Formatting your blog post title using title case will grab readers’ eyes and command attention.
As an editor, ghostwriter, content marketing copywriter, and 7x Medium.com Top Writer, I’ve written and edited hundreds of articles. In this post I’ll give you my expert guide on how to format your blog post headline for maximum impact and success.
When choosing how to format your title, you have two main options: title case or sentence case. I think we can all agree that all-caps is not an appropriate choice.
So let’s first dive into what we mean by title case and sentence case, before exploring some additional rules to follow, some correctly formatted blog post title examples, how you should format your subtitles and subheadings, the importance of consistency, and the SEO impact and advantages of correctly formatting your titles.
Ready? Let’s go.
Contents of this article
- Title Case vs Sentence Case
- Pros and Cons of Title Case vs Sentence Case for Blog Titles
- Title Case Rules for Blog Titles
- How to Format Your Blog Title Using TitleFormat Title Case Converter
- 11 Tips for Better Blog Titles
- Formatting Subtitles and Subheadings (and Sub-Subheadings)
- SEO Impact of Title Case in Blog Titles
- Examples of Blog Titles in Title Case
Title Case vs Sentence Case
Title Case and Sentence Case are the two key formatting styles used in blog titles.
The simple distinction between the two is that title case means capitalizing important words and leaving minor words lower case, whereas in sentence case only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
So, using the title of this article as an example:
Title Case: Title Case Formatting for Blog Post Titles: Our Expert Guide
Sentence Case: Title case formatting for blog post titles: Our expert guide
You can immediately see the difference.
The sentence case example is quicker and easier to read, but the title case example stands out, slows your reading speed down, and grabs your attention.
If you’re convinced already and just want to convert your blog title to title case, you can use our free online Title Case Converter.
If you’re curious as to the differences between these two headline formatting styles, you might want to read my article Title Case vs Sentence Case, where I do a deep dive on this subject.
But if you’re satisfied that you understand the differences, and are hungry for more, let’s move on.
Pros and Cons of Title Case vs Sentence Case for Blog Titles
If you’re writing for your own blog or for a platform such as Medium.com or Substack, you are generally free to choose whichever headline formatting style you prefer and there are pros and cons to both.
Advantages of title case
- Readability: Title case enhances readability by capitalizing the first letter of each major word, making the title more visually appealing.
- Professionalism: It lends a professional and polished appearance to your articles, conveying authority and trustworthiness.
- SEO: Search engines often recognize title case as standard, and headlines in title case lead to higher click through rates, both of which can improve your article’s SEO ranking. We’ll explore this subject in more detail later on in this guide.
- Consistency: Using title case ensures consistency in your blog’s style, making it more cohesive and user-friendly.
- Clarity: It helps readers quickly identify important words and concepts in the title, improving comprehension and hooking them in.
- Style guide compliance: Many style guides recommend title case for article titles, ensuring compliance with publishing standards.
Advantages of sentence case
- Readability: Sentence case resembles the way sentences are naturally written, making titles easy to read and understand.
- Informality: It can convey a more conversational and approachable tone, which may be suitable for certain blog genres or audiences.
- Aesthetic appeal: Some designers prefer sentence case for its aesthetic appeal, as it can create a visually balanced title.
- Unique style: If most of your competitors are using title case, choosing sentence case could help your blog stand out.
So, whilst title case is generally the preferred option for blog titles, there are some advantages to sentence case that you should consider.
Title Case Rules for Blog Titles
Unfortunately there are no universally-accepted rules for title case capitalization.
There are 8 major style guides governing title case capitalization, plus many organizations have their own internal set of rules.
Selecting which style guide to follow can be confusing. Many of the style guides were developed for adademia, scientific journals, legal documents, and reporting, so they can often feel like overkill when it comes to blog titles.
The rules can be complex to implement and can result in apparent inconsistency from the average reader’s point of view.
For example, in some style guides, the word like would be capitalized when used as an adjective, conjunction, noun, or verb but lowercased when used as a preposition. This might make sense gramatically, but from the reader’s perspective it can appear inconsistent.
As a blogger myself, I found this apparent inconsistency frustrating. My titles often just wouldn’t look right.
So instead of constantly referring to a list of words not capitalized in a title or repeatedly asking myself “Is the capitalized in a title?” I built TitleFormat title case tool with a simple, consistent set of rules that treats words the same, irrespective of the way in which they are being used.
TitleFormat applies the following rules:
- Capitalize the first word
- Capitalize the last word
- Capitalize any words of 4 letters or more
- Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the…)
- Do not capitalize coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for…)
- Do not capitalize short prepositions (at, by, to, on…)
- Do not capitalize to in infinitives
- Capitalize the first part of a hyphenated word and subsequent parts, unless the word should be lowercased as per any of the above rules. eg ”Case-by-Case”
How to Format Your Blog Title Using TitleFormat Title Case Converter
Converting your blog title to title case with TitleFormat title case converter is easy.
Head on over to our home page. Simply write or paste your title into the text box and tap Convert. You can then tap Copy to copy your headline to the clipboard, ready to paste wherever you need it. Or alternatively you can tap Save to save it for future reference. Useful if, like me, you take some time gradually refining your titles.
You can optionally choose to preserve the case of any text that is contained within quotation marks. If your title contains a quote from someone else, for example, you may which to preserve it in its original casing.
