7 Simple Tips for Attention-Grabbing Headlines
If you do any sort of web writing at all, you have written your share of headlines. You also know firsthand how much time and effort goes into your pieces. We know the first step is creating online content that will generate real traffic and backlinks to your site.
What you may or may not give much thought to, though, is how many people will actually read what you’ve gone to all that trouble to write! The key to this puzzle lies in your headline.
Your headline is crucially important for getting your message out, which is why we now present to you 7 tips for creating the best headlines out there.
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1. Include a Number
You’ve seen how often this happens in internet ads, right? And in headlines for things like Top 10 lists? There’s a reason for that. For some reason, we as humans gravitate toward numbers. And keep it simple—3, 5, 10—all of these will work. (If you’re using 50, though, the number concept can start to lose meaning.)
2. Add Adjectives
And not just any adjectives. Try something that’s interesting. Again, think Internet ads—1 weird trick, or 3 outrageous methods. People want to be drawn in, so give them what they want in your headline.
3. Use Compelling Words
The first word that pops into your head isn’t likely the best. To captivate your audience, you need to brainstorm. “Ways,” for instance, is a fairly descriptive word. Nothing wrong with “ways.” But maybe there’s a better choice to draw readers in. Could “secrets” be it? It has an air of the forbidden, that by clicking through to your article the reader will be party to “covert knowledge” that will set them above the rest. “Tricks” works similarly; readers feel like they’re going to be able to get around the system and get a leg up on everyone else (and on life!).
4. Use your “W”s
Who, what, when, where, why, and how — These are “trigger words” designed to instill curiosity. Curiosity, of course, is going to be one of the main reasons someone clicks through to your article. Be careful, however, before you use a question word and a number. They often do not pair well together in headlines.
5. Be Bold
If you want your readers to be curious, you need to give them something to be curious about. And it needs to be worth their time and interest. While it may otherwise be beautifully crafted, a headline such as “5 Secret Tricks for Collecting Stamps They Don’t Want You to Know!” probably won’t draw a lot of readers.
6. Emphasize the End Result
Your readers might be curious, but is there any other reason they’d click through from your headline to learn about burning belly fat? Yes! Remember, think like a marketer. People don’t want to lose weight to lose weight. People want to lose weight to be happier, to be healthier, to feel better about themselves, to be more attractive, etc., etc., etc.
Remind them in the headline of what’s at stake and you’ll see your click rate jump.
7. Know What You’re Doing
There are many different types of headlines you can craft, depending on the type of article you’re writing. This article has given you some general principles, but there’s no reason not to be more specific. Writing a news headline? Probably the best place to put a statement is your headline. Want to sell something? Consider broadening your repertoire with a celebrity endorsement in your headline. And so on.
Your headline may be crucial but, as you’ve seen, writing it doesn’t have to be that hard. With these seven tips, you’re well on your way to writing headlines with the pros.