How to Write YouTube Titles Viewers Can’t Resist

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“If people don’t click they don’t watch” – Mr.Beast

The second thing that viewers look at after seeing the thumbnail is the title.

The title and the thumbnail are the main deciding factors in whether a potential viewer will decide to watch a YouTube video or not.

Having the right title can make a video go viral.

Having the wrong one can make a video flop completely.

So here’s how to write better YouTube titles:

Best Words to Use in a YouTube Title

Titles should hook the viewers in.

While you can use AI tools such as VidIQ to brainstorm them, it’s usually not enough.

AI doesn’t always do a great job but it can be a great source of inspiration.

That’s why it’s best to write titles based on human psychology and not AI.

Here are some of the best-proven title phrases popular YouTubers use to hook you:

1. Be specific:

Ryan Trayhand viral YouTube Title

Of course, specificity doesn’t work with every title. 

If you find it hard to add specificity to your title think about these things: the time frame, the amount, the quantity, the location, and the people you did it with.

“I Survived”

“I Survived With $0.01”

“I Survived With $0.01 This Month”

“I Survived With $0.01 For 30 Days” <- most specific title

2. Open a loop:

Alex Hormozi YouTube viral title and thumbnail

Don’t tell the viewer everything in the title – tease the outcome.

They will have to click and watch to find out the rest of the story.

“This ONE equation will make you rich”

“Do THIS to always have an amazing date”

“The best sales tactic to make a lot of money”

3. Use odd numbers and lists:

Watch Mojo YouTube title

Scientists at the Terence Hines of Pace University, New York, discovered that our brains take longer to process odd numbers compared to even numbers.

Odd numbers stick around in our brains more and they are harder to digest. As a result, odd numbers gain extra meanings.

“I tried coding on my iPad for 7 days”

“The 13 BEST Side Hustles To Start (at EVERY AGE)”

“Top 10 Rejected Cartoons That Became Successful”

4. Spill a secret

Good YouTube title example

At a party, everyone will glance at you if you whisper a secret to a friend.

On YouTube, spilling a secret is like whispering at a party: everyone will look at you right away.

“1.2M Followers in 6 Months… My Content Marketing Strategy REVEALED”

“How To Instantly Create Attraction With Women”

“Asking Millionaires How To Make $1,000,000”

5. Make it extreme:

Ryan Trayhan Metaverse video title and thumbnail

Mr.Beast is a great example of taking things to the extreme in his YouTube titles. 

But be careful – if you promise something in the title make sure to deliver on the promise during the video so the viewer doesn’t feel lied to.

The easiest way to take your title to the extreme is to add “-est” at the end of a word.

“$1 vs $1,000,000 Hotel Room!”

“I Spent 100 Days in the Metaverse”

“I Didn’t Eat Food For 30 Days”

6. Go against the crowd:

Refuting an objection with YouTube title

When you say something that your audience doesn’t agree with, it leaves them wondering who is right and who’s wrong.

To find out why you’re saying the opposite of what they believe, they’ll have to click and watch the video.

“8 Gym Exercises (YOU’RE DOING WRONG!)”

“Can silence actually drive you crazy?”

“Eating less doesn’t lead to weight loss. Here’s why.”

7. Use negativity or regret:

Negativity in YouTube title example

People are always drawn to drama and negative emotions more than positive ones. 

You can exploit this human trait in your YouTube titles to gain a bigger audience.

“I got laid off at Microsoft. What I regret”

“100 People Tell Us Their Biggest Regrets”

“Editing Mistakes YouTubers Do That I Hate”

8. Disprove an argument:

Leon Hendrix YouTub title and thumbnail

Everyone has a reason for why they haven’t achieved success yet.

But if you tell a person that they can achieve success even with a reason, why they can’t, being true – then they’ll have no choice but to watch the video.

“4 Lazy Ways To Make Money Online While You Sleep (Passive Income)”

“How This Homeless Drug Addict Became A Millionaire”

“Why The Cops Won’t Help You While You’re Getting Stabbed”

P.S. I also made this Notion template that has everything I know about starting and growing a YouTube channel from 0:

Get a free Notion template with the tutorial for the game of YouTube

🚀 10+ Notion pages about how to play the YouTube game

⚙️ List of tools & gear for YouTubers

🧑‍⚖️ How to make your first video and get your channel off the ground

💰 Detailed guide about finding your niche & making money

How to Write Good YouTube Titles:

There are a few ways to come up with good titles for your videos that maximize your potential on YouTube.

And the best part is that you don’t have to come up with title ideas yourself.

It’s a lot easier and often more effective to use one of these methods for coming up with a great title:

Jasper AI is a content writing tool that uses AI to write texts for you based on the input you provide.

It can also be used to generate video title ideas.

If you are completely unsure what your video title should be then you can use AI to help guide you in the right direction.

With Jasper, you tell the software what your video is about and in a split second it will spit out a clickable title for that video.

