A reader opens a magazine and flips through the pages looking for something interesting, something that catches his eye. Most readers stop at eye-catching photos, relevant graphics, and hard-hitting headlines.
I’ve come up with some nifty titles throughout my freelance writing career. I once wrote an article on canine agility competitions and titled it “Dog Afternoons.” On another occasion, I wrote an article that summarized the health benefits of consuming honey. I titled it “Sweetheart Almighty.” I recently published an article I wrote about aquariums and titled it “One Fish, Two Fish.”
Crafting a strong title can grab the reader’s attention and motivate them to read your work. Here are six tips for creating amazing titles.
1. Playing the numbers
Readers love browsing lists, so you can attract a reader by incorporating a number into your title. For example, “Six Tips for Writing Strong Titles,” “Ten New Years Resolutions,” “Top Ten Weather Apps,” or “A Dozen Bakers.”
2. Use catchy words
Incorporate catchy words into your title. Easy, excellent, cheap, inexpensive, tips, solutions and fast are words that attract attention. Examples include, “Easy Eats Under $ 10,” “Quick Ways to Save Money,” and “Your Guide to an Affordable Vacation.”
3. How to use question words in titles
Prescriptive nonfiction articles (also known as “how to”) are popular these days, so a reader can pause if they see a title with “How” or “What is” in the title. For example, “How to Snake Proof Your Garden”, “How to Train for a Marathon”, “What is Guessing?” or “When is a good time to buy a home?”
Consider using an idiom in your title. For example, “High on the Hog” could describe an article about a luxurious life, riding a motorcycle, or eating pork. “Knock on Wood” could be the title of an article about a master carpenter. And sometimes, I replace a word in a common language with a word that rhymes. For example, a fitness article on abs workouts might be called “Roll with the Crunches.”
5. Singing in the rain
Consider using the title of a popular song or the lyrics of its title. For example, “Blue Moon Rising” could be used to headline an article about lunar anomalies, “Crocodile Rock” could headline an article about crocodiles, or “Living in a Material World” could headline an article about the decline of fabric stores. In America.
6. Seductive alliteration
Sometimes when I can’t find a clever title, I use alliteration. Alliteration is the appearance of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. Examples include, “Seaside Splendor,” “Facebook Frenzy,” and “Fearless and Female.”
Much of article writing is trial and error. Make a list of various titles and ask your friends and family which one appeals to them the most. With a little practice, you too can create amazing titles for your articles.