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The 6 Magic Words That Always Get Clicks

That got your attention.

Like you, people are curious. They want to know secrets, tips, and the answers to their burning questions.

You may have the best articles and blog posts in the world on your website, but if your title isn’t enticing enough to make people click on it, content doesn’t matter. That’s just the way it works.

Many writers don’t write titles to get clicks. It’s just not what we’ve been taught. We want to write for art and for beauty.

Writing for clicks seems almost like a sell-out to the commercial gods that want to suck your art-loving soul. But it’s not.

In fact, writing titles with clicks in mind is what will save your blog, increase your traffic, and get you the numbers publishers are looking for. Instead of burying your content under a flowery title with vague references to the material, make it easy for readers to find the posts they are looking for. Nonfiction writers do this well, and it’s time for fiction writers to catch up.

Use one of these six magic words. You’ll start getting clicks and new readers.

1. Who

Using “Who” in your title will help people get connected with the movers and shakers of the world–or at least the ones relevant to your topic. Make sure that you name names and provide links.

  • The 5 Agents Who Will Change Your Life
  • Who is the Real Hero of the 2012 Election?
  • ABC Already Knows Who Will Win the Next Bachelor – Do You?

2. What

Your readers are curious. Give them the facts they want. They’ll give you the clicks you want.

3. When

Are you covering time sensitive information? A sense of urgency will help compel people to click on the title and read your content instead of scrolling past it on the screen.

  • When to Quit Your Job
  • When the World Will End – It’s Closer Than You Think!
  • When Will Reality TV Die?

4. Where

If you are writing about a location, answering the “where” question is one of your best strategies. Travel magazines like Sunset, my personal favorite, do this well. For instance, if you are going to Hawaii, don’t you want to know where the locals go out to eat? Every time the magazine hits my mailbox, I know I’ll be getting answers to the “where” question. Like, “Where will my next vacation be?”

  • Where to Camp in the West
  • Where to Get the Best Sushi in Austin
  • Where to Get Free eBooks

5. Why

Do you know a six year old? “Why” is probably their favorite question. Not much changes as we age. We want to know the root of a situation. We want to know the why.

  • Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Klout Score
  • Why Your Diet May Be Killing You
  • Why No One Likes Your Book

6. How

We’re a DIY obsessed world. Follow up “how” with “to” and you have a dynamic duo that people will read and share with their friends. If it helps them, they’ll want to help others by passing it on. It all starts with the title.

The magic in these words don’t have to do with any sort of spell. Their magic lies in the fact that they answer the exact questions your readers are asking. Knowing your audience and what they will be looking for will help you not only write clickable titles but helpful content. Write to get clicks. It isn’t a bad thing.

Inquiring minds want to know. Are you going to tell them?

About Caitlin Muir

Caitlin Muir knows the power of social media first hand. She's on the editorial team of The Social Media Club, which connects media makers from around the world to promote media literacy, industry standards, and ethical behavior. She blogs about faith, love, and social media at CaitlinMuir.com.

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4 Responses to The 6 Magic Words That Always Get Clicks

  1. That’s easy to remember! Well done Caitlin!

  2. Great article. Who, what, why, when, where, and how. It always comes back to the basics, doesn’t it? Good writing + thoughtful presentation = engaged readers.

  3. Thank you for the suggestions. I’ll be sure to keep them in mind.

  4. Peter #

    When it used to be all eyeballs and no clicks, Ogilvey suggested ‘Sex’ and ‘Free’ as the biggest attention grabbers!

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