You probably spend a considerable amount of time getting the wording right for your blog posts. After all, you want to make sure that people understand the point you are trying to make about your industry, or your business.
When you are done with that post you worked so hard on, the temptation is to spend a few seconds, and slap something up top for a headline. It’s the shortest part of your post, therefore the least significant, right?
Your headline is arguably the most important part in attracting a reader’s attention to what you are trying to say. Journalists have used headlines to draw readers into their stories for years, because they understand it’s what a reader uses to determine whether they will commit.
It’s what good online marketers use as well. There is a good chance your reader will likely stumble upon your post through search or social.
In either case, their attention span will be short, amongst all the other electronic opportunities vying for their attention. Even if your reader landed on your website first, and decided to check out your blog, the headline needs to entice them to click on your post – still a tall order.
In short, your headline is what a prospect will use in the decision on whether to read your work or not. It’s all or nothing, and that important.
Headlines that draw people in are headlines that have a good chance of selling.
5 Easy Tricks for Writing Headlines that Sell:
- Keep it short and simple – A 65 character limit is what Google displays in the search results. To give you an idea on how short that is, it’s less than half the limit for a tweet. If readers can’t grasp the context of what your blog post will be about in that length, you’ve probably lost them anyway. Online readers scan. So a long headline with complex words will likely contain stopping points that propel the reader onto the next result. An easy to read headline is key.
- Use Provoking Adjectives – Mark Twain wrote that when you see an adjective in your writing, you should kill it. This is sound advice, with the exception of your headlines. People are constantly on the lookout for new information, and how to make their life a little easier. Words like free, fun, easy, interesting, or strange can provoke a reader’s curiosity. They offer a reason to click. The right adjective will keep your headline interesting.
- State the benefit – Does the information that follows your headline truly make your readers life better? Tell them how, up front. How your article will help them sell more, lose weight, make more money, conquer the world…whatever it is. This way the readers see what they’ll be getting up front, and will likely be enticed with the possibility of a new way to accomplish their goals, or make their life better.
- The Use of a number – Writers might get sick of constantly producing lists, but there’s a reason we keep going back – they work. The use of a numeral in the headline gives a reader a specific idea of what they are in for. Numbers satisfy a reader’s craving for efficiency. It’s straight forward, and the scanners among us don’t have to worry about large blocks of text that are not broken up.
- Capture the point of your post – One mistake that many writers make is that the headline doesn’t match the blog. If you state a specific benefit, make sure the post lives up to this promise. Make sure that your headline is specific enough, and can’t be interpreted to have more than one meaning.
Have you discovered a headline formula that worked for you? Take a look at some of your best performing posts, and see if the headline followed any of the above tricks.