How To Write Headlines That Sell
There is no magic pill that grants a writer the power to pen great headlines. Developing the art of writing catchy and interesting headlines comes with practice and dedication.
The importance of a quality headline cannot be understated. Headlines are the first chance your article or blog post gets to impress your reader.
The main purpose of your headline is to get the reader to want to read your content. Your content marketing efforts will not produce a return on investment if your prospects don't read your content!
Good headlines will convert drive-by browsers into dedicated readers while bad headlines could cause the most thoughtful and enlightening article to be left unread.
In the world of web content, there is no second impression. Most of the time, the headline is your only chance to lure in a reader and if the headline fails at that task, that reader is gone forever.
Great headlines are concise, clear, and creative enough interest to draw the online passerby in. Headlines, like poetry, must not have extraneous and unnecessary words. Succinctness is key because no one likes a long, drawn out headline.
The more words there are in a headline, the higher the chance it will be unclear or misleading.
Important Points For Writing Great Headlines
To practice writing short, crisp headlines, try this exercise. Read over your article or blog post and on a sheet of paper, brainstorm the key words or phrases that are most relevant to your piece.
The nouns and verbs are most important while adjective and adverbs are less important.
Then brainstorm all synonyms to these keywords. Afterwards, create a thesis of what you want to convey in your headline and what kind of tone or message you want to present.
Then, it's just a matter of mixing and matching your puzzle parts to piece together a headline.
A great headline needs to be clear and unambiguous. Your headline must portray the point of your piece accurately and must not be misleading.
Also, you need to make sure you headline does not have an issue with homophones and homonyms. Carefully read over your headline to ensure that it is coherent and comprehensive.
Better yet, ask several of your other writer friends to read the headline to ensure its meaning is clear-cut.
The best headlines are the ones that are appealing to their target audience. There are many ways to hook a reader and no definite right or wrong way to do it.
Tips On Crafting The Perfect Headline
- Put yourself in the shoes of your target reader. Ask yourself, "What's in it for me?" If your headline answers this question, it has a good chance of attracting readers.
- Ask a question. Instead of making a definite statement, toggle the inquisitive muscles of your readers' brains and leave them hanging. Don't give them the answer and force them to read into the article to get the answer.
- Focus on the benefits. Include positive words like "great," "improve," "more," and "better."
- Think of how your headline evokes emotions. Readers can click on headlines if it makes them feel angered, happy, sad, or shocked.
- Use superlatives. Words like "best," "worst," and "greatest" can help sell your headline and your article.
- Include in your headline a sense of urgency. You want the reader to feel that he or she MUST read your article and if not, will miss out on a fleeting opportunity.
- Convey the message that your article is unique. Express to the reader that your article is the only one available that will meet the reader's needs.
- Use humor and wit. Wordplay relevant to the theme of the article can turn your article viral. Consider this clever news headline: "Man Who Snatched Wig Will Have Toupee." Use puns in moderation as going overboard can make you look like you are trying too hard.
- Stay away from hackneyed clichés. No one wants to hear about how curiosity killed the cat again.
Rules are meant to be broken, including the suggestions above. A good headline is a good headline no matter what!
Last, remember your headline is one of the most important page elements for SEO. Writing a good headline should be top-of-list for your business seo strategy.
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