Nowadays, “We-Media” (aka. citizen media or individual media, 自媒体) is very popular in Chinese users' digital life. People use social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, Douyin (Tiktok), Zhihu, Xiaohongshu, QQ or others as their “We-Media” platforms to publish information, express ideas, news to create their own media brands. 

Often we are being asked about the increasing readership and subscribers. Some brands found that users normally subscribed to many WeChat official accounts at the same time, but they don’t really read the content much (it's often frustrating). Therefore, most of the time, the content often gain few reads by the followers. We found that one of the biggest challenges here is the article headline. If we give an article a score of 100, the headline can account for 50 points, while the content itself takes another 50 points. 

So, how to write an attractive headline?

1. Short and eye-catching

Many people write very long titles, and the titles do not highlight the core topics content. This approach is unclear and will annoy the readers. After analysing content from top we-media brands, we found their titles are very short and consist of only a few words, but they are very clear, which make it easy for the readers to understand.

Example: Is it good or bad to make a weight loss plan?


1) Question as a title is more likely to arouse readers' interest; 

2) Pain language is easier to attract attention, feeling like chatting with readers.

2. Put negative or shocking wordings

Everyone hates being denied. Negativity can make people feel uncomfortable. When we use words such as "no, no, forbidden" in the title of an article, the article could get more attention.

Example: If you haven’t done this before, don’t say you are a strong girl!

Analysis: the negative words are well used in the title, which attracts users' attention and also makes users interested in the content of the article.

3. Title with numbers

People are very sensitive to numbers, and numbers often record our efficiency. Using numbers in the title could be a quick win. The larger the number in the title, the wider it expands, so we can include it in the title. Try to avoid using Chinese number words (such as 二十五), because people’s eyes are less sensitive to this number format.

Example: 10 sports you can do at home.

Analysis: Sharp and clear. The title explains the content of the article well, and at the same time uses numbers, so that the user can roughly guess the content through the title. It also makes the content more attractive to users who like sports.

4. Personalize the headline

In this era of mass information across the Internet, it is very common for headlines to be ignored /filtered out by readers, let alone reading your content. Therefore, we do need to arouse the curiosity of users through the title.

Example title: 10 ways to lose weight by dieting, the #6 is very important

Analysis: The title contains the content of the article, and at the same time uses human curiosity, so that users want to see the content when they look at the title and see why the sixth is important. P.s. this title format should be used with caution, it will lose its effect if used too much.

To summarize, the best formula for writing the title: 

  • Keep it short
  • Numbers or specific catchy words + Adjective + Keyword
  • Personalisation

Finally, this article is based on our research and experience. We, however, do suggest that marketers and we-medias should do more experiments and find the practical headline writing skills which suit them the best.