What does a headline do?
Its job is to turn a looker into a reader, so it needs to be catchy and clickable.
Writing good headlines applies to any form of content you can imagine, which includes blogs and emails.
Special people are employed to write dazzling headlines, however, this doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to write like them too.
It is upsetting, that after countless hours of writing and re-writing, your greatest content is finally ready, however, readers are nowhere to be seen.
They just darted by your work, without giving it a peek.
You don’t understand why as you are more than sure that your work is worth reading, and all this leaves you confused and demoralized.
The answer to stopping this happening is to write great headlines.
Writing great headlines has been described by some as an art, or science, which, when you think about it…it could be true.
When your headline sucks badly, it doesn’t grab anybody’s attention…Sorry!
In all fairness, when your headline isn’t captivating enough, what do you expect people to do? Yes…ignore it, and you can kiss ‘Goodbye’ to your campaign efforts.
Your headline is crucial if you want the rest of your content to be read. Having a great deal of content will necessitate the use of sub-headlines, which, down the line, will prove to be an important part of your writing structure. This helps your work to flow.
Sub-headings keep your readers glued to your words, and they would want to carry on reading.
Catchy headlines make a promise to the reader. They also trigger a sense of urgency and make the reader want to know more.
Types of headlines
It’s good to know about the different types of headlines available.
Of the various ones used, these are the commonest:
Should you be offering a newsworthy product, announce this in your headline.
Typical example: “Announcing the launch of a new way of cooking vegetables. Kids will demand second helpings!”
Instead of “Announcing”, feel free to use alternatives, like, for example, “Finally, or Introducing.
This is something which many people don’t make proper use of. Instead of highlighting the benefits of a particular product, or a service, they go on forever about the features.
Features aren’t the best options to generate sales by.
Benefits are what makes sales!
Who wants to know how fast a food mixer works, or what colors it comes in? These are features.
A benefit is “This XXX food mixer will half your time in the kitchen.” It can be followed by a suitable sub-heading, like, “You can have enjoy quality time with your loved ones.
‘How to’ Headline:
This goes without saying. It’s very popular. Many people are looking for all types of advice, and a headline starting with “How to” would be just up their street.
A typical example: “How to live up to a hundred, in perfect health”
People need to be told what they should do, or shouldn’t do. They need to be guided properly, and a ‘command’ headline does the job beautifully.
A typical example: “Stop being depressed.” Which can be easily followed by the sub-heading, “Go on a cruise, and leave your worries ashore.”
Everyone appreciates some form of assurance when buying something. A guarantee puts your buyer’s mind at rest, especially when money-back is offered.
An example of this: “Follow the instructions to the letter, and you’ll increase traffic to your site, overnight, or your money back.”
When writing headlines, it is crucial you don’t sound spammy.
People don’t like spam, and you’ll end up in their black book. What’s worse, you risk your email campaign will be blocked.
How do you come up with a good headline?
Many are those who profess to know how to do this properly, and Neil Patel is one of them.
The video gives excellent tips and advice about writing headlines.
- One way of doing this is to include the problem or the product in the headline itself.
- Highlighting the biggest benefit
- Understanding your target audience
How do you write a catchy headline?
Tip 1: Use simple wording in your headlines.
Everyday words are your ideal choice, as opposed to those which will get readers rushing for their Thesaurus.
Hey, I’ve got news for you…they won’t!
The only thing they’ll do is hit the ‘Back’ button on their browsers and forget about your page.
Instead of the word ‘Leverage’, use ‘Benefit’ instead, or you need to use the word ‘Utilize’, opt for ‘use’…always make the simpler words your choice.
In both cases, they mean the same thing, however, easier to read, and it doesn’t mentally stress or annoy your reader.
Let your writing flow…
Tip 2: Include numbers in your headline
It’s unbelievable how effective using this tip has been proven to be. A study showed numbered headlines significantly out-performed those without numbers.
For some reason, people like numbers and lists. Give them what they want, and you’ll get more readers.
Tip 3: Check out what your competition is doing
What better way than to find out whether a headline is working before you use it yourself?
One way to do this is to go to Buzzsumo, at https://app.buzzsumo.com/research/content
You don’t need to sign up unless you intend to make loads of money with your words. Buzzsumo gives you the option to search/analyze headlines for your marketing strategy.
The beauty about this is it gives you a breakdown where a particular headline, or even just a keyword, is popular on various Social Media platforms.
These include Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, and others.
This program allows you to know how many times a particular keyword or phrase was liked, or even shared, giving you a better understanding of whether you should be using it.
Tip 4: Leave them yearning for more
What good is revealing your ‘secret’ in just the headline?
You guessed it…they won’t need to read any further.
The ideal way to go about this is to give your readers a taste of what the article is about, and then let them click on it to read more.
Tip 5: You are ‘talking’ to your reader, so ‘talk’, and not lecture
Your readers didn’t land on your page to read an academic piece, as they certainly won’t.
Write like you are having a one-to-one conversation with somebody you know well, and avoid jargon or ‘clever words’.
Leave these for University graduates.
Tip 6: Clickbait is taboo
This sucks, BIG TIME.
Your headline should be sincere and the article following it should resonate with what your headline states.
In other words, your headline should give your reader a clear understanding of what the content is about.
Tip 7: Keep your wording powerful, and emotional
With reader’s attention span getting shorter with each passing day, any form of generic wording won’t get your reader to raise an eyebrow, and won’t be bothered to read on.
Tip 8: Should you scare your readers…a little?
You should induce some form of ‘fear’ into them, like the fear of losing out on a good deal should they don’t act within a specific period of time.
Another angle would be to mention the availability of the product might end before long…prompting those who are tempted, to click the ‘buy’ button before the product is gone.
Tip 9: Be human
Let your readers know there’s a person behind the screen pressing those keys.
The human touch is crucial. This instills trust, and trust means sales.