In 2018, it was estimated that there were over 500 million blogs.
That means there’s quite a bit of content floating around. Your content may be rich, robust, and readable, but without a headline that grabs a reader’s attention, your content is likely to go unread.
Headline writing is key to getting traffic to your blog. When your headline is enticing, people click.
But how is that done? And what if you’re not particularly good at writing headlines? This article will explore and give examples of how to write a headline so you can finally have your content viewed.
Headline Writing Tips
Attention-grabbing headlines are read more than your content, even if that content is jam-packed with information. Also, they will also show up more in an organic SEO search, so even though a headline is a small part of your article or blog post, it’s the key to opening the content.
Here are ten tips for writing headlines that people will find enticing.
1. Make A List
Posts that contain lists are called listicles, and people are drawn to them. Beginning your headline with a number is even more engaging, especially if it’s an odd number. This headline is clear, and to the point, so the reader knows exactly what they’re getting.
Lists can range from educating people (Four Easy Ways to Read More Quickly), top tens (Ten Place to Take Your Family That’s Better Than Disneyworld), or guides (Headline Writing 101: Create The Perfect Headline in Just Minutes). All three of these examples perform well. Phrases that bring about promises, like ”the reason why” or “this will make you” are popular as well.
2. Use Emotional Language
Strong language envokes big emotions. Aim for adjectives, adverbs, and verbs that are striking and intriguing, and are likely to curate curiosity. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate a little bit here or play devil’s advocate.
3. Create Urgency
This could be categorized under using emotional language, but the urgency is different. Urgency indicates that there’s a problem, and it must be fixed, rather than getting the reader to feel a certain way. It causes the reader to wonder, and in return, they keep reading.
4. Know Your Audience
If you don’t know your audience, you can’t write to them. Understanding your audience – who they are, what makes them tick – is instrumental in hooking them in to read your content. If you’re unsure about your audience, do some research and frame your target market.
5. Use Keywords
Keywords are words that are used in an SEO search. Creating a headline with a popular keyword can increase your traffic significantly. Use a keyword tool to find high-ranking keywords when you have an idea for another article and implement them into your headline.
6. Don’t Shy Away From Controversy
Controversy gets people talking and clicking! If there’s a subject in which you hold an opposing viewpoint, create a headline that’s a bit shocking and direct. People are naturally drawn to writers who stir the pot, so get stirring!
7. Use A Question as A Headline
Questions automatically challenge our point of view. Starting a headline with a question, then following up with a challenge will intrigue people to discover more about themselves or their business. For example, a title like, Are You Good at Creating Amazing Headlines? Why You Might Need Some Help, works because it asks the audience a question and then follows up with advice.
8. Throw in Data
Numbers are eye-catching and even more so when they’re next to the text. Try using data in your headline as they give pristine clarity to what the article will be about and drive curiosity. For example, a headline like, “40% of Writers Struggle With Crafting the Perfect Headline” will hook a reader in because they will feel understood while searching for advice.
9. Avoid Puns and Wordplay
Even though puns and wordplay have their place, it’s not in a headline. Most likely, adding puns will confuse your audience and any other potential readers who might be unfamiliar with your writing. Stick to clear and conscience and steer away from amusing and confusing.
10. Don’t Forget Images
Did you know that our brains respond more quickly to images instead of text? But the two of these combined – texts and image – create a powerful combination. Using an image along with your headline will create a long-lasting memory and encourage people to read your content.
A Few More Tips
While the above suggests can help you craft a stellar headline, here are some quick tips to keep in mind:
- Keep it under 70 words–longer titles tend to get cut off in an SEO search
- Include one of the 5 Ws in your title: who, what, when, where, and why
- Don’t settle for one headline
- Test out different phrases and words on your audience and compare responses
- Use ‘Your’ or ‘You’ in your headline to connect with the audience
Do your best to make your headline exciting, readable, and transparent. People need to be excited to read your content.
Writing Brilliant Headlines: In Review
The perfect headline doesn’t just happen; headline writing takes work and practice, especially if you’re not very good at it! Start with writing your headline a few different times and comparing them side by side using these headline writing tips. Which one would you read?