A guide to CoSchedule’s Headline Studio and Answer The Public

CoSchedule’s Headline Studio and Answer The Public are my two all-time favourite blog writing tools. Out of all the online tools I’ve used from writing over the years, these two stand out. Not only are they simple to use, but they’re also exceedingly effective at what they do — generate headlines for blogs that spark curiosity and article ideas that provide real value for readers. If you want to be a better writer, these two blogging tools can help immensely.

Whether I’m writing for my own audience or my clients, Headline Studio and Answer The Public are the two tools I turn to time and again to get the results I need.

CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

Initially, I wasn’t so taken with CoSchedule. I was looking for something that would generate a bunch of suggestions like Fat Joe’s Blog Title Generator. Then I could build off the ideas presented. Instead, CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer recently rebranded as Headline Studio by CoSchedule scores your headline ideas without creating new ones.

The ideas you tap in are scored from 0 to 100. They’re also colour coded, low scores that are unlikely to get clicks are red and range from 0 to 49. Amber scores are so-so and sometimes reach Google’s first page of results, they sit between 50 and 69. Higher green scores should do well for attracting readers and most of the time SEO too — they range from 70 and up.

Each headline idea, regardless of the score, is returned with oodles of information. This helps you improve your scores with each idea.

The dashboard is really easy to use.

In fact, the whole platform is clean and easy to understand. After creating an account and login in, you’ll be directed to a dashboard like this.

All you need to do is tap in the headline you have in mind for your blog and hit Analyze. The system then comes back with a score and provides information on how it reached this figure. The best bit is that it also delivers suggestions for improving that score.

The idea with the analyzer is for you to find the perfect mix of word types, count, and balance while character count, sentiment, clarity, and skimmability also hit the spot.

One of the ways to write better headlines is to leverage different types of words — power words or emotional words for example. Headline Studio is really helpful in this respect by providing a link to their word bank. Here are lists of the different kinds of words and a thesaurus of synonyms that you can use too. Super helpful.

The SEO score comes with similarly helpful data. Using the same colour coding for the main headline score, on the SEO Score tab you’ll find the data CoSchedule uses to come up with their rating. How you rank against competing headlines, keyword variants and some of the questions internet browsers ask that are likely to pull your blog into their results.

After consulting the various resources, it’s likely you’ll be able to lift a red score to amber or even green.

It’s simple, effective, and a fast way to make sure you’re giving your writing the best intro to readers possible.

Answer The Public

When I’m stuck for ideas for a blog or just interested in what the world is asking Google, this is my go-to resource. Like the headline analyzer tool above, Answer The Public is simple to use and really fast at generating the data you need to get writing.

Similar to CoSchedule — and lots of online tools these days — ATP has a limited free version and a pro version that give subscribers unlimited searches. I’ve found the free version to provide enough searches per week for me so far, but I expect those working with brands or who really want to dig into searcher behaviours and keywords would make great use of a pro-level subscription.

When reaching their site, start with your keyword — the fewer words the better your results will be.

Make sure you adjust your location and language settings to make sure you get the data you’re looking for. ATP is run by a group down in Brighton, UK, so the settings are naturally set for the United Kingdom and in English.

Within a minute or so, a list of ideas is generated based on what is being asked of Google in that location. Results are broken up into different categories and presented in a few different ways to make it easier to use the data.

The different groups — questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabetic listings (e.g. blogging apps, blogging business, blogging camera, etc.) can be easily downloaded either as a complete CSV file or as images to retain the mandala type arrangement for the categories.

The listing of the results — in both the images and the CSV file is done in a way that puts the most asked queries for each section at the top, least at the bottom. The image arrangement has a small green dot next to each of the queries, the darker the dot, the more times this has been asked of Google.

The great things about these two tools are that they quickly and simply solve two of the most common problems for writers and marketers — creating headlines that engage your audience and understanding what people are asking or thinking about a topic. I use each of these regularly for both my own blogging work and the work I do for clients. Give them a try and let me know what you think!