Writing Headlines: The One Thing You Should Know
If you want to learn how to write good headlines, there is one basic strategy you should know: spend significantly more time writing them.
You may be thinking, “Why spend a lot of time on headlines that are barely one complete sentence?”
The answer is this: Headlines are crucial. They are the first impression to your blog post, and on average, only 20 percent of those who read your headline will move along to your first paragraph.
That’s why your headline is so important.
The headline makes or breaks the entire page. It makes or breaks your book, email and video as well. So no matter what type of writing you do, keep reading.
Writing headlines is something to take seriously.
Now that you know the most important thing about writing headlines, let’s check out some practical ways to make your headlines better now that you’re going to put more time into them.
Writing Headlines Like A Pro
Okay, so you now know the majority of people read the headline first to determine whether to read the rest of the article or not.
Since the headline gets read more than any other part of your writing, you want to invest in getting better at creating them.
A headline is like an open door inviting people to come and read. It should be enticing; it should also inform the reader what goodies lie in wait for them.
Crafting a clickable headline is time well spent, however, please remember that the article itself should also be of excellent quality.
Otherwise, people feel let down and don’t come back.
The Basics of Writing Headlines
What are the important components to writing headlines?
Whether you are a copy writer for a magazine from the 1920s, or you are a digital start-up in the 21st Century, the basic approach to headline writing does not change.
Headlines should not be too long (5 to 10 words perhaps), tap into an emotion or create urgency, and tell good story about the article without giving away the ending.
If you really want to know what a winning headline should look like, look no further than your local bookstore, library or grocery store. When you visit the magazine section, you will witness magazines competing furiously for your attention. Every magazine publisher knows that they only have a few seconds in order to capture your attention, or they risk losing you to competition.
They pay top dollar to craft the best headlines that they can. The survivability of their publication depends on it.
The same is true for blogs. Top bloggers put a lot of effort into writing headlines because they know they also are competing furiously for your attention.
So before you start practicing, here are more three quick tips to take away…
3 Additional Tips to Writing Headlines that Grab Readers
The first thing you should do when writing a great headline just to think about what the article will do for your audience.
Will it help them solve a problem? Give them insight? Teach them something they need?
Second, be sure to write the headline first. Writing the headline first will give you solid direction on where your article needs to go. It will strengthen your article.
Thirdly, use one of these headline writing formulas to help you craft a killer headline:
1. Write about benefits, not features.
Here are two examples:
How to Get a Loan At a Low Interest Rate focuses on features, which doesn’t emotionally resonate with most people.
How to Get a Loan That Saves You Money focuses on a benefit, one that gets people excited. Everyone likes to save money.
2. Write a title that tells your audience the purpose of the article.
A “How To” title is instructional. List posts break down the post into X number of benefits for the reader.
How To Teach Pool Like A Pro is obviously a “how to” headline. There’s a reason why this style is used frequently. It works.
7 Ways To Become A Pro At Teaching Pool is a list post. People love list posts because they can scan through quickly with their eyes to pick up the main points if time is short.
A well written post gets people to read the whole thing, but that’s for another post (or another page like this one.)
3. Be bold with your intention.
Ask a question: Why Plant Palm Trees On Your Property?
Offer something: In 10 Minutes, I’ll Give You The Truth About Storm Windows that Will Save Your Life
Reveal a secret: The Secret To Throwing An Office Party Everyone Will Talk About
Can you see how spending a lot of time on a headline can be beneficial to your blog?
If you learn how to write a headline that can attract readers like a magnet, you’ve won half the battle in the war for attention.
What are you doing to make your headlines magnetic?