What makes a great headline?
With all the content available at your fingertips, it’s hard to stand out and catch the attention of your clients. An award-winning headline will help you stand up and be noticed, but it isn’t always easy to achieve. You’re busy running your business and don’t have the time to write headlines and craft content.
But if you do write a blog, you want to do everything you can to convince your audience that your article is worth their time and it all starts with a convincing headline. So, if you do decide to write for yourself, you need to keep these things in mind.
80% of the people will read your headline and only 20% will read the rest of your content. And if they do read the article, they are probably only skimming it. So how can you catch people’s eyes and make them want to read on? The first step is to capture their interest with a great headline.
As professional content writers, here are 7 secrets we recommend to make sure your article has a powerful and award-winning headline:
1. Include powerful words
Using words like “never”, “always” and “must” convey meaning to your reader that the message is important. These powerful words show a sense of urgency and authority. What kind of reaction do you have when you read them?
“5 Things You Should Never Do on A Job Interview”
“9 Must-Have’s When Traveling Out of the Country”
“Why You Always Need to Think Before You Talk”
You can see that your attention has been captured and you feel almost commanded to review the article. After all, you don’t want to go to the job interview without knowing the “5 things you shouldn’t do”.
2. Evoke emotion
Headlines that generate an emotional response from your readers will encourage them to continue and read the content. What kind of image is in your mind when the words “exciting”, “professional” and “exclusive” appear on the page or the screen? Each evokes a different emotional response and people are inclined to want to know the details behind the story.
“Exciting Breakthrough in Healthy Eating”
“3 Easy Steps to Increase Your Professionalism”
“Are You Ready to Travel to Exclusive Destinations?”
I bet you are wondering what the breakthrough is or how you can get to that exclusive destination. All sorts of emotions have risen to the surface making these headlines so effective.
3. Use numbers
Numbers help us organize ourselves which is why they work so well in headlines. You have a set list of items that you need to do or see or follow. Since it’s a finite number, it shouldn’t be that hard to understand and accomplish everything on the list. And by reading before you are doing these few steps – you’ll know how long the whole task will take.
“5 Steps to Baking Delicious Chocolate Cake”
“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” – Paul Simon
Even the headline for this article contains a number and provokes you to read to see what the 7 tips are.
4. Add a sense of urgency
“Now”, “Before It’s Too Late”, and “Hurry” all convey a sense of urgency. You, as a reader, are compelled to act quickly so you don’t miss out. After all, if you want to book that dream vacation, you better hurry and act now before it’s too late. The sale might only be for a limited time and the airfare price might increase.
“Now Is the Time to Design Your Dream Home”
“Hurry: Get the Latest Gadget While Supplies Last”
Headlines with words of urgency, push you into acting quickly to take advantage of the situation.
5. Keep it short and sweet
Remember who you are writing for, who is your target audience. Create headlines with language that speaks directly to your clients. You don’t need to prove how intelligent you are by using large, complicated words. Keep the text short and sweet, enough to pique interest in a clear, concise manner.
6. Ask questions
As a reader, you become intrigued to know the solution to the question asked in the headline. This will prompt you to read further into the content of the article. Humans are naturally curious and want to know the answers. In fact, before even reading more – they probably have formulated a solution.
“Why Do More People Prefer Chocolate to Vanilla”
“What is the Best Way to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks”
You need to read the article to see if what you had proposed is correct. Does the answer that you had in mind appear in the content? And if not, why.
7. “How To” headlines
There are many things that people want to learn, so by using “How To” in your headline the reader knows that they will get the answer to their specific question. These headlines promise content for you to overcome an issue and get results. By reading the text, you hope to accomplish something.
“How To Fly Around the World in 80 Days”
“How To Go from Rags to Riches”
The content in these articles will give you the information needed to travel around the world or become very wealthy. As a reader, you feel that you have everything you need to know in these blogs and can achieve the results that you want just by reading the text.
Secrets to a great headline
Powerful and award-winning headlines are crafted to whet your reader’s appetite to consume the whole content. By using the right words to capture attention and spark interest, you encourage your clients to continue to explore the rest of your information. Don’t be afraid to evoke feelings and convey a sense of urgency. Ask questions, give information, and leave your clients with a desire for more that only you can provide.
And if you find all this a little stressful or you don’t have the time to write articles that your audience will read, why not outsource the work to someone who has the experience? To find out more on how we can help you with your content needs contact Write Wizards.