What We Learned Analyzing 1 Million Blog Headlines

At CoSchedule, we assist our clients in planning their social media and blog content in the same drag-and-drop calendar. This is great; however, what it actually implies is we have access to an abundance of information regarding blog headlines and how often they are published on the internet.

In the wake of reaching over 1 million headlines for blog posts in our database, we started thinking about what they might tell us about the growth in traffic and the ability to write better headlines. Particularly, we thought:

What makes one headline more shareable than the other?

The Data

To create this post, we started with a database of almost 1 million newspaper headlines. I cut that number down to posts in English which had been published. I then reduced it further to a small group of headlines which had received at least 100 shares on all the major social networks.

Then, I came up with another set of headlines which had greater than 1000 shares. This was the beginning of my significant analysis.

The majority of content isn’t shared very often.

Let this chart sink into your brain for a few seconds. This implies that 89% percent of content made is not ever shared more than 100 times! Apart from being somewhat sad, it should also be a huge incentive to you to think about doing things differently.

In this article, I’ll concentrate on headlines that ranked within the top 11 percent of the results. It will help you learn the factors that make high-performing headlines effective to ensure that you can apply the concepts to your blog’s content and place your blog on the map of blogs that are highly effective.

What words or phrases are commonly often used in headlines with a high share?

To begin, I looked through some commonly used words and phrases in headlines that were shared over 1,000 times. The results were shocking.

Takeaway #1 – List Posts Are Huge

What was the very first point I noticed was that list posts are massive and are the most likely kind of post to be shared over 1000 times or up to 100 times. In addition, they barely made up just 5% of the total posts actually published in the last year, which implies that we’re not creating enough of them in the first place. A quick takeaway from this is to create lists of more posts.

Takeaway #2 – Use ‘You’ & ‘Your’ A Lot

Posts with words such as “you and your” in their headlines did extremely well and were often shared. However, those with ‘I and me’ in the headlines are significantly less likely to share. This indicates that content written in the second person – which is the viewpoint you use when speaking directly to your readers – is a much greater likelihood of being distributed than information written from a narrative written in the first person. Evidently, readers prefer to imagine themselves in the content they read.

Takeaway #3 – Help Your Readers Imagine A Better Life

Content that helps them accomplish something amazing, such as winning something for free or discovering something new. You can see this through the frequent use of terms like ‘free,’ ‘giveaway,’ and “how to. Make sure you use words that promise to attract readers, and they will be more likely to share your content with others.

What happens when headlines alter based on the social network?

I wanted to know how the keyword frequency changed in the headlines as they were broken down by social networks. I was quite awed by the findings.

The truth is that both Facebook as well as Google+ are surprisingly home-oriented, with the most popular words being “recipe” and “homemade.’ Twitter, on the other hand, tends to be more tech-oriented and business focused.

Takeaway #4 – List-posts Do Best On Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

We’ve all heard that posts from lists get posted in a flurry; however, which networks are the most rewarding? In a list of the most popular terms used on networks, there were some terms that appeared to indicate the usage of the list-based content. In Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, for instance, the words ‘thing is, ought to be, and the reasons are clear indications of the use of lists.

It’s easy to imagine related headlines.

  • Things You Can Do To Write Better Headlines
  • Reasons You Should Wash Your Hair Every Day
  • Things Every Mom Says To Her Kids

It is interesting to note that these list-like terms are also extremely emotional and a strong indication that the data may discuss more of them later.

Takeaway #5 – Video Is Most Popular On Facebook

Facebook was the most popular social network that featured video content. It was also the only one that had the word”video” in the top headlines. This may have something to be related to the fact that Facebook embeds videos directly into the news feed.

Takeaway #6 – Customize Headlines For Each Social Network

Each social network has its own unique audience and demographic, which must be targeted to each. For instance, in our findings, Facebook and Pinterest tended to be more home-based, while Twitter and LinkedIn tended to be more focused on business. Different types of audiences require different kinds of content.

A way to handle this could be to create customized headlines for each network that are tailored to the particular group rather than simply posting the same post’s title on every platform. We strive to make this kind of sharing on social networks as easy as possible using CoSchedule since we understand how crucial it is.

How do most viewed headlines end up being published?

The key to knowing how shared headlines function is knowing how our users are sharing our content. When we looked at the social networks that had the highest share rate and the results were amazing. Pinterest was the only one that dominated it.

Takeaway #7 – Pinterest Offers HUGE Shares If You Can Reach The Audience

With headlines being shared over 1000 times, Pinterest has a staggering 90% share of all shares. It blew me away. Pinterest is massive! Of course, you’ll need to be in the right category of content to make it a successful platform (see above). However, it’s available If you are able to master it.


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