Anyone who has ever read the Sunday Sport understands the power of the headline. It has the capacity to make you laugh or to make you cry, to shock you or to antagonize you. Most importantly a good headline must capture your imagination. So when it comes to writing your own ‘killer’ headlines, how can you as a blogger grab your reader’s attention in 60 characters or less?
Below we have listed 6 rules for compiling a great headline. Following these rules will add real value to your blog posts and ensure that you reach a wider audience.
What’s in it for me?
Offer something beneficial and readers will be attracted to it. Whether they desire to lose weight, gain an advantage in business or grow their customer base, highlight self-interest through your headlines and you will attract readers.
Examples of self-interest headlines include…
- Improve your sales with my easy content marketing techniques
- The very best web hosting packages for re-sellers
- Top 5 gastropubs in Shoreditch
Curiosity killed the consumer
Tease your readers. Headlines that offer just a hint of the valuable information that might be gained from reading your article are immensely powerful. These types of headlines are guaranteed to improve your click-through rate. However, it is important to remember that by using this technique you need to live up to your side of the bargain. It is important that the content of your blog post is as valuable as your headline makes it appear.
Examples of curiosity headlines include…
- A week in the life of a Royal Marine Commando
- What is it like to live aboard a superyacht?
- Why Vegans are so incredibly healthy
Employ the FOMO method
Tap into your reader’s fears of missing out (FOMO). Injecting a sense of urgency into your headlines is a sure-fire way to encourage clicks. By getting your readers to mentally imagine a clock running out they will be more likely to be stimulated into action.
Examples of FOMO headlines include…
- FREE sponge bag for the first 100 purchasers!
- FREE content marketing course: Last day for enrolment!
- Widgets & Grommets for £1: Last few remaining
The disaster principle
Sometimes, your readers can be motivated as much by avoiding pain than by gaining a benefit. If you highlight a perceived threat and then recommend a way to counter that threat you will attract willing customers.
Examples of disaster headlines include…
- Don’t order another takeaway meal until you read this!
- How safe is your kitchen? Avoiding hidden dangers.
- Hackers are trying to steal your data. Secure your computer with this simple tip.
Following the herd
Making a decision is so much easier if you have a proven example to follow. People generally feel much more at ease purchasing a product or service if they know that it has been used successfully by others. This is one reason why celebrity endorsements and online reviews are powerful marketing tools.
Examples of following the herd include…
- Lauren Goodger swears by this incredible superfood
- Top Hollywood scriptwriters use this content marketing tool
- Join tens of thousands of revelers at Glastonbury this summer
Keep it relevant and keep it fresh
One of the best ways to ensure regular engagement with your blog posts is to provide regular topical content. Up to date information that taps into a trend is a great way to improve your click-through rate. These types of headlines work well when combined with a curiosity element and are used by many UK journalists.
Examples of topical news items include…
- Will I still be able to buy Chardonnay post Brexit?
- Greta Thunberg. Can she really save the planet?
- Donald Trump v Ali Khamenei. Who wins?
Without attention-grabbing headlines, your blog post could be just a bunch of words that nobody reads. The headline is the bait. If you want to catch plenty of fish you have to use the right bait. There are a limited number of characters you can use for your blog headlines (40 to 60 is considered optimum) use them wisely.
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