what I said about influencers? Here’s your chance to call upon them again. Only this time, instead of listing them, you’ll be interviewing them briefly on the subject of your choice. This is a fantastic opportunity if there’s a new technology or an emerging trend in your industry that your peers are worried about. Gather up a bunch of quotes on the matter from some of the most respected influencers you can find, and if you can, try to hit the problem from multiple different angles.
People love to read—and cite—statistics relevant to their interests. They tend to be objective, enlightening, and hard to obtain, which makes them valuable. But you don’t necessarily have time to conduct all that original research on your own, so the next best thing is to round up statistics from a bunch of other sources and collect them together into one, convenient document. The “need to know” in the title adds a bit of extra flair, implying extra importance for the piece.
This is less of a full-fledged article title, and more of an important post you’ll want to make to your readers eventually. You’ve spent a while looking over these last 100 suggestions for titles, but there’s an even better resource for finding new titles your readers will love—your readers themselves! Reach out and ask them what they want to read, and you’ll probably get plenty of responses to keep your content strategy moving in a solid direction.
There you have it! Like it or not, you now have zero excuses not to have a full editorial calendar. Swap out some keywords and phrases, and you can easily use each of the titles on this list multiple times over.
Assuming you’re posting twice a week, this alone can keep you going for several years—not even counting the other great creative ideas you have in the back of your mind. Dedicate yourself to ongoing refinement and new idea generation (even if you use this as a backup plan), and you’ll never run out of awesome headlines to use in your content marketing campaign.