11 Tips for Better Blog Titles
Correctly formatting your heading in title case is an important step but here are some additional rules and tips that will help you write a great title.
- Keyword Inclusion: Include relevant keywords that reflect the article’s content and target audience’s search queries. But be careful not to overdo it or try to shoehorn keywords in where not appropriate.
- Clarity: Ensure the title clearly conveys what the article is about, avoiding vague or ambiguous language. So instead of a generic title like “On Writing”, consider “I Published 300 Articles. Here’s Everything I’ve Learnt About Writing”.
- Show Your Credentials: As in the example above, if you have expertise in a field, demonstrate it in your title, or lean on someone else’s credability. “World-Renowned Scientist Warns This Is the Biggest Threat to Our Existence”
- Identify Your Target Reader: If your article is aimed at a particular group of people, name them in your title. “10 Saving Tips for Strapped-for-Cash Millennials”
- Conciseness: Keep titles concise and to the point, ideally under 70 characters to prevent truncation in search engine results.
- Engaging or Emotive Language: Use engaging and descriptive language to pique readers’ interest and curiosity. Their time is precious and they need to know what they are going to get out of reading your article. Are they going to be educated? Entertained? Shocked?
- The Curiosity Gap: The curiosity gap is the space between what you reveal in your title, and what you’re promising the reader they’ll learn in the article. It leverages people’s inherant curiosity meaning that they almost can’t help but click through or read on.
- Numbers and Lists: There’s a reason why listicles are so successful. Incorporating numbers in titles attracts attention and gives your article specificity.
- Actionable Verbs: Use actionable verbs to encourage readers to take a specific action or learn something (e.g., “Mastering X”, “How to Y”).
- Avoid Clickbait: While being engaging, avoid clickbait titles that promise more than the article delivers. Bold claims are fine, so long as you back them up with great content.
- Consistency: Maintain a consistent style for titles throughout your blog to build a recognizable brand. It helps to keep the style natural. So if you’re a playful person who likes to go against the grain, let that shine through in your titles. If you’re a logical, analytical person, show readers that they can expect tons of practical tips from your article.
Formatting Subtitles and Subheadings (and Sub-Subheadings)
Whilst blog titles are almost always formatted using title case, subtitles and subheadings are less clear-cut. The most important rule with subtitles and subheadings is to be consistent.
A good starting point is to examine the articles of your competitors or other bloggers you admire and see what they’re doing.
For my own articles and the articles that I edit, my preferred style is to use sentence case for the subtitle if it comes immediately under the main title.
Choosing sentence case for your subtitle makes the main title stand out more. Additionally, this subtitle is generally an expansion of the title, so it typically doesn’t stand on its own, and instead leads the reader into the first sentence of your post.
Subheadings and sub-subheadings
When it comes to H2 subheadings and H3 sub-subheadings, (as you can see in this article) I prefer title case for H2s and sentence case for H3s.
I find that H2s are typically making a major point and using title case helps punctuate the article, making the reader pause and take in your arguments.
I choose sentence case for H3s as these are generally supplementary points to the main point you’re making in your H2 subheadings and by choosing sentence case you keep the reader’s flow.
Whatever you choose for your own blog, just make sure to remain consistent.
SEO Impact of Title Case in Blog Titles
Ok so first things first, search engines are not going to base their ranking of your content on whether your titles are formatted using title case or sencence case.
However, that does not mean that use of title case in blog titles doesn’t affect SEO. On the contrary, title case can have a significant, positive impact.
This is because titles that are formatted in title case command attention and therefore readers are more likely to click through. Once on the article, title case formatting helps to retain their attention and thus decreases bounce rates. Click through rates and bounce rates are key metrics in search engine rankings, so improving them helps to increase your rankings.
An experiment by Semrush found that changing existing article titles from title case to sentence case reduced clicks by 2.4% in just 28 days.
I’m currently preparing a full article on the impact of title case headline formatting in SEO performance so stay tuned for that.
Examples of Blog Titles in Title Case
It can be easier to understand the difference that title case makes to a title with some simple examples taken from some highly successful blog articles.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
In sentence case, Mark Manson’s iconic blog title would be The subtle art of not giving a f*ck.
Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think
Compared to how Tim Urban’s blog title would look in sentence case: Taming the mammoth: Why you should stop caring what other people think.
Six Habits of Deeply Miserable People
Zulie Rane’s viral article looks much less impactful in sentence case: Six habits of deeply miserable people.
I Saved 73% of My Income Because of This 1 Simple Reason
In sentence case this verging-on-clickbaity blog title would look like I saved 73% of my income because of this 1 simple reason.
(I had to sneak one of my own titles in there at the end didn’t I?)
All of these articles were originally published in title case and comparing them with how they’d look in sentence case, I think you can see why. In every case, the title case format looks more impactful.
It’s not only the title case format that helped make these blog posts stand out though. If you compare them with the list of tips from earlier in this article and you’ll see a lot of them crop up again and again.
When deciding how to format your blog title, it’s not the law that you must use title case, but as you’ve hopefully learned by now there are a lot of advantages to doing so.
It makes your title stand out, command attention, and drive home the key point you are making. It makes your articles look more consistent and professional. It has several benefits from an SEO point of view, helping your content to rank higher and get more attention.
Finally, and somewhat unquantifiably, it just looks right.
Try it out on your next blog title.