Elevate Your YouTube Titles with These Secret, Underrated Tips

Confused about how to title YouTube videos? Here are some unique, underrated tips to make your titles more engaging.

By now, you probably know the best practices for writing YouTube titles: Make them intriguing, add some emotion, and use the right keywords.

But what about the hidden, less-talked-about methods? The underrated tips you never hear about that drive thousands of views on YouTube?

Today, we’re going to spill those secrets. We recently spoke with title expert Jake Thomas of Creator Hooks, who shared two ways to write the best YouTube titles:

  1. The Picasso Method
  2. The DJ Khaled Method

The Picasso Method

The first method for naming YouTube videos is the Picasso Method. It’s inspired by the famous artist Pablo Picasso, who’s often quoted as saying, “Good artists borrow, and great artists steal.”

He was probably talking about fine art when he said that, but the concept applies to YouTube too. If you look at different channels in the same niche — the YouTube education space, for example — you’ll notice that everyone steals from each other. If one creator gets thousands of views using a video title, someone else uses it too.

We’re not saying you should blatantly copy titles, though. It’s much better to pull inspiration from a concept, then use it to write a unique title for your video.

Picasso Method in Action: ‘Recycling’ YouTube Titles

When we spoke with Jake, he explained how the Picasso method works in action. So, imagine this: You have a fitness channel, and one of your competitors uploads a video titled “How to Get a Six Pack in 10 Weeks.” It has 100,000 views, so you know the concept is worth exploring on your channel.

Over the next few days, you spend some time creating your version of that video. When it’s time to think about titles, you don’t steal your competitor’s idea 100%; you say something like “10 Tips to Get a Six Pack in 10 Weeks.”

“They’re similar, but [you’re] not exactly copying,” Jake says.

The Picasso Method is perhaps the best way to title YouTube videos, but don’t pull inspiration from just any content. You want to make sure the topic is relevant right now. That means you shouldn't visit a channel, find a video with high views, and use its title without asking questions. Always wonder, Is the topic still trending?

To answer that question, sign up for vidIQ and take advantage of our trending tab. It shows you which videos are getting views right now on any creator's channel page.

The DJ Khaled Method

Most people know DJ Khaled, but if you don’t, think of him as a “chart-topping rap icon.” He's known for bringing artists together to create hit records and remixes. In fact, he is the king of remixing, which is why the DJ Khaled method is perfect for YouTube.

“This is where you remix proven ideas from other niches with proven topics from your niche,” Jake says.

If that sounds a bit confusing, here’s an example. Imagine that, like before, you have a fitness channel on YouTube. You’re browsing videos to watch on the app, and you come across one titled “20 Halloween Candies You Should Never Eat.” This idea is way outside your niche, but with a little creativity, you remix the title for a fitness video: “10 Back Exercises You Should Never Do.”

How to Find YouTube Video Titles to Remix

Not sure which titles to remix? The trick is finding videos in niches similar to yours yet different enough to create unique titles.

“Think of the big, major niches,” Jake says. “Health, wealth, and relationships are good places to start.”

If you have a health channel, get your title inspiration from relevant sub-niches, like nutrition, productivity, or healthy habits. If you’re making “wealth” content, try remixing your titles with marketing, finance, or real estate titles. For the relationships niche, pull inspiration from video titles around dating and marriage advice.

The best thing to do is keep a running list of channels you admire in these niches. Then you can track what they’re posting and get non-stop inspiration for video titles.

An easy way to do this is with vidIQ’s Competitor Tracking Tool. Sign up for the Pro plan ($10/month), then track multiple channels on YouTube based on video views, historical data, and other metrics.

You Don’t Have to Start from Scratch

When you feel stuck, don’t write titles from scratch. Open the YouTube app and see what’s already out there for you to tweak or remix. You’ll get immediate inspiration, which helps you write the best title for your YouTube video.

And if you need more details about either method — the Picasso or DJ Khaled — this video has more examples to help you out.

Ready to take your views to the next level?

Here are three more secrets for writing the best YouTube titles.