Be Clear, Not Clever: The Best Headline Writing Advice I Got as a Beginner

Triple threat to your audience

Source: Canva Pro

I’ve been making YouTube videos for years and wish I had known the secret of clear headlines when I started.

So, whether you’re crafting the next YouTube video or writing a Medium article, this headline-writing tip is your ticket to the big leagues.

Speaking of experience, having just great content is not enough.

What else do you need?

  • For videos: Headline and an eye-catchy thumbnail
  • For articles: Headline and an eye-catchy hero image

Regardless of which platform you’re creating content for, your audience’s first impression is the title.

Your headline makes or breaks your content.

People won’t watch your video or read your article if the headline isn’t enticing enough.

You not only want people to click on your content, but you also want to attract the right audience.

Who’s not the right audience?

It’s the people who will bounce off of your content within 10 seconds because they think you didn’t deliver on the headline.

Who’s the right audience?

It’s the people that your article will help.

How can you do that?


Your headline should be a triple threat, answering the 3 must-know questions swirling around in your audience’s mind:

  1. Is this something I want to read or watch? (What is this about?))
  2. Is this tailor-made for me? (Who is it for?)
  3. What am I going to get out of this? (What will this give me?)

By nailing these questions, you’re setting the stage for a headline that not only grabs but holds attention.

Tell people what they want to know upfront. Tell them if the content is for them by highlighting what it’s about, who’s your audience, and what they get when they click.

Deliver on your promise, aka deliver on your headline; don’t just create clickbaity titles.

Your headline deserves as much TLC as the body content

If the right audience clicks on your content, the chances that they might read the whole article and watch the entire video are higher.

If your content helps, these people will likely come back to see more of your content in the future, so don’t waste the opportunity!

No, I won’t leave you without an example, so here it is.

Terrible headline:

‘Things You Didn’t Know You Needed to Know’

Ugh, could this be more vague? It fails the triple treat test spectacularly:

  1. What is this about? No idea.
  2. Who is it for? Literally anyone or no one.
  3. What will this give me? A headache, probably.

Good headline:

‘5 Proven SEO Strategies to Double Your Blog Traffic in 30 Days for Beginner Bloggers’

Now, that’s what I call a headline! It’s a triple treat because:

  1. What is this about? SEO strategies for blogs.
  2. Who is it for? Beginner bloggers or content creators looking to increase traffic.
  3. What will this give me? A way to double my blog traffic in a month.

Key message: Stop being clever and focus on crafting an effective & clear title to attract the right audience and increase engagement.