How Do You Come Up With a Title for an Article?

Titles are all-important for the articles we write. The search engines (normally correctly) assume that the title is the main focus of the page, Which it certainly should be.

But how do you come up with titles? How can you get inspiration that will get you clicks from potential readers as well as finding something you want to write about?

article titlesNewspapers will often resort to “clickbait” – something designed to get you to click to their site and pay them some money via the million and one adverts cluttering the page. This could be anything that’s topical – when the clocks go back or forward, gossip about a celebrity, absolutely anything that people will click on.

That’s do-able but you need a certain mindset to come up with those kind of headlines day in, day out. So if you’ve always fancied yourself as a tabloid journalist (it’s OK, I’m not going to judge) then try it.

Personally, I prefer other methods.

Google is very good at telling us what people are searching for.

The autocomplete that happens as you type is excellent. And, unlike keyword tools, it’s up to date. So, at the time of writing, I typed in coronavirus and then experimented with typing a letter or two in front of it to see what people were searching for. That gave me phrases like “what causes the coronavirus” and the decidedly morbid “how coronavirus causes death”.

You can do the same for any subject.

Start with the main focus word or words.

Then put your mouse at the start or the end of the search box, make sure there’s a space and then type one or two letters. I normally start with “how” or “why” but if you want more inspiration just go through the alphabet.

Chances are that these phrases are way too competitive for you to show up in the search results any time soon. You might hit a gem (I do occasionally) but it’s unlikely.

That’s fine because we’re just using them as a starting place.

For most of the searches you carry out, there will be a section just below the top headed “People also ask”.

If there isn’t one, go back and do a different search.

Then investigate the questions listed – the number varies but three or four seems to be usual.

Most of the time I find a phrase I can use as a title within a few clicks.

You can get inspiration from the titles of other articles that show up in the search.

The next check is to use the allintitle: search modifier.

Use that weird phrase including the colon at the end, immediately followed by the phrase you’re checking:

clickbaitThat’s way too many results for my liking – I prefer it to be in single digits – so if I was writing about clickbait, I’d drill down further.

Something like this one:

allintitleNot a subject I’d want to cover (too morbid, too difficult to monetize) but it should be relatively easy to rank for in the hopefully short space of time where this nasty virus is holding the world’s focus. Although quite a few of the titles in the results follow that phrase with help on avoiding the ultimate consequences.

You can do that for any niche.

It’s how I currently come up with all the titles for my various blog posts and YouTube videos.

I use the Google search for my video titles, mainly because I’m a creature of habit but also because I’ve not found the “people also ask” option on YouTube, if it’s there at all currently.

Incidentally, if you’re fed up with waiting for what seems like forever for Google to show you in the search results, remember to use YouTube videos.

Using the ideas I’ve shown you, I regularly get affiliate sales via YouTube within a few days of uploading a video. Not every time but certainly enough to keep me enthusiastic with my affiliate marketing.



One thought on “How Do You Come Up With a Title for an Article?


    Hey Trevor, that’s a smart approach. I don’t think people realize that Google is handing us the data for current searches. This is gold when trying to figure out long tail keywords.

    Thanks for sharing!

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