15 Rules on Making GREAT Titles!

Chris Haroun
A free video tutorial from Chris Haroun
Award Winning MBA Professor, Venture Capitalist and Author.
4.5 instructor rating • 54 courses • 1,030,234 students

Learn more from the full course

The Complete YouTube Course by YouTubers with 100mn+ Views

Everything You Need to Know to Succeed on YouTube by an Award Winning Business School Prof & Successful YouTubers

18:19:57 of on-demand video • Updated April 2021

  • Create incredible YouTube videos
  • How to make money on YouTube
  • Create the best titles that will get you more subscribers and views
  • Create amazing thumbnail images using Photoshop, Gimp, Pixelmator Pro and PowerPoint (no prior experience required)
  • How to edit your videos using Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro (no prior experience required)
  • How the YouTube search engine works
  • Learn how to create amazing YouTube videos using many types of cameras (DSLRs, Mirrorless Cameras, GoPros, Drones, Webcams, High End Cinema Cameras and much more...no prior experience required)
  • How to use audio equipment for your YouTube videos
  • Set up a YouTube Live Webcast
  • Create unique content that works
  • Design your YouTube strategy
  • Optimize your delivery on camera
  • Understand YouTube Analytics
  • Editing tips to improve videos
  • Dealing with issues with videos
  • Protect yourself (follow the rules)
  • Accessories to improve videos
  • ...and MUCH more! There is also a 400+ page book / exercise version of the course attached to the first lecture in PDF and in Microsoft Word formats.
English -: Sometimes people choose a great title first before they even shoot the video. And then they make the video to fit the title. That's how important a good title is. Now you don't have to do that. And you can still succeed with a great thumbnail image, even if it doesn't have a great title. But it will perform much better with a great title, as well as a great thumbnail image. That's why we want to give you as many examples of great titles in this section as we can, and we will also provide you with the links to all of the YouTube video examples that we discuss. -: In professional journalism and with YouTube videos, putting a number first works really well. Here are some titles of my articles when I used to have an Inc. Magazine column that worked really well for me. Please notice that putting the number first in titles helped me a lot with the success of these articles. And the same thing can be said for my LinkedIn articles, meaning the ones with numbers in the titles worked out well. I also use this in my YouTube videos. And what works in journalism and in book writing often works well with YouTube video titles. Now here's some examples of using numbers in titles from my YouTube videos, which is a great strategy because people tend to like this. 10 Simple Excel Tricks to Make You Much More Productive. Three Life Hacks to Help You Save Time, Money, and Your Inbox. 10 Business and Life Lessons From Stan Lee. And lastly, Six Ways if You Can Tell if You Can Trust Somebody at Work. -: Thanks Chris. An issue though to keep in mind is that if the title is very long, then we need to put the most important words first because after 55 characters or so the viewer will only see a dot, dot, dot instead of the end part of your title when your video shows up in the viewer's feed. So for example, if your title is, when asked about his 24 year old daughter's marriage to a homeless man in Peru, the President fainted. It's going to appear in the feed as, when asked about his 24 year old daughter's marriage to dot, dot, dot. And nobody can see the rest of the title unless they actually click on the video. So the wording here is not ideal. We want the important words first, so perhaps we could change it to, President's daughter marries homeless man. And then a picture of the President fainting in the thumbnail image. Or maybe President faints when daughter marries homeless man. Or, President's son in law, homeless, question mark. So just keep brainstorming until you find the title you like best, and you can keep the title long too, okay, but you want it to be the most important words first, so that they're not replaced with dot, dot, dot. -: Another great strategy that works well is putting one word entirely in uppercase. Because uppercase letters can stand out more and get a lot of attention. Now I don't recommend making all of the words in the title uppercase though, just one word, because it's more effective. And some people actually feel that if you type an entire sentence or an entire title in uppercase, then it comes across like you're yelling. And we don't want to offend anybody. -: Exactly, and that's a good seg way to the next rule, or tip, for titles, which is, we should never put anything in a title that is offensive. Okay, so maybe swear words or anything that could offend anyone because advertisers will not want to place ads on your video content if it is deemed offensive. In fact not only can you lose ad revenue, your video can be suppressed by YouTube, meaning it will be suggested to fewer people or even get taken down or blocked, depending on how offensive it is. -: Also asking a question in a title can help to get more users to click on it. Like, What Happened to Bitcoin? When Should You Start Your Company? What Are Options and Derivatives? And, How to Predict the Next Big Thing in Tech? Also, short titles that contain words that people search for works well. Like, Finance Jobs Explained. Or, How to Sound Proof a Room. Or, How to Achieve Your Goals. How to Accomplish More. Best Business Books. How to Find Your Passion. How to Network Using LinkedIn. How to Be a Better Investor. How to Burn Calories While You Work. Should You Get a Job in Venture Capital? And, Advice for New Engineers. Sasha, when you write a title, are you thinking of SEO, meaning Search Engine Optimization? -: I generally don't focus much on SEO, but if you're just starting out on YouTube, then it definitely can't hurt. Let's say I have a kid's channel and I don't know if I should do a video of playing on a trampoline or make a video playing on water slides? In this case, I might check the popularity of each topic in Google Trends. So worldwide, it appears that trampolines are more popular at the moment. So I might be better off having trampoline in my title. Or, let's say I got a new water slide, so I'm going to do a video about water slides anyway. Now in this case, I might check the popularity of water park versus