Social media is a waste of time and effort if nobody reads your content. Professional bloggers, (i.e., people who get paid when people click on their content) spend almost as much time writing the headline as they do on the content itself.

For premium content, such as for a substantive blog post or newsletter, write about 30 versions of the headline before deciding which will get the most clicks. For conversational content, such as comments and tweets, write three “openings” before deciding which will compel the greatest number of people to click “more.”

If you’re a novice at headline writing, step away mentally from the content and ask yourself: “Would I click on this?” Over time, use metrics (like click-through rates) to get a sense of what works for the kind of content you’re creating.

It also helps to keep a journal of headlines from other people’s content that went viral. Then model your headlines to match.