The Science Behind Writing A Catchy Title

Learn to make your content look more interesting

It has been a prolonged discussion that writers need to focus more on creating a catchy headline, which will persuade readers to click and continue reading the rest of the article. To do so, a headline must contain some words that are considered more powerful than others.

That is indeed true. Because first of all, the headline is the single most important part of the text as it gives an indication of what to expect from it and how interesting it might be. And secondly, words are important but some are more. Some words are better in conveying emotions or messages thus have the power to impress the reader instantly.

Writing a good content is not enough anymore, especially if your primary aim is to make money from it. Neither is a long descriptive title. It is not enough because the Internet gets busier every day with the huge amount of content being published. Almost 2 million blog posts are written every day, and this number represents only a small piece of all the data. The numbers grow continually, which makes it, unfortunately, harder and harder to stand out from the crowds.

All these posts cover various topics, written by different people from all over the world. Not surprisingly though, most of them go to waste due to the massiveness of the information flow that is really hard to follow. Let’s face it: we all have limited time every day to surf the Internet and we all want to spend it only by reading the most interesting/ unique posts.

Choosing what to read among these 2 million posts depends on what strikes your attention. This is where the title comes into play. Any piece with a catchy title has a better chance of being read by the readers. It is pretty challenging, as the writer has got only few seconds to catch and hold attention.

To make sure that your piece of content is interesting enough, you need to focus on your title, and re-structure it if necessary by using these Zipfian words, which are the most commonly used words in English.  

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Using Zipf’s Law for Generating Better Titles

We’ve all been there: staring at the white paper and not knowing what to write next. Producing strong titles as well as content is hard as hell, and it requires a little bit of extra creativity just to be able to attract as many readers as possible.

But lacking creativity does not mean that you are unable to produce excellent texts. It is a subjective matter, after all. Can we agree on what makes a piece of content creative? Or how can we measure a title’s power? We simply cannot. But what we can do is to use some certain words that are powerful enough to make people read your post.

Language is always considered as something that is always in the making, something that is always active. In fact, it is not.  What we speak and write is pretty static. It is actually so static that the top 100 words in English are always used half of everything, written or said. And the rest, the other half, appears only once. Just imagine, no matter how rich your vocabulary is, half of your verbal and written conversation will always contain the same 100 words, without you controlling it. 

This is called Zipf’s Law. Zipf’s Law explains how frequently we use the same words in our every day conversations, both in writing and speaking. We use the same words because we tend to explain our feelings in a simple way. And the more we use them the more popular they get. It simply creates a snowball effect. As a result, we, unconsciously, start getting attached to the same words.

But how exactly can this help us to create catchy titles? It can help through the feeling of ‘attachment’ we have towards these words. In psychology, attachment is explained as an emotional connection. These popular words create a deep emotional connection between the reader and the text.  

Once we see these words, our brain instantly establishes a simple and emotional connection, which makes us personalize the text without even reading it. This feeling comes very natural and leaves us feeling comfortable about it.

As you can see, there is no magic in that (even though the whole Zipf’s Law thing is a magic). Words have emotional associations. You just need to know which words to use while trying to impact your readers’ emotional state.

Some words in Zipf’s Law are used inevitably, such as ‘the’, the most common word in English. Some others are optional but will absolutely affect your text’s readability.

Below you can find the top 100 words in English. Try to use these words and see if they actually help you in making money online by driving more readers to your blog. 

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Read more: Making money online: The Top 5 Reasons Writing A Blog is Good For You