water slide in my audience's country. And it says, water park is more popular. So my title might be, Water Park in my Backyard. Or something else with water park in the title. You could also check the key word planner on Google Ads per these images to see how many people are searching for your key word. And it also suggests other key word ideas you might want to use instead, which is very useful. So in the case of water park, it says between 10,000 and 100,000 people search for this key word every month in Indonesia. And you can change the location according to who your target audience is. And if you want to rank higher for your key word, trampoline, for example, you'll also have to put it in the description box and in the tags and use the word several times in your video and not just in your title. If you have difficulty coming up with ideas for good titles, browse through YouTube and get a feel for what other people title their videos. Maybe you can get inspired. And you'll see how certain types of titles seem to do better than others. You can also check the trending page in your target country. Get a feel for what YouTube is pushing to the top. You can change the country by clicking on your profile picture and changing your location. As you can see, I have changed mine to the United States. Once changed, the trending page will change to that country as well. So I can see the U.S. trending page, even though I'm in Indonesia. -: Names of celebrities or well known brand names can help a lot and get clicks. For example, How I Met Bill Gates. And, Why Microsoft Decided Not to Hire Me. Or, Goal Setting Advice from Derek Jeter and Tony Robbins That Changed My Life. -: Another approach to coming up with great titles is to come up with titles that make the viewers so curious they just have to click on your video. Now of course we don't want to mislead the viewer because they'll just end up either clicking away quickly, which will hurt our video's performance in the analytics. Or they'll dislike the video and leave us with a big thumbs down. And we don't want that either. So a little bit of click bait is okay, but use it wisely and don't go too overboard. Okay, a lot of times you'll see titles like, it's over, and it's like a thumbnail image of our favorite YouTube couple looking sad. And we just have to click on it because maybe, just maybe they broke up. But after we click, it turns out they're just moving to a new apartment. But you know that's click bait, but it's mild and most people don't mind that kind of title these days. So you can go for it in that case. In fact those types of videos do really well. Now I personally don't use click bait that often, but here are some titles I came up with in the past which I thought might spark my viewer's curiosity. Best Way to Kill a Cockroach, which by the way is no longer advertiser friendly. I don't know why, but maybe it's because I used the K word in the title. So be aware of that. Here's another, how to speak Canadian. You didn't know Canadian was a language, well you gotta click to find out what I mean. How to act Indonesian, was a title that did very, very well for me. In fact it changed my life. That's what kind of made me YouTube famous. Sorry, I keep on getting my hair in my lipstick guys. When you start doing YouTube, if you're a girl, you're gonna have this problem, I swear. Another title, What Does My Dog Say? I don't know, you have to click to find out. I think you get my point. What about you, Chris? Do you use curious titles as well? -: I do sometimes. I did one called, Cut These People Off, Get Them Out of Your Life. I did another one called, learn what not to do When You Work For Other People. Also, you are 26 years younger than you think. Another title strategy is to create a title that seems controversial, like these. Why Mutual Funds are a Scam. Why Day Trading is Not a Career. And, Do You Need an MBA or is Two Thirds of HBS BS? Another approach is to use words that have a call to action or a sense of urgency. Words like, right now, or, you need to, can work really well. For example, Quit Your Job and Start Your Company Right Now. I want to help you do this. It's true, I do. Another one is called, Video Production 101, Everything You Need to Know. Special words that help someone to do something better or faster or easier are awesome in titles too. Like the words, tricks, secrets, simple, or easy. An example is this. Three Killer Management Tips From Jeff Bezos. Or, Technical Analysis Tips. Another one is, Learn Finance and Accounting the Easy Way. Next up, we have cast your net as wide as you can in titles. Okay, so in business we often like to create products or services that target the biggest total addressable market as possible. And here are some examples of titles that appeal to huge markets or to more people. And words like, every or everyone or everything or always or we all must, et cetera, work well. Here are some examples. How to Fix Every Problem in the World. Or, The Complete Business Plan Course, Everything You Need to Know. Or, One Random Act of Kindness Daily Changes Everything. -: Let's talk about A/B Testing. Sometimes we're not sure what title will work best for our videos. So a strategy that many media companies use is they create two or more titles, and then they ask a focus group for which title they prefer. So is it title A or title B? Now for me, I have a small group of my YouTube followers that are a good sample representation of all my followers. So when I'm in doubt about a title, I can just email them and ask five or 10 of them which title they like best before I publish the video. I want to talk about the importance of developing your own unique style in your videos. And eliciting an emotion or a sense of passion or inspiration in your video titles. As it's a style that I personally love. And later on in the course, you will see Sasha's style via her images and videos. It's comedy, she cracks me up. My style is business, personal development, and inspiration. Now here are some sample titles of videos that I've created that I humbly think elicit an emotional or are an inspiration. Finding Your Career Path and Happiness. What Hat Should You Wear? How to Build Unstoppable Confidence. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Liberating Your Fear of Failure. Goal Setting, A Simple Way of Increasing the Chances of Achieving Your Goals. Don't Let Anyone Tell You How to Live Your Life. All You Need is What You Have. And lastly, How to Get Back Into Your Genius Zone. Thank you.