Coming up with a good title is HARD. They are SO important, so the pressure of making the perfect title can be paralyzing. Thumbnails get them to stop scrolling, but the title is what gets them to click. – So it HAS to be GOOD! It’s vital to have a strategy for getting a good title every time. And that strategy is what we are going to talk about today.

Good vs Bad Titles

For some videos, the title just flows out. But other times it is HARD. How do you get that click?? Well, first let’s talk about how NOT to get it. And that would be by using a “What-driven Title” which is just trying to just describe your video. If you are trying to cram keywords and descriptors into your title, it’s not getting clicked. So many creators do this because they don’t understand how YouTube works. The job of the title is not to describe the video, but make people curious enough to click it.

So how do you build intrigue? One way is to ask yourself, “What is the value that your viewer is going to get from this video? Then, how can I highlight that benefit to the beginning of my title?

You’re trying to catch the attention of people – not robots. (YouTube already knows what your video is about. So no need to try to trick YouTube into surfacing it to more people based on your title.) It’s also not a filing cabinet. Putting the episode number or marking it in a series, etc are not necessary and take away from the effect. Intrigue is the goal.

A great example of this is Not Another Cooking Show who titled their video, “” It could have been simply “The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich” or titled “Grilled Cheese Cooking grilled cheese Food Chef Casual At Home cooking for moms professional semiprofessional grilled cheese, grilled cheese grilled cheese!” – But who is clicking on that?! (It was painful enough just to type!) But, saying that they ate it every other day for 2 years sparks so many questions: WHY!? It must be good, right? What’s in this thing? That’s a long time to eat the same thing! I need to try that grilled cheese.

Let’s Talk Strategy

A title isn’t great without complimenting the thumbnail and the opening seconds of your video. The thumbnail stops the scroll. The title creates a question in the brain to make the viewer feel like they HAVE to click. Then, the opening seconds teases the answer – without giving it all the way. (Otherwise, they’d just abandon the video.)

To do this properly, start with your title. Before you film a thing, come up with a few good titles and pair them with some thumbnail ideas. After that, create your opening hook and make your video outline. After ALL this is done, THEN you start filming. This will ensure that your video is going to set you up for success and give you a game plan going in. After you complete filming, you can go back to those titles/thumbnails and pick which one really is the best fit.


Now this hasn’t always been the best strategy. It used to be recommended to simply describe your video and then repeat your title in the opening seconds of your video. The thought was that it reinforced your message. But nowadays, repeating is boring and just leads to people abandoning your video.

Putting numbers in your video titles is also a trend that has passed. We’ve discovered that if you say “7 ways to ….” viewers will often click to find each way and then abandon your content. Also with people today having a shorter and shorter attention span, if you have a high number highlighted in your title many people won’t even click into that video because they don’t want to spend the time to watch them all.

It was also a trend for creators to put multiple titles on their videos. Whether by using / or #. Doing this just adds clutter. If you want hashtags, put them in your description. If you need two titles, then you don’t have the right title. Also, keep it short – under 50 characters. And most of those need to be lowercase. If you’re using capital letters, use them to emphasize certain words, not the whole thing. STOP YELLING YOUR TITLE AT PEOPLE. (- Nobody likes that.)

Power Tip

When a title just seems impossible, breaking it down into a formula can really get those creative juices flowing. Here are some examples:


  • “Better Homemade Pasta in 5 Minutes”
  • “NAIL that high note by easily tweaking THIS”


  • “The Key to Keeping Clients Longer”
  • “It took me 30 seconds to make this restaurant style sauce (SO GOOD)”


  • “Why Your Grilling Style overcooks the meat, Easily fix today”

Find channels that nail titles over and over again. What are the patterns you see? Ideate a list of go to formulas you see that NAIL the click. This way, when titles are hard, you’ll be armed with a go-to strategy that works.

Keep changing lives!

Tim Schmoyer

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