A headline is more important than you’d think. It’s the first thing the reader sees, and what will convince them to click and keep reading. Here’s how to craft the perfect headline that will get you the clicks and engagement that you need.
First of all, you may not actually have to write the headline yourself. There’s plenty of professional writing services out there that can do the job for you. They can be a real boon to you, as they’re seasoned experts in what makes an excellent article or blog post tick. You can get in touch with them and brief them in exactly what you need, meaning you’ll get what you want without having to do the work. The only cons are that you’ll have to trust them to follow your vision, which is hard when you want to have control over everything. Most companies have a money back guarantee if you’re not happy, though, so it may well be worth a try.
Sharethrough Analyzer, print screen by Sharon Conwell
You’d be amazed at what’s available out there to help you with your writing. There really is a tool for everything, and it’s the same for headline writing. Tools are out there that will help you analyze your headline thoroughly, right down to word count and grammar. If you want some suggestions, try the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, the Blog Post Headline Analyzer, or the Sharethrough Analyzer to get in-depth feedback on your headline. You can also use Easy Word Count to get accurate word counts or Australian Help for grammar guidance.
Blog Post Headline Analyzer, print screen by Sharon Conwell
Think about what makes you want to click a headline
Before you even put fingers to keyboard, you need to think about what will make your readers click your headline. If you were the reader, would you click to find out more?
One good way to find a good headline is to set up an RSS feed that looks for articles similar to yours. Read through it, and see which headlines make you want to click. What is it about them? What’s appealing to you to find out more?
There are several different ways you can approach writing a headline. If you’ve already worked out what it needs to do, you probably know how you need to approach it. Here are a few examples:
– Emotive: These headlines rely on playing on reader’s emotions to get them to click. Some words are more emotionally charged than others and will incite feelings in the reader before they even get to the main text. For example, your headline could be ‘6 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About World War 2’.
– Provocative: These headlines ask a question that your reader will want to answer. The hope is the answer will be ‘Yes’, or ‘I’m not sure, but I want to find out.’ An example of this kind of headline could be ‘Do You Pay Too Much On Your Taxes?’
– How To: There’s a reason why so many articles are written in a ‘how to’ style. If someone’s searching for your topic online, they’re looking for tips and advice. You can write a how to headline like so: ‘How To Use Your PC To Make Money From Home’.
The language you use in your headline will determine whether somebody chooses to click it or not. It needs to be simple enough to get your point across, but it should say why your article is unique and different.
It very much depends on what you’re writing about. If you’re announcing a big sale, it’s fine to be direct and to the point, i.e. ‘50% Off Kitchenware In Our Sale!’. If you’re trying to get readers to try something, offer them the benefits. For example, you could write ‘Order now and get a free gift card’. If you’re using testimonials, put it right in the headline. “This program is the best tool I have ever used”.
Whatever angle you’re taking with your headline, you need to be decisive. The end goal is to get the reader to click and find out more. They’re not going to want to if you’re not forthright in what you’re saying.
First of all, be direct in what you’re saying. If the reader clicks the headline and finds it’s about something they weren’t expecting, they aren’t going to be happy. Make sure there’s a call to action or a good reason why the reader should click, too. You want to promise something that you can deliver on in the main body of your article.
Writing a headline isn’t a five-minute job. You need to make sure you’re getting it right, so don’t use the first one you think of and call it a day. Instead, try a few out before you settle on one. Some writers swear by writing 25 headlines before they pick one, but you’ll find an amount that works for you.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you need to write a headline. Your headlines will be better, more inviting, and pull in many more readers.
Sharon Conwell has been a content manager and ghost writer at over 20 online projects, now she is a part-time educator and an editor at Big Assignments. She’s specializing at content creation and optimization. She loves coffee, tulips and her Shih Tzu named Bobby.