2. Yoink and Twist

As Ludwig, one of the biggest creators and streamers on YouTube put it, you can “yoink and twist” someone else’s idea to make it your own

This doesn’t mean that you should copy titles from other YouTubers but use them as inspiration to come up with your own. 

If a video shows up on your YouTube home page, chances are that it has a decent title because it was able to beat all the other videos that are being uploaded to YouTube every single hour.

If you decide to click and watch a video from a creator you can become an active content consumer and before watching that video think for a brief second about what made you click.

Over time you’ll start noticing repeating patterns which you can then leverage to create your own viral titles. 

3. Create a mood board

YouTube thumbnail and title mood board

Has it ever happened that as soon as you opened YouTube and glanced at the home feed for just a split second, you immediately knew which video you were going to watch?

If I see a video that I can’t resist I take a screenshot of it and upload it to my mood board. 

A mood board acts as inspiration the next time I struggle to come up with a killer title or a thumbnail that stands out.

I use a simple Google dock for my video mood board.

Notion or Apple notes would also suffice.  

4. Include searchable keywords

YouTube search keywords in the video title and description

If you’re under 1000 subscribers, chances are that some of your videos might benefit from YouTube search traffic.

That’s why including searchable keywords in your title will help YouTube figure out what your video is about and rank it for the appropriate search term.

Of course, not all search terms are created equal.

Some of them have high competition and are hard to rank for. 

In order to find out if it’s worth going after a search term, you can use a keyword research tool like TubeBuddy.

TubeBuddy lets you enter a keyword and then shows you if it’s too competitive as well as how many people search for that keyword every month.

I recommend checking out my full guide about how to do keyword research for YouTube here.

5. Don't use clickbait

Clickbait only solves one variable in a viral video equation – CTR.

But you lose out on watch time, viewer retention, and most importantly viewer satisfaction.

Although tempting, using clickbait in your titles will still result in your video flopping. 

YouTube has addressed the clickbait issue a long time ago.

YouTube analyses viewers and looks at a lot more metrics other than if the viewer clicked or not to determine whether viewers like a specific video.

The title should let the viewer know exactly what the video is about whilst also introducing intrigue or hooking them in

7. Create intrigue or urgency

The best videos on YouTube usually invoke some sort of emotion and the feeling of missing out in the viewer.

If you’re able to portray some sort of emotion or urgency with your title then it’s a lot more likely that your video will blow up. 

8. Think about the thumbnail

Of course, you can’t only think about the title because the thumbnail is the other half of the viral video coin.

The thumbnail and the title should play together and complement each other. 

For example, a thumbnail could attract the viewer’s eye with vibrant colors and the title could explain more of what’s happening but still leave something out so the viewer wants to click and find out. 

I made a complete thumbnail guide that will allow you to unlock the secrets of how Mr.Beast creates his killer thumbnails:

How To Make An Irresistible YouTube Thumbnail (Like Mr.Beast)

Read More

What’s the Best YouTube Title Length

The best YouTube title length is under 50 characters

You can use a free website called YouTube video length checker to see if your title is too long.

It’s best to keep your title as short as possible to stand out amongst all the other videos on the YouTube homepage. 

Why is the title important?

The title is the second thing that the viewers see but it could be argued that the thumbnail is more important because usually it’s what people look at first.

However, a good combination of an attention-grabbing thumbnail and an intriguing title could launch the video from being a 4/10 into 1/10 for your channel.

Mr.Beast YouTube Title and Thumbnail example

A title should tell the viewer exactly what to expect from the video.

And as soon as the viewer clicks on the video you have to make sure that the intro delivers on the promise of the title

It’s very hard to keep the viewer for the first 30 seconds of the video and that’s why you’ll see the most viewers leave in the first 30 seconds. 

Once a viewer watches past the 30-second mark he or she is a lot more committed to sitting through the whole video.

That’s why a strong combination of the thumbnail title and your script will make sure that the viewer chooses to watch your channel instead of someone else’s.

P.S. I also made this Notion template where I put everything I know about starting a growing a YouTube channel from 0:

Get a free Notion template with the tutorial for the game of YouTube

🚀 10+ Notion pages about how to play the YouTube game

⚙️ List of tools & gear for YouTubers

🧑‍⚖️ How to make your first video and get your channel off the ground

💰 Detailed guide about finding your niche & making money

How to Make Your Videos Go Viral on YouTube

There are many key components that make a video go viral:

  • An irresistible title.
  • An irresistible thumbnail.
  • Above-average view duration. 
  • High viewer retention.
  • Viewer binging sessions (through end screens).

It is only by combining all these factors that your video has the potential to go viral on YouTube.

That’s why I’ll leave you with a few great resources on how to improve your next video and make your channel explode a lot sooner:

How To Write A Killer YouTube Script That Boosts Retention

Read More

17 YouTube Video Ideas Without Showing Your Face

Read More

How To Grow A Faceless YouTube Channel

Read